Monday 6 June 2016

The Beatles Anthology by Brian Roylance

Most people already know the Beatles story by heart, but Anthology fills the gaps nicely: John, convinced he was "too old" to make it at 21; George remembering their first stage make-up ("we looked like Outspan oranges!"); and Ringo: "We were flying from London to Glasgow once, and there were only three seats left on the plane, and in my naivety I said 'I'll stand!'" Perhaps most revealing are the first-hand accounts of the early years: their two-up, two-down childhoods, playing around in bomb-scarred Liverpool during the years of post-war austerity; dumping Pete Best and then turning to "a guy ... who had a beard and was grown-up and was known to have a Zephyr Zodiac!" (George: "Pete would never hang out with us ... with Ringo, it felt rocking.")

With Ringo, Brian Epstein and George Martin on board, the pieces fell into place and by 1964 America too had succumbed. Paul: "I remember getting into the limo and hearing a running commentary, "They have just left the airport..." It was like a dream. The greatest fantasy ever." The transitional Rubber Soul is revealed as "the pot album" and George's favourite. Bob Dylan, as ever, put his finger on it immediately: "Oh I get it, you don't want to be cute anymore!"


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