Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Do Rio a Abbey Road by Lizzie Bravo: A Book review

When I started this blog in 2009, the name "Lizzie Bravo" to me was nothing more than an answer to a trivia question  (Really the question of "who was one of the fans that sang on 'Across the Universe' truly is a question on Beatles Trivial Pursuit).   Over the years, we all have been blessed to have Lizzie Bravo herself share photos and stories of her life as a Beatles fan in London in the 1960's with us on this blog and my "sister blog"  The Beatles photo blog.  

I have come to find that Lizzie is a true sweetheart of a women and a real Beatle fan.   I felt connected with her right away because we both  love John Lennon and appreciate certain pictures of him.   I am honored to be able to consider Lizzie to be a friend of mine, although I have never had the pleasure to meet her in person.  

For many years Lizzie has said that she was going to publish a book based on the diaries that she kept during her time in London.   I know that I have waited patiently for a long time and the wait is over!  Lizzie book, Do Rio a Abbey Road is published in glorious colors and let me tell you:  it was worth the wait!



The book is Lizzie's diaries from when she was a teenage Beatle fan living in London beginning in February 1967 when she first waited outside of EMI studios and met the members of the Beatles after they were recording tracks for the Sgt. Pepper album.    Of course Lizzie was hooked and went back to EMI and Paul's house on Cavendish Avenue over and over again---making wonderful friends along the way.  

Lizzie will tell details about what Paul was wearing on a particular day and will lament about how she will just die if she doesn't see John soon---and then when she DOES get to see John, she says that she just about died!     I am certain that Lizzie was not the only teenage girl in 1967 that felt that way.

Of course she tells her story including the amazing day in February 1968 when she sang backup on "Across the Universe" and until she left London and got married in 1969.

Lizzie's story isn't the only one in the book.  I particularly enjoyed a section of the book written by Paul Minett, who was someone that met Lizzie at EMI around the time the Beatles were recording "All you need is love."   Paul and his friend, Gordon, traveled out to Kinfauns and met up with not just George but also John.  They also met Ringo at Sunny Heights and saw the Beatles many times at EMI.   The photographs from Paul and Gordon are breathtaking, particularly one of George Harrison at the window of the painted Kinfuans.

The photos in the book are just amazing.  Lizzie published every photo regardless of the quality or if it was the back of a Beatles' head.    But there aren't very many "bad" photo---they are all so amazing and they reminded me why I started this blog in the first place.   Because I truly believe that the snapshots taken by the fans show a side of the Beatles that we never see in posed photographs.   And the photos Lizzie has taken of the Beatles, particularly the ones of John Lennon, show how much she loved and adored them.  

The best part of the book for me was at the end, there is a thumbnail of each photo in the book with the date the photo was taken (if known) and where the photo was taken.   What an amazing resource!

Right now Do Rio a Abbey Road is only available in the Portuguese language.  Hopefully it will eventually be available in English.    However, the photographs are amazing regardless of what language you speak.

If you live in Brazil and would like to order the book online, you can go to
http://www.estantevirtual.com.br/buritisebo/Lizzie-Bravo-Do-Rio-a-Abbey-Road-Autografado-pela-Autora-198500393


If you live in Rio, you can buy the book directly at the bookstore that is located downtown.  They are open 2:00-6:00pm
Buriti Sebo Literário
Rua do Carmo, 9, sala 902 - Centro
 Rio de Janeiro / RJ
 (21) 2220-5492



And if you are in the rest of the world?   You can contact Lizzie directly at lizzie.bravo@gmail.com   and she will telly you more about how you can own a copy for yourself.   




32 comments:

  1. Hi Sara, thank you so much for this review! So glad you enjoyed my book. I have sold it to many different countries... people want to see the photos! Your readers might want to know that this is an independent production, and the reason I am either selling it myself or at my friend's store and his online page is because all the other large bookstore chains, and even the small bookstores want either 40 or 50% of the cover price, and 90 days to pay me, which makes it impossible, since this book cost A LOT to make (I owe money even to my granddaughter, but I hope to pay her sometime soon...). I have sold just over 450 books (out of 1000) so far. I haven't said a word to the local press yet. Will do so after Carnaval, which ends on February 10th. As of that date, I will dedicate my existence to finishing the translation and my attorney in NY will be looking for an international publisher to publish it and distribute all over the world. Wish me luck! thanks again for the great review!

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  2. Thankyou for this review. Fascinating, and also historically important. Here's hoping an English translation is forthcoming and faithful to the original tone of the book. I take Lizzie's point about the corporate percentages that greedy book retail franchises impose, a disincentive to independent writers.

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  3. I am translating it myself, so it will be exactly as the original. i will go back to my diaries to look for stuff i might have written in english and put it back in its original form (i would write both in portuguese and english sometimes). the graphic design will be exactly the same. thanks for your interest!

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  4. I always feel a real excitement when I get those updates from you, Lizzy. They are amazing and I am thankful to you for all the posts. I am very interested in getting a book. Please let me know how.
    I do want to say the first time I saw Paul was at Madison Square Garden May 25, 1976. This date is etched on my brain. It was and still is the most amazing show I ever say. I have seen Paul live over 30 times and he is WONDERFUL.
    I hope you come to America for a few talks maybe at The Fest for Beatle Fans in March. It would be great to hear your stories. They must be amazing.
    Thanks again for all you have given us in the past and future.
    God Bless and stay safe.
    David Rubin : )

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    1. hi david! thanks for your comment. unfortunately, i can't go to any country for talks until i have my book published in english.

