Book Recommendations

Yeah you know this all fits right in. I didn’t know that but it is a perfect fit for Genesis. What an asshole.

It sounds awesome!

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Cosey has another book out that I’m dying to read – about women pioneers in electronic music. :nerd_face:

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Ooh. Lots of amazing ones. Anne Dudley and Gillian Gilbert come to mind.

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Another one for y’all! I felt cozy today so I put my feet up and read Robbie Krieger’s Set the Night On Fire in one go. Easily my favourite Doors-related memoir. Fair and kind to all parties concerned. Warm. Well-written. Not sensationalized. No myth-making. But lots of reverence for a special time & place. And lots of laugh-out-loud funny moments.

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At some point I need to shell out for Peter Hook’s book, and also Deborah Curtis’ book. Control (based on hers) was the best band movie I have ever seen.


Just repurchased this book. It was required reading for Inter-American Studies 201:History of Rock and Roll. Got an A, but lost the book somewhere along the way.


Oh gosh, yes to both!! Seeing Control in theatres was my 3rd or 4th date with my spouse.

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That’s right up my alley! I’ll add that to my wishlist. You would probably really like Race, Rock, and Elvis too.


Just got a copy of The Girl Can’t Help It so I can see the Little Richard performance (honest!).


Interesting rabbit hole;
" Their influence on pop culture was undeniable, with even Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain citing A Nation of Millions as one of his favorite albums. Yet notable awards and major mainstream accolades never came the group’s way."

I hear a very strong Beatles influence here

You probably already knew this, but I didn’t.* Wikipedia tells us:

The Beatles were an early and lasting influence on Cobain; his aunt Mari remembers him singing “Hey Jude” at the age of two.[9]: 9 “My aunts would give me Beatles records”, Cobain told Jon Savage in 1993, “so for the most part [I listened to] the Beatles [as a child], and if I was lucky, I’d be able to buy a single.”[36] Cobain expressed a particular fondness for John Lennon, whom he called his “idol” in his posthumously released journals,[37] and he said that he wrote the song “About a Girl”, from Nirvana’s 1989 debut album Bleach, after spending three hours listening to Meet the Beatles!.[9]: 121

*I’m of a different generation, and not particularly interested in Nirvana, despite an art class I took around 2001 where the instructor was an obviously big fan. He played Nirvana tunes exclusively during one class; perhaps for the anniversary of Cobain’s death? But I don’t need to listen to Meet the Beatles to hear the influence. I think some of Green Day’s songs also have Beatles influence, as well as many others.


Actually, I didn’t know that. Buddy of mine told me that the Beatles were a big influence, but that was after I asked where I could listen to the Beatles version of About A Girl. Thank you for the linky!
Searched long and hard to find that original, which to me was a mark of excellence, because

they could embody probably THE MOST influential rock band of all times, The Beatles.
I’m very lucky to have him as a mentor.
Also searched really hard to find Soundgarden’s cover of Rusty Cage, with the same result.

I wouldn’t call myself a big Michael Jackson fan, or a big fan of WHAM, for that matter, but I do believe it’s important to understand the influence they’ve had on music, just as it would be important to understand Chuck Berry.

Don’t hear The Beatles influence in Green Day, but I do hear the Nirvana influence.

I do hear The Beatles influence in The Carpenters.

Nirvana shaped the sound of Rock & Roll for decades.

Dave Grohl is incredible

I found “Slap It!” very helpful at the beginning of my slap journey.


Well, the Beatles never (to my knowledge) recorded a song named “About a Girl,” but you found that out. I think the influence was more the way their songs (whether from Meet the Beatles or other recordings) were constructed, the vocal arrangements, musical instruments and devices used, etc. I agree that other bands, later groups, influenced others. Although I have not kept up with a lot of music in recent decades, I think for those groups that I am familiar with, I might be able to hear their influence in a modern day song. It’s just that most of what I’m familiar with is very old school. I mean, I remember when the Beatles hit the scene, as I was 10 years old back then. I’m doing pretty good when I can remember music I liked from the early 1980s, so that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Just off the top of my head, many people hearing it when it was released thought this song was done by the (early) Beatles, but it was not:

“Lies,” by the Knickerbockers, released in 1965. From one of the comments to the video, by a Steve Stalzle:

“Lies” is a song written by Beau Charles and Buddy Randell, performed by The Knickerbockers; the single was produced by Jerry Fuller. It reached #20 on the U.S. pop chart in 1965. It was featured on their 1966 album Lies and is famous for often being mistaken for a Beatles track due to its similarities to their style and harmonies.

