Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Beatles and Me: A Book Review

Book Review:  The Beatles and Me

The Beatles and Me
Compiled by Dean Johnson

The idea behind the book, The Beatles and Me, is that they collected photographs and stories of fans who met one or more of the Beatles in person and complied it into a book.     Does that sound familiar to any of you?    Right….the exact same concept that I have been doing on this blog for over 4 years now.   It never once crossed my mind to take your photos and stories and turn them into a book.    My idea was to have a blog that ran like one of the fanzines of the 1970’s.    But there is enough love in Pepperland for the same idea, and so I am open to another person doing basically the same thing.    

Dean Johnson’s idea was to gather the stories on a Facebook page and then have them published into the book.     The question I have, especially after reading the book, is that I wonder if those who posted things on the Facebook page knew that their words would end up in the book.    For example, a question was asked about the Beatles bubble gum cards.   I gave a short response on the Facebook page, just thinking that I was joining in on the conversation.    What I said ended up in the book, much to my surprise.    If I had known that it was possible for my quote to end up in the book, maybe I would have worded things a little differently instead of just typing out the first thing that popped into my mind.    I just wonder if others felt the same way.    Our friend, Lizzie Bravo has a very short paragraph in the book about meeting the Beatles, when we all know that she has many stories she can share.     I guess the point I am trying to make is that I just wonder if the stories that are told could have had a bit more to them than what was printed if Facebook wasn’t used as the tool to get the stories told.    Honestly I do not know the answer and I do think that using Facebook for a project like this is a pretty awesome idea because it reaches so many different fans from around the world.

The stories themselves are very charming and wonderful to read.   Many of them have appeared on this blog over the years (with the original author’s permission I may add).   One of the stories that was brand new to me was about George Harrison going to Liverpool in 1996.    It was a really good one to read, although I am a bit baffled as to why a photograph of George Harrison that was from the Living in the Material World book – taken from George Harrison’s own camera was included with that story.   (The photo of George with Bob Dylan and Bob’s wife Sara and their kids from Woodstock in November 1968 where George is wearing that bucket hat).     

This was a very easy book to read.  I read it while on the train to Chicago this weekend and it took me only an hour to read the whole thing.   It would be a great book to take with you while you wait at the Doctor’s office or at the airport.    The photos are in color (as long as they were originally printed in color) and that really adds to the book.    

From what I gather, Dean Johnson and friends plan on making more of these books in the future.    This is a good start, but I hope they consider putting things in chronological order for future books.   

If you want to read this book, you can order a print copy from http://www.deanjohnsonmusic.co.uk/index.html

Or you can order the kindle version at


  1. I was angry when I saw a review of this book the other day, there's no way, NO WAY, it could compete with this blog, not in a thousand years.

    That guy should have given a link to this site in his little book. The stuff I saw from it was all from the solo era and - though it's always good to hear stories of any kind about the Fabulous Four - there was nothing so earth-shattering as the stories you post here on a weekly basis.

    (I read EVERY story, but I read them when I get home, where I don't have the net, so I seldom post on them, but please know that they are DEEPLY appreciated!!!!)

    "The Beatles And Me", pffft. Even the title can't hold a candle to "Meet The Beatles....For Real!!!!". I mean, couldn't the guy come up with a less vanilla, boring, bland, number-two pencil-of-a-title? That title is like eating a bowl of lukewarm broth!!! Humbug, bah!!!

    Not since that horrendous Spitz biography came out have I been so mad at a Beatles book!!! That one was worse because of all the national press it got, purporting to be definitive. (I almost ripped that book from a friend of mine's hands, when I saw that he took it out from the library!).

    I ain't reading it. I'm really mad that he just used people's Facebook postings (including yours). I say just post the book's stories on this blog, a little at a time, they should all be archived HERE, not there.

    This whole blog should be published by Genesis Books! In a leather bound, 300 buck edition!

    Thanks for the review though, Sara, you're always a class act, above the fray, kind to the author (and everybody else)....but honestly, there's only one person who should be assembling such a book....and her initials are S.S.

    Eff "The Beatles And Me".

    1. You always make me smile. Originally I had bad feelings about the whole thing, but what is the point? We are all just trying to spread the love of the Beatles. I wish Dean and the rest of his crew the best of luck with the book.

      I like the idea of a "Meet the Beatles...for Real!" book, but I would never dream of taking the stories and photos of the fans and making money from it. The stories are so precious and special and they aren't mine to profit from. One of the things I have promised is that I would never make money off this sight. I have gotten some free merchandise a few times, but I have turned down many offers for money.

    2. Ah, you're right. Ok, good luck to Dean and his book.

      You know what it is? There's just too many Beatle books!!! But this one is a legitimate offering...it's just we already have a blog that is filling that need....better than ANY book can do.

      This blog is, like, TEN books!!! I'll NEVER get through this whole blog!!! I've tried many times! It's like reading James Joyce, or trying to read the Bible in order!!!

      Keep taking the free merchandise!!! Especially when you post a review about it! Always very helpful!!!! Why shouldn't you? Some of those stories are so long, your fingertips must get swollen from all the typing!! We should all chip in and find you a good hand masseuse!!!
      Hey, thanks for telling me I make you smile, because often I think I'm making you roll your eyes!!!!! Sometimes I read back what I commented and it makes ME roll my eyes!!

  2. dear sara, i had NO IDEA he would use something i said on his book. do you mind taking a photo of what i supposedly said and sending it to me? i am really mad! i don't know this person and certainly did not authorize him to use my words.

  3. are there any Apple Scruff's stories in there Sara or any mention of the Scruffs? regards from one of the Anon Scruffs..thanks for all you do on here.

    1. Dear Scuff friend,

      There wasn't any mention of the Scruffs at all in the book. Most of the book had stories of the Beatles very early years or more recent encounters with them. Really nothing from the 1967-1971 period at all. (except for some photos from MMT).

  4. Interesting is the book avalible in Australia?