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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

What About Volume Two?

"They'd lucked into the only Producer in London who shared their resistance to convention, the only man with a reputation for sound experimentation and a strong knack for the unusual... and he'd lucked into the Beatles." - Mark Lewisohn

How do I know that I'm sold on Mark Lewisohn's concept of a three volume biography of the Beatles? I'm already wondering when the next volume drops.  I find myself checking out Lewisohn's website. Looks like I will have to wait for awhile, he's still writing.

I am still working on volume one, just got to the part where the Beatles meet George Martin for the first time, and record some songs for him.  Martin wasn't very impressed with the music, but loved the personalities of the band. It was their humor, and charisma that kind of cinched the deal.

So entertaining. Part of the pleasure is that you know the broad outlines of the story. So when you meet interesting characters like Brian Epstein and George Martin, you get a little kick, because you know what they don't know yet.

And there are so many interesting characters that play major parts in the story, Stu Sutcliffe, Epstein, Martin, Horst Fascher, Tony Sheridan, Klaus Voorman, Astrid Kirchnerr, Alan Williams, Bob Wooler, and oh yeah, those four tough little Liverpool musicians.

And there's weird stuff too. Early name for a Lennon and McCartney band - Los Paranoias. These guys had an abundant appetite for booze and amphetamines. McCartney got the "heebie jebbies" the first time he tried to play lead guitar onstage, he performed badly, and decided then and there that he was not a lead guitarist. Lennon had a brutal sense of humor and loved to make fun of cripples - he was constantly doing his "cripple act." McCartney very much disliked Stu Suttcliffe, and helped hound him out of the band. No one in the band wanted to be the bass player. McCartney thought the bass player was always "the fat guy in the back." It's funny how McCartney's bass playing became a secret weapon, and a strength of the band.  Harrison might have been the funniest, the toughest, and the most determined of them all - his tenacity carried them along in some crucial scenes. Ringo was a very sickly child, almost died a couple times, and then emerged as the best and most highly-sought drummer in Liverpool. He had offers from all quarters.

So many things had to go right for these guys, and so many things had to go wrong too for the story to unfold the way it unfolded. Good luck, bad luck - who's to say? It's an astonishing, and unbelievable story. 

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