Thursday, December 19, 2013

You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of the Beatles by Peter Doggett

It has taken some time to get around to writing about this month's books because I've been busy updating old blog entries with my new Amazon account info. I've gone through 700 posts dating back to the start of 2010 so far, adding links and updating old ones. I have also updated most of my websites. Now I can just sit back and wait for the big bucks to roll in...

I started reading this the day I bought it last year, but I set it aside after 30 pages or so. I don't remember why. Maybe I just got distracted by something else because it turned out to be a really interesting book. As I've written before, although I rarely listen to the Beatles anymore, I still like to read about them.

That said, this book examines some of the unhappiest and most divisive times in the lives of the Fab Four: the fractious White Album and Let It Be sessions, Apple, John & Yoko, Allen Klein, endless court cases, rivalry between Paul and the others, and the deaths of John and George. In spite of the unrealistic expectations of the public, the Beatles were human and fallible, and You Never Give Me Your Money often shows them at their worst.

My biggest misgiving about reading this book was that it would delve too deep into the legal battles. Fortunately, Doggett rarely gets into the blow-by-blow, argument-by-argument documentation of perhaps the most litigious band of all time.

While the era of the Beatles as a band has been exhaustively documented, few if any books offer as thorough a record of their post-breakup lives as You Never Give Me Your Money (note, however, that this book doesn't say much about the actual music). I don't know if there are any great revelations here, but it's an useful and entertaining history.

Note: I read the edition on the left. The one on the right has a more accurate subtitle.


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