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You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup Hardcover – June 8, 2010
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Doggett says the four Beatles’ individual efforts will never match the magic they created as a foursome. Yet the story of the post-breakup Beatles is intriguing and fascinating in its own right. Doggett begins at the end, with the 1980 murder of John Lennon outside the Dakota apartment building in New York, then turns back to the late-1960s, when Sgt. Pepper was released and the glow of the group’s innocent days had long dimmed. In that tumultuous time, the foundation of the band’s eventual demise several years later was laid. Doggett captures the competitive sparks that flew among the four men, especially between Lennon and Paul McCartney, and also the mutual affection that formed the basis of their complicated relationships. He covers all the many lawsuits and legal maneuverings that consumed so much of their time as well as the feelings of anger and betrayal and the weariness of it all. And he discusses each member’s solo albums. A must for Beatles fans and good for more casual pop-music enthusiasts, too. --June Sawyers
“Doggett documents rock’s most agonizing four-way divorce. Rigorously researched, You Never Give Me Your Money is a dark but compelling endnote to rock’s greatest story.” (Rolling Stone)
“I had such a ball reading You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup that once I finished, I returned to page one and read it all over again.” (Newsweek)
“Elegant and deeply researched...You Never Give Me Your Money posits a nuanced afterlife for the Beatles. [Peter Doggett] has found a new lens (and much new information) through which to consider the band.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Doggett has crafted an authentic and enlightening book full of myth-busting surprises and insight.” (Library Journal)
“Fascinating…Doggett captures the competitive sparks that flew among the four men, especially between Lennon and Paul McCartney, and also the mutual affection that formed the basis of their complicated relationships…A must for Beatles fans and good for more casual pop-music enthusiasts, too.” (Booklist)
“Peter Doggett’s book about the Beatles’ split is a real page-turner.” (Annie Lennox)
“an enthralling new book on [The Beatles]…impossible to put down” (The Independent)
“Doggett, a music journalist, offers refreshingly straightforward and highly readable portraits of the leading players” (Daily Telegraph (London))
“a gripping account that portrays [The Beatles] as something much more interesting than the airbrushed Gods we’ve recently seen: damaged, eternally bickering men, left punch-drunk by the group’s success” (The Guardian)
“What Doggett has achieved is a laying bare of the darker consequences of enormous fame and wealth. Yes, there is the glory but there’s also the concomitant pressure of how to deal with the myth and the legacy – while trying to keep four very different voices in harmony.” (Irish Times)
“Doggett’s book charts an admirably unstarry-eyed path through the break-up of the band and beyond.” (Metro London)
“[Doggett’s] identification of the forces that drove The Beatles apart and kept them so for the best part of 30 years is not new, but his forensic tenacity and unyielding gaze are.” (Mojo)
“a breathtaking record of uncontrolled fame’s grotesque side-effects” (Q)
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Top customer reviews
I found this book to clear away all the haze about the Beatles as individuals. It gives fair exposure to each Beatle as well as Yoko Ono. It neither seeks heroes nor villains. IT shows each individual at their worst...and best. It gives respect to each person, but shows how each could shoot the others in the feet, just to be petty. How close we came to a reassembly of Beatles, only to be thwarted by each Beatle, and then by John's assassin.
I also think it's quite amazing to see unvarnished individuals. Imagine a stiff and abrasive George Harrison? Imagine a RIngo Starr who walks out on Paul McCartney? Imagine a John Lennon who finally is ready to make music with his best friend, realizing at last, together they are much greater than their individual abilities?
Finally, it's hard to imagine busted Beatles; broke, spent out of their last dimes.
I recommend this to anyone who lived through the rise and split, and fall, of the greatest rock and roll musicians of our lifetimes.
The last half of the title is almost a bit misleading, as is the prologue, which reviews John Lennon's murder in December 1980. It would make the less-attentive reader think that the book will only focus on the solo years to the present day. But the story actually begins around the time that The Beatles were creating their eponymous album (aka the "White Album") and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", when the band was already fraying at the seams. Brian Epstein had died, their financial affairs were a convoluted mess, the band had decided to create Apple Records as a utopian corporation/tax haven, and the egos, insecurities, and relationships of the bandmates were beginning to overwhelm the craft of music. Mr. Doggett quite thoroughly weaves this together into an almost blow-by-blow account of the events - both in-studio and out. In fact, in the first third of the book, it feels at times like there is just so much information that the reader's head would spin. Despite this, the narrative is still engaging.
In the afterword, Mr. Doggett professes that of the four, George Harrison is his favorite Beatle. Upon reflection, one could identify the parts where that favoritism leaks out a bit. But actually, his liberal use of Harrison's acerbic wit is not one of those parts; in fact, Harrison's quotes provide much humor amidst the discussions of all the business dealings and individual actions of the principals. In fact, Mr. Doggett is about as even-handed in the narrative as any one could be. He does a pretty good job of peeling back some of the carefully-crafted "legends" that have been built over the years to expose some of the unpleasant and unflattering aspects of the business and the bandmates themselves. No one - not even the spouses - really come through better than any of the others.
The book seems to be exhaustively researched from a wide range of sources, which is greatly appreciated. I'm not as much a fanatic follower of The Beatles to know for sure if all this research is accurate, or if there may be a "nugget" or two that is incorrect. But by and large, all that is told seems to be valid and true. With all the research, though, Mr. Doggett seemed to have repeated some facts and story segments - particularly in the first third of the book - that was a mild distraction and criticism.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable book, and should be a worthy entry into The Beatles biographical library. Separate from The Beatles, it is also an enjoyable look at the music business. If you replaced The Beatles with any number of musicians or bands, I would wager that there would be parts of their story that would be eerily similar to what is told here. I think that "You Never Give Me Your Money" should satisfy a wide swath of music fans, whether they are fanatic Beatles followers or not.
Most recent customer reviews
May peace and love and endearing tunes live on after the Beatles.