Thursday 26 September 2013

Tune In

Mark Lewisohn, possibly the real Fifth Beatle, is currently having vast quantities of smoke blown up his jacksie for his new epic Beatles tome Tune In; I’ve been following David Hepworth’s attempt to climb the North Face of same and it really is, or so it would appear, the last word on the group’s early years. Forget 1962-1966. And as for 1967-1970, you can only see that far ahead with the aid of the Hubble telescope. No, for this scene setter Lewisohn is concentrating purely on 1942-1962. That’s right; there was still a war on.

I shall, of course, read it myself in the fullness of time; my interest in all things Beatles goes way beyond passing. Until now my main reference point for this period of the group’s life has been Allan Williams’ The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away. Co-written I know, but Williams (their first manager) was there. Many of Lewisohn's references are culled from this book which was written in 1975; only five years after The End. Take the story of a young Richard Starkey writing to the Houston Chamber of Commerce in 1961 looking for work. Williams lobs that in to the mix on page 209, Lewisohn doesn't reach October '61 until page 493. And, still being alive, Lennon (allegedly) read Williams' account and even endorsed it. I wonder if Macca will be as generous with Tune In?


  1. Loved the Tony Barrow book. Like you, I'll consume mostly things Beatley. Taking You Never Give Me Your Money on holiday, next week.

    1. All things being equal, this trilogy should deter any future Fab 4 scribblers from trying to re-tell the story. But you just know that many more forests have yet to be chopped down.

  2. Now that i'm in my dotage, I seem to do most of my reading in bed, which could prove difficult, not to mention dangerous, when I start digging into this beast.

  3. Pete Best's books cover some of this period and the Albert Goldman book is very detailed. I will of course be buying Marks book need to keep up my Beatles fix.

  4. I'd like to see Best up on stage with Lewisohn when he does the 'A Word in Your Ear' Q&A. Best was there. Lewisohn wasn't.

  5. I'm sure he'll have interviewed him instead of going through the cuttings and rehashing old news. He could also get the Pete Best Band to do a set. Wishful thinking that one