I’ve just been reading…

Tune In – volume one of Mark Lewisohn’s projected series of Beatles books – promising to be the epic of all epics of music biography.
Reading it whilst whiling away time in a local-ish lending library.
I’ve only read as far as that crucial juncture in 1957 – I’m still homeless, and because I’m not resigned to this way of life I’m carrying more than enough luggage from place to place. Any library books are both a responsibility and, in the case of a doorstep like Tune In, a weight, too far.
But already I can tell you that this is a book you should devote some time too, even if you’re a Beatles hater, and/or someone who thinks their influence is spent and they’re long-since-become irrelevant.
Because everything “they” say about it is true. Probably to a greater extent than any of its planned successors, Tune In is a work of social history: a vivid glimpse into the England, and especially the Liverpool, of the 1930s-1960s, full of minutiae of day-to-day life. (All the necessary 19th/early-20th century detail is included, too, in discussing the extended Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey clans).
More than almost any Beatles book before it, this has the right combination of historical and biographical detail to potentially engross one of those Beatles haters – and what’s more, if you are reading this, and the sounds of early rock ‘n roll seem impossibly alien and antiquated to you, take my word for it that the bookjust might convert you to Presley, Penniman and the like.
(As an aside: Wouldn’t we be so delighted if there was a similar series on Frank Zappa – the kind that might evolve if C Ulrich, S Parker, Roman G A, G Russo, some members of the Z clan, and an advanced fan such as myself, pooled their ideas and beliefs?]

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