Book Review: “Julia: The Story of Julia Lennon” by Kevin Roach

Funny how time flies when you’re writing a Beatles review blog! I had completely forgotten about buying the ebook – Julia – The Story Of Julia Lennon by Kevin Roach. In fact, I bought it two days after it was released on November 12, 2014. Two years is too long for this book to have gone unread and I needed something to read for this week’s review.

So, needless to say, this book can be read in a couple hours time. In fact, it’s just the facts. Author Kevin Roach who is from Liverpool, did his homework and found every shred of paper that shows the who, what, when and where’s of Julia Stanley Lennon and the rest of the Stanley family.

Mr. Roach includes images of the birth records, death records, etc., along with pictures of the houses and streets that represent the lives of Julia’s parents and siblings while living in Liverpool. Unfortunately, there are just some facts he didn’t get right and along with the obvious typos, it makes this book a bit wishy washy to read.  And even with the paperwork and pictures, it’ll still leave the reader wondering…Why? But for a $7 ebook, I guess I got what I paid for. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 2 out of 4 Beetles!

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Kevin Roach has written several other books that all seem to be out of print, except for a couple issues of a magazine from 2014. You can check out the rest of his works on his Amazon page.

 

 

 

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Bonus Book Review: “Dick Van Dyke: A Memoir” by Dick Van Dyke

I’ve creates a new headline for books that are not Beatles related in nature. If you see “Bonus Book Review” in the headline, you will know that book doesn’t mention the Beatles, making it easier to just pass-by the review if you’re not interested.

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I love this man! And I’ve been wanting to read My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business: A Memoir by Dick Van Dyke since it was released in 2011I finally bought a copy a year ago and am just now getting around to reading and reviewing it. And believe it or not, I will mention the Beatles several times in this review!

Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention, but I never noticed that throughout his long career, Dick Van Dyke has always made family friendly movies! In fact, he insisted on it. A devout, church going family man, he saw his career in show business as his job and a way to provide for his wife and children. And he considers himself one of the luckiest men alive to have been to do what he loves and raise a family.

Probably best known for his role in his hit series, The Dick Van Dyke Show, it came as a surprise to me that the show was actually canceled after the first season. But, it was during the reruns that following summer that Americans started tuning in and fell in love with the show, causing CBS to do an about face and continue the madcap series for another four years.

While the Beatles were heading back to the U.S. for their second tour in 1964, Mary Poppins was hitting the big screen. And though the Billboard charts were dominated by the Fab Four, Super-cali-fragil-istic-exp-iali-docious, sung by Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke, hit No. 66 on the Hot 100 in 1965. “Mary Poppins” was nominated and won several awards for it’s songs including two Oscars. Dick Van Dyke loved making this movie, but at 39 years old, said it was difficult at times keeping up with dancers that were almost half his age.

The making of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1968 was a whole other story for Dick Van Dyke. He turned this roll down several times, but every time, they would come back and offer him more money, until it hit the seven figure range. He didn’t like the script and thought their were too many holes in the plot. When he finally accepted the part, he made it perfectly clear that he would not be revisiting the English accent he had used in Mary Poppins because of the heat he got (and still gets) for how bad it was! Even though the film became a huge success and is considered a classic children’s film, he still doesn’t like the way it turned out. As you watch the clip below, keep in mind that he was 42 at the time:

Now here’s a unique tie to the Beatles that’s not mention in this book. In 1974, Dick Van Dyke make a made-for-tv movie called The Morning After, that much is mentioned and talked about. And even though I was just 10 years old, I distinctly remember seeing this movie…it moved me that much. It’s the story of a man who destroys his life by abusing alcohol. The soundtrack contained the song Yesterday by Paul McCartney and it was played at the end of the movie. Dick did this movie because of his own dependence and battle with alcohol.

