News

Author’s dive into Beatles story still has depths to explore

Author’s dive into Beatles story still has depths to explore

BEATLES BOOK: The noted Beatles scholar, 56, fell in love with the Fab Four as a child, and published his first Beatles-related reference work in 1986. His latest book, "Tune In," was published late last year. Photo: Associated Press

By Matthew Lewis

CHICAGO (Reuters) – For British author Mark Lewisohn, telling the story of the world’s greatest rock band the way it deserves to be told will take time – a quarter-century, to be exact.

The noted Beatles scholar, 56, fell in love with the Fab Four as a child, and published his first Beatles-related reference work in 1986. His latest book, “Tune In,” was published late last year.

The volume, which took 10 years to write, is the first in his planned “All These Years” biographical trilogy. It begins in 1845, when the Irish potato famine forced John Lennon’s ancestors to migrate to Liverpool, and ends in December 1962, shortly after the group released its first single, “Love Me Do.”

Lewisohn concedes that the length, 880 pages in the U.S. version and 1,728 in the unabridged British edition, may be daunting.

“Obviously, I want the book to be read by as many people as possible. But it’s as long as it needs to be,” Lewisohn told Reuters. “My interest is solely in learning as much as I can, to get the story as right as possible.”

Reviewers have praised Lewisohn’s deft balance of scholarly detail and gripping narrative. The author did not seek the blessing of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr or the estates of Lennon and George Harrison for the unauthorized book.

“Access often comes with control, and it’s crucially important that this is no whitewash,” he explained.

Lewisohn hopes that Volume 2, which will break off the narrative around 1966, will be completed by 2020 and the third and final installment about seven years after that.

“With this project, it’s not about ‘I’ve got enough, I can stop now,'” he said. “It’s ‘If I don’t turn over the next stone, I might miss the best thing of all.’ So I will turn over every stone before I stop researching.”

“Tune In” zeroes in on the youthful John, Paul, George and Ringo and their apprenticeship in the rock clubs of Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany.

Lewisohn hunted down early Beatles set lists and looked for patterns. He discovered that Harrison was an equal partner in the early days, at least in terms of sharing lead vocals onstage. The 1962 performances featured a “George vocal” on every third song, alternating with John and Paul, partly because manager Brian Epstein wanted to show off the group’s versatility.

Lewisohn also demonstrates that, contrary to what some have said, Ringo was a talented musician, and Liverpool’s most in-demand drummer.

“He was probably the only musician in Liverpool who had more stage experience than even John, Paul and George,” he said. “Anyone who thinks he was an average Joe is actually insulting John, Paul and George with their choice” of recruiting Ringo.

Lewisohn feels he still has more to learn about the group.

“I certainly don’t think that this is a book just for Beatles fans. This is a post-war history of our culture. These three books, when eventually the series is completed, will be something that I hope will stand for centuries to come.”

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Gunna Dickson)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: March 27

beatles

A look back on Hollywood headlines of years past.

in Local Sports

Gonzaga and UCLA prepare for rematch in NCAA Sweet 16

FILE - At left in a Feb. 28, 2015, file photo, Gonzaga head coach Mark Few instructs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against BYU in Spokane, Wash. At right, in a Feb. 11, 2015, file photo, UCLA head coach Steve Alford directs his team against Oregon State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Los Angeles. Gonzaga and UCLA play on Friday, March 27, 2015, in the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament in Houston.

The Bulldogs battle the Bruins at 4:15pm on KPUG 1170AM.

in Local Sports

Avalanche end 3-game skid, top Canucks

FILE - In this file photo taken Sept. 17, 2012, the NHL logo is seen on a goal at a Nashville Predators practice rink in Nashville, Tenn. The NHL eliminated 16 more days from the regular-season schedule Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, and if a deal with the players' association isn't reached soon the whole season could be lost. The league wiped out all games through Dec. 30 in its latest round of cancellations. Negotiations between the league and the players' association broke off last week, but NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Sunday the sides are trying to restart talks this week.

Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay each had a goal and an assist, and Reto Berra made 33 saves to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night.

in Local Sports

Mariners drop 2 Cactus League split squad games

Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon swings against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game Monday, March 23, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Hernandez throws 6 sharp innings in Mariners' loss to Royals. Davis, Jimenez hit grand slams as Brewers beat Mariners 15-1

in Local

Ferndale WWII POW profiled in advance of French award

Joe Moser in WWII

Seventy-one years ago, Ferndale resident Joe Moser was shot down over France, captured by Germans and sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp.