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When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles' Rise to the Top MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

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Editorial Reviews


Like The Dew
“An insightful and revealing study of the act we’ve known for all these years….goes beyond the who, what, when, where, why and how found in the best reporting. Kane establishes a deliberate, you-are-there pace, bringing clarity to the Beatles’ successes as well as the early setbacks.

Kirkus Reviews
“A spirited jump down the rabbit hole to the early years of what would become the Beatles, from TV news anchor and Beatles chronicler Kane (Lennon Revealed, 2005, etc.)…A shimmering...report that should fill in many of the cracks in readers’ knowledge of pop-music history.”

Publishers Weekly
“Kane (Ticket to Ride), a longtime Philadelphia journalist and author who covered the Beatles’ first tour in the U.S. in 1964 and subsequent tours, works by mosaic in piecing together the shards of “the boys’ ” early stories in Liverpool… Many roiling, conflicting voices are brought together.”

Library Journal
"This reexamination of the Beatles' teenage years, which focuses not on the band members themselves but rather on those who nurtured and influenced them through their pivotal first few years together, will inform popular-music scholars and delight fans."

The Christian Science Monitor
“Larry Kane was the only broadcast journalist to travel with the Beatles on their triumphant 1964 and ’65 North American tours. He chronicled those heady experiences in his 2003 book, Ticket to Ride. Now he’s back with When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles’ Rise to the Top. Combining the results of some deep digging and revealing interviews with those who knew them best, Kane unearths fascinating details from the earliest days of the boys’ growing up in hardscrabble Liverpool in the 1950s to the eve of their world conquest in 1964.”

Denny Somach, author of Get The Led Out: How Led Zeppelin Became the Biggest Band in the World and well-known rock historian
“The book is excellent.....Larry has gotten into nooks and crannies of Beatles history that other books have scarcely touched......When They Were Boys completes a fantastic trilogy.”

Chris Carter, Breakfast with the Beatles – Sirius/Xm Radio –KLOS Radio Los Angeles
“...is there anything left to learn about the Beatles? Well, if you happen to be a Beatles fan looking for a new book full of information NOT found in any of the other pages on the nearby shelf…well When They Were Boys just may be the book for you! See, Larry Kane not only knew the boys personally, (they knew him by name!), he also knows how to tell a damn good story. Larry Kane delivers his best yet, his Beatles-book hat-trick is now complete! Buy two!”

John Lorinc, former CNN correspondent and Producer/Reporter at WABE-FM (NPR)
"When They Were Boys is Larry Kane's Sgt. Pepper. Larry's previous books on the Beatles are, well Fab, but this book sheds light.....a lot of light......on an era that isn't as familiar as the "eye of the hurricane" days of Beatlemania. Even though I've literally read hundreds of books on the Beatles over the years, there were more than just a few new things I learned from Boys. Larry is a true insider of the Beatles, and that's why he's able to get the scoop from others WHO WERE ACTUALLY THERE AND ACTUALLY KNOW THE FACTS. That's the difference, and it's a big difference. Larry Kane is a great writer, and he tells the story about a group of Liverpool scruffs who eventually became people who reached first-name-only-needed status across the globe. Larry Kane, once again, passed the audition.”

Shelley Germeaux, Correspondent, Beatles Examiner
“Larry Kane’s newest book, When They Were Boys is the most comprehensive and fascinating account to date of all four Beatles’ lives in the youthful prelude to fame. Larry’s account exudes incredible depth, compassion, and a sense of down-to-earth reality about John, Paul, George and Ringo. When They Were Boys provides a glimpse into who they were at that time—just boys with a shared dream—a dream that was about to change their lives forever. His in-depth interviews with those who were there at the time this was all happening, such as Bill Harry, Allan Williams, Tony Bramwell, and John’s sister Julia Baird, make this a most remarkable read. It takes you back to the unfolding of the Beatles and how they became the sensation they did.”

Steve Marinucci, Beatles Examiner
“Larry Kane's Ticket To Ride is one of the best looks at the Beatles and Beatlemania because, as a journalist, he told it like it was. When They Were Boys continues that tradition, except it's about the Beatles' beginnings in Liverpool. If anyone has the true story, it's Larry. “

Bill Harry, founder of Mersey Beat, friend of John, Paul and George, and the most respected journalist and analyst of the Beatle years
“Larry Kane is a legend in the Beatles fraternity – and beyond. His latest work is diligently researched, atmospherically written in a way which makes you hang onto every word of information you’ve never read before, which makes its appearance on the pages.

Larry travelled America with the Beatles and became one of their close friends. As for myself, I grew with them at every stage of their early career from the beginning of their musical odyssey and Larry has recreated the landscape and excitement of those heady early days, which takes me back in memory to how it really happened. This is one of the great page-turners in Beatles history, brought alive at last.”

Ron Ellis, award winning Beatles researcher who knew all of the Beatles
“Told in Larry Kane's inimitable journalese style, When They Were Boys is a breath-taking, roller-coaster ride through the early days of The Beatles, given new perspective by the passage of time by a celebrated reporter who was able to observe them at both ends of the spectrum. A serious and invaluable work for students of popular music history and, with more 'secrets' emerging over the years, a must-buy for Beatles fans all over the world.”

