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Book to include rare Beatles photos and new Beatles truths
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Shivering Inside, the second volume in Jude Southerland Kessler's 9-book series on the life of John Lennon, will be released on 9 October 2010, just in time for John's 70th birthday. And with the 800-page narrative covering the years of Dec. 1961-mid-April 1963 will be many "extras" for Beatles fans, including rare photos supplied by close friends of Lennon.
Bill Harry - founder and editor of MerseyBeat and author of over 15 books on Lennon, The Beatles, and Liverpool - has contributed six photos for the book. Pictures of John, Harry, and his gorgeous wife, Virginia, tell a story all their own about how John handled the years of early fame. Harry, who has written the Foreword for Shivering Inside (as he did for Book One in the series, Shoulda Been There) says, "This particular volume of Kessler's work covers the years in which I was quite close to John. 1961 was the year Virginia and I created Mersey Beat. John, Stuart, Rod Murray and I made a vow, as the Dissenters, to make Liverpool famous." And certainly, they did just that.
The photos reveal candid backstage glimpses of John and Bill. One particular image of John thoughtfully smoking in a dressing room reveals Bill beside him, reflected in the mirror. Another shows John, Bill, and Virginia at ABC TV's Blackpool Night Out.
Similarly, Merseyside promoter and early friend of the Beatles, Sam Leach ("Leachy" to John) has donated two rare photos to Kessler's expanded biography of Lennon. Furthermore, Leach was instrumental in editing and contributing to two of the chapters concerning Brian Epstein's decision to pull The Beatles from Leach's Tower Ballroom shows. "He read each chapter," Kessler explained, "and tweaked them for complete accuracy. It's wonderful to know that the story told is, as Sam put it, 'spot on.'"
One of the biggest contributors to Shivering Inside, however, has been Parlophone Second Engineer, Richard Langham. Richard, who has donated a wonderful photo of The Beatles and himself in the control booth at Abbey Road studios (known during the 1961-1963 time frame as "EMI Studios" or "Parlophone Studios" - the "Abbey Road" designation came years later), has been invaluable in proofing and correcting the research for studio sessions in 1962 and 1963.
Richard Langham with the Beatles at EMI in 1963
"Many biographers have picked up early myths and expanded them in repetition," Kessler said, "and now those myths come across as 'gospel truths.' But Richard Langham has set me right on many details and facts. For example, there is quite a bit made about the fact that employees at the Abbey Road Parlophone studio wore lab coats. Engineers, we are told in many accounts, routinely wore white lab coats. Langham insists that is not true."
"I don't think I saw an electrical engineer wear a white coat more than a few times in all my time there," Langham stated. Furthermore, he insists that Mal Evans - who was hired by Epstein in late January of 1963 - was not present at the 11 February all-day marathon taping of the Please Please Me LP. "I was there. I know," Langham stated, expressing frustration at biographers who insist that Evans was present. "The idea that Mal was there may be an Urban Myth, I even checked with Peter Vince who was there with me at the Studios, and he agrees."
Kessler's book, written as a novel, will include extensive footnotes and use of original dialogue. It will also include a Scouse Glossary of Liverpool terms, photos that Kessler's husband, Rande, took on location in Liverpool, and an appendix of correspondence with first-hand contributors.
"Even George Martin was kind enough to help me with my facts," Kessler commented. "I contacted Giles with a question about the 6 June 1962 recording session, and Giles relayed the query to his father. I received a reply almost immediately. I'm so indebted to these extremely generous experts for their assistance in getting the story right."
Kessler strives to follow the advice of Richard Langham: "Let your writing be the complete and absolute truth."
Shivering Inside will be released at a soon-to-be announced Book Premier Party. It may be pre-ordered at www.ontherockbooks.com.
Published July 30, 2010
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