Tag Archives: Rolling Stone Magazine

Book Review: “Love Me Do! The Beatles Progress” by Michael Braun

After a friend sent me a link to the April 2020 list of Rolling Stone magazine’s 10 Best Beatles Books of all time, I immediately ordered a copy of the #1 pick –Love Me Do! The Beatles’ Progress by Michael Braun.

(Note: While doing research on this book and it’s author to try to provide a nice background story, I noticed that the author of the Rolling Stone list is a writer who I had exchanged private messages with a year or so ago on Facebook…Colin Fleming. Let’s just say that after about a week, he screamed at me and blocked me for “insulting him”. After reading his very opinionated personal blog, I realized…it wasn’t me! How this will play out in this review, we’ll see.)

According to Rolling Stone (or Colin Fleming), this book beat out all the books you would expect to see on a Beatles top ten books list, including books by Hunter Davies, Pete Shotton, Allan Williams, Geoff Emerick, etc. (most of these have been reviewed in the past on this blog). I was curious as to why a book published in 1964 would be considered the best of all time since it obviously didn’t cover the Fab Four’s entire career?

Well, because this book doesn’t hold back. Reporter Michael Braun had a first hand account of what went on in the private (or not so private) moments in the Beatles world as they toured Europe and the U.S. in 1963 and early 1964. It provides conversations that either no other reporter would dared to print or they weren’t paying attention to what was going on around the mop tops. Braun listened and observed what was going on and being said about the Beatles and by the Beatles. A whole lot of snarky remarks were flying everywhere our boys went. Unfortunately, this didn’t presented John, Paul, George and Ringo in the best light at times and some reviewers of Love Me Do in 1964 grabbed onto those moments to pan the Beatles. (See 3 reviews of Love Me Do from 1964 at the bottom of this review)

Still, this is a more than worthwhile book for any true Beatles fan to add to their collection. Is it the best book? Is it better than say Mark Lewisohn’s works? I personally don’t think so, but it is a great book for those who want to know. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: “Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine” by Joe Hagan

Sticky Fingers Jann Wenner Joe HaganFinally! A book that could hold my attention for entire week. Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine by Joe Hagan was published on October 24, 2017 and is 511 pages strong.

As the story goes (and was told to me by the guy who recommended it to me), Jann Wenner asked writer Joe Hagan to write his biography. Wenner opened up to Hagan with over 100 hours of interview time and allowed him access to all his personal archives, diaries and scrapbooks. But after Joe finished writing this very detailed tome, Jann refused to authorize it because Hagan had dug so deep (he interviewed hundreds of friends, family and colleagues about Wenner), the story was a little too intimate for Wenner’s liking.

This isn’t just the story of Jann Wenner, the narcossistic, egomaniac who drank, smoked, snorted and slept his way through the last 3 decades of 20th century. It’s also the story of his wife Jane, photographer Annie Leobovitz, writer Hunter Thompson and so many more people that were vital in the success and creation of Rolling Stone magazine. This book tells of the Wenner’s hidden homosexuality, his wife’s affairs with both men and women and all the casualties of their sometimes reckless lifestyle.

Hagan interviewed the likes of Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, Yoko Ono, Billy Joel, and many more who survived a love/hate relationship with Jann Wenner, but knew the importance and success that came with not only getting interviewed for Rolling Stone, but gracing it’s cover. If you want to know why it took for more years for Paul McCartney to get into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame after he gave the speech at John Lennon’s induction, and why Stella wore a t-shirt that said, “About Fucking Time!” to the ceremony, you’ll find out the story in this book.

This is a book that true rock n’ roll fans are not going to want to miss reading. Not only does it verify all the stories of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll of the ’70’s, it tells of the glamour, glitz and excess of the ’80’s, and the inside and personal story of Jann Wenner’s relationship with John Lennon and Yoko Ono from not only Wenner’s perspective, but that of Yoko Ono’s too (May Pang gets only a few mentions). And for that reason…

I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

 

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