David Bedford, author of Liddypool and famous Liverpool native
“Larry Kane knew The Beatles and became a trusted friend, so to now be invited to read some of their memories about the early history of The Beatles is fascinating. However, this is not just a re-telling of the same old stories. Larry has done what he does best as an investigative journalist and re-examined the key events and talked to the people who were there to take a fresh look at how this group of lads from Liverpool became the most famous pop group in history. This is a compelling read for any fan of the Fab Four.”

Jude Southerland Kessler, author of The John Lennon Series
"For years, my favorite Beatles book has overwhelmingly been Jim O'Donnell's The Day John Met Paul. It was the only book that I felt captured the true spirit of the Liverpool I know. But now, Larry Kane's When They Were Boys has stepped up and equaled the essence of Merseyside in a volume of artistic writing that is in a class all by itself! Readers who have hundreds of Beatles books will not want to miss Larry Kane's new one. His other books are very, very, very good. This one is off-the-charts-great."

“Every Beatles biography begins with familiar tales. When They Were Boys distinguishes itself from most of these books by focusing exclusively on these rough and tumble early years and doing so from a uniquely personal point of view. Kane does not have to rely on a wealth of outside sources to bring his book to life. The vast majority of quotes, whether they come from the Fabs or Yoko Ono or Mal Evans or Pete Best, were spoken to the author directly.”

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Larry Kane is the “dean of Philadelphia television news anchors,” with a more than 50-year career covering domestic and world events. He was the only American reporter to travel with the Beatles on every stop of their 1964 and 1965 tours of America, an experience which he recounted in his book Ticket to Ride. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Lennon Revealed. He lives in Philadelphia, PA. Please visit him at www.larrykane.com.

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; MP3 Una edition (July 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480529990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480529991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,484,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Larry Kane is the host of Voice of Reason. He is a consultant for NBC as well as a special contributor for KYW Newsradio. Kane is the author of the new book, "When They Were Boys, the True Story of the Beatles Rise to the Top."

Larry Kane, known as the dean of Philadelphia television news anchors, has been one of the nation's most respected TV journalists for more than 53 years, and has recently marked his 55th anniversary in broadcasting. Kane is the current host of the Voice of Reason program on The Comcast Network (9:30 P.M Sunday nights in Pa., NJ. Maryland, DC and Virginia). Kane is also a special contributor for CBS's KYW Newsradio, and is a consultant for NBC Sports Group, including regional sports networks and the Golf Channel, along with New England Cable News.

The Emmy Award-winning newsman was honored by the Mid-Atlantic Emmy organization with their Governor's Award in 2005, recognizing Lifetime Achievement. In the annals of broadcast history, Kane is best known for the success of Action News at WPVI in Philadelphia. While at WPVI, Kane helped propel the station in one year, from 1970 to 1971, to first place in the news ratings. The Action News format changed the face of contemporary broadcasting in the early 1970's, placing the emphasis on local news connected to extraordinary community involvement by stations across the country. His success brought him to New York and ABC News and WABC TV. After 18 months, he returned to Philadelphia and completed his unique trifecta, working for the NBC and CBS stations. Kane is the only news anchor to anchor a total of 38 years at all three Philadelphia owned and operated TV stations. His career in Philadelphia broadcasting is entering its 48th year.

His assignments have included: the Middle East peace talks, the return of the American hostages to Wiesbaden, West Germany, the devastating earthquake in Naples, Italy, the 1987 Superpower Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev, and an in-depth interview in Poland with Solidarity Leader Lech Walesa. In 1985 he and his colleagues at WCAU TV were honored with the prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for their coverage of the confrontation between Philadelphia Police and the radical group MOVE. In 1961, as a young radio News Director, Kane broke the story of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba.

Kane has interviewed a virtual who's who of newsmakers, including every President from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush. In 1965 and 1966 Kane conducted groundbreaking radio interviews with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A veteran of 23 political conventions since 1964 (including the historic 2008 and 2012 conventions), Kane is perhaps most well known for his insight on American politics and government. Those stories were featured in 2000 in his first book "Larry Kane's Philadelphia," a regional best seller.

In 2011, Kane released his first novel, "Death By Deadline", a cautionary mystery about the dangers of bad information, and the risks of out-of-control local TV News operations.

As the only broadcast journalist to travel to every stop on the Beatle's 1964 and 1965 tours, Kane authored "Ticket to Ride" in 2003. Kane also authored "Lennon Revealed," a New York Times and Los Angeles Times Bestseller in 2005. Kane is considered one of the premiere American experts on the life of John Lennon. On July 30, Kane's internationally distributed book, "When They Were Boys, the True Story of the Beatles Rise to the Top," is being released.

Recognized as a leading proponent of the rights of the disabled, Kane is campaign chairman of the Delaware Valley Multiple Sclerosis Society. For 35 years Kane has broadcast weekly features on radio and TV in connection with the National Adoption Center to find homes for waiting children. He is also involved in many other non-profit endeavors.

