Tag Archives: Larry Kane

Documentary Review: Beatles Stories

Beatles StoriesBeatles Stories is an 85 minute documentary film by Seth Swirsky released in October 2012. You may remember me mentioning Seth Swirsky in an earlier review of his band The Red Button‘s new CD back in October. Well, it seems this guy is multi-talented! A singer/songwriter, producer and psychologist all wrapped up in one amazing package. In fact, he wrote Taylor Dayne’s 1988 Grammy nominated hit song, “Tell It to My Heart”


Well, enough about Seth…let’s move on to the review…

An adorable look back at the amazing and interesting ways that so many people interacted with the Beatles over the course of time. But don’t expect any deep discussions or elaborate stories. With this film being just 85 minutes long and with over 40 interviews, Swirsky keeps each clip down to about 2 minutes or less. Personally, that’s what I liked best about this documentary…how in just a brief moment each celebrity (I think I recognized all but 3 interviewees) can emote the joy and elation of their encounter with a Beatle or the Fab Four. I think one of my favorite stories was Henry “The Fonz” Winkler at the height of his career walking down Lexington Avenue in New York City and walking towards him was Paul McCartney. Paul immediately recognized Henry and said that he had always wanted to meet him, much to Henry’s surprise.

This is without a doubt a film that any Beatles freak would find entertaining. In fact, most of you probably already have seen it since I’m so late to the boat in seeing it myself. If your a member of Amazon Prime, you can watch it for free. In the meantime, I’ve heard that Seth is in the process of making a Beatles Stories 2 and is asking people to tell him their stories for possible inclusion in the next edition. If you have a story, you can contact Seth through a form on his website: www.Seth.com.

And for all the above reasons…

I rate this film, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

 

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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!

 

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Book Review – The Last Days of John Lennon

The Last Days of John Lennon – A Personal Memoir : by Frederic Seaman

Okay, so I’m a bit behind on my reading (this book was published in 1991), but I’m not like a lot of Beatles freaks…I don’t feel the need to know every detail of the Fab Four’s lives to know that they were the greatest band the world has ever known.  I have to admit that I never heard of the conspiracy theories on John Lennon’s death until about 6 months ago.  This is one of the books that was on the recommended reading list of a friend that turned me on to this alternative premise as to how/why Lennon was murdered.

The author of this book, Frederic Seaman had the dream job of many Beatles’ fans around the world – he was John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s personal assistant.  And being the smart boy that he was, Frederic kept personal journals on the daily ins and outs and going-ons in the Lennono world.

I can honestly say that this book held my interest.  It’s definitely a different read than some of the other Lennon bios that I’ve read like: Larry Kane’s Lennon Revealed, Cynthia Lennon’s John and May Pang’s Loving John.  It also brought up a lot of questions in my mind as to who was the real John Lennon in those two years leading up to his murder.  Frederic Seaman’s book paints a very scary portrait of a man that Beatles fans never knew existed and an even scarier image of exactly who Yoko Ono was/is.

Would I recommend this book?  That depends on how you feel about Lennon’s image.  If you’re a diehard fan that wants to know every detail and read every word every written about the Beatles, then yeah…read the book. I will tell you though that this book came to me with a warning from a friend that those who follow believe the theory that there was a conspiracy to kill John Lennon have been the victims of some pretty bizarre events.

For me though, knowing this all information doesn’t help in bringing John Lennon back no matter what the circumstances were behind his death.  Nor will the next book on my reading list – Who Killed John Lennon? by Fenton Bresler.

Until the next time…R.I.P. John

Rated: 2 out of 4 Beetles


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Review: Larry Kane’s ‘Ticket to Ride’ Lecture

Larry Kane's Ticket to Ride

Last night, I attended the first of night of Larry Kane‘s “Ticket to Ride” lecture at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Larry will be giving these presentations every Friday and Saturday throughout March 2010. Note: I’d say the theater was about 3/4 full for this opening night performance.

A little background: I had seen Larry talk during his 2005 book tour for “Lennon Revealed” his second book about The Beatles. Though I never read his first book, “Ticket to Ride”, I anxiously dove into the new one. Back to the present: So when I ordered my $35 ticket to this new 2010 show of his, I had to wonder what he had left to say about his time with the Fab Four.

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised! This show was very well done. It opens with a 20 minute video introduction that did make me wonder how much actual talking Larry would do, but once Larry came out after Denny Somach’s introduction, he broke into stories about The Beatles that had still remained untold. The show was produced beautifully and the mix of concert footage and interviews with Larry’s story telling was very well balanced. Larry’s amazing and sometimes shocking stories of his time traveling and interviewing John, Paul, George and Ringo will either make your jaw drop or make you howl with laughter.

After 1 hour 45 mins., Larry was happy to take questions from the audience. And despite Denny Somach’s insistence that Larry wrap it up for the night, Larry was gracious enough to keep saying, “I’ll take one more question”. He honestly loves The Beatles and loves talking about him.

The show was not without its problems. There was a moment when Larry’s outlined lecture was not inline with the cued video, but honestly, this just brought a giggle from the audience and was completely forgivable for an opening night. Larry also bumped his mic several times which can also be dismissed as an opening night faux pas.

Larry Kane is currently working on his 3rd book to be called, “When They Were Boys”. He told me it won’t be published for a couple years, but I know I’m already looking forward to it.

If you are in the Philadelphia/NJ/NY area and can get to Larry Kane’s ‘Ticket to Ride’ show this month, it will be well worth the price of the ticket! For more information, go to www.LarryKane.com or www.FI.edu.

Rating: 4 out of 4 Beetles

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