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  5. Hi,
    David again. Will there be an english version. I would love a copy.
    Thanks
    Dave

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    1. hi david, yes, i am working on an english version, but i need to finish the translation and find an international publisher. handling the sales (close to 500 of 1000 by now) all by myself has been a real challenge, i just couldn't do it again.

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  6. Congratulations to you Lizzie on your book - am anxiously awaiting the English translation!

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  7. Lizzie: your book will be a great success because there are so many of us in our 60's now who were around at the time and will remember and enjoy your memories as well as other younger fans who will want a piece of Beatles history seen through your eyes.

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    1. thank you! i have received a ton of AMAZING reviews by people who have read it. most of them say they feel like they were there with me, and that's EXACTLY what i intended... if god or the universe or whoever put me (and gayleen!) in that studio that night, and denise and i were so lucky with our choice of the exact moment to travel to london and see them almost every day, i have always thought of the millions of fans who wish they could have seen them, taken their photo, asked for an autograph and talked to them like we did. i needed to share! i know several of the girls don't wish to share their stories or photos and i totally respect that. but i am a gemini - i talk too much - and i make friends with everybody, it's the way i am.

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  8. Congratulations, Lizzie. I too am looking forward to the English version!

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    1. thank you! i will work on it full time as of mid february.

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  9. Great news, Lizzie!

    Have you thought of sending a copy to Paul and Ringo ?
    Your photos will be the photos of the boys (and their various fashions) that they will not have seen before.

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    1. Hi Jonathan, I will, once I find a way of making sure they will get it. Take care!

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    2. Lizzie - with respect to you, don't know if it would be wise to send copies to P & R as they have lawyers who may not want their images shown at this stage of the game but JULIAN would probably love your book

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    3. Thanks for the advice. I think I'll wait until I have an international publisher and my book in English.

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  10. Oh my gosh.....at last!!!!!!! Miss Lizzie!!!! Thank you!!!!!

    Just reading the review....I was getting chills!! The thumbnail resource at the end of the book, dating the photographs.....groundbreaking!!!!

    I too have been dying to read your book ever since I first heard you were working on it....a couple of years ago! You've done it! This is fantastic news!!

    I STILL pinch myself every time I see you comment! If you would have told me when I was 4 years old, hearing the "Wildlife" version of "Across The Universe" that I'd be able to chat with one of the voices singing on the record...well, at 4 years old who knows what my reaction would be, but I can tell you, it didn't seem very likely, let's put it that way!

    Good luck with your book. I know I will be buying a copy when it comes out in English, I'm even tempted to buy it now in Portugese.

    Brava, Lizzie Bravo!!! The original Miss Lizzie! Nothing's gonna change our world!!!!

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    1. Thanks a lot, Anonymous. It's been well over a couple of years since I started working on this book... Everyone was teasing me about it. I know I had a mental block with it, on and off, for along time. One minute I was dying to share my stories, the next I kept thinking "people are going to read my teenage diaries???". I thought people would regard me as silly for being so much "in love" with John, but in fact I have been getting a lot of e-mails and inbox messages from Portuguese-speaking people who have read the book and tell me how much they love it, how much they love how naive I was, how different it was in the 60's... One friend said he never lfelt closer to The Beatles... They all say the same thing, that they feel as if they were there with me. And that's exactly what I wanted. Mission accomplished! Now I need to finish the translation so all you English-speaking people can have the pleasure of reading "I love John" at the end of the entries. It was on ALL of them, but I thought people would get nauseated so I took most of them out. Regards from the three-showers-per-day weather Rio de Janeiro.

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    3. Hey, the book surely needs translation to English, but what about other languages? I think in many countries there are people who would love to translate your stories to their mother tongues. Personally I could help you with Ukrainian or Russian (from English version since I do not speak Portuguese).

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    4. That is something for the future... I am an independent author, I can't deal with all that by myself. One day at a time! Thanks for your offer, I'll keep it in mind.

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  11. ...and regards from snowy NYC!

    Just wanted to reassure you, Lizzie....we love John too!!! The whole world does! No one's gonna be nauseated! Everyone understands!

    Good luck with the translation, I am SO excited that it's YOU who's doing the translation!!!!

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    1. We are moving (yes, that dreadful moment... sorting through 64 years of stuff!) in a few days. As soon as I'm slightly organized, I will continue doing the translation. As I said above, I'll dedicate myself 100% to finishing it.

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    2. Another thing: when I said three-showers-a-day Rio de Janeiro, I meant it's SO hot one has to shower three times a day... I didn't mean rain!

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  12. Lizzie - moving is no fun but much happiness in your new place

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  13. sara - thanks for the update on the publishing of lizzie's book; looking forward to english translation

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  14. MS. LIZZIE : HAD TO CHUCKLE ABOUT YOUR 3 SHOWERS - IN INDIA YOU SWEAT WHILE YOU'RE IN THE SHOWER! STAY COOL DEAR LADY.

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    1. In Rio in the Summer there is no such thing as cold water, at least in this apartment: water from the tap comes out warm! Would love to visit your country one day! All the best.

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  15. Wishing you every success in any forthcoming English language edition,Lizzie.On a personal note,have you ever read the 1969 Robert Hemenway story 'The Girl Who Sang With The Beatles'? It is readily available on Amazon US and UK in 69/70's editions.

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  16. Thank you! No I haven't read that book. When I'm finished with the translation and have read Mark Lewisohn's book (I made a promise to myself I would only read it when I was done with mine...), I will look for it. Take care!

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