Across the Beatles Universe: Here, There and Everywhere, The Beatles

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Beatles Lennon McCartney Harrison Ringo Music Book

I'm lucky to have experienced Beatlemania. Unfortunately, it was thirty years after all the other wild teenage girls. I grew up listening to the music my parent's enjoyed like most children. But I didn't just tolerate it, I loved it...with a passion! Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen played on my tape deck non-stop and my radio was always set to the New York area oldies station, CBS-FM. And then, I can't remember what started it, but I discovered the Beatles. When I did, it exploded. I listened to my parents' vinyls, they bought me the CD's as they were released, I watched the Beatles movies on repeat and tried to get my hands on any form of them performing. Remember, this was well before YouTube. I couldn't just type in “Beatles” into a search box and click through all of the results. I had to seek as much as I could and, trust me, I did. I had been infected with Beatlemania and completely understood the allure. And for me, I never lost that adoration.

The coffee table book entitled Here, There, and Everywhere by Nancy J. Hajeski is epic. It starts right at the beginning in Liverpool, long before there were “The Beatles.” The book sets the scene describing Liverpool and showing what sculpted the boys. There is a brief biography on the original lineup, without Ringo. We get one page backgrounds on John, Paul, George and, additionally, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best. We then start our journey with the band, through Hamburg, through the night clubs, through the guidance of George Martin, the passing of Stu, and the booting of Pete. We follow the addition of Ringo and the first recordings at Abbey Road. By page 50ish, we have THE BEATLES. For 313 pages, the author covered almost 40 years of information. We even get a chapter devoted to the post-Beatles career of each of the Fab Four.

The book is a shallow read in the aspect of the information offered. If you are a big Beatles fan, there isn't anything new in these pages. And the author has a definite tone in the book. She loves the Beatles and glosses over anything negative. Cynthia, John's first wife, is portrayed in a light that she pushed John to marry her after she got pregnant. Pete Best is shown as being needy and moody and the band “begged” George Martin to get rid of him for them. The boys are definitely painted in a glowing way. But, on the other hand, it is a coffee table book about the Beatles, so it makes sense. It isn't meant to be deep or insightful. As a Beatles fan, I went through the initial stage of the Beatles being holier-than-thou. But as I read more, learned more, and delved deeper, I saw the tattered edges and it ruined the glossy coating. So perhaps the lighter tone is nice and I guess you really don't want to bring people down who are flipping through a random book on your living room table.

The photos in the book are wonderful, beautifully reproduced and a wide variety of images. The early pictures have a gritty, underground appearance, reminiscent of their grueling time in the nightclubs in Germany. The later pictures are more posed but scattered with candids. It's a huge collection of photos and just those alone make the book pop. The layout is very clean and the “Fab Facts” are awesome. Most of them were fun and fairly interesting. Did you know Ringo's unique drumming skills come from him being left handed and drumming in reverse order on a right-handed kit? As a left-handed “sufferer,” I always appreciate how we get around certain blockades.

Overall, Nancy J. Hajeski definitely did her legwork for this book. She covered the forty years of Beatlemania well. It's perfect for a tabletop and to have out when company comes over. The book is also incredibly heavy. So not only is the book an enjoyable read, it will also make a wonderful personal protection device in case you're attacked by ninjas.

 

The TL; DR: Don't expect War and Peace or Hamlet, but for a fun romp through the Fab Four's history, Here, There, Everywhere: The Beatles is pleasant. It would be a great present for a Beatle fan who doesn't have any other Beatles books.

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0