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You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
No Beatle comes off great here, but Paul comes off the worst. This is partly because he became very domineering in the latter years as John slipped off into a drug-induced and Yoko-fixated haze and partly because McCartney’s musical perfectionism and strong work ethic often rubbed the others the wrong way. It’s clear that McCartney felt completely abandoned by Lennon as the latter became consumed by his relationship with Yoko. Even if they didn’t write much together anymore, McCartney still wanted Lennon’s feedback, approval, friendship and respect. But the omnipresent Yoko became John’s world instead, so McCartney felt jilted. All of these things made McCartney difficult to be around in the late '60s, as he would freely admit years later.
But I also detect some anti-McCartney bias on the part of the author. He categorizes a McCartney-penned, number one Beatles hit as “maudlin” and another number one McCartney/Wings hit as “sickly.” At the height of McCartney’s solo success between 1974 and 1976 (Band on the Run, Venus and Mars, Wings Over America, etc.), the author dismisses it all as “lightweight pop.” This overriding attitude colors the mostly negative portrait he paints of McCartney. He’s clearly not a fan of McCartney’s music, which skews his view of McCartney the person.
On the other hand, George gets the most sympathetic treatment. I think the author likes the underdog. Harrison clearly felt stifled by his limited writing role in the Beatles. Lennon was often openly hyper-critical of George's songs while McCartney was often bored by or indifferent to them. Harrison’s catchy song “Run of the Mill,” which appeared on All Things Must Pass, was directed toward McCartney and the in-fighting that plagued the band in the latter years. He was basically saying: here’s one of my supposedly “run of the mill” songs that wasn’t good enough to appear on a Beatles album. I had always wondered about the mysterious title.
For someone as spiritually focused as he was, it’s surprising just how bitter and spiteful Harrison remained for the rest of his life about the Beatles period and his relationship with McCartney in particular. He seemed unable to forgive and let go. Over the years McCartney made several overtures to try to improve things and smooth them over, but to no avail.
John comes off as drug addled and naively idealistic. For instance, his reasoning behind hiring Allen Klein as the Beatles' business manager, which separated McCartney from the rest of the group, was that anyone with a reputation as bad as Klein’s can’t possibly be as bad as all that--so let’s hire him! The others, apart from Paul, followed John’s lead and opted to sign with Klein as their manager, ultimately with bad consequences.
Lennon is presented as someone seeking a strong and dominating woman. In Yoko, he found just that. Since his tragic death, Yoko set out to whitewash his legend and paint him in saintly terms. Much to McCartney’s chagrin, she also makes sure to emphasize at every turn her view that it was John who was the heart and soul of the Beatles and their greatest and unrivaled talent, all the while remaining a thorn in McCartney’s side as she became John’s voice in handling his Beatles-related affairs after his death.
I was astonished and irritated to discover that there were multiple times in the '70s that Lennon was ready to write with McCartney again, but each time it was thwarted by Yoko, who turned out to be far more controlling and domineering than I ever suspected.
Being, for all intents and purposes, the non-writer in the group, as well as the most limited vocalist, Ringo was the most vulnerable to the breakup of the Beatles. Accordingly, he slid into a two-decade long period of alcoholism after they went their separate ways. I had no idea that Harrison had an affair with Ringo’s wife Maureen, which contributed to the dissolution of that marriage. Ringo clearly was the most lost and adrift ex-Beatle.
All in all, this book makes for very grim reading, though it’s also hard to put down, somewhat like trying to avoid looking at the aftermath of a traffic accident as you drive past. There is much acrimony and endless litigation. But this book does help flesh out a fuller picture of the Beatles, telling a lot about who they were and how and why something so great ended so badly.
The worse part? Realizing that Lennon's awful death prevented a true reconciliation between the four men. I truly believe that though they may not have appeared as the Beatles again, Lennon and McCartney (and to some extent, Harrison) would have buried the hatchet and remembered their time as Beatles with fondness and affection.
The Beatles came together creatively at a young, impressionable age, grew up and then fell apart like a very dysfunctional wealthy family of brothers...competitive, ego driven, resentful, often loving, but having the need to break away from each other to grow up and realize their individual potential as artists and human beings. Yet it seems that none of them, except perhaps Richard Starkey, seemed to have the maturity and wisdom to to let it go emotionally and move on without sniping via their songs and without expressing bitterness and resentment in the press. Their obsessive need to try to compare themselves with and best each other and hold on to past slights is astonishing. Just this week in 2015 Paul continues airing his grievance about the way he perceives the public giving preference to John by virtue of John having passed away and became a "martyred" figure in the publics mind. Wow! http://www.esquire.co.uk/culture/music/8511/paul-mccartney-interview/ I
Peter Doggett was successful in creating a highly readable account of the financial morass in which the Beatles found themselves and presented this detailed account of potentially "snooze-inducing" financial/legal accounting history of their business partnership (a gordian knot that prevented a clean break and keeps them in partnership against their will) in an understandable fashion. This legal partnership will most likely follow them and their surviors in perpetuity.
I highly recommend this book be gifted to any idealistic and naive young people who plan to strike out in an artistic or business partnership.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
May peace and love and endearing tunes live on after the Beatles.
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