Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years (英語) ハードカバー – 2013/10/29
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Tune In is the first volume of All These Years—a highly-anticipated, groundbreaking biographical trilogy by the world's leading Beatles historian. Mark Lewisohn uses his unprecedented archival access and hundreds of new interviews to construct the full story of the lives and work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
Ten years in the making, Tune In takes the Beatles from before their childhoods through the final hour of 1962—when, with breakthrough success just days away, they stand on the cusp of a whole new kind of fame and celebrity. They’ve one hit record ("Love Me Do") behind them and the next ("Please Please Me") primed for release, their first album session is booked, and America is clear on the horizon. This is the lesser-known Beatles story—the pre-Fab years of Liverpool and Hamburg—and in many respects the most absorbing and incredible period of them all. Here is the complete and true account of their family lives, childhoods, teenage years and their infatuation with American music, here is the riveting narrative of their unforgettable days and nights in the Cavern Club, their laughs, larks and adventures when they could move about freely, before fame closed in.
For those who’ve never read a Beatles book before, this is the place to discover the young men behind the icons. For those who think they know John, Paul, George, and Ringo, it’s time to press the Reset button and tune into the real story, the lasting word.
“An epic unprecedented in rock ’n’ roll biography, and a great read . . . there’s a surprise on every page.” —Mojo
“Beyond essential . . . a wildly evocative portrait . . . The saga is clearer and richer here than it’s ever been. Lewisohn writes in novelistic detail and with the obvious conviction that none of the previous Beatles biographies have ever been good enough.”—Entertainment Weekly
“A radical event and a joy to read . . . Lewisohn’s work stands as a monumental triumph, a challenge not merely to other Beatles biographers but to the discipline of biography itself. If only all important subjects had their Lewisohn.” —Washington Post
“The biggest, deepest Beatles book ever.”—Rolling Stone
“The widest possible angle on an extensive and engrossing group biography built on a well-raked mountain of exacting new research . . . expertly controlled and propelling.”—New York Times
“Lewisohn manages to fill in blanks that no one knew were empty.”—The New Yorker
“A triumph. Not only an enthralling account of the Beatles group’s origins, far superior to anything that has gone before, but also an essential piece of social history . . . Lewisohn has set out to do the Beatles justice and write the definitive history. I think he is succeeding.” —The Times (UK)
“A book with a difference, one that ensures all previous rock tomes will gather dust on high cobwebbed shelves . . . Lewisohn has set the benchmark in popular music history that he alone can match.” —Huffington Post
“Every single page brings the Beatles back into focus and moves them away from legend. Common myths fall apart under Mr. Lewisohn’s research.” —New York Journal of Books
“In its close focus and historical ambition, the trilogy may be compared to Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson or John Richardson’s A Life of Picasso; it is unlikely to be surpassed.” —Daily Telegraph (UK)
“A game-changing study which raises the bar in a genre characterized by pap or pretension. A meticulous piece of work – I can’t wait for volume two.” —The Independent (UK)
“I can think of no greater praise for Tune In than to say that it gives the Beatles the beginnings of the biography they deserve. It is hard to imagine the subsequent volumes, covering more familiar ground, matching the gripping quality of this constantly surprising work.” —Financial Times
“This is the story told in Proustian detail, told so definitively that, after this, that really should be it.” —The Guardian (UK)
“With imagination, energy and a gripping plotline, Lewisohn manages to put flesh and blood on the story as never before.” —The Sunday Times (UK)
“Packed with revelations and demystifications.” —The Economist
“A major event in music publishing . . . the definitive account of the Beatles.” —GQ
“Lewisohn treats his subjects seriously, as historical, if ultimately remarkable, figures, and eschews the myriad myths that have grown up around the band in favor of the sorts of details and minutiae, wrapped in a serious but breezy narrative, that give us the fullest picture of who John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and, eventually, Ringo Starr were.” —Esquire
“A fast-moving page-turner overflowing with warm humor, passion, and (of course) music. Likely to become a principle text in 20th-century studies, a sort of Complete Shakespeare with a much better soundtrack.” —VH1.com
“As a Beatles scholar, Mark Lewisohn has no serious rivals. [This is] nothing less than a lifetime’s work embracing the cultural and personal history of the Fab Four, a multi-volume epic written on a scale unprecedented in its genre.” —Irish Times
“Tune In is brilliant in describing the addictive power of rock and roll when there was no imaginable alternative in a doomed town. [Tune In] turns up the colors in a world that has faded to grey.” —Herald Scotland
