Tag Archives: beatles books.

Book Review: “Nights Inside The Vault” by Sharon Richards

Good morning, Beatles Freaks!  This morning’s review is coming to you live from hot and steamy New Orleans.  This is not the review I had intended to post, but thankfully, I had this e-book loaded into my iPad’s Kindle app before I left home.  I had intended to rent a movie from iTunes to watch on the plane ride here, but due to technical difficulties beyond my control (the movie is no longer available on iTunes!), I decided to read this book  during my down time here in the Big Easy.

Nights Inside The Vault by Sharon L. Richards is the story of her short, but important time working the Hard Rock’s Vault in Orlando, FL from 2002-2004.  Sharon worked as a tour guide for the museum that housed many important and rare pieces of music history within it’s walls, including a section dedicated to the Beatles….a band Sharon was very familiar with and has spoken about at Beatles festivals across the country.

I have to applaud Ms. Richards’ work ethic and integrity as she demonstrates throughout this book her unwavering dedication to not only the Beatles, but to all the other bands represented at The Vault.  What started out as her dream job slowly became an illusion as she and the other guides took on the task of providing provenance to the various pieces of memorabilia.  Needless to say, the reader of this book will also loose faith in the machine that is the Hard Rock after reading Sharon’s accounts that came straight from her daily journals.

Though this self-published e-book could have used a good editor for the typos and flow, I think it is a necessary read for those that dabble in collecting music memorabilia.  It was quite the eye opener for me.

You can download a copy of Nights Inside The Vault at Amazon.com.

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles!

 

Bonus!  Here’s a video of Sharon’s former Beatles tribute band – Luv Me Do. I once referred to them as the only female Beatles tribute band that I could listen to.

 

1 Comment

Filed under Beatles books

Beatles Freak Review blogger heads to New Orleans in search of the FAB | PRLog

PRLog – July 12, 2015 – PHILADELPHIA — Jennifer Vanderslice is always thinking ahead to what would be of the most interest to her blog readers, and she is excited to announce that she will be taking her blog to the Big Easy for extensive research of the Beatles for future posts to her website – Beatles Freak Reviews.  She will be traveling from July 17-21, 2015.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beatles-freak

Book Review: “When They Were Boys” by Larry Kane

Larry Kane has been a household name for as long as my family has lived in southeastern PA (40 years!).  And though I have never read his book Ticket to Ride, I was present and accounted for at a local book signing he had for his book Lennon Revealed in 2005…a very good book.  Over the years, Larry and I would meet up once in a blue moon and, once I to him mentioned our mutual acquaintances, he would remember who I am…which was as it should be when you’re Larry Kane.

Enough of the background noise.  Just wanted to clear the air before jumping into my review of Larry Kane’s 2013 release: When They Were Boys: The True Story of the Beatles’ Rise to the Top.  Larry delves into his old interviews with John, Paul, George and Ringo from his days on tour with them in 1964, 1965 and 1966.  And don’t worry about remembering those years, because Larry is going to remind you throughout the book that he was on tour with them in 1964, 1965 and 1966.

Along with sharing with his readers from his early interviews with “the boys” (as he calls them throughout the book and even warns you in the early pages that he will be referring  to them as “the boys”), Mr. Kane interviewed many of the people that were involved in the making, and sometimes breaking, of The Beatles.  He does shed light on a lot of new background information from their humble beginnings to their early days of fame, but he doesn’t do it without consistently repeating the old info over and over again.

I really did enjoy reading the new information from the new sources he sought out, but it was a battle to finish this book because of the small issues I found irritating.  Like…when Larry quotes people it seems that Larry is mentioned in the beginning of all of the first sentences.  “You know, Larry,….”, “Well, Larry…”, “You see, Larry…”  We get it!  Where was the editor for this book?  And sorry, Larry, but I don’t consider Yoko a good source to talk about Stu Sutcliffe.

Read this book for the wonderful new information and interviews, but do it with patience…

You can get a hardcover copy for about $0.75 at Half.com.

At Amazon.com you can get a hardcover or Kindle version.

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Beatles books

Book Review: “Angie McCartney: My Long and Winding Road”

Angie McCartney bookPhew!  That Angie McCartney can talk…and talk…and talk…and talk!  But, ya know, it works for her and this book.  And she does stop to catch her breathe on pages 156-157.

Angie McCartney has the distinction of being the step-mother of Sir Paul McCartney.  This is a role she took on in November 1964, at the height of Beatlemania, when she married Paul’s dad Jim.  My Long and Winding Road is Angie’s story.  From her humble beginnings, up until present day, Angie tells of her roller-coaster ride of a life and her travels around the world with her daughter (and best friend) Ruth by her side.

Some Beatles fans may be disappointed that at about midway through this book, after Jim’s death, Paul McCartney is rarely mentioned.  I personally had no problem with this since Angie and Ruth’s adventures make this book a joy to read, and in the end, you find yourself rooting for both of them.

Angie does spend a great deal of time thanking the VIPs that she has met in her 82.9 years, but not in a bragging type of way.  With each celebrity that she writes about meeting, she includes a wonderful story of how they met or a funny story to go along with their continued friendship.

Kindle users can download a copy of this book for just $6.99Angie McCartney: My Long and Winding Road

For those more dedicated fans, you buy a signed copy direct from Angie’s website for $30.

