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The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years after the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians & Other Fans Remember Paperback – February 4, 2014


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The Beatles Are Here!: 50 Years after the Band Arrived in America, Writers, Musicians & Other Fans Remember + The Beatles: Six Days that Changed the World. February 1964 + TIME The Beatle Invasion!: The inside story of the two-week tour that rocked America
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A goody bag of tributes and recollections.” —Vanity Fair

“One of the more fascinating new books on the Fab Four’s impact.” —The Boston Globe

“A great crop of recollections of the first wave of Beatlemania. There are reminiscences by fans from big cities and tiny towns, some sweet, some hilarious.” —Tampa Bay Times

“This winsome book is overwhelmingly infused with affection both for the Beatles and for the opportunity to revisit childhood and adolescent memories . . . Readers seeking a nostalgia-tinged picture of the Beatles are in for a treat.” —Library Journal

“In this compulsively readable personal history, Rowlands gathers the recollections of fans, writers, musicians, and artists about the deep ways that the Beatles and their music affected them.” —Publishers Weekly

From the Back Cover

A celebration of the myth, the reality, the phenomenon, the era. Where did the Beatles take us, what did they deliver us from, and what do they mean to us now?

From Billy Joel: “The single biggest moment that I can remember of being galvanized into wanting to be a musician for life was seeing the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. They played their own instruments and they wrote their own songs and they looked like these working-class kids, like kids we all knew.”

From Amanda Vaill: “We were caught up in something bigger than ourselves, a kind of movement, and this music was our anthem.”

From Fran Lebowitz: “Parents didn’t like the Beatles, but basically parents didn’t like us. People forget that. Our parents were mad at us all the time.”

From “Cousin Brucie” Morrow: “We weren’t smiling too much. We had assassinations. The nation was really divided. The Beatles sort of helped to bring everybody together.”

From Noelle Oxenhandler: “To this day, I could still probably give the correct answer if someone were to ask: ‘What is John’s shirt size?’ ‘How does he like to take his eggs and tea?’ ‘How old was he when he went to live with his Aunt Mimi?’?”

From Pico Iyer: “The day the Beatles landed in New York City was the day the United Kingdom could finally see that it wasn’t just yesterday’s power, on the decline, but part of what would form tomorrow’s trans-Atlantic axis.”

From Cyndi Lauper: “When I was eleven and the Beatles were coming to New York, my mother drove my sister, her friend Diane, and me to where the Hilton Hotel is, by the airport, so we could see the Beatles drive by. All of a sudden we saw cars coming and it was them. So I started screaming and I shut my eyes, and by the time I realized I should open my eyes, I’d missed it.”

From David Dye: “My daughter is now a junior in high school. You can’t play a Beatles song that she doesn’t know. I think to have that kind of cultural staying power is truly amazing.”

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; First Edition edition (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616203501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616203504
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Penelope Rowlands is a journalist and the author of "A Dash Of Daring," a critically acclaimed biography of Carmel Snow, the brilliant Irish-American editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar (from 1934-1958).

Rowlands has also edited two well-received anthologies, "The Beatles Are Here!" and "Paris Was Ours" -- in each case also contributing both the introduction and an essay of her own. She is the author of three books on design, including monographs on Jean Prouvé and Eileen Gray.

Her latest project, a biographical work about the later years of Aaron Burr, the controversial Founding Father, will be published in 2015.

