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The Beatles: The True Beginnings Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books; 1st edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312319258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312319250
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 11.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,618,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Handsomely presented and written in clean, lucid prose, the book informs the Beatles' story with an unlikely family history and a vivid portrait of Liverpool's vibrant music scene in the late Fifties and early Sixties." ---Rolling Stone

“I think it’s a good idea to let people know about the Casbah. They know about the Cavern, they know about some of those things, but the Casbah was the place where all that started. We helped decorate it and stuff. We looked upon it as our own personal club.” --Sir Paul McCartney

“A wonderful book.” --Mail on Sunday (UK)

“At last something new to experience about Beatles history.” --Observer (UK)

“Popular Culture’s Sistine Chapel.” --BBC News


"Handsomely presented..., the book informs the Beatles' story with an unlikely family history and a vivid portrait of Liverpool's vibrant music scene in the late Fifties and early Sixties." (Rolling Stone)

From the Inside Flap

Before Shea Stadium, The Ed Sullivan Show, and the Cavern, came the Casbah, the club that gave birth to The Beatles and started a music revolution.

 

The Casbah Coffee Club, which opened in Liverpool on August 29, 1959, was the brainchild of Mona Best, the mother of Pete Best. It is well known that Pete Best was the drummer for The Beatles in their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg. But less well known is that The Beatles’ origins were in fact at Pete’s mother’s club---it was at the Casbah and with Mona Best’s blessing that the greatest popular music phenomenon of the twentieth century began.

And now, the basement club where The Quarrymen, The Silver Beatles, and finally The Beatles played over ninety times before they hit the Cavern has been reopened and revealed by this remarkable book. Seen here for the first time in forty years is the basement’s interior as it was at the very beginning, juxtaposed with the rooms as they are today, where the ceilings painted by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best still rest. A wealth of rare material from the club and the Bests’ own archives, together with newly commissioned images by renowned photographer Sandro Sodano, documents the club’s and The Beatles’ intertwined stories.

The Beatles: The True Beginnings features accounts from early fans hearing The Beatles for the first time, stunning new color photography of the rooms and memorabilia of the Casbah Coffee Club, gritty, never-before seen photos of the young Beatles playing for hundreds of their very first fans, and comments from The Beatles and their closest friends from the period.

The Casbah brought together some of the greatest names in rock music and became the catalyst for the Mersey Beat phenomenon that swept Liverpool in the early 1960s. Accompanied by a fascinating personal memoir of this extraordinary time, written by Roag Best with his brothers Pete and Rory, this is both a moving family tribute and a unique insight into a remarkable period of Beatles history. This account of the Casbah’s earliest days blows back its roof, and that of The Beatles’ unbelievable history, forever.

 

Praise for The Beatles
 
“I think it’s a good idea to let people know about the Casbah. They know about the Cavern, they know about some of those things, but the Casbah was the place where all that started. We helped decorate it and stuff. We looked upon it as our own personal club.”--Sir Paul McCartney

“Handsomely presented and written in clean, lucid prose, the book informs the Beatles’ story with an unlikely family history and a vivid portrait of Liverpool’s vibrant music scene in the late ’50s and early ’60s.”--Rolling Stone
 
“Enticing. Plenty to enlighten even trivia experts.”--Bookpage

 

“Popular Culture’s Sistine Chapel.”--BBC News


“A wonderful book.”--Mail on Sunday (UK)
 
“Lavishly illustrated and the best-looking Beatles book published yet.”--Standard London Newspaper (UK)
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is for my sister-in-law for a Christmas gift this year.
Cynthia L. Roberts
This fresh perspective of Beatle history includes Mona Best's story as well as other members of the Best family.
BeatleBangs1964
Text pages are plain brown paper; those with nice images are glossy.
Leggo Ami