Or for those of you who may be a wee-bit off your rockers, you can buy a used copy of this book on Amazon for about $75!

I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles!

MAMT-VARIETY-PACK

***Note: Don’t miss my new feature starting Tuesday, June 30, when I begin my weekly summer series called ‘Tea for Tuesday‘.  Every Tuesday through July and August, I will post a review of one of the nine flavors of Mrs. Angie McCartney’s Organic and Fair-Trade Teas.  My hope is that this will help some of my readers in their own process of selecting their own favorite flavor.  Or maybe you’ll just buy them all!  See you Tuesday…

2 Comments

Filed under Beatles books, Paul McCartney, reviews

Book Review: My Kid Brother’s Band (aka The Beatles) by Louise Harrison

What to say…what to say…what to say about My Kid Brother’s Band… a.k.a. The Beatles by Louise Harrison?!  I guess my best bet would be to just dive right in and let the chips fall as they may…

Did I enjoy the book?  YES!  Louise let’s you into her life to tell you HER story.  Along the way, it obviously criss crosses and runs parallel to her brother George Harrison’s life as they grew up together and later when he became a member of the greatest band the world has ever known.  The part that most people will not like about this book is that one of Louise’s strongest personality quirks is that her mouth (and fingertips) have no filter on them.

Let me take a moment here and provide my readers with a little background information on the making of this book.  A couple years ago, I was introduced to Louise via phone and email (I still have not had the good fortune to meet her face to face, yet).  She told me she was writing a book, but that it was more her memoirs than it was a tell all about George.  As the year went by, I found out that she had changed her mind and had decided to not publish her memoirs, but to instead, just print a couple copies for her children and grandchildren.  I could respect that.  Another year passed, and lo and behold, I read that she had decided to publish after all.  I immediately pre-ordered my copy.

Since this is Louise’s book, she uses this opportunity it to give many of her personal opinions on politics, religion and her philosophical beliefs.  She does include a heads-up that not everyone is going to agree with what she has said, so read it at your own risk of being offended.  Was I offended?  No.  It would seem I have a lot more in common with Louise than I ever thought.

Some of her stories are repeated several times over the course of the book and the readers will become aware that she probably could have used a good editor, but her story is well written and easy to read (if you’re not slamming the book down after reading her opinion of Obama, abortion or the environment!).

The book is probably not the story most Beatles fans want to read since she makes it clear that she will respect George’s privacy even in death and not tell all.  I still feel this book is worth picking up and reading for the tidbits about John, Paul, George and Ringo, that Louise Harrison does provide along with her perspective of accompanying the Beatles to many of their shows during their 1964-65 tours of America.

You can order your copy of My Kid Brother’s Band (aka The Beatles) at Amazon.com.

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles!

Leave a comment

Filed under Beatles books, Beatles-freak, George Harrison

Book Review: “The Private John Lennon” by Julia Baird

Excuse me while a catch up on reading all the Beatles related books that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf these past several years.

The Private John Lennon: The Untold Story from His Sister by Julia Baird was published in early 2008.  In the UK, the title of this same book is “Imagine This: Growing Up with My Brother, John Lennon”.  This book was the basis for the film “Nowhere Boy,” which I reviewed when it first come out in theaters.  You can read that review here.

It’s always refreshing when you can read a first-hand account of someone’s life from someone who was actually there to witness it.  Much like Cynthia Lennon or May Pang‘s books, Julia Baird brings the reader into her and her families’ private lives to give you a glimpse of what it was like being John Lennon’s sister.  Those facts or times that she is unable to recall or know as fact, she’s gone about finding those family members and friends who can fill in the blanks for her and her readers.  It’s during her research that Julia uncovered several family secrets that help Lennon and Beatles fans better understand the world that John grew up.

This is a story of unbelievable tragedy.  Even if she wasn’t related to one of the Fab Four, one has to agree that they would not wish Julia’s losses throughout her life on anyone.   She tells of Cynthia’s kindness towards her and her sister Jackie after the loss of their mother and she tells of the embarrassment she felt at her brother John’s strange behavior after taking up residency with Yoko.

After reading this book, it becomes obvious what John saw in Yoko.  He was returning to the strange, controlled world that he had always known growing up.  Thank you Julia for telling your story.

If you’d like to read this book on Kindle, it’s available as an ebook in it’s UK title –Imagine This.

I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles!

1 Comment

Filed under Beatles books, John Lennon

Book Review: “Can’t Buy Me Love” by Dan McNeil

I discovered this book after the author Dan McNeil followed me on Twitter.  There is a picture of the book-cover in his Twitter banner.  After looking up the synopsis on Amazon, I thought it sounded interesting enough to download the eBook and give it a read.

This story is based in early 1964, just as the Beatles were about to invade America.  It follows the premise that there were no crimes committed in New York City the night the Beatles appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan show on February 7, 1964.

The main characters in this book are four adorable, lovable and awkward ex-bank robbers that will keep you entertained throughout this book.  McNeil takes you step by step through their plans to pull off one more bank robbery, while injecting humor, sex and touching moments into his story.  And though this is one more Fab Four fan fiction book, he stays pretty damn true to the story of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan show while still mixing them into the antics.

You will laugh.  You will have a tears in your eyes.  You will enjoy this light read.

Available for $2.99 as an ebook at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

I rate this book: 3 out of 4 Beetles!

1 Comment

Filed under Beatles books, Fan Fiction