“Unearths searing new facts that change our historical perspective of what we’ve always been told, setting history on its ear.”—Examiner.com
“A definitive history of the band.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Written with passion, authority and vitality, this is an absorbing book.”—Edinburgh Evening News
“Epic in its scope, forensic in its detail, Tune In is like reading the Beatles’ story for the very first time.”—R2/Rock ‘n’ Reel
“Lewisohn has a knack for underscoring the moment, the precise moment, when things change.”—Slate.com
“A clear-eyed appraisal of rock’s most beloved band.”—CNN.com
Meanwhile, Epstein-managed and EMI-signees Gerry and the Pacemakers made do with the Murray-penned number, while The Beatles forged ahead with a growing number of original songs, not all of which would make it to their early recordings, but with enough quality to quickly distance The Beatles from their peers. It was all fine to be covering other peoples’ work, the industry standard at the time, or to have writers working for performers, such was the relationships between stars like Elvis Presley and his behind-the-scenes hit-makers. Brian Epstein knew they were different, and George Martin would come to know just the same soon enough. The Beatles were special. There was nobody like them in Britain at the time, most obviously so once they’d honed their skills working the grotty and unstable stages in Hamburg, where their performing residency both hardened and fine-tuned the group. Back home in Liverpool it was the dripping, dank firetrap, the Cavern, a dodgy yet fertile live setting where The Beatles’ growing numbers of local fans—who are given excellent voice in this book through recollections of the band’s infancy--would bulge and burst forth the enthusiasm for their local boys, to the point where something naturally had to give, that being national stardom, and beyond.
But as author Mark Lewisohn reveals, backtracking through each step of The Beatles’ development, taking us back to post-war Britain’s famous yet hardly glamorous sea port town, Liverpool in the 1950s, in a book so painstakingly assembled, the rise to fame was a challenge—both personally and professionally for all of those involved. While Ringo is present in the telling of this, volume 1 of Tune In, his full membership in the band, following the difficult sacking of original drummer Pete Best, occurs well after the first half of the book. Yet considering the entire period covered in this first volume, which finishes as 1963 has barely dawned; it is something of a whirlwind story. It’s the exquisite detail that give’s the story such life. Not precisely rags to riches, but pretty close.
In 1950s Liverpool, Lewisohn asserts correctly, it was as if World War II had just ended. Unlike the Capital, where Londoners might nearly have forgotten the Blitz thanks to a swift cosmetic recovery, Liverpool was still dotted with open sores of wartime bombing, on top of which persisted a population cut and divided by class and still evident signs of immigration, mainly from Ireland. Like Manchester, where a similarly sizeable population of generations-deep Irish influx had taken place, Liverpool was a hotchpotch of hardened labourers, mostly steeped in the city’s centuries-old shipping and trade industries. It’s very safe to say not everyone had all mod cons, and if they did it would have meant little more than an extra room and perhaps a television, or even a proper toilet, unless one was truly and comfortably well-off.
It is here, with the backdrop of industrial grit, that four lads would come together through a mutual love of American rock ‘n roll and country music, and where the now legendary songwriting team of Lennon-McCartney would be born.
The Beatles—All These Years: Tune In, Volume 1 by Mark Lewisohn is everything any Beatles fan must own, and—no, there are not enough Beatles books out there to warrant another. Once Lewisohn gives us the second and third volumes, then perhaps that statement can be made. What makes this enterprise such an essential read is its depth of personal detail, from and about the players involved, many on the peripheral, outside of the limelight, but key players in so many ways. From the sickly young Richard Starkey, whose own doctors would proclaim time and again, thankfully in the wrong, ‘The boy won’t make the night’; to firebrand and razor-sharp wit, John Winston Lennon, father off the radar and mother his creative spark, if not always there to raise him properly; to Paul McCartney, natural-born show off and creatively gifted, on the musical side mostly from his father; to awkward George Harrison, a bus-driver’s son who, once his eye first caught sight of a shiny electric guitar beyond the window of a musical instruments shop, would fall in love with the sound of the six strings for life. Real-life stories are of course pathos themselves, as we discover a tragic bond that will bring John and Paul closer and closer together, when both lose their mothers while still young lads. The untimely death of friend and early band member Stuart Sutcliffe would haunt them further, most notably John. In life the lad was Paul’s nemesis, but such is youth, where often hardened hearts necessarily shape maturity.
