Sunday, February 05, 2006

Another look at 'The Beatles' by Bob Spitz

I wrote about this before but I finally finished The Beatles by Bob Spitz. This is a LONG book and covers the career of the Beatles from the earliest days in Liverpool to their breakup. As I mentioned earlier I was skeptical because of some of the buzz on the net about this book reporting errors but Spitz has carefully researched and noted all of his sources so I think he’s done his homework and, for the most part, got it right.

I did notice two errors, both involving George Harrison: he mentions “Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby” as a song Harrison wrote (he only sang it, I believe it is a Carl Perkins song) and said that George embraced traditional Christianity at a point late in his life which, I think, is just plain wrong. It’s my understanding that George remained a Hindu. I’d love for someone to give me confirmation one way or the other regarding this.

But let’s not let nits get in the way of a truly wonderfully written and researched book. When I read Tony Bramwell’s book (see my entries about that here and here) it seemed clear that he had an agenda – Yoko messed up John and Linda saved Paul. While that may be true, Spitz’ book does not seem to have such an agenda although we might connect the dots ourselves. Spitz seems to present the story in a way that explores the meaning behind the events without unnecessary editorializing. There are many books about the Beatles' lives and many others about their music. This one manages to be about both and it's one of the few that do both well. I highly recommend it


Anonymous said...

Man, I hate you and Evelyn!!! (tongue-in-cheek) You guys can read a million miles an hour while I'd still be on page one. I don't think I'll be checking this book out soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the above comment was from Stybba.