Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Beatles, Apple and Me: An e- book review

Some people might say that enough Beatle insiders have written books and we don't need any more and I would highly disagree with that statement because each person that worked with the Beatles in some capacity brings his own side of the story and experiences which in turn gives us a more completed story of the Beatles.

One insider wrote an e-book called The Beatles, Apple and Me. Stephen Maltz was the Beatles' Accountant and Financial Adviser for almost four years.   He was extremely influential in starting up Apple Corp and the Apple Boutique.  He was the person, in 1966, who informed the Beatles that they were spending more money than they were making and told them that they had to start paying taxes (which inspired George to write the song Taxman), and he also was the guy that got the ball rolling when the Beatles decided that they wanted to buy their own island in Greece AND he is the person that had to deal with a lot of Magic Alex's insanity.

Steve is next to Ringo at the Magical Mystery Tour Fancy Dress party in 1967

This ebook was very interesting, and I read quite a few things that I hadn't previously known.   I did find some of the legal jargon and all of the numbers to be sort of boring and confusing. If you have a background in finance or law, I am sure you would have understood and enjoyed those sections much better than I did.  Maltz must have kept all of his old letters and notes from meetings because he is extremely factual in his writing.  He will give dates and say what was discussed who was at the meeting and what the next steps were going to be.  His book truly shows how much Brian Epstein's death broke up the Beatles and what a loss the whole organization was after he died.

I thought it was interesting to read about the ideas that Maltz had for Apple Corp what things took off and what things never happened.   He had some stellar suggestions and it a shame that he wasn't listened to.  

The most interesting part of the book to me was the chapter about the Apple Boutique.  Maltz thought it would be a good investment for the Beatles to open a clothing shop because the Beatles had such a big influence on fashion. The property of the Apple Boutique was bought, and The Fool was hired to design clothing and paint a mural on the outside of the building.  Maltz had plans to go to a council meeting and talk to the business and residents of the area about the mural and hopefully by talking to them,  get their approval.  However, John Dunbar, who managed the Fool got a story in the Sunday newspaper about the Fool and the mural that was to be painted and the city council was extremely upset they they weren't talked to about this and said that under no circumstances would the mural go up.   As we know, the Fool went ahead and painted the mural and sure enough they were forced to paint over it with white.       Maltz also suggested to the Beatles that they hire employees with a background in fashion and sales to manage the shop.  They thought Pete Shotton and Jenny Boyd were better choices even though neither one of them had worked in a boutique.  Once it became apparent that the clothing shop was not bringing in the money they had anticipated, Maltz and the guys talked about it, and it was decided that the shop would stay open and they would sell their remaining stock until the beginning of December 1968.  According to Maltz, Yoko came in and told John that he didn't need to make money and that the shop should be closed right away and all of the merchandise given away.  And as we know, that is exactly what happened--much to Stephen Maltz's dismay.  He says that this maneuver (which he stresses came from Yoko) caused Apple to lose a large amount of money however the sale of the building made up for most of it.  However, this all was the last straw for him and he resigned from Apple Corp and took a new job away from the Beatles.  Before he left, he wrote the infamous six-page letter to each Beatle saying that they would be broke soon and that their finances were a mess.  You most likely have read about this letter in Beatles biographies, but the text of the letter is presented in this book.

The Author in California in 1968 wearing an outfit from the Apple Boutique

I really thought this book was interesting and should be read by anyone who wants to know more about the formation of Apple.  It is only available as an e-book.   And be purchased for about $5.00 on Amazon.

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


  1. Sara! Thank you for the review of (yet another) book I might not have heard of otherwise! Sounds fascinating!

  2. sounds like a very interesting read - shame the lads didn't take his advice

  3. As was stated in the DVD, The Beatles, Hippies and Hells Angels: The Beatles were given conventional wisdom, but the Beatles were becoming unconventional.