Author's dive into Beatles story still has depths to explore

Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:10pm EDT
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By Matthew Lewis

CHICAGO (Reuters) - For British author Mark Lewisohn, telling the story of the world's greatest rock band the way it deserves to be told will take time - a quarter-century, to be exact.

The noted Beatles scholar, 56, fell in love with the Fab Four as a child, and published his first Beatles-related reference work in 1986. His latest book, "Tune In," was published late last year.

The volume, which took 10 years to write, is the first in his planned "All These Years" biographical trilogy. It begins in 1845, when the Irish potato famine forced John Lennon's ancestors to migrate to Liverpool, and ends in December 1962, shortly after the group released its first single, "Love Me Do."

Lewisohn concedes that the length, 880 pages in the U.S. version and 1,728 in the unabridged British edition, may be daunting.

"Obviously, I want the book to be read by as many people as possible. But it's as long as it needs to be," Lewisohn told Reuters. "My interest is solely in learning as much as I can, to get the story as right as possible."

Reviewers have praised Lewisohn's deft balance of scholarly detail and gripping narrative. The author did not seek the blessing of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr or the estates of Lennon and George Harrison for the unauthorized book.

"Access often comes with control, and it's crucially important that this is no whitewash," he explained.

Lewisohn hopes that Volume 2, which will break off the narrative around 1966, will be completed by 2020 and the third and final installment about seven years after that.   Continued...