Kane resides in suburban Philadelphia with his wife Donna. Donna is the President of Dynamic Images Inc., a multi-faceted production company, and an officer of DJNY and its Unique Quest training product. Larry and Donna have a son, Michael, who lives in Connecticut with his wife Jennifer. They also have a daughter, Alexandra, who lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband, Douglas Weiss. The Kane's have three grandchildren.

Kane was born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents as Lawrence Larry Kanowitz. His parents changed the name years before his broadcasting career. Kane's father was an electrical contractor. His mother, Mildred Kane, fought Multiple Sclerosis for 14 years before her death at age 40. His work with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society began because of his mother's involvement with the disease.
Kane began his broadcast journalism career in Miami, Florida at the age of 16. He was first at WGAM and later at WAME and WFUN Radio. While working at WAME, Kane became the first U.S. news correspondent to break the story of the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Laurzie on August 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The most positive thing that I can say about this book is that it contains quite a bit of original research; Larry Kane clearly conducted new interviews with many players in the Beatles' early days, both in Liverpool and Hamburg. As someone who has read MANY books about the band, I appreciated hearing new stories and perspectives.

Unfortunately, the book is riddled with inaccuracies that are very obvious to the well-versed reader. For example, when Kane describes Yoko Ono's first visit to John's Aunt Mimi, he quotes her as saying something along the lines of "John's Uncle George was just sitting in the corner, like he was afraid to speak." It's not surprising that Uncle George didn't say much, given the fact that he had died more than a decade before this meeting could possibly have taken place. Since this is a book that only covers the band's early days, I felt that the treatment of their childhoods was generally quite superficial, and this is borne out by the fact that Kane fails to mention Uncle George's death at all (possibly not being aware of it himself?). The obvious misquoting of Yoko also makes me wonder who else he is misquoting throughout the book.

Another significant error was his assertion that Paul wanted Stu Sutcliffe out of the band in part because he wanted to be the bass player. Everything I have ever heard suggested that no one had wanted to be the bass player, which was the reason that John, Paul and George were all playing guitar before Stu became part of the band. If Paul had wanted to be the bassist, why wasn't he already the bassist? Kane offers no support for his assertion whatsoever, which leads me to believe that he simply assumed it was true because Paul became the bassist after Stu left.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Author Larry Kane first met the Beatles as a 21 year old reporter in 1964 when he accompanied them on their first US tour - he was also on the 1965 and part of the ill fated 1966 tour of the States and has written A Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles' 1964 Tour That Changed the World about his experiences, as well as other books on the band. It is a brave man who releases a new biography about the band's early years, claiming to be "the true story", especially with Mark Lewisohn's epic work about to have it's first volume released in a few weeks. This claims to be the story of how the Beatles became the Beatles, from their childhood up until the end of 1963. In a way, it reminded me of the fanciful account by Allan Williams, "The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away"; entertaining, but more fiction than fact. Some books, for example, "The Day John Met Paul" by Jim O'Donnell have used a fictional feel to good effect - recreating an era, but getting the facts right. This book is a muddled account, which reuses often used myths and stories from those who have their own personal agenda in play.

To be honest I became worried from almost the first chapter - when we are once again treated to the story of Mimi dodging the bombs to visit newborn John in hospital. There was no air raid on the night John was born, which is historical fact. Other reviewers have already mentioned Yoko's story of Uncle George meeting her, when he had died while John was still of school age. Also worrying is the assertion that Mimi had an affair with a boarder. She may, or may not, have had a love affair with a boarder, but it was not an, as implied, marital affair.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By M. Rosin on November 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you want an accurate book about the early Beatles, read Mark Lewisohn's fabulous, well-researched, highly detailed new book, Tune in. Kane's book is filled with so many inaccuracies, it's laughable. Kane actually states that Yoko had met John's Uncle George -- who had DIED at least a decade before John met Yoko. And Kane's suggestion that Paul pushed Stuart Sutcliffe out of the band because Paul supposedly wanted to play bass is ridiculous when you consider that Stuart was only IN the band because John, Paul, and George didn't WANT to play bass. Kane's persistent anti-Paul bias is grating and predictable. And why Kane relies heavily on quotes from Yoko -- who wasn't around at all during the Beatles early years -- shows you who Kane was working for when he wrote this feeble book. Ignore the 5-star reviews of this book; they're no do doubt written by the author's friends and family. Instead, by Mark Lewisohn's book. He tells the story without bias.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Beatles fan from the 60's on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poorly written, repetitive, very hard to force myself to continue to the end. I found that even the pictures were without interest.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jim H. on October 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm not quite sure why Mr. Kane (like several other know-it-alls) have to continually refer to Ringo as the "luckiest guy in the world". The Beatles knew him in Rory, they loved his playing, he was a better drummer and better fit than Pete. His left-handed drumming on a right handed kit and his unique style/amazing drum fills that are vastly underrated by people like Mr. Kane, who don't care to know any better. In an era that yielded drum solos and drummers as superstars, Ringo didn't want or need that. Unlike others, he was happiest being part of the team. Ringo was the band's glue, sense of humour, and peacemaker. Give him his due.
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