The Beatles: The Biography
The product of almost a decade of research, hundreds of unprecedented interviews, and the discovery of scores of
1. They all had gonorrhea when they recorded "Love Me Do."
2. John was a huge asshole.
3. Brian Epstein would invite really rough dudes back to his house to beat the crap out of him.
4. Yoko was even worse than John.
5. Paul was kind of a dick, too.
6. But Ringo was a nice guy.
7. During early Beatles concerts, theater owners or whoever would wheel retards into the front row until John started makin...more
The first hundred pages gave me the impression that it was going to be yet another John-worshiping biography, but if anything, Spitz pulls no punches when it comes to Lennon, while also managing to portray Paul as much more than the cheery one (or the Machiavellian one, which is the other typical McCartney you see in band biographie...more
There's not much more you can say about these guys but Spitz gives it the college try and with some new research and rehashing of some familiar stories he manages to capture best (even better than Norman's "Shout" in my opinion) the madness and daily treadmill of the Beatlemania days, which is the highpoint of this book.
He also suggests (with some merit) that the Beatles were already breaking up at the time of Sgt. Pepper with its fractured production and heavy drug use at th...more
My favorite thing about this band is that I really don't like their music all that much ironically. I find it hilarious that I have such a high level of respect and appreciation for a band which I hardly listen to, but it real...more
However, the second half of the book is pretty rough; it's obvious that once the Beatles quit touring there are simply less people to interview, and while the music was better (in my opinion) from there on, things become a bit less...more
But there is the cynicism that, unless the author had a place in that coveted inner-sanctum of the FabFour, there really couldn’t be any other tidbit that can be dished out that hasn’t been told in the past 3 or 4 books I’ve rea...more
Lots of people like to throw out the "definitive" word about a lot of books, and I've heard people say that about the Beatles bio "Shout," but I would not be surprised if this is considered the new definitive bio about the group. It's hard not to say that, given its 900 page yield. To give you an idea of how epic this book is, Spitz doesn't even mention Ringo until page 300.
I did catch a couple of small errors in the book: As I recall,It was a fan that called and got the Paul is Dead...more
Rating for how much I enjoyed the book: 2 out of 5
I realized as I was finishing this book that I wished I hadn't read it. Don't get me wrong - it was well-written and well-researched and I learned a great deal I didn't know about the Beatles. And therein lies the problem.
There is a whole lot I learned in this book that I wished I didn't know. I mean, I knew there was drug use. I knew there were countless affairs. I knew that none of them were standup...more
This really paints a picture of generally unhappy Beatles. It tells us how incredible amounts of fame, money, and drugs really...more
Edited down from a staggering 2,700 pages, The Beatles took eight years of research and writing. But with some 500 books chronicling their lives, loves, and legacy, one would think The Beatles' story had been adequately told. Adequate isn't authoritative, however, and most critics believe that Spitz, a former manager for Bruce Springsteen and author of Dylan: The Biography, has synthesized his subject masterfully. Though some would prefer hagiography (Charles Taylor of Newsday seems particularly...more
5/24 Paul just wrote "yesterday".
When 9, Stuart started listening to the Beatles--every single day in the car, in went the tape. We eventually got all the Beatles, and I discovered with him...more
While this book gave me a new appreciation for the Beatles as musicians, I felt really disappointed and even a little disgusted at who they were...more
It's fair to say that it fancies itself as the definitive Beatles biography something rotten and, for the first 10-15 years of the book's timeline, it almost carries it off. There's also quite a few things later on that, even to these seen-it-all eyes, were new and surprising (such as Brian's, ahem, friendship with infamous Liverpool solicitor, Rex Makin). So, the Messiah of Beatles biogs then? I was close to feeling that way (and I should know - I've followed a few)...more