Peter Asher's "The Beatles from A to Zed": It could have been so much more

Peter Asher's "The Beatles from A to Zed": It could have been so much more

About five years ago I told a friend I was thinking about writing a book. He said, “About the Beatles?” I