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Bob Spitz

Teoksen The Beatles: The Biography tekijä

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Tietoja tekijästä

Bob Spitz is an American journalist and author best known for his celebrity biographies, including the New York Times best seller The Beatles: The Biography. Articles by Spitz appear regularly in The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Conde Nast Traveler, Men's Journal, In Style, Esquire and The näytä lisää Washington Post. Some of his non-fiction titles include The Saucier's Apprentice: One Long Strange Trip through the Great Cooking Schools of Europe, Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival and Dylan: A Biography. His title Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child made the New York Times Best Seller List for 2012. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän

Includes the name: Bob Spitz

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Tekijän teokset

Associated Works

Best Food Writing 2006 (2006) — Avustaja — 99 kappaletta
Best Food Writing 2008 (2008) — Avustaja — 83 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Connecticut, USA
Journalist, Author



Fascinating story of a group of musicians finding the right ideas for a particular influential sound. Emerging in a tight scene in the late 1960’s reasy to transform music and its business. But also how the fortune translated to miserable lifestyles and abuse of drugs.

The biography is a bit remote from the characters but thorough in covering the musical story of the band.
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yates9 | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 28, 2024 |
ummary: A biography of the band from its beginnings, rise, Beatlemania, studio work, and demise, with mini-biographies of each of the Beatles, their manager, Brian Epstein.

One of those “where were you?” moments for those of us of a certain age is “where were you when The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time?” I was a fourth grader, watching them on my grandparents television while the adults tut-tutted about the “long hairs” and their music. Inside, I was fascinated, as were all my classmates, especially the girls, who talked endlessly about “my favorite Beatle.”

The 2005 “biography” of the Fab Four brings back all those memories and so much more–much that was fascinating and some that I’d rather not have known. Spitz traces the history of the band from its beginnings with John Lennon and The Quarrymen, the meeting with Paul McCartney, the Liverpool years and the various combinations of musicians including the fan favorite drummer Pete Best whose home was a favorite hangout until he was unceremoniously ditched and Ringo brought on board on the eve of their fame. Spitz writes abbreviated biographies of each of the Beatles and their manager, Brian Epstein.

We learn how formative their time in Hamburg was and the significant advance they made under Brian Epstein’s management. Spitz takes us through all the things he did to polish their image, how they became “The Beatles,” his efforts to get them recorded and promoted, and the mistakes he made in setting up recording contracts. As their records hit the charts and they toured Great Britain, we see them reach the “toppermost of the poppermost.” Then Ed Sullivan. America. Beatlemania with its surging crowds, shrieking and swooning girls, and ever-increasing danger to the Beatles leading to their end of touring in 1966.

Spitz takes us behind the scenes and we see the genius of the songwriting duo of Lennon-McCartney as well as the eventual strains in their relationship, the guitarwork and growing skill of George and how Ringo not only provided the musical foundation for the band but also a certain emotional glue. We learn what it was like to record at Abbey Road. We observe the self-effacing genius of George Martin, who never profited beyond his modest salary, helping with the innovative work on albums like “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Spitz reminds us of the trip to India to learn meditation as the band sought both to grow spiritually and mend the growing artistic and personal rifts that would ultimately lead to their demise, particularly after Yoko Ono entered the scene, helping further alienate John from the others. We read accounts of the final recording sessions and the release of “Abbey Road” and their last live concert on a London rooftop, where amid all the tensions, they momentarily recaptured the joy of making music together.

Then there is the seamier side. The drug use beginning with amphetamines, marijuana, and eventually LSD, and in John’s case heroin, from which he was often strung out and increasingly erratic. The women. So many “birds” to have sex with, as was the case with many rockers. At one point, all were being treated for gonorrhea. There is the brilliant and sad Brian Epstein and his closeted gay life, including rough sex leaving him beaten and robbed, and his growing despair as he felt he was losing control of the Beatles, leading to his death, whether accidental or suicide, from an overdose of drugs. While they were rich, through Epstein’s mistakes and their own debacle with Apple, they foolishly lost millions.

There is the tragic. Going back to Hamburg days, the death of onetime bandmate Stu Sutcliffe, the firing of Pete Best and the way it was done. The betrayal of Lennon’s wife, Cynthia, and Paul’s girlfriend, Jane Asher. The end of the band itself, chronicled in agonizing detail. And later deaths: John, George, Linda Eastman McCartney.

This is a huge biography, coming in at 983 pages, including photos and notes. Yet it is a fascinating read that gives one a sense of the hard work it took to become “The Beatles” the genius of Lennon and McCartney, the trauma of Beatlemania, the behind-the-scenes accounts of the making of each album and so much more. At the same time, we see them as all-too-human, flawed and forming young men thrust into the fame and fortune they’d dreamed of but were not prepared to handle. What is astounding is to consider that most of the output of The Beatles took place over just seven fraught years, from 1963 to 1969. Yet they changed rock ‘n roll forever. Spitz gives us the “crowded hours” of that epic journey.
… (lisätietoja)
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BobonBooks | 18 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 18, 2024 |
The last 150 pages or so became a little repetitive: Julia was called up to do a tv series or special, then churned out a cookbook of recipes used on said series or special, then did a national book tour to shill said cookbook, and my! wouldn't that be exhausting for someone half her age. What kept it interesting in that home stretch was her personal life, especially how she handled growing older and her beloved Paul's declining health.

Overall, a fantastic book.
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blueskygreentrees | 25 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 30, 2023 |



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