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Crabtree on February 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! Makes me want to fly to Liverpool now and visit. Pete Best, who was drummer for the Beatles before they kicked him out with no explanation, gives us a fabulous treat. His mother ran the Casbah Club in Liverpool in the family home's basement. After Pete was booted out, the club sort of died down and was closed. It remained sealed up for many, many years, until it was opened. Original murals done by the Beatles still on the walls, microphones, and other items were found, and the club reopened to people who wish to come and see the only remaining original club, with even the original walls! Let the Cavern try to claim that! Color photos, inside stories, more make this a sensational book. Beatle fans, Merseybeat fans, music historians, Scousers, etc...BUY IT!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrick King on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who's followed the illustrious careers of the Beatles for the past 48 years has encountered any number of Beatle rip-offs. Most of these consist of long narcissistic analysis from some completely unqualified writer. In The True Beginnings, we have a completely NEW Beatle rip-off. These authors definitely have a product here that any Beatlemaniac would want to own. There are some spectacular photos of the Beatles and their contemporaries from when they were first learning to play music. Very exciting, right? That's why I plunked down my $16.

The problem is ALL of these photos are reproduced here on BROWN MANILLA-STYLE PAPER that completely absorbs the ink and leaves the viewer, in many cases, unable to distinguish who the person is in the photo. Unfortunately, all the significant text is on these pages as well, in about an 8 point type so it is very hard to read, especially if you happen to be about 62-years-old.

Disappointed? Let me tell you about it! But it gets better: About 25% of this book is on beautiful, glossy paper just loaded with photos... of a 45 rpm record, of microphone wire, of a pair of broken glasses, of a Marine Band harmonica. A TWO-PAGE GLOSSY SPREAD OF A MARINE BAND HARMONICA! Could I make this up?

Why didn't they put the old photos on the glossy pages so their readers can see them? That's all I'm asking.

Do NOT, as I did, buy this book sight unseen. Go to a books store or a library and see it yourself, first. I would NEVER have bought True Beginnings had I perused it.

One of my fellow reviewer says this books makes her want to fly to Liverpool. It makes me want to fly to Liverpool too... so I can strangle the art director of this project.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating book about the inception of the Beatles, or "pre-Beatle" era, if you will. The beautiful archival photographs will certainly delight all readers as well as the memorabilia. Readers will certainly get a feel for early-1960s Liverpool (1960-62) and the environment in which the Beatles flourished.

Thanks to this book, fans can actually see the club where the Beatles' fame was soon launched. The world's number one band cut their musical teeth in the Casbah, owned and run by drummer Pete Best's mother, Mona Best. The club opened in 1959 when the Quarrymen-Silver Beatles were coming into their own. This underground rock club was the precursor to its American counterparts such as the Hard Rock Cafe and the Fillmore East and Fillmore West, to name three.

This fresh perspective of Beatle history includes Mona Best's story as well as other members of the Best family. Pete Best, the Beatles' first drummer was unceremoniously ousted from the band in August of 1962. Ringo Starr replaced him and the rest is, well, history. Fans will undoubtedly feel as if they are watching the Beatles evolve from relative local obscurity into the musical juggernaut they became and remain to this day.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on July 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Will any true Beatles fan ever admit that there is no need for any further information regarding the Fab Four? Absolutely not --- the strong popularity of THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY is evidence enough that a voracious audience still exists for Beatles lore in all shapes and sizes.
THE BEATLES: THE TRUE BEGINNINGS really encompasses two book ideas: the Merseybeat music scene in Liverpool from which the Beatles developed, and Pete Best's experiences as an early Beatle. Either of these ideas, developed fully, would make interesting reading. As they are, however, two slender ideas are crammed into one unfocused book with big pictures and sparse text. Even so, I get the impression that this book was a stretch --- does any fan, no matter how obsessive, really require a picture of the case in which Pete Best carried his drums? How about a shot of the spare guitar strings he found inside?
A prominent outpost of the Merseybeat scene was Mrs. Best's Casbah Coffee Club, owned and operated by Pete Best's mother, Mona Best. This book is in large part a tribute to the remarkable Mona Best from her sons --- Roag, Pete, and Rory. Mrs. Best pawned her jewelry, placed a bet on a horse, and won the money to buy Number Eight Haymans Green, a giant house whose cellars were transformed into the Casbah when the Best boys discovered rock-and-roll and needed a place to perform and listen to music. The Beatles first performed at the Casbah as the Quarrymen. They played to a crowd of 1,500 and received three pounds as payment.
You probably know how the story goes.
Read more ›
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