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In our extensive August 2011 Skype interview, as he was heading down the home stretch writing the first volumes of what’s expected to be a three-volume definitive biography of The Beatles, world-renowned Fab Four expert Mark Lewisohn (pictured) said he was shooting for publication about now, late summer/early fall 2012.
We’ve known each other since the late 1980s, when I wrote and produced “The Lost Lennon Tapes” radio series for Westwood One and Mark was my invaluable research consultant, and we’ve stayed in touch over the years. So in mid-June, I sent him a birthday greeting by email, and cheekily asked him how Volume 1 was coming along.
“Volume 1 has taken much longer to write than I expected,” Lewisohn wrote back. “I’m just on the final chapter now, so I regret it won’t be out this anniversary year. It’ll be next year, 2013.”
At the time, I agreed not to divulge that news, so as not to distract him from wrapping it up, but now, nearly two months later, word is out that Lewisohn’s finally completed Volume 1, and Little-Brown, his U.S. publisher, is now looking at publication in late 2013, though L-B hasn’t updated its website accordingly. Working title: “The Beatles — The Complete Story: Volume One: Tune In.”
Next year does miss Lewisohn’s original goal — the 50th anniversary of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr’s first Parlophone/EMI recording sessions in 1962.
But 2013 would still tie in nicely with the half-century marks of the Fabs’ debut album, “Please Please Me,” and Beatlemania’s subsequent explosion in Britain and Europe, which lit the fuse to blow up the States and the rest of the world at the end of ’63 and early ’64 with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
Lewisohn’s spent the better part of a decade to get to this point; what’s another year to wait? We had to trust Lewisohn to get it right, and that’s paramount. Mark’s very meticulous and thorough, as fellow readers of any of his other books — among them “The Beatles Live,” “The Beatles: Recording Sessions,” “The Complete Beatles Chronicle,” “Twenty-Five Years in the Life” and “The Beatles’ London ” — will attest.
More news on this as it develops; meanwhile, see our full-on preview from August 2011, Lewisohn’s first and most recent extensive interview about the project in eight years, and the transcripts in the Aug. 5, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19 posts on Peeples Place at KHTS.
In addition to his “Peeples Place at KHTS” blog, Stephen K. Peeples is a writer/reporter for KHTS News (www.hometownstation.com) andSCVNews.com, and host, writer and co-producer of the weekly “House Blend” music and interview television show on SCVTV, community television for the Santa Clarita Valley (www.scvhouseblend.com). A former SCV music and entertainment columnist for The Signal (2004-2011) and drummer with SCV jazz group RainTree (www.raintreejazz.com, 2010-2011), Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” MIPF/Rhino, 1992), an award-winning radio producer (“The Lost Lennon Tapes,”Westwood One, 1988-1990) and an award-winning online editor (The Signal website, 2007-2011). For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.stephenkpeeples.com.