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Photograph Hardcover – September 21, 2015
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These photographs divide into Ringo as a child (I found him easily enough in the picture of him at school – see whether you can do the same!), his adolescence, his time in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and then, of course, the Beatles. There are a few post-Beatles, but the bulk of this book takes us up to the mid-Sixties. Along the way are wonderful bits of memorabilia – such as letters from Brian Epstein and Rory Storm – and great glimpses of Beatlemania from the inside (pictures taken from hotel rooms, of fans leaning to get a glimpse of a Beatle and of Mal and Neil, who formed pretty much the core of their entourage during those touring years).
The book encompasses the early years; including filming, “A Hard Day’s Night,” and trips to Paris, Miami, India and Japan. and show the Beatles relaxed and at ease. If you are not a Beatles fan, this book probably will not mean much to you. If you are a fan, you will pore over every page. I particularly liked the photo’s of a young Richy and there are portraits of John and Paul in the studio that are easily as good as a professional photographer could have taken. A great glimpse into Ringo’s personal photographs and I am sure all fans thank him for sharing these with us.
Although Ringo does not offer more than a cursory comment about each photograph, seeing the photographs was what made a good book even better.
Readers walk down the Long & Winding Road with Ringo from his earliest days in the Dingle where he grew up; his protracted and traumatic illnesses to his musical career which changed his life and ultimately the world. Ringo's early days at Butlin's Holiday Camp where many musicians convened is covered; so is his stint with Rory Storm and later, as of August 16, 1962 the Beatles! (Prior to becoming a Beatle, Ringo often sat in for their former drummer Pete Best. Ringo was plainly a good fit and a good match for the final line up of the Fab Four.)
Ringo has always been distinctive in appearance; even as a boy he is readily recognizable in school photographs. Readers literally watch Ringo grow up in this book by the photographs of him at various stages in his life. Since Ringo's days as a Beatle are what draws people to this book, the majority of this book covers his days drumming with the Beatles. There are some post-Beatles' photographs in the book as well.
I loved the inclusion of memorabilia such as letters and Ringo's own personal accounts of the traumatic illnesses he endured. For years I have wanted to hear his take on it as it sounded truly terrifying to me. The letters and photos of various places where Ringo stayed added to the sheer delight and value of this book. Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall, the key players in the Beatles' entourage are included as well. During the 1970s, Mal Evans attended Beatles conventions.
This book is for hard core Beatles' fans. It is that demographic that will get the most out of this book and appreciate the detail and sheer artistry of it. I loved the photographs of Ringo as a boy and naturally those of Ringo with the early Beatles. (Darn shame Ringo went from a moptop with beautiful hair to a croptop. Ringo has beautiful hair and he and Paul did the best hair toss during their concert performances.)
This book is a gift that keeps on giving. Fans will savor each and every word and each and every page. Yes, Ringo as were his bandmates is a very distinct person and personality. He was the first Beatle to become a grandfather (in 1985 his then 20-year-old son Zak became a first time father) and as of 2009 his daughter Lee gave birth to triplets. I'd personally like to thank Ringo for sharing this magnificent collection. On behalf of Beatles' fans everywhere and those fortunate enough to see the All-Starr Band, I say a hearty THANK YOU!
It's hard to imagine tht after 50 years, there are still new photos and stories left to tell about the Beatles, perhaps the mos photographed rock band of all time and yet this book is proof that there is still life left in the legacy yet. The reason of course is that the images in this lavish coffee table book come from the personal archives of Ringo himsel, a treasure trove already mined before for The Anthology book and Ringo's own Postcards From The Boys; as probably the most enthusiastic and talented photographer in The Beatles however, it seems that there is a lot of film left in the camera still!
As its title suggests, this book is a photographic trawl through the life of Ringo Starr, from his infancy in 1940s Liverpool and ending with some inebriated Polaroids from the 1980s ("a lot of times have all blended into one"). The most fascinating and revealing shots come of course from Ringo's Beatles years, giving us an intimate glimpse into both the madness and banality of what it must have been like to be on the inside of the fishbowl looking out at the world looking in, a fish eye's lens capturing the moments looking out of windows at how big, strange and magic Beatlemania must have been. There are lots of lovely photos of John, Paul, George, Neil and Mal at home and in the studio and on tour, with glimpses of other figures from the Beatles story like Dezo Hoffman and Bob Freeman, Dick Lester and Brian Epstein.
The photos throughout this book are accompanied by short reminiscences and stories from Ringo, none of which are particularly enlightening or well written but are warm and witty in a conversational stye and do help create the illusion that Ringo is there with you, going through his albums, remembering the fun and splendid times that were enjoyed by all. And to his credit, Ringo doesn't shy away from acknowledging the years lost to drugs and drink, even if does refer to it as taking his "medication". And it's noticeable too how nearly everyone has a cigarette in their hands during the 60s. Far out, man!
I'm not sure what Ringo's motivation for doing this book was, more money maybe or the chance to look back over his amazing life and share it with the public but I'm glad he has. As a photographer he has a good eye and it's startling too see to see what style the young Richy Starr had, a good looking, sharp dressed cat indeed. And of course, Ringo always had the best beards in the Beatles, sporting facial fur that wouldn't look out of place in today's hipster beard fashions.
A good lad and a great musician, this is an expensive and enjoyable trip down Penny Lane, a peak inside a Beatles life and home. What Beatlefan could resist
"The moment is there and that's what important."
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I purchased the STANDARD Hardback copy - which is what I am reviewing.Read more