I read the Spitz book and it seemed okay to me.
That's the problem. It will "seem okay" to people, when in fact it is not.
I haven't read as many Beatle books as you
I'm not going by the books I've read ~~ I'm going by the people who are longtime Beatles historians, who paid attention and know what happened ~ while it was happening.
...but I've read Magical Mystery Tours, Anthology, and Alistair Taylor's book (along with *cough* Peter Brown's, which I'm somewhat ashamed to admit I enjoyed)...
I would enjoy Peter Brown's book, too, if I didn't give a shit about Brian and that Brown lied about him. The first time I read it broke my heart with shock. Years after I had come to terms with that, and loved Brian despite what I'd read, I found out the worst parts were embellishments, starting with what Brown knew and then built upon for entertainment value. Then Goldman picked up where Brown left off.
Saki on Goldman
...and in comparison, it seemed well-researched and didn't really have any glaring errors that I saw (other than the picture captions)...
Isn't it deceptive when a book can appear to be well-researched? His sources are not reliable, so his research is faulty (as so many real Beatles historians have already noted). Just the fact that he used the Goldman archives and Peter Brown's book, and that he interviewed Brown himself, proves that he was never interested in facts, only stories to make the book enjoyable to read ~ not necessarily the truth. The Amazon booksearch utility ~ when using either the term "Peter Brown" or "Goldman" ~ lists numerous, numerous paragraphs and references to those faulty sources within Spitz's book.
Spitz likes to use the "photo caption errors" as an excuse. He claims that his main text is factual, but the captions were slapped on at the last minute by editors and he was "too exhausted" to pay much attention to them.
Excuse me, but his text is just as full of errors as the captions are. Not only errors, but downright lies, considering what I noted above.
...but the first edition of any large reference book is likely to have some errors; no book is going to be perfect, which is why it is important for a historian (or Beatles-history-buff) to consult multiple sources.
...as long as he chooses sources that tell the truth, which he didn't.
Actually, I really liked the fact that Spitz provided references for the majority of his quotes, so a reader can (if they want) look them up for themselves and draw their own conclusions; most other Beatle-books I've see don't have a decent reference listing.
The more footnotes, references and sources an author uses, the more legitimate the book is? You know as well as I do that precious few people will go ahead and check back with the original sources.
I feel he provided a huge bibliography to give the illusion of legitimacy. It means nothing if 1. you use faulty reference materials, and 2. You change that material and don't use your references as they were in the originals.
I'm not claiming that it's the definitive book or anything, or that Spitz is a great person, but I don't think his book is as bad as some people have made it out to be.
The people who lived through the times and saw it as it was as it was happening, beg to differ with you.
Only one of the many newsgroup exchanges expounding upon Spitz's book
The "Papa Nate" guy is an old wise college professor who has been in the rec.music.beatles newsgroup since the beginning. He knows what's going on.
Click the third link in the list that reads:
· Book: The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz
Just because a book is written in a very entertaining fashion, and gives a strong impression of being factual, does not mean it IS factual.
This book was hyped to the max by its publishers ~ a very powerful corporation. Unfortunately, in this day and age, that works.
The fact is that people who love the Beatles, yet have not spent years soaking in their history as it happened, are inclined to believe what Spitz writes, simply because he lists so many references. Some of these references are not reliable in the first place. All of these references have already been checked by many other long-time and more knowledgeable Beatles historians. Many have been found to not have been picked up as they were in the originals, yet are still listed in the bibliography.
Spitz claims he "researched" for 8-1/2 years. This means nothing because the word "research" is easy to say when all you're doing is pulling info, much of it faulty to begin with, from the books you reference, and then changing the info to suit yourself.
It seems futile to keep repeating it, but just because a book is a wonderful read, and is written in a very convincing and believable style, does not mean it's "okay." It's a shame so many people are going to be sucked in by it.
Stephen X. Carter
Tue, 28 Feb 2006 21:03:52 -0500, "Dr. Robert"
I started it... and gave up about 100 pages in.
I was finding too many errors. It was getting painful.
(And for *me* to abandon a book, and, at that, a book about the Fabs, is most unusual!)
Nothing is Beatle Proof!!
This book is rife with errors that are so glaring it makes you wonder how on earth this got past the editor's desk. This is just EMBARRASSING! The Beatle Literati are not pleased with this book AT ALL! This is definitely NOT the work of a Paperback Writer!
Allow me to itemize some of the more glaring mistakes, an extensive list of which have also been compiled by people directly involved with a well-known Beatle magazine. Again, the mistakes in this book are ludicrous and inexcusable!
---(Lists many stupid obvious mistakes)---
There are more, but I think you have gotten the idea. How on earth this got past the editors I will never know.
If that isn't bad enough, there are plenty of mistakes throughout the text as well. Beatle literati will pick them up right off the bat.
I don't know if these errors were allowed through with the thought that they would remain unnoticed, but the errors were extensive to the point where I just cannot recommend this book.