Bri­tish au­thor sets his sights on The Bea­tles

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BOOKS | LIFE - AP By ASSOCIATED PRESS in New York

No mat­ter how much you think you know about The Bea­tles, Mark Lewisohn prob­a­bly knows more.

Hun­dreds of books have been writ­ten about the band, but none with such care and author­ity as those by the 58-year-old Bri­tish au­thor.

His re­sume in­cludes com­pre­hen­sive re­leases on their con­cert per­for­mances ( The Bea­tles Live!) and stu­dio work ( The Com­plete Bea­tles Record­ing Ses­sions), for which he was given a Bea­tles ob­ses­sive’s dream job, get­ting paid by EMI Records to en­ter the in­ner sanc­tum of the Abbey Road stu­dio and lis­ten to the band’s record­ings.

“I was a re­searcher and re­al­ized that the books (on The Bea­tles) were not quite as well-re­searched or writ­ten as I had ex­pected them to have been,” he says, ex­plain­ing how he evolved from fan to au­thor.

“One project led to the next and sud­denly I found my­self with a ca­reer as a writer, which I hadn’t ac­tu­ally in­tended.”

Lewisohn is in the midst of a three-vol­ume bi­og­ra­phy of The Bea­tles and most re­cently con­trib­uted text for a cof­fee-ta­ble book about their land­mark 1964 film, A Hard Day’s Night.

Here, in an in­ter­view, he talks about A Hard Day’s Night, The Bea­tles’ last­ing ap­peal and the joys of Bea­tles schol­ar­ship:

Why was

so much bet­ter than movies star­ring other early rock stars?

As con­sumers, The Bea­tles knew those films were rub­bish. They hated them. They rec­og­nized them for what they were, which was trans­par­ently flimsy and knew that should the oc­ca­sion ever arise when they would be of­fered a film, they had to be very care­ful about say­ing yes.

It is not ex­actly known how many there were but four or five of­fers to ap­pear in films were made and they had said no to those. Now, very few artists ever said no be­cause usu­ally the man­age­ment would not al­low them to say no and they them­selves think, “I want to be in a film.” The Bea­tles had the brav­ery to ac­cept that in say­ing no to the films they were be­ing of­fered they might never get to make one but they agreed among them­selves.

Re­search­ing The Bea­tles

The Bea­tles is an ex­tra­or­di­nary sub­ject to re­search be­cause the trail of ma­te­rial is so deep and so rich and so strong all the way down. No mat­ter how deep you dig with this sub­ject you con­tin­u­ally find gold. There is some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary. It is all part of what made them so spe­cial is that ev­ery­thing around them was spe­cial, ev­ery­thing they touched was in­ter­est­ing, ev­ery­body who had an as­so­ci­a­tion with them is a fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter and it all weaves to­gether in the most ex­tra­or­di­nary way.

On his planned three-vol­ume bi­og­ra­phy (The first book, came out in 2013.)

For as long as there are hu­mans on this planet and we have not bombed or gassed our­selves out of ex­is­tence or what­ever it might be, we will be lis­ten­ing to The Bea­tles and ap­pre­ci­at­ing them and want­ing to know who they were and how they did it. If this tril­ogy is not done it will never be as well-un­der­stood or ap­pre­ci­ated in its many lev­els as it ac­tu­ally oc­curred. I think it’s an im­por­tant book to write. I think it is im­por­tant that it is done now whilst the pa­per­work is still around and whilst the wit­nesses to the history are still alive to tell it.

The Bea­tles ar­rive for their trip to the United States and Canadain 1966.

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