Published in October, 2013,The Beatles: All These Years: Tune In by author Mark Lewisohn, is part one of an enormous literary trilogy. The book summarizes the years leading up to the Beatles becoming worldwide musical superstars -part one is more than 900 pages long and covers events through 1962. It is filled with bits and pieces of amazing detail about the Fab Four’s heritage, upbringing, youth, and their long road to stardom. It is hard to imagine the number of resources that Mr. Lewisohn utilized in the completion of this masterwork. The level of detail about John, Paul, George, and Ringo is absolutely mind-boggling. But, the best part of Tune In is that is very readable and enjoyable – so much so, it is quite hard to put down. One can imagine die-hard Beatles fans reading it cover-to-cover nearly nonstop, like a Harry Potter novel.
As a music lover, I really enjoyed learning more about the artists that influenced each of the Beatles, as well as those subtle little incidents in their lives that set them on their course towards superstardom – such as young Ringo’s stepfather buying him an early set of drums while traveling in London and then having to cart them all back to Liverpool. Given that many of these actual events occurred around the time of my birth, the book also felt like a detailed history lesson of the UK during my early years.
As an urban planner by profession, I found Mr. Lewisohn’s details about everyday life in Liverpool during and after World War II to be most enlightening. In some ways, Liverpool of the 1940s and 50s sounds very much like the status that has befallen Detroit today. If anything, this is further proof that a neglected urban center can make a strong comeback after years of mistreatment and neglect. While only Ringo grew up in poverty, something about Liverpool’s urban landscape and its decay gelled in the Fab Four.
If you love good writing, this book is for you! If you love music, this book is for you! If you love history, this book is for you! If you love the Beatles, this book is definitely for you!
To be honest, I am still in the midst of reading this literary masterwork, but cannot wait for the second and third volumes of this amazing trilogy to be released.