I guess trying to find a new angle for a Beatles book is a bit like hunting down the proverbial needle in the haystack, but "Yeah Yeah Yeah The Beatles & Bournemouth" seems to have managed that trick.
Ok, no disputing that Liverpool is number one in the Beatles connection list and with Abbey Road and EMI both being in London, that comes next, then there's the American connections, Indian mystics etc. But right there in the mix in Bournemouth, well Bournemouth and Poole.
There's an interesting set of bullets on the back cover of this Nick Churchill penned book:
* The Beatles played more theatre shows at the Bournemouth Gaumont than any other concert venue in the UK outside of London
* A tape of The Beatles at the Gaumont is the earliest known recording of their theatre show
* The iconic With The Beatles cover photo was taken in Bournemouth
* The first appearance of The Beatles on American TV was shot at the Winter Gardens Bournemouth
*John Lennon bought his Aunt Mimi a home just outside Bournemouth and was a regular visitor to the area.
But is that, combined with a whole series of rare and previously unpublished pictures enough to justify a 176 page tome covering those associations, the answer, an unequivocal yes. To put those shows in perspective, Bournemouth Gaumont sixteen, next highest venue, Empire Theatre Liverpool six. Listings and bill posters are, naturally, included amongst the regular pgotographs.
Whilst all books of this type have a certain amount of filler, the bands that played alongside The Beatles, The Beatles returning with their solo careers etc, Aunt Mimi's connection to the town, that brought John back on many occasions and helped keep some of the characters in the same place and Nick Churchill's excellent writing ensure all the threads join neatly together.
Without those interactions, "Yeah Yeah Yeah The Beatles & Bournemouth" would just be, they came, they played and they were photographed, but there is so much more to this. Lennon's relationship with the area is explored in a real depth and that his helped by clever use of the photos that in many ways were the inspiration for this book.
My initial thoughts when I heard about this book was what is the appeal going to be beyond the fans of the fab four and local music fans who may have been there at the time catching up on a few nostalgic memories, but having read the book, it's got a really wide appeal for any musicologist who wants to try and get an understanding of what happens to life and family when you are part of a global phenomenon.
It's hear that Churchill really shows his strength, it wasn't always light and joy between Lennon and his aunt. Crack lines occasionally appeared, like when Lennon returned his MBE, but it's feeling through those movements that make this book such a good read
Published:Natula Publications ISBN:9781897887899
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