Perhaps most illuminating of all things in this book is what we come to learn, and truly appreciate, of The Beatles’ biggest champions, Brian Epstein and George Martin. While Brian deftly and professionally handles his family business, he yearns for something else, and is pitted in a struggle with his father over his future. In The Beatles, he finds that something, and unselfishly gives them the support and encouragement they so sorely needed. No more swearing and eating on stage, and new suits signal the birth of the Beatles as we come to know them. That’s all Brian.
As for George Martin, we discover a consummate professional romantically involved with another Parlophone employee, while still married, and it wasn’t exactly a secret at work. As Parlophone’s key in-house producer at EMI, Martin already had a solid professional history before the four lads from Liverpool arrived, producing several successful pop and comedy records. Ever heard the Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren duet, Goodness, Gracious Me? Sure, you have. Mr. Martin is behind that one. In time, with domestic issues thankfully not hindering his work, he’d be there to cut those essential Beatles sides at Abbey Road. Remarkably, EMI passed once just as Decca had, but something sat well with George (even if EMI’s recently acquired Capitol Records had little time for most British pop, a stubbornness on the part of Capitol A & R man, Dave Dexter Jr., which delayed Capitol’s releasing Beatles music stateside for a spell, until EMI head Sir Joseph Lockwood forced Dexter’s hand), no doubt in great part to Brian’s faith and persistence in ‘the boys’. Martin would soon warm himself to the affectionate term himself. He liked them; it just took the chemistry a few tests to make success in the lab of a recording studio.
Another very noteworthy point about Tune In is that Lewisohn has avoided or corrected much of the ‘he said, she said’ of Beatles legend, but doesn’t shy away from one uncomfortable fact after another. It does nothing other than to further endear The Beatles to their fans. After all, a farting, ‘crip face’ pulling, oft times cutting John Lennon is still John Lennon. Human, like the rest of us, and young, like some of us once were. We might not be able to wave away the nasty ‘queer Jew’ jibes he leveled at Brian, any more than we can Paul’s largely unfounded and cruel jealousy toward Stu. In hindsight, we know Paul was the gifted one. It’s likely certain Paul has gone through that relationship in his mind over the years himself. As for the somewhat cruel but necessary sacking of drummer Pete Best, which ‘the boys’ left up to poor Brian, who could barely handle the situation himself, history has already proven it was the right decision. Ringo, to whom George Harrison would soon be very close and welcoming, was the better drummer.
And so there were four. The now famous stinging decision to first leave Ringo off the kit on the recording of Love Me Do, with a session drummer on his stool, probably did more to harden Mr. Starkey’s resolve, and prove EMI that they had slighted him. And they would never forget it. Aside from this blight, the Fabs gelled and fit together so well, the nation and soon the world would be theirs.
However, the delightfully exhausting first volume merely gives us a taste of what was to come, but Mark Lewisohn does it so lovingly and with finesse, you do find yourself wanting to go back here and there just to again piece it all together. The stop-starts and downs and ups make for an amazing journey to iceberg tip of legend. An extremely well-written and researched book on The Beatles, Tune In may well be the best thing one will read about the life of John, Paul, George and Ringo—The Beatles, and the lives of each without and within the greatest band in popular music history.
in 804 pages. You will get the usual information that you have known all along. The kind of tidbits
that gave you glances into each player's life. You have also heard most of the people's names in this
book and their relationship to one another and to the Beatles. It is those intimate connections that
Mark Lewisohn finds and fills in the gaps and chronicles the growth of the pre-fab four. It is fair
to say he connects more dots than any prior author.
What the author does in 'Volume 1' is fill in a lot of gaps between all the knowledge we had of the
Beatles and their rise to fame. You will receive more intimate knowledge of their families, friends,
schooling, and especially how rock and roll essentially saved them from the usual Liverpudlian descent
into hard labor or unemployment. Rock and Roll was what inspired each of them to be the collective
topper-most of the popper-most.
There are many instances where Lewisohn will question the authenticity of an incident or provide more
than one perspective of an incident. It appears he has done his home work in detail. You will follow
the fab four, throughout different band iterations, as they attempt to play their music and begin to
write a few songs of their own.