Here is what original Knickerbockers member Beau Charles said about the song’s behind-the-scenes story:

“We desperately tried to write something that sounded like the British Invasion’. We wrote ‘Lies’ in less than one half hour. We demo-ed it in New York.” After a Jerry Fuller inspired re-arrangement, the track was recorded at Sunset Sound in West Hollywood with Bruce Botnick as the Engineer. Things were not quite right, so the multi-track master was taken to Leon Russell’s house in Hollywood Hills. Jerry Fuller knew Leon and “Leon had this great little studio - just a four track”. The band recorded the vocals there and overdubbed a new guitar part that was recorded from a beat up old Fender guitar amp that gave the guitar sound a meaty, edgy feel".

BTW - I have several books on the Beatles, will check titles and post them here in a bit (just to STAY ON TOPIC!) :wink:

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Right indeed!
Sometimes a cover will carry a slightly different name, like this one done by the Allman Brothers. It’s featured on Blues Masters Vol 6. I’d love to hear Picket cover Soundgarden’s Rusty Cage. I believe Johnny Cash did.
I will definitely explore more about Wilson Picket when my WBSTB book arrives! :sweat_smile:

Okay, I finally got around to it! :wink:

Below is a list of 16 books by or about the Beatles, which are found on my messy and disorganized bookcase shelves. The notable ones as I recall them are marked with a plus sign (+). Most are paperback, unless noted otherwise. I will give more of a description of each book, vs. much of a review, since it’s been some time since I read any of them. Perhaps one or two may pique someone’s interest enough to track a copy down. I’ll try to link to Amazon for each book if it is offered there, but only to show the cover image of the edition I own, and other information.

I lived through the entire Beatle period as it happened, exposed to their overwhelming presence in the U.S. I’m sure there are other BassBuzzers of that age group, who also had the same experience. It was always quite something when a new Beatle recording was released. You can get an idea of this by watching YouTube reviewer “CallMeCaroline,” (click on the Popular button under Videos) as she progressed through the Beatle catalog. For almost all of it, it was her first time hearing the music. The neat thing about her reactions is that she does analyze the songs, musically and lyrically, unlike others. Oh, but we’re talking about books. . .

I bought books about The Beatles over the years, but it wasn’t something I researched (except perhaps for one or two) before buying. A couple of them were gifts to me. Usually I came across the Beatle books while haunting a bookstore, and if it seemed interesting, I bought it. I was more on the hunt to find all their albums, since before they broke up I was too young and didn’t have funds to buy any records (my income from baby-sitting wasn’t enough, plus I just didn’t get out to stores independently). You could always hear them on the radio, anyway. I did get the “Eight Days a Week” single 45 rpm as a party favor in 1965, though! :grinning:
Now to the books:

