Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: The Beatles and me on Tour

Ivor Davis and George Harrison during the 1964 North American tour 

                                           Photo:  Ron Joy-Belle Schwartz estate 

Ivor Davis, Al Sussman, Chuck Gunderson and Bruce Spizer talk about the Beatles in 1964 during the Fest for Beatle fans Chicago 2014.  Photo by Coral Schmidt 

If you want to read a book written by someone who not just met the Beatles, but traveled with them and got to know them personally, then Ivor Davis' book, The Beatles and me on Tour is a great book for you.

If the things you have been reading on this blog about the Beatles 1964 tour is of interest to you and you are just not sure where to start to learn more, I highly recommend this book. Ivor was a journalist from England who moved over to California and reported on Hollywood for the British paper The Daily Express.    He was hired by the paper to not only be the ghostwriter for the George Harrison column (yep...those newspaper articles written by George were actually written by Ivor!) but to travel with the Beatles during the entire 1964 tour and report back what happened.    Ivor has some amazing first hand accounts in this book as well as re-telling some other fun stories from books such as Larry Kane's Ticket to Ride as well as various other places.  I really enjoyed that you not only got Ivor's stories but also side stories from these other sources in the same book.

While the book does not tell the story of the tour in chronological order, it does give you a great feeling of what it was like to travel with the Fab 4 during the amazing year of 1964.   While this isn't a "tell-all" book, Ivor didn't hide the fact that the Beatles (especially Paul) were bringing ladies back to the hotel rooms or that pills were being taken by the guys.   Ivor tells it like it was and doesn't sugarcoat the story the way that so many writers seem to think we want them to.

The biggest shocker to me (spoiler alert----spoiler alert!!!!) was that according to Ivor, the Beatles smoked pot with Bob Dylan NOT at the Delmonico hotel on August 28, 1964, as has been published so many times.   Instead, Ivor says that the pot smoking took place after the Paramount charity benefit show at the Riveria Idlewild Hotel on September 20, 1964!   He goes on to say that the Beatles DID meet up with Dylan at the Delmonico and hung out, but there wasn't any pot smoking.  He was there and recalls the towels stuffed in the door crack, the smell from the room, and how the Beatles were unable to participate in any last interviews before heading home because they were "sound asleep."    Ivor has some strong arguments in the change of the day and he has made me a believer!

I had the fortune of meeting Ivor in person last month at the Fest for Beatle fans in Chicago.  He is very good at telling his stories in person, and if you get a chance to hear him (I am pretty sure he is going to be at the Fest in L.A. next month), I highly recommend it.   He is a very nice fellow and extremely funny.

The link below is the affiliate link to Amazon, where you can purchase this book.  I get a small percentage of anything purchased through this link.  Money made from the Amazon Afflication is used to pay the annual fee to keep this site online.  Thank you for your support.  Sara

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