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The Day John Met Paul: An Hour-By-Hour Account of How the Beatles Began Paperback – October 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (October 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140253017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140253016
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Since the '60s, the Beatlemaniac has proven to be a different breed of rock fanatic, but even the most passionate of the Fab Four's cult eventually grew up to realize that the world didn't revolve around John, Paul, George and Ringo. O'Donnell (Wonderful Tonight) would do well to add that to his many notes. His eight years of intensive research among all variety of resources provide the reader with an overwhelming panorama of what turns out to be a split-second glance into a pretty average summer day. And while O'Donnell's fictionalized portraits of the young Lennon and McCartney circa that fateful July 6 are charming enough, his book is never just about the young Beatles. O'Donnell has penned an eloquent if slow-going ode to 1957 and everything the least bit relevant-especially the weather. No matter how great their legacy, the Beatles have suffered enough secondhand speculation: they set out to write songs, not history. Their various personas are secure in a handful of movies and books better than this one (listed in O'Donnell's helpful bibliography). Meanwhile, their music continues to arrest the attention of new listeners, just as it did in the band's heyday. This attempt to glimpse the origin of that mystery presumes too much.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W. C HALL VINE VOICE on January 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the all-time gallery of Beatles photographs, there are several that have achieved iconic status. The one on the cover of this book is probably the earliest. It was taken on July 6th, 1957, and shows John Lennon and his original group, the Quarrymen, performing at the St. Peter's Parish Church Garden Fete. Among those watching the performance was a young man who would be introduced to Lennon later that day. It was one of those meetings that changed history, because that young man was Paul McCartney.
For all that's been written about the Beatles, it's amazing how much of their history has been obscured. The year of the Lennon-McCartney meeting has been variously published as 1955 and 1956, in addition to the correct 1957. In this volume, O'Donnell gets the year right--and a lot more. "The Day John Met Paul" is a vivid, hour-by-hour recreation of that momentous day in music history. O'Donnell's exhaustive research also allows the reader to understand the city of Liverpool, the skiffle music craze, and all the other elements of the world of 1957 that came together to create the Beatles. O'Donnell pulls this all together with a spellbinding storytelling technique. "The Day John Met Paul" is a must for anyone who wants a better understanding of the birth of the Beatles.--William C. Hall
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
How did such a normal day lead to such a phenomenen? Was it destiny? Did John Lennon and Paul McCartney have any idea as teenagers as to what lay ahead of them? These are questions that can never be answered, but eight years of painstaking research and a little artistic license has produced a book which plants many a romantic thought in the mind about how the Beatles started. "The Day John Met Paul" is a book about the 6th of July 1957, focusing primarily on events in Woolton, a leafy suburb of Liverpool, where a local village fete leads to the first meeting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, later to become the driving forces behind the band that became the Beatles. Author JimO'Donnell describes these events as a present-tense review of the day, and it is this approach as well as the remarkable factual detail which makes his book unique and compelling. His introduction to the book is mesmerising in itself, as he explains how his research sought to capture the atmosphere of that place at that time. He also describes world events which were happening simultaneously, taking into account time differences, meaning that these events were literally happening at the precise moments. This gives emphasis on the physical normality of what happened that day but as it is written now, it is an experience to read the book while obviously knowing what happened subsequently. This is where O'Donnell engrosses the reader, forcing us to imagine the scenes taking place, and the book, although really an acquired taste, actually works on a historical level as well. For those who never saw 1957, images are conjured of life at that time on a Saturday in the middle of summer.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully atmospheric tale. The writing is so skilled you forget that you're reading; it's like someone is whispering in your ear. You can practically smell the beer on young John Lennon's breath. This is a wonderfully detailed, lovingly told and quite original addition to the Beatles collection of any serious fan. Few rock bios actually touch your heart; few even try. This one does. It's absolutely haunting.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nancy J. Mumford on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking it might be a good addition to my Beatles book collection, but truly not expecting it to have much substance. Surprise! It's one of the best books about the Beatles I have read. The writer weaves all the little facts from that day into a darn good read and I even learned a few things. A good story and well worth the money!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
I couldn't stop reading once I started this gem, and of the many Beatles books, I'd rate this as one of the best. For pure literary artistry, it ranks high: the descriptions are vivid and bring you completely into that fateful day (one moment stands out in which the Quarrymen go on their second, evening, show and a minute into the set, a rare Liverpool lightning storm sweeps through the town, knocking out the power, leaving John and his bandmates in darkness for a moment...
the proverbial, but in this instance real, "lightning flash" of greater things to come?!)
Definitely recommended to any Beatles fan.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1997
Format: Paperback
Jim O'Donnell is a very gifted writer. His descriptions of the past are like painted murals in our imagination. The images he creates with his words take us back in time when John Lennon and Paul McCartney were teenagers, in Liverpool, England, and the world was just learning how to rock around the clock. I couldn't put this book down. Besides his great writing ability, it is very obvious that Mr. O'Donnell has done his research well. This book will NOT insult the intelligence of any Beatles' fan. It will make the reader understand a little more of the genius behind the remarkable songwriting team of Lennon and McCartney. Their strong differences of personalities brought John and Paul together... and yet, drew them closer. The author, I feel, has done the job well.
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