The one thing that I did like were the quotes the author collected from friends and hangers-on that
literally witnessed the growth of the group from a rag tag collection of whom-ever would be available
to play a gig, to the cohesive unit they eventually became. There were rotating personnel early on
until John, Paul and George, essentially, always showed up to play almost every date that was booked.
Those 3 formed the early nucleus of the pre-Beatles that showed intense wit and camaraderie between
It is also interesting to follow Ringo's rise as a professional drummer much before the others became
pros. All four had crossed path multiple times gigging here and there around England. There are some
photos of the them together prior to Ringo becoming a full fledged Beatle.
Speaking of drummers, I have read reviews stating Pete Best was castigated by the author. That Mark
Lewisohn shows how much he didn't like Mr. Best by always showing him in a bad light. I disagree with
those observations. Like a lot of musicians that flowed through the pre-fab group, Best was just a port
in the storm. Drummers then and now are hard to find and keep. The basic problem was that Pete Best
couldn't keep good time. Amateurs and professionals alike commented on it and repeatedly would make
sure the drums weren't too intrusive especially when recording.
Pete Best was also kept on because his mother was a very good promoter of the group and she had a
venue they'd play regularly. They eventually became the house band for that venue, The Casbah. The
problem with Mr. Best does get sorted out slowly, and sometime painfully, using quotes from the others
who played, promoted or observed the group. There is no doubt that John, Paul and George did not click
with Pete as they did with each other. AND visa versa. Pete Best most often went off on his own when
the others would hang together or get food or drink together. The fab three were just waiting for the
right drummer to appear and when he did...well...
You will go with them through the nitty gritty (mostly gritty) when they head to Germany and meta-morph
into a cohesive and iconic band. The quotes of the people who saw John, Paul, George and Pete were
about, how much they had changed, to their greatly increased stage presence. They came back a changed
group. Yet, they still lacked that something. They were not going anywhere fast and they sensed it. It
was, and is, called organization and tireless promotion; enter Brian Epstein.
It is to say that the 'boys' were very lucky to have been found by Brian Epstein and subsequently George
Martin. The music business can be cutthroat and Mr. Epstein and Mr. Martin appeared to be be very honest
and straight forward people that recognized the raw energy the band possessed and more importantly the
potential that resided in their musical talents. Lucky indeed.
Essentially what I took away from 'Volume 1' is that their drive, talent, luck and just plain hard work helped
these typical Liverpool lads become a group that changed the cultural direction of the Western world. They
took their love of American rock and roll and turned it back on America filtered through their British ears.
This is why this is an amazing story that needed to be told more completely.
Having Mark Lewisohn fill in the blanks helps you understand how the small steps of their lives made up
huge leaps of progress in the band's musicianship and song writing in only a few years. Every thing you have
read prior to this book has been the Readers Digest version of the Beatles story. Now go and read the full
version and revel in the wonder and enticing tale of four regular guys who made it to the topper-most. It is a
fun read indeed.
Like a play, characters enter and leave, but not without adding to the storytelling. Many misconceptions are definitively cleared up, and some legends are broken down into the various acts.
Some questions however are not completely answered. Just like the eternal debate as to who started the tape machine when Elvis first walked into Sun Records to record a song for his mama, Lewisohn lays facts out and lets the reader connect the dots.
It is better understood why Paul, George and John distanced themselves from Pete Best, while modern myth makes it sound like it was a rash decision to sack their drummer.
Lewisohn does not attempt the analyze his subjects, but instead paints a verbal picture of their surroundings and influences and leaves out the psychological nuances that attempt to tell why and how the individual Bealtes were molded as they were.
I recommend this book to every Beatles fan and to those who teach courses on the their history and the history of rock and roll. For the first time fan of the Fabs this is more of an intermediate book, and may not be the best choice of first readings. I look forward to part two.
Two more books are in the pipeline. According to Wikipedia, "In an interview published on 28 December 2013, Lewisohn estimated that the second volume would be published in 2020 and the final volume in 2028 ('about the time he turns 70')." YIKES! Since all the old fans will be that age or older -- how big will the next ones be, when they're printed in LARGE TYPE for old eyes? :D
If you're a Beatles fan, this is a must-read.