  1. In His Own Write & A Spaniard In The Works, by John Lennon. Published in 1965, this is an example of John’s literary style, an outlet for him during the early Beatle days.
  2. Lennon Remembers (The Famous Rolling Stone Interviews), by Jann Wenner. 1971. The interviews Jann Wenner had with John Lennon in December 1970 (after the group’s breakup), so John’s feelings were pretty raw. Includes “59 Rare Photos.” I think this book was updated with more interviews in later editions.
  3. The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, edited by Alan Aldridge. First Dell edition, 1972 hardback. Illustrations are described as “psychedelic” style. Given to me by a friend in 1975. I flipped through it, and although it’s a “limited collector’s edition,” and since that time there’s been a second volume, most of the illustrations aren’t my cup of tea these days.
  4. Apple to the Core: The Unmaking of the Beatles, by Peter McCabe and Robert D. Schonfeld, 1972. I read this long ago, and from comments at the link (Amazon), it sounds like later books, such as " You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle For The Soul Of The Beatles" by Peter Doggett, may have a better balanced view. In other words, less disparaging for the McCartneys and the Eastmans. The advantage of this book, written very soon after the breakup, seems to be the access the authors got to the main players during the time. Contains a few pages of less common black and white photos.
  5. The Longest Cocktail Party, and Insider’s view of the Beatles (2014 re-release cover), by Richard DiLello, originally published in hardback in 1972 (1974 paperback cover). DiLello, who Amazon describes as “house hippie and eventually became Director of public relations for Apple,” writes an insider’s gossipy book about the Beatle (and immediate post-Beatle) period from 1968-1971 at Apple Records. Apparently this book was later going to be made into a film, but I don’t think that has happened yet.
  6. The Beatles - The Fabulous Story of John, Paul, George and Ringo; editorial consultant Jeremy Pascal / Material Compiled by Robert Burt. First published 1975 by Octopus Books Limited, London hardback. This book covers the Beatles from the Mersey Sound and Beatlemania, through to the breakup, and also covers their solo careers up until the time of printing. Lots of photos. It was given to me by my sister and brother as a birthday gift in 1975.
  7. The Beatles, an Illustrated Record, by Roy Carr and Tony Tyler. 1975. It has photos and text for each year, and some bootleg information. Link is for a later, third edition, but has the same cover. This book is 11.5" wide and 12" in height, a bit less than, but reminiscent of the size of an LP record (33-1/3 rpm, long-playing album, for which the cover is 12.25" square).
  8. +The Beatles in Richard Lester’s “A Hard Day’s Night,” a Complete Pictorial Record of the Movie; editor J. Philip Franco. 1978. It starts with an article, “How It All Came Together,” by producer Walter Shenson, an interview with the director, Richard Lester, and then the entire script with accompanying stills. It includes “the complete shooting script, dialogue, action, screen direction, and director’s notes.” You can see some pages at the link. One of my sisters and I had this film’s dialog memorized back in the old days, line by line! (well, perhaps I exaggerate, but we knew quite a bit of it!)
  9. The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away, by Allan Williams and William Marshall, 1977. The story of The Beatles and their first manager, Allan Williams, from his point of view. Covers the four lads, plus former Beatles Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best, and how it all slipped through his fingers. Includes 32 pages of photos. Recommended by John Lennon himself in an interview and other places, if you believe some of the comments at the link.
  10. A Twist of Lennon, by Cynthia Lennon. 1980. Her relationship with John from her point of view, with maybe less emphasis on the bad parts.
  11. +The Complete Guide to the Music of The Beatles, by John Robertson. 1994. This book is the size of a CD case, and has “details of who wrote and sang which songs, when and where the songs were recorded, and who played what on which songs.” Also has details on Beatles re-issues and compilations, as of the time of printing. Part of a series that includes other musical artists and groups. I see that there is a “Vol. 2” of this title written by a different author, and apparently covers 1970 and later.
  12. Beatletoons, The Real Story Behind the Cartoon Beatles, by Mitchell Axelrod. 1999. If you remember those Beatle cartoons from 1965-1967, you might enjoy the story behind them. Apparently self-published as a labor of love, and covers all you could want to know about the topic. The cartoons, as far as I can tell, have not yet been re-released on DVD or otherwise. I think you can see some of the cartoons on YouTube, or at least you used to be able to do so.
  13. +The Songs of John Lennon, The Beatles Years, by John Stevens. Third Edition, 1999. A unique book covering “twenty-five of his greatest hits during the Beatles era.” The author analyzes John’s music, and the book includes for each song: the musical notation with words, lyrics for other verses, background information (including meter, key, song form, phrasing, and more), structure, lyric content, phrasing breakdown, prosody, and a summary. I loaned it to my nephew, who plays in a band, and although he doesn’t read music he liked the book.
  14. +A Hard Day’s Write, The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, New and Updated Edition, by Steve Turner. Described as “The stories behind every Beatles song.” It covers songs that the Beatles wrote, but not the songs which others wrote and that they covered. It also does not cover songs the Beatles wrote and others recorded, or those on bootlegs. The author tells how each song came to be, as he gathered through interviews (with a Beatle or two, and others in the know), written accounts, and further research.
  15. +Revolution in the Head, Third Edition, The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, by Ian MacDonald. 2005. I got this after reading a review of it. The author “offers a fresh assessment of all 241 Beatles tracks chronologically. This fully updated edition incorporates new information from the Anthology series and recent interviews with Paul McCartney.” Mr. MacDonald had been an assistant editor of the New Musical Express in the 1970s, was a songwriter and produced records. He died after this edition came out. If you are a fan, be prepared for his critiques, as there are (gasp) songs he doesn’t like. That “gasp” is tongue in cheek, as there are some I don’t like, either!
  16. Rolling Stone Special Collectors Edition, Paul McCartney; The Ultimate Guide to his Life and Music (40 Years of Classic Interviews, Beatles Memories and Rare Photographs). 2014. I fell for this one (more of a thick magazine with a spine) while perusing the magazine racks at Barnes and Noble, during the limited time it was on the shelves. Not really a book per se, but I guess if you like Sir Paul, you will like it. Lots of photos and so on.

I know there are many other books about The Beatles that are worth reading, but this is what I have.

Edited to add on 4 Feb. 2023: I added to the list, in chronological order, two other books I came across when I was returning the list’s original group of books to my bookshelves: “Apple to the Core: The Unmaking of the Beatles,” and “The Longest Cocktail Party,” both from 1972


This is a stellar curation of books, @Never2Late. Thank you very much for taking the time to research it and writing it up it. :v:

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Not sure how I never saw this one before.
Looks good

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I just finished this book, fantastic.
If you like Craigyferg, you will like this, his first (and I think only) novel (other two are autobiographies.


Just heard a bit of Mark Lanegan’s memoir and it’s pretty grim, but sounds like an amazing story. Dude bounced back in the end and towards the end was contributing to really, really creative projects.

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