Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Love You Make

1983, 1984 Signet edition
Peter Brown & Steven Gaines
The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles
Bought new for $4.50
Very worn paperback

What a difference 15 years make!  Instead of Hunter Davies having to get Beatles' approval for his authorized biography, and thus having to censor so much, longtime Beatles associate and friend Brown wrote what Time called "deep dish gossip."  (Yes, he's the Peter Brown in "The Ballad of John and Yoko.")  Apparently, Paul and Linda were deeply offended by the book, understandably so.  Everyone comes off bad in it, with Brown finding little good to say, other than an occasional compliment on the music, and it's more about John, or even Brian Epstein, than it is about Paul, George, or particularly Ringo.  I'm not sure what Gaines's contribution to the book was, though I suspect it was the more generic information that can be found in most books on the Beatles.  Although this is much less of a rush-job than John Lennon Remembered (1980), having been three years in the making, there are many careless errors and typos, among the most glaring, a name (Byrne) misspelled on a line right above the correct spelling, and the year that John and Paul met changing from one paragraph to the next. 

What the book presents that you might not find as much elsewhere is the financial side, since Brown worked for Brian in Liverpool and London.  In fact, I think the book should've been called You Never Give Me Your Money, because it's not exactly a loving book.  It was one of the Beatles books that my then-future-ex-husband gave me when we were in high school, and it was an eye-opener for both of us, not just the sex and drugs but the anger and hatred in the Beatles circle.  I'm going to reluctantly recommend it, as a balance to the Davies book, but you should proceed with caution.

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