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Fab friends assist Beatles author's research
Jude Southerland Kessler, author of Shoulda Been There, the only augmented biography on John Lennon, 1940-1961, and the upcoming book on Lennon's life from 1961-1963, Shivering Inside, has just received the assistance of Parlophone Engineer, Richard Langham. Langham, who served as Second Engineer on the day that The Beatles recorded the "Please Please Me" LP has agreed to supply crucial details about that day for Kessler's new work.
Kessler told Beatles News, "I wrote to Mr. Langham because only two of my 30 sources for the chapter on 11 February 1963 stated that Brian Epstein was present in the control room. And of those two sources, no one mentioned Brian's presence during the day. So, I surmised that Brian arrived in the evening, but I didn't know what time he arrived or where he stood or what he said, etc. In other words, I needed details on exactly how Epstein interacted with George Martin, Norm Smith, and Richard Langham in the control room."
"Several weeks ago, I tweeted that I needed assistance in finding Richard Langham to answer those important questions, and a wonderful reader from Florida, Steven Jewell, located Langham's e-mail address for me. I wrote to Mr. Langham, hoping he would answer that one question, considering his busy schedule, but I got so much more!"
Richard Langham has agreed to help the author of the 9-book series on Lennon's life to "get the details right" for Shivering Inside. He is reading Kessler's "recording sessions" chapters, to add missing detail and to make the incidents as close to the actual events as humanly possible.
Richard Langham with the Beatles at EMI in 1963
For Langham, preserving the truth about what happened at Abbey Road is serious business. Any book on what happened within those walls, Langham told Kessler, "should be as correct as possible. And now dear Norman has gone, I am the only engineer left from this session."
Kessler, who was recently honored to have Bill Harry agree to write the foreword for Shivering Inside, is equally thrilled to be working with Langham. "One thing I've discovered about the real Beatles people - not those who 'want to be' or think they are - real Beatles people are generous, kind, and extremely giving. They want truth to be preserved rather than myths perpetuated.
"Bill Harry," Kessler commented, "recently wrote a commentary on the sample chapter from Shoulda Been There that is currently posted on my website - the chapter in which Stu was attacked after a concert. In his article, Harry discussed his beliefs about what really happened to Stu Sutcliffe at Lathom Hall, in an effort to set the record straight. So many years have passed since these events occurred and so many biographers have spread erroneous facts alongside the truth that it's difficult to separate tall tales from facts unless you are working hand-in-hand with someone who was actually there...and who values accuracy over 'a sensational story.' Both Bill Harry and Richard Langham are such men. I'm in their debt for helping me 'get it right.'"
Kessler's new book, Shivering Inside, is in pre-sale at ontherockbooks.com and includes an author-signed poster of the cover by acclaimed London photographer Jane Bown and San Diego artist, Vincent Vigil. The poster is deliverable immediately, and the book will be mailed to those reserving copies the first week in October, just in time for John's 70th birthday.
Published May 11, 2010