Before He Was Fab


Before He Was Fab-George Harrison’s First American Visit, by Jim Kirkpatrick

Description (from the back cover): “DID YOU KNOW?? The first Beatles record played on the radio in the U.S. was played in southern Illinois. George Harrison played with a local group during his visit to the U.S. While visiting southern Illinois, George Harrison was informed that the Beatles song, “She Loves You”, had achieved record sales in England. George Harrison bought a guitar in southern Illinois that he used while playing with the Beatles. … and much, much, more!”

Before He Was Fab is another book I purchased at the Chicago Beatles festival; I bought this one in 2000. As my copy of Lennon Revealed was a version special for the Fest, this book was also at the Fest at which I bought it. It’s a numbered copy from a limited release, as is evident from the first page:


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Lennon Revealed


Lennon Revealed, by Larry Kane

Description (from the cover leaf): “… In Lennon Revealed, Emmy Award-winning journalist Larry Kane – who had a professional relationship with [John] Lennon that spanned fifteen years – draws from personal experience and over 100 interviews with John’s friends, family, and associates to craft a portrait of Lennon that truly captures the man’s essence…. More than a list of stunning revelations, Lennon Revealed weaves together insights and recollections from those who knew Lennon best to create a picture of the artist as a man, with all his faults, strengths, desires, and demons intact.”

I purchased my copy of Lennon Revealed at the Chicago Beatles festival in 2005; the cover features this stamp:


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Akira Kurosawa’s Films

For a few years now I’ve been a fan of movies directed by Akira Kurosawa. I was encouraged to watch Seven Samurai by a review I read in a movie book, and after enjoying that film, I followed the book’s referrals of others of Kurosawa’s films. I’ve now watched most of the films he directed and have added many to my DVD collection. I consider Akira Kurosawa the greatest of all film directors, passing my previous favorite Buster Keaton.

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Beatle Books Blog

Beatle Books Blog

I’ve always been a fan of The Beatles. My earliest memories involve The Beatles, and their music has been a constant throughout my life. I’ve enjoyed attending the Beatles festival held in Chicago, I was an active member of a Beatles online forum for many years, and I’ve made many friends of fellow Beatles fans.

I have all of The Beatles official CDs and often have Beatles music playing at home, in the car, or in my headphones. But my being a fan isn’t based on just their songs. As I’m sure is the case with many of their fans, my interest in The Beatles has extended beyond their music to their overall story. I’ve enjoyed learning details from their Liverpool beginnings to their gathering as a group, into the development of their fame, through the mania surrounding their success, past their maturing and breakup, and on to their individual careers post-Beatles. As Derek Taylor, their press officer, once said: “If there had been no Beatles, no-one would have had the imagination to invent such a story.”

Some Beatles fans collect albums, and some collect signatures, and some photos, and some concert stubs, etc. My interest in The Beatles’ story has led me to collect books on The Beatles. Over the years I’ve acquired the following library of Beatles books:

That video was not easy to make. The shelves are taller than I am (which isn’t saying much) and go all the way to the floor. It took a couple of tries to get it all recorded without falling over in the process.

Anyway, this is my Beatles library. I’ve read every book and have a few signed by the authors. The stack on the left on the top shelf are the autographed copies and also include signed CDs and DVDs; attending the Beatles festival in Chicago allowed me to get the signatures and actually many of the books in my collection. That stack in the upper left includes The Beatles Anthology, which has become my very heavy autograph book; if a special guest at the Beatles fest is featured in the Anthology book, I’ve tried to get a signature on the page featuring that guest (I’ll post pictures some time). The stack on the right of the top shelf are my main references; when I want to look up something about The Beatles or their music, the books in that stack in the upper right are the first ones I reach for. The books on the next three shelves feature The Beatles as a group as the main subject, and I’ve organized them by author. The bottom shelf holds books that aren’t mainly about The Beatles as a group but concern individual Beatle people: solo Beatles, wives, employees.

Can you tell that I’m proud of my library? A while back a couple of my Beatle friends suggested that I post reviews about my books (I’ve posted online reviews of events I’ve attended and have received complimentary comments on what I’ve written). I recently decided to reread some of my Beatles books, and after finishing a few I remembered the idea about reviewing my books. I decided to start taking notes about my thoughts as I read. And that’s led me to starting this blog.

In no way am I claiming to be any kind of authority on The Beatles or on books. I’m sure that anyone reading my posts will have much to disagree with or to be annoyed at. I have no agenda about this blog other than to share a collection that I’ve enjoyed having. I’ll accept comments on what I’ve written, but I hope they’ll be decent and not disrespectful. My posts are only my opinions, as imperfect and simple as they are. Ringo Cat has agreed to pose for pictures of individual books (actually, I’m making her pose against her wishes), and I’ll include scans of autographs I’ve collected.

I’d already been through the first six books in my library when I decided to start reviewing them, so the next one in the stacks, Lennon Revealed, by Larry Kane, is the first one I’m posting. I hope you enjoy my review.