Read more at www.peneloperowlands.com


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chris on January 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
When I was sixteen somebody told me about a show in which Iggy Pop crawled over broken glass, smeared his chest with peanut butter all while singing “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” With that in mind, it’s hard for me to picture the Beatles with their slightly shaggy hair singing “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as anything approaching dangerous. This book attempts to take its readers back to ‘64, a relatively innocent time when the Beatles were really far out.
I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I’ve always been a Stones fan and I thought most of these essays would be fluff. There was only one essay that I didn’t like. That essay was by a fashion designer and it’s more about her being glamorous than the Beatles. “I had a wonderful loft in Manhattan that my wealthy, successful father paid for. I had just invented the mini-skirt and was hanging out with many fabulous celebrities including Ringo Starr, did I mention how glamorous I am?” Excepting that one, all the essays are pretty good. Billy Joel’s essay is actually great. He wrote a witty little essay about why the Beatles were such a big deal back then.
The cover features a New York Times photo of some screaming girls waiting outside the Beatles hotel. The author of the book is in the foreground with four other girls. The seed of this book was the author’s piece in Vogue about being a 13 year-old Beatlemaniac. After the article’s publication, three of the four girls got in touch with her, all of whom have essays in this book. An essay by one of the women (I forget her name, but she’s on the far left) is one of the highlights of the book, her essay is quite touching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 25, 2014
Format: Paperback
As usual I received this book for free in exchange for a review. This time it was from NetGalley and despite that kindness I give my scrupulously honest opinion below.

The book's format is simple. It's simply a collection of oral first-person stories about the Beatles and their impact on fans, other artists and anybody else who happened to be around at the time. Basically, the Beatles as described from the outside.

To the positive, the book looks at the group from a mind-boggling variety of viewpoints. Everyone possible is represented from musicians to roadies to simple fans. It's an abundantly circumspect book.

To the negative, I'm a fan like the rest of us, but I'm not sure how much there really is to say here. There are hundreds upon hundreds of books about the Lads from Liverpool but there's only so much new information to convey. Many of these stories left me saying, "soooo.... What?" We have, I think, reached Beatles saturation and this book is just another straw in the haystack.

In summary, this is a great book for reminiscing. If you were there then you'll find the book harkens you back to a day when you had these same feelings and thought these same things. For those of us born a bit later, however, this may be a bit too much. Love the Lads as you will, there's only so much you can say about them.

---

PS: I'm always striving to make my reviews as "helpful" as possible. So if you find this review helpful to you then I'm very pleased! If you don't then please drop me a comment and let me know what I missed so I can write a better review next time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathy A Denney on June 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
if you are a Beatles fan you will enjoy this book, written by women that lived those days of Beatlemania. Each persons story will relate that phenomenon that was, is and always will be the Beatles....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Vickie on May 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was good to be able to read this account - I was in High School when the Beatles showed up in America, and this book shed some light on behind-the-scenes details which were taking place then.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
Fifty years ago the Beatles made their first trip to the USA and changed the musical, and cultural, landscape forever. This book is a compilation of memories and an assessment of what they meant to the people who were there. It is comprised of essays, interviews and tells how Beatlemania crossed the ocean and the reactions to it. Many parents were less than impressed – seeing them as dangerous influences (you wonder how they responded when the Rolling Stones touched down...) with their long hair and cheeky humour.

There are famous fans, including Billy Joel and Cyndi Lauper, those who witnessed the concerts, who stood outside their hotels and screamed and even those who were unimpressed by this strange, new import (including some rather churlish comments which it is best to gloss over!). Amongst the memories are contemporary news articles, very interesting to read with the benefit of hindsight. The author managed to track down most of the girls seen on the cover photo of this book, who reflect on that time with warmth. There are comments on the importance of the Beatles acknowledgement of black music in a, still very much, racially divided country. One of my favourite pieces is an article on the song, “When I’m Sixty Four” and an appreciation of the enduring Lennon and McCartney songbook. Other fans mention “A Hard Day’s Night” and the sheer joy of their music.

“Whatever the Beatles had,” muses one fan, “no one else in my lifetime had it.” A ‘new’ Beatles appeared every so often in the seventies and eighties, only to disappear again. Few musical acts last – none with the enduring influence of the Beatles, who not only touched so many people so long ago, but continue to do so. This book is sure to be enjoyed by fans, whether they were there at the time or not and is a great book of many interesting recollections to treasure and dip into.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.
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