Hamburg-era

jinyoungxoxo  asked:

I have quite a few Beatles books, probably more than I need. But I value your opinion, what's the most informative Beatles book out there? Like the best book that digs into the Beatles and the collaboration between John and Paul?

There are quite a few books about John & Paul. They are all different though, and they all discuss their partnership in a different way, I’ll explain you how so that you can choose the one that fits your needs:

- Lennon-McCartney: The Story of Music’s Greatest Songwriting Duo: This book is really nice, it describes John and Paul’s childhood in almost a parallel way, and then goes on with the whole Hamburg and the Beatles era.

Pros: I liked the first part mostly, because it shows how their childhood was connected and how they got together.

Cons: The book is almost a Beatles book, and not a Lennon and McCartney story. In my opinion, sometimes the writer focuses too much in stories that are Beatles stories and not John & Paul accounts. A book titled ‘Lennon and McCartney’ should be centered on their partnership and should tell the story from their point of view, instead I found it too dispersive in some parts and a simple tale of a Beatles story.

Powers of Two: How Relationships Drive Creativity: This book describes, almost scientifically, the power of creativity partnership. There are different duos in the book: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Marie and Paul Curie…and there’s John and Paul too, and they are the main focus and study of the book.

Pros: I loved it because this book does what other books don’t: it explains in a psychologic and scientific way how two geniuses get together and how they always need each other with creativity competition. There are lot of interesting discussions about it: how their characters work, how creativity works, and how they wrote the greatest songs in music history. You won’t find out anything about their childhood or their personal lives, but you’ll understand how they worked together and why they needed each other so bad.

Cons: The book is not only about John and Paul.There are lot of stories involved, and different partnerships discussed, so you have to avoid some large parts you probably won’t be interested about.

Lennon Versus Mccartney the Beatles, Inter Band Relationships and the Hidden Messages to Each Other In Their Song Lyrics: This book is literally what I do on Tumblr when people aske me to explain the meaning of a Mclennon song. No personal stories, no childhood, just a short, simple book about the songs they wrote.

Pros: The songs are explained by John and Paul, cause the writer/journalist explain the meaning of the songs by giving extracts of John and Paul’s interviews. Most of them are connected, and it opens your eyes about their relationship, which is almost explained through the songs they wrote for each other.

Cons: Less Beatles songs, more solo songs. The author focuses less on the Beatles era, and I can deduce why: because the meaning and metaphors in their songs from 1962 to 1966 were less obvious. They had to hide it. After the Beatles era, mostly after the break up, they wanted to shout their resentment and anger to each other so the lyrics and the meaning of the songs became clearer. It starts almost from 1968, with Hey Jude, to 1980.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney: Their Magic and Their Music (Partners II): Another John and Paul story, similar to “Lennon and McCartney, the story of the greatest music songwriting duo”. It starts from their childhood, how they grew up together until the late years with Yoko and the whole break up issue.

Pros: I loved the childhood part, there are lot of useful informations, and inside stories about them I didn’t find in other books. It’s all focused on their relationship and how it developed from July 1957 and how they got closer after Julia’s death. There are lot of nice photos that none of the books mentioned above have. It also explains how they wrote their songs and the backstory of some of them.

Cons: Sometimes I found it a bit futile, some stories are told with a bit of no information behind it, but just put in the book to fill some gaps, specially in the Yoko and last era, when they were breaking up.

Other books not John & Paul related but relevant and worth mentioning:

- John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman: An intense book about the whole life of John. It also focuses on his relationship with Paul with juicy stuff none has ever told before: the whole bisexuality subject and John’s attraction to Paul told by Yoko.

- Paul MCartney: Many Years from now by Barry Miles: This is almost an authorised, official book on Paul, based on hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews over a period of five years, and with complete access to Paul’s own archives. It focuses on Paul years during the Beatles era, and Paul tries to shut the whole ‘john vs paul’ cliché the media love so much and focuses on his real relationship with John. 

NOT TO BUY: Two of Us: The Passionate Partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney by Geoffrey Giuliano: This man is the worst Beatles author ever, please do not buy his books, unless you plan to light the fire.

4

Photos from The Beatles first professional photography session, taken by Albert Marrion in 1961. 

Albert Marrion was a wedding photographer based in Wallasey. He was asked by Brian Epstein to take the photos after he’d done the photo’s for Brian’s brother Clive’s wedding. The Beatles traveled to his studio at 268 Wallasey Village, Wallasey, Merseyside on Sunday, 17th December 1961 for the photos in their Hamburg-era black leather suits. 


“Midway during the month of December 1961, Brian Epstein called me and asked if I could take some photos of four boys he had started to manage. At first, I was reluctant to accept the task. We were primarily a portrait and wedding studio. In fact, the reason Epstein called me was I had been the photographer for his brother Clive’s wedding.

Brian had told me they were a scruffy-looking group in all-leather outfits, but quite harmless. I agreed and told Brian to have them meet me at my Wallasey studio the following Sunday, December 17.

At first, I asked my partner, Herbert Hughes, to take the photo session, but he flatly refused, wanting nothing to do with the beat group.

Sunday morning arrived and the four Beatles arrived at my studio. I remember those leather pants and jackets, the polo sweaters, and suede shoes to this day. Brian had spoken to them prior to the meeting so they were half serious in attitude. Every once in a while, John Lennon would stick his tongue out and make a wisecrack. John and Paul joked and laughed throughout most of the session. George Harrison was quiet and Pete Best didn’t speak almost at all.

It was pouring down rain and Lennon was beginning to irritate me. I, being bald at the forehead, Lennon frequently referred to me as ‘Curly.’

This photo session was done for Epstein as a friendly gesture against the wishes of my partner, Hughes. I took about thirty photographs of the Beatles but discarded all but sixteen negatives because many showed Lennon and McCartney acting up and spoiling the pose. No doubt, those negatives should have been kept, looking back.”
[Albert Marrion, Beatlesbible.com]

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