Thursday 16 June 2016

The Ray Connolly Beatles Archive by Ray Connolly

Most books about the Beatles are by writers who never met them. Ray Connolly was lucky. He was a journalist and he knew all of them, John Lennon confiding in him that he’d left the Beatles four months before it became public knowledge; and later Paul McCartney asking him for an interview so that he could explain his side of the break-up. 

Before that, Connolly went to Beatles’ recording sessions at the Abbey Road studios, knew the Beatles' wives, visited the homes of three of them, and was a frequent visitor to the Beatles' Apple London base. In the front row at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in Madison Square Gardens, he also followed the Magical Mystery Tour around England’s West Country, and when John Lennon decided to send his MBE back to the Queen it was Ray Connolly he phoned to break the news. 

Later, when John Lennon lived in New York, there would be letters from him, while Ringo had the second lead in the movie That’ll Be The Day which Ray Connolly wrote. 

This isn’t a biography of the Beatles. Nor is it a dissertation on their music or an analysis of their lyrics. It is Ray Connolly's story of the Beatles, a selection of some of his many interviews with them and others connected with them, as well as articles, reviews, news stories and reflections that he's published over the past forty five years in various British national newspapers – as well as several pieces being published here for the first time. 

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