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"Giving Credit Where Credit is Due to the Early Supporters of the Beatles"
on January 10, 2014
This is the third book I’ve read by Larry Kane and I enjoyed it even more than “Ticket to Ride” about their 64 tour and “Lennon Revealed” his comprehensive study of John Lennon. I bought the book because I had enjoyed reading his previous books and I liked this one even more. As in his previous Beatles portraits, he speaks from first-hand contact drawing upon the countless hours he spent on the road with them. True to his reporter roots, Mr. Kane relates as accurately as possible, all sides of every story so the reader gets everyone’s version of what happened. The reader can decide which version to believe.
“When They Were Boys” gives character profiles of those early supporters such as Freda Kelly, Same Leach, Billy Kinsley, Bob Wooler, Pete and Mona Best, Tony Barrow, Derek Taylor, Mal Evans, Bill and Virginia Harry and many others. Perhaps without their support of these hopeful musicians in those early years from 1961-1964, there would have been no Beatles. Their stories have never been told in this way before and they deserve their place in the Beatles success story. This may be this book’s most important contribution to Beatles history: giving credit where credit is due to those early supporters.
Mr. Kane relates the story of the Beatles before they made it big, not in a linear narrative, in a strict chronological approach, but by going back to certain events more than once. In this manner, he layers the story the way a master painter layers in colors to give a painting to give added texture, contrast and depth. His reporting gets more nuanced with each stroke of his writer’s brush. As he retells key events, he adds a deeper insight and broader perspective giving the reader a greater understanding each time. But certain stories may be repeated a little too often for some readers.
His facts are well-researched from the original sources and direct interviews in describing the early days of the Fab Four. Kane leaves no doubt about his passion and respect for his subjects yet they are shown to be what they are: real people with hopes, dreams and disappointments. Their history is a messy one, like life itself. If you’re a big Beatles fan like I am, you’ll find plenty of new information and perspective on Beatle facts you already knew. This is a must-read for any Beatles fan.