The Next Big Thing. That is basically the theme of Peter Brown and Steven Gaines' 1983 New York Times best selling book, The Love you make. The book goes on about how John Lennon was always wanting The Next Big Thing. First it was a rock and roll band, then it was fame, then it was drugs, then it was the Maharishi, then it was Yoko, then it was primal scream therapy, then it was the politics, then alcohol and partying and finally Sean. And I suspect that the authors of this book in 1983 thought that their Beatles biography was "The Next Big Thing" and after being a best selling book and having speaking engagements and interviews around the world that The Love you Make would be something that would be referred back to for years to come. However, like many of John Lennon's "Next Big Things" this book fizzled out after the 1980's and does not hold up well in 2016.
As I said last week in the "pre-review" this book had a lot of potential if written as Peter Brown's memoir. Here we have a bloke from Liverpool who worked for Brian Epstein and knew the Beatles from the start of their career and traveled with them to London. He was one of the few close friends that Brian Epstein had. I didn't realize it, but according to this book, Brown went on tour with the Beatles in 1966 and traveled to Germany, Japan and the dreaded Manila with them, so he saw some stuff. He was with Brian around the time of his death and had to help with the aftermath of it. He worked for Apple and attended two Beatle weddings (being the best man for John and Yoko) and is immortalized in a Beatles song! The guy has stories that could have filled up a book and help it's own 33 years later. And that was what I enjoyed the most from this book---the stories from when Peter was there and witnessed it himself. While it was a downer, I did appreciate the in depth look into Brian Epstein's life in this book and I just couldn't help but wish Brian had gotten the help that had been offered to him so many times for his depression. The funniest thing in the book for me was when talking about Allen Klein, the book states that when the Apple Scruff girls saw his car pull up to Apple, they would stick their head in the door and yell "Mafia's coming!" Now I don't know if that is true or not---but the visual image of it made me laugh out loud. Speaking of Klein, you had to feel bad for Peter Brown for having the terrible job of firing folks like Alistair Taylor and then having Paul claim how difficult it was to let him go.
Overall---the book has an extremely negative vibe about it. It is a depressing book! Now I know that the Beatles' story isn't filled with all happy events, but geesh---this book was full of one sad story after another! I know the Beatles had some good times together---even during the end!
While I am sure that some of the gossip in this book was juicy in 1983, it is old hat in 2016. I really don't care to read about Brian and John in Spain again. Who cares anymore? Read that tale a million and one times. John and Yoko's heroin usage? Why do you think he wrote "Cold Turkey?" Old news. What was REALLY annoying and made this book not hold up very well is the constant use of the phrase, "the story told here for the first time...." Okay Brown and Gaines, we get it---you are the first people to publish this scoop of something that most people already knew about. Other things in the book that weren't really "gossip" but just layed out as as facts were very strange. Such as Stu slept in a silk coffin, the Beatles watched porn in their dressing rooms during the making of a Hard Day's Night (ummm...I have seen the schedule...they didn't have time for that!) and everything Magic Alex said had to have been out right lies.
Then there were things that I just know to be wrong information. The one that stood out the most to me was that Paul McCartney went into the studio and re-recorded Ringo's drumming on most of the Beatles songs and that Ringo noticed but never said anything. The book's portrayal of Ringo as the bumbling lucky drummer that stumbled into the Beatles actually made me mad. Brown and Gaines claim that when Ringo left during the White Album sessions he went home and played with his kids and wished the Beatles would ask him back. Well that is a lie! We all know he went to Sardinia where he ended up writing "Octopus' Garden" and the other Beatles sent him postcards asking him to come back and telling him he was the world's greatest drummer.
The mistakes that were supposedly "fixed" in the 2002 edition were all still there. Pattie Boyd's name was Patti or Pattie throughout the book, the last concert on the tour was Cow Palace and Tony Barrow was the press manager during the Feb. 1964 American trip. You would have thought those small errors could have been fixed up---
The bottom line? This book has NOT held up over time as a great Beatles book, although I doubt any fans ever though it would to begin with.