Looking again at The Beatles

The are a few books on my Beatle shelf that I turn to a lot.  I wouldn’t say they always fall as essential reading, but I turn to them for their first-hand accounts of the goings-on.  Maybe one day Ringo will hit us with his own autobiography.  I know we came close with his beautiful title, Postcards from The Boys, but it would be cool to hear an actual Beatle tell his side of the story.  I know we got parts with the Anthology Book, but it would be great to hear their own stories.

Cover Image

I am fascinated with these insider stories.  We get these wonderful glimpses of such creative bursts of energy.  It’s as if you are that fly on the wall soaking all of it in.  It’s wonderful.  Apple head, Ken Mansfield, has presented us with his take on all thing Beatle (particularly White-album era and beyond).  It is his story of working with the Fab Four, and it is a delight with many previously unknown stories of his time spent with The Beatles.  Heck, the book is even numbered.  I will be posting my own review later this week, but just thought I’d give you a taste of what others have thought now.

  • For more info on Ken Mansfield’s new book, The White Book, check out his impressive website.  There are a ton of photos, videos, and audio clips.  Very cool. 
  • You can read an excerpt from his book here as well.

Here’s what we’ve read.

 I once believed that The Beatles’ legacy as the greatest rock ‘n roll band was assured in perpetuity. But there appears to a generational divide that is developing and I am alarmed that I seem to be on the end that skews older and, dare I say, wistful.

My mother-in-law saw The Beatles in concert. My wife’s high school students were given an extra credit question recently asking them to name all four Beatles. Not a single student could come up with all four names.

Ken Mansfield’s newest memoir, “The White Book,” falls decidedly in the older and wistful Beatles’ camp. Mansfield was the U.S. manager of the Apple Records label and as such was granted an insider seat at assorted meetings and tables with the Fab Four, including the final rooftop concert in 1969.

Many of the Beatle anecdotes that Mansfield shares in “The White Book” were printed previously in his first memoir, “The Beatles, The Bible and Bodega Bay: My Long and Winding Road.” “The White Book” does not contain the spiritual or religious slant of the prior memoir, but if one has read the first, there will be repetition in reading the second memoir.

He has numerous personal anecdotes about the Beatles as a phenomenon as well as stories that offer glimpses into the lads as individuals. He was witness to the first-ever meeting between Ringo Starr and Dolly Parton because it occurred at a dinner party he threw at his house.

Most of Mansfield’s stories are of George and Ringo, but he, like much of the world, was devastated by John’s murder.

“Something else happened when John Lennon died, and like the Beatles, the second thing was bigger than we could ever imagine. What happened was we ended up with a hero that we didn’t want. We didn’t want John Lennon to be our hero. We didn’t want him to be a martyr for our cause. We just wanted John Lennon to talk to us through his art and music about what was going on around us.”

Mansfield occasionally becomes too clever in his insertion of Beatles lyrics into his writing, but he also can bring a lyricism and humility to the stories that is too often lacking in memoirs that are built around the reflected glory of someone other than the author.

“If the Beatles’ music and legend last forever, then also the people who were there are eternally ensconced in the echoes of the events that transpired.”

Once, there was never a question of “if.”

Source: Fredericksburg.com


One Response

  1. […] about The Beatles and God. Posted on December 17, 2007 by Matt  A while back we posted our review of the new book by one-time Apple head, Ken Mansfield.  I have still been enjoying holing myself […]

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