I could go on and on about Mr. Van Dyke and continue to sing his praises and talk about his career, but it would be best for my readers to just pick up a copy themselves, even if it’s a library copy. I think you’ll find his life amazing. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

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Top 20 Search Terms used to find Beatles Freak Reviews

I always find it interesting how people find my site and what they enter into their search engines to get here. Well, here’s the answer! Here is a list of the Top 20 search terms used that lead people to Beatles Freak Reviews blog:

 

Search Views
the love we make documentary 460
the love we make 183
the love we make movie 145
the love you make documentary 124
let him be movie 92
is nowhere boy a true story 47
amazon beatles music 36
nowhere boy true story 29
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let him be movie review 26
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john lennon all i want is the truth summary 18
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the love we make review 18
a date with a beatle 17
the love we make film 17
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john lennon all i want is the truth book summary 14

 

 

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Did ya know…

On September 23, 1968, in the very first episode of “Here’s Lucy” with Lucille Ball, the subject of the Beatles actually come up in a conversation when Harry says he needs a band for an event and would like to hire them…for $100!

Click here to watch the episode FREE on Hulu!
Enjoy!

 

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Book Review: “The Lennon Companion” by Elizabeth Thomson and David Gutman

First and foremost, I need to apologize to one of my avid readers for the review I’m about to give on this book. She recommended it to me and told me it’s one of the best books about the Beatles/Lennon that she’s read. My other readers may want to keep her opinion in mind while reading my thoughts on this book, because everyone sees (and reads) things differently.

The Lennon Companion by Elizabeth Thomson and David Gutman was first published in 1987 and then revised in 2004. My copy is the 2004 edition that I bought used on Amazon.com for a penny. It’s a collection of articles and thoughts on both the Beatles and John Lennon from various reporters, writers, magazines and newspapers around the world starting in 1963.9780028725956-us-300

Well, for the first time, dear readers, I’m going to admit that I didn’t finish a book. I take my book reviews very seriously and find it insulting to the authors and my readers to not read the book in its entirety before giving my opinion. I managed to get over halfway through the 260 pages after skipping several wordy articles that managed to say nothing as far as I was concerned. Many of the articles seemed to be written by reporters who wanted to jump on the Beatles’ bandwagon to help boost their own popularity and ratings. Page after page of nonsense was written for newspapers and then published again in this book!

This isn’t to say that all the articles were worthless. I did find one piece that was written about a playwright that was being considered to write a third movie for the Beatles. His screenplay was returned to him without ever being told why it was rejected, but it’s easy to figure out from the playwrights own thoughts on the subject. I did find it interesting to hear about the Beatles movie that was never made.8387494._UY200_

Now maybe somewhere in the second half of this book there is another gem of an article that could bring some enlightening new fact to my limited knowledge of the Fab Four. But truth be told, the book literally kept putting me to sleep. I could not keep my eyes open and napped frequently during my quest to finish the book.

Despite my review, and as I’ve already said, one of my readers considers this to be the best book she’s read. You can judge for yourself whether it’s a real page turner or a replacement for your sleeping pills by buying a used copy for yourself for $0.01 on Amazon.

I rate this book, 1 out of 4 Beetles!

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Charity auction: Signed, dated and number 1/100 – Promotional poster for book 2 in John Lennon series

This auction will end in 24 hours on Sunday, August 21st at 9:24 a.m. (et) and at the end of the auction, I will remove this post from my blog…

100% of the proceeds from the sale of this poster will go to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

This poster was custom framed immediately after receiving it and is in immaculate condition! AND it’s SIGNED, DATED AND NUMBERED 1/100 by the author! Unlike the first book in the series which has had several reprints, this book only had it’s initial printing of under 5000 copies. The books themselves sell for over $250 each on Amazon. That makes this poster very rare and highly collectible!

You can find more information and bidding info at: http://www.ebay.com/itm/19194362883920160812_093839[1]

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RTE Radio One to broadcast Beatles play on Sunday (Aug. 21)

rteI just wanted to post a quick link to a story on Beatles News that someone sent to me yesterday about a play that will be broadcast on RTE Radio One in Ireland tomorrow (Sunday) at 8 p.m. (Irish Standard Time)….that’s 3 p.m. New York time. The play is called: “Death and the Beatles Fan“.  Here a link with more information:

http://www.beatlesnews.com/blog/the-beatles/201608180930/rte-radio-one-to-broadcast-beatles-play-on-sunday.html

Enjoy!

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