I reported on earlier this week, when I was in Holland last month, I went to the Beatles museum in Alkmaar. The owner of the museum is a fan named Azing Moltmaker. He has written countless books about the Beatles and is more than happy to sell them to you when you visit his museum. His books are quite expensive outside of his place, but he has most of them for just 5 Euros each and so I decided to commemorate my trip, to buy Beatles in the Netherlands (1964-1993). Similar to my book about the Beatles in St. Louis, this book tells the stories of the Beatles, as a group and solo, in the Netherlands.
While I am focusing on the things I disliked about this book, I will say that I did not like the author adding his personal opinion about things. One example comes in the introduction: "It is also known to us that Ringo had a house in Amsterdam, but his visits there are in my opinion of no importance." Then why mention it in the first place? If you are out to write the be all end all book about the four Beatles in Holland, then why overlook the fact that Ringo owned a home in Amsterdam? Maybe Azing isn't interested, but what about the book's readers? I would have liked to have read about it. Similar comments are made about Linda's singing and his opinion about Wings. That is fine and all if you are doing a review of a concert, but has no place in a book that is to be informational about the Beatles.
There are a lot of good things to mention about this book. I really enjoyed the translation of the Dutch newspaper clippings into English. It was really great to see these rare clippings and be able to read what they said. There are some great little stories hidden in these clippings that you aren't going to find elsewhere.
I also enjoyed the vast amount of photographs in the book, some even in color. Not only were there plenty of photos of the Paul, John, George and Jimmie in the Netherlands, but there also are photos of John, Paul, George and Ringo during the times each of them came to the country any time before 1993. The solo stories were really interesting as well and I appreciated the transcripts of some of the interviews Paul and George gave in the 1980's-1990's on Dutch television.
The book started because Azing obtained the official documents on the Beatles' Holland tour from the promoter. Having these documents gave him some inside information about this trip that would not have been known without them. Thankfully they are reproduced and translated into English in the book.
The book was published in 1999, so it is a bit outdated when it comes to the solo year information. Paul and Ringo have both returned to Holland since then, and so those experiences are not in the book. When Paul McCartney returned to St. Louis last year, I wrote a "bonus" chapter to be downloaded so that my book would at least be a bit more complete. There is nothing like that for this book, which is fine if you are especially interested in the time the Beatles came to Holland in 1964 (which is the bulk of the book).
The book itself is beautifully printed in a bright orange hardback. Unfortunately there are a lot of mistakes on the inside of the book. However, it is the best book available about the Beatles tour in Holland as well as most of the solo appearances. If you are at the museum in Alkmaar it is well worth the 5 Euros that he is asking and it makes for a great souvenir of the trip. I personally would not pay the 100's that it is being advertised for online.