Thursday, June 24, 2010

just when I thought I knew everything...

about the beatles, a new book of revelations comes along
which renders the fab four mythical creatures into all-too
human beings rife with foibles, faults, and pettiness just like
the rest of us and rips back the curtain of fabulous fame
to reveal the sad truth as Allen Ginsberg once said it to be,
"fame is a curse with no redeeming features".
after all, there could be no worse denouement of fame
than the horrible death of john lennon, killed by a fan.

the book, which I've just finished reading, is called
you never give your money
written by Peter Doggett.
it centers on the dissolution of the beatles, the reasons
for their eventual demise, what happened after their breakup,
and the toll it took on their personal lives.
throughout my teens and into my twenties I dreamed
of how great it would be to be a beatle,
but the "dream" for the four lads themselves
was more like a nightmare.

which only serves to strengthen the feelings I've had for many years now:
I may not be a "household word" but I'm as famous as I ever want to be.

it's a fabulous read. I recommend it to all beatle buffs.


  1. Adrian,
    Thanks for the recommendation, always enjoy reading about the Beatles, I guess sadly, love is not all they needed ....
    Just wondering if you know what is happening with the "Masters Of Rock Guitar " book ? I pre-ordered it through Amazon last December and the release date keeps getting moved up, thanks. Hope the tour is going well, please come to Florida !
    Peace and love

  2. I noticed this book the other day while at the the book store. If Adrian likes it, it must be worth checking out.
    Fame is overrated, if you can make a living while maintaining your artistic integrity, who needs it?

  3. I dunno. Doggett is really good at research--his "complete guide" to Jimi's recordings is good stuff--but I feel like every time a beatles biographer or other author starts to try to incorporate the affective part of their lives with the factual stuff, it opens up all kinds of issues. like what secondary sources were used, who any primary interview subjects were, the nature of their relationship with the beatles and the reasons for which they're contributing, and more.

    beatles bios that tell "bad" stories about them are frequently critically lauded, ostensibly for humanizing them. it's really appealing for a lot of people to read about how these omnipresent 20th century cultural icons were human beings too--which they were, in both positive and negative ways--but stories of falls from grace are always big hits.

    and I don't mean just the clearly dubious Giulianos and Goldmans of the world; this happens even with authors with the best of intentions. have you read the Spitz bio? whole sections of that book discussing the daily lives of the group were taken from acquaintances' half-remembered stories--and the book garnered high praise mostly for the more salacious parts. then, it was revealed that many of those portions of the book (whether you believe they were fabrications or misremembered, or anything else), were inaccurate.

    so I'm always wary of books that talk a lot about how the beatles and their associates "felt" about things, or what they were "thinking" at any given time. how can they know? but I do admit that a good book about the breakup specifically is an appealing idea; the only other one about it (apple to the core by McCabe & Schonfeld), is a really dry read.

    and I didn't know at all that you were a beatles "buff," but I totally should have guessed.

  4. Famous enough to have a dedicated fan base, but not so famous that you can't drive your kids to school.

    You got the best of both worlds, Adrian.


  5. Someone once said, "You should never meet your heroes, because they'll end up disappointing you." To that person I say, "Then you never admired Adrian Belew." We've spoken three or four times, and I've never met a kinder, more down-to-earth soul who happens to spend a great deal of time in the public eye. I thank you for that, Adrian. When I chose my musical hero, I know I chose well.

  6. Hi, Adrian. I, too, have read a lot of books about the Beatles and, eventually, realized that they are/were, in fact, regular people like us (albeit with extraordinary talents). Funny, though, at times (like after I listened to TPTB CD), I thought of the Crim members as gods (how in the world do they write music like that?!?!?), like the Beatles but, again, realized that you guys have personal/family/financial issues just like the rest of us. We all have good and bad things in our lives. Crim's music and your music (and Beatles music) serve to make us a little happier and I appreciate that.

    Rock on.

  7. Adrian, you are a household namy in my house. Also I agree with Cedric: I met Adrian last year and he was the most down to earth, nicest guy. He has been a huge music hero of mine since I was in my teens (now pushing 40) but when I talked to him he felt like a friend. I hope I get to say "Hi" to him tonight. Oh, and I will get the book too. Thanks Mr. Belew.

  8. Tadd Allman-MortonJune 29, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    Hey Adrian:

    Fantastic show on the 27th! Many, many thanks, especially for the hospitality to me and my son. I wish you, Daniel and your respective families so many blessings,


  9. It goes on the summer reading list. I'm always content to enjoy all of what the Beatles gave us over a relatively short but prolific career together. Abbey Road has been a musical security blanket for me since I was 6, it's my musical home base - I can never get enough of it. I've never understood the craziness that surrounds celebs of all sorts, it makes no sense. The worst of it is surely John's untimely death. It was good to know he was out there doing his thing, to know him in the abstract through his work. No matter what he was doing musically, you had to at least take notice - it was never boring.

  10. To still be able to see you in
    Philadelphia after all these years
    brings me home. You have been my
    "alternative" culture and remain consistant.
    Thanks Adrian! See you at the World Cafe
    tonight. Philly loves you!

  11. I respected the Doggett book but didn't really admire it. The lesson I'm learning about Beatles books is that they are only ever as good as their authors, and Doggett is a conscientious researcher but not a very good writer. Best Beatles book I know is Jonathan Gould's 'Can't Buy Me Love', because it's about the band, not about the individuals or the afterlife (do any of us really care as much about the solo stuff as we care about the Beatles' music? I doubt it).