Hunter Davies - The Beatles / The Only Ever Authorised Biography (40th Anniversary Edition)
I've never been a Beatles fan. And there was never a life or death decision between the Liverpool foursome and the Rolling Stones. I was neither's man (or kid, at that time). Back then I listened to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones as they were played on the radio. "Lady Madonna" anyone? And to this day, I can still listen to both bands, if I don't overdo it. Although, I do have to admit, I know more of the Rolling Stones Story than of their competitors. The Beatles were in every magazine that you could think of (and they still are) and that's all I needed to know, and then some.
The Beatles were the first to do this and don't forget that and before it eludes my mind they also came to the forefront with the other thing and ... bla bla bla. In fact, to this day I'm quite fed up with what the Beatles did first, even when it's not true (and in my book, this is most of the time). But this is a problem they share with most "supergroups". Just thinking of ABBA and what they were supposed to have done before anyone else was thinking of it. Urban myths, the lot.
For the 40th anniversary Edition, Hunter Davies has reissued the book as it were back in 1968, just adding a few thoughts during the lengthy introduction (which comes to around 75 pages). He does mention that he didn't even change the wording for the new release, where he was wrong the first time around. And it does show, but I applaud him for this decision. This way you get a glimpse of what the take on the Beatles was when they stood at the top of the game.
One thing I never believed, is, that John Lennon was supposed to be the intellectual in the band. My arse! He comes across as a died in the wool idiot, not the least bit funny (although he thinks he is), selfish and of limited capability to even grasp the fundamentals of life itself. In a way, this book cemented my opinion about Mr. Lennon, which I had nursed the last couple of decades. The book itself is easy to read with a good layout of the timeline. Even if you're not into the Beatles, it might be worthwile to pick this up.