Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Meet the Beatles: a book review

So I have decided to make Wednesday "review day" so that I can review all of the books and other things that come my way.     Right now there just seems to be a lot of great Beatle items out there, but then again it is the season for Beatle goodies.

Today I have a really fun book to talk to you all about.   It is a book that I would bet many of you have already read and might even have a version of it in your collections.   It is called "Meet the Beatles" and it was written and complied by Tony Barrow.   It was released as a magazine in 1963 by Souvenir Press and if your old copy is anything like mine, the front cover is coming off and the pages have yellowed.

This is what your old vintage copy looked like

Souvenir Press did an ingenious thing in that they took the magazine that you remember and they reprinted it and bound it into a hardback book.    This is actually a great idea and I am surprised that more classic Beatles magazines from the 1960's haven't been packed the same way.

So what makes this magazine so special in comparison to the hundreds of other teen mags of the day?  Well "Meet the Beatles" was the first book to be published with the Beatles own involvement.  The guys wrote the  introduction at the beginning of the book.   It is one of the few places where you get to read the Beatles talk about themselves in their own words (I guess the next time that really happened was the Anthology book?).    The rest of the book was written by the Beatles press officer, Tony Barrow and when it was released it had Brian Epstein's approval.    Brian must have liked Souvenir Press a lot because he used them a year later to publish his book, "A Cellarful of Noise."  

So in this book you get to read all sorts of fun little things like George hates haircuts, John adores jelly and cornflakes, Paul has a strong liking for Kraft cheese slices, and Ringo dislikes Chinese food.

The photos in the book were rare at the time, but have now been seen many times.  However, they are photos taken by Dezzo Hoffman and it isn't totally full of the same old same old.   The photos of the Beatles "a day in London" are such classics and the photos deserve to be in a bound book instead of a yellowing magazine.  

To me, this book was a breath of fresh air.   I read a lot of "heavy" Beatle books.   (in weight and in reading).    It was such a refreshing change of pace to read something that was fun and made me smile.   By taking me back to 1963, "Meet the Beatles" reminded me of a time when Beatlemania was something new and the Beatles were having fun being the four cheeky lads from Liverpool.

If you want to get this book for yourself, it won't be available in the U.S. until April.   However, anyone can order it from Amazon in the U.K.


  1. concerning books - did lovely Lizzie Bravo ever publish hers in English as I've never found it