The Beatles, from Lads to Legends to Victims of Success
by Peter Feniak
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Magical Mystery Tours:
My Life With The Beatles
by Tony Bramwell
with Rosemary Kingsland
St. Martin's Press, 440 pages, $35.95
1968. John Lennon, recently inspired by LSD, calls an emergency meeting of the Beatles at their Apple headquarters in London.
"I've got something very important to tell you," Lennon says. "I am Jesus Christ. I have come back again. This is my thing."
"Right," responds Ringo Starr, well-used to the eccentricities of this brilliant Beatle. "Meeting adjourned. Let's go have some lunch."
At the restaurant, Lennon, unbowed, is approached by a fan eager to meet John. "Actually, I'm Jesus Christ," he insists.
"Well," replies the fan, "I still liked your last record."
Tony Bramwell, long-time associate of the "four lads who shook the world," brings a wealth of such anecdote to Magical Mystery Tours, a sprawling, amiable account of life near the world's most famous and most gifted pop group. Bramwell also reminds us that the real Beatles story is far more interesting than the cloying myth of "four lovable moptops" that still clings to them today.
Tony Bramwell in 2005
|The portrait of Brian Epstein, the posh Liverpudlian who takes on the Beatles' career as manager and succeeds in historic dimension, is poignant. As the group becomes England's top attraction, then the world's, the gentle Epstein lives in torment, devoured by self-doubt, paranoia, amphetamine addiction and the anguish of homosexuality at a time when discovery still means jail. There is plenty of colour in Bramwell's tales of the post-Epstein Apple Corp., where frauds like Magic Alex squander thousands of Beatle pounds on whims, and where Yoko Ono daily takes delivery of beluga caviar from Harrod's.
Magical Mystery Tours also points out the sad reality that the Beatles were robbed blind. Neither Epstein nor the group understood the value of publishing, and sold the rights to their early songs for next to nothing. They also kept only a small fraction of their merchandising rights, enriching faceless businesses to the tune of £100-million.
CLICK PIC FOR MUCH LARGER, CLEARER IMAGE
because it was the last ever photograph taken of Brian,
(he means for media release) on June 25, 1967.
He died eight weeks later, on August 27.
He looks happy and relaxed here, appearing for once
without a tie, in an open-neck shirt and a custom-made
black velvet blazer with silk braid trim."
Another thing in the book that we didn't know ...
- E.C.: I wasn’t aware that Brian Epstein had booked Yoko at the Saville Theatre in 1967...
Hey y'all, it's possible to get this book without paying the $35.00 retail price. I nabbed it on eBay for $9.00 and a very low s/h. There are also various book search utilities on the web that will find you the cheapest prices, even better than the Froogle. Such as BookFinder, AbeBooks (I've bought through them before), Campusi, AllBookStores.com, etc. etc. There's also good old Amazon.com, where you can buy cheaper used and new from independent dealers.
At the present time, there are zillions of Bramwell interviews on the web. That's one of the perks of being in the profession he was/is! You know how to promote!
And I've been finding more Brian info that way. Yay.
(Um...But I'd better start backing off my searching and get back to listing on eBay, or it'll be the sledgehammer for my poor computer...)