Note: I will not be rating this book since I do know and have met the author.
Happiness is Seeing the Beatles: Beatlemania in St. Louis is written by Sara Schmidt, an elementary school teacher from Alton, IL. Sara is known in Beatles circles as the owner/editor of the popular website Meet the Beatles for Real, a site dedicated to telling the stories of fans who have had up close and personal encounters with the Beatles over the years.
When I first received my copy of this book, I was surprised by it’s size. I had been expecting a traditional 6″ x 9″ paperback, so I was taken aback when a 160 page, 8.5″ x 11″ shiny paperback that was filled with not only extensive details, but also with B&W and color photos, showed up in my mailbox. Schmidt not only tells the stories behind the Beatles’ (both as a band and as solo performers) shows in and around St. Louis, she also gives the history and, when possible, the set lists of the opening acts.
Sara knows and has researched her Beatles history for this book, but this going to present a ‘glass half full or glass half empty’ situation for her readers. Some are going to find all the extra details about the Beatles and their tours as a bonus, while others are going to find it straying too far off topic from the title of this book ‘Beatlemania in St. Louis’. It’s all going to depend on the reader and their preferences. But this book really does come alive in the last three chapters when the author tells the stories behind the solo Fab Four returning to St. Louis right up to Ringo’s most recent show in 2014.
FYI – I do love the concept of books being written about the Fab Four playing in individual cities through the years and I hope to read others. Or maybe Sara could write more?
You can purchase your own copy of Sara’s book at Amazon.com. Or you can buy an autographed copy through her website. You’ll also find a list of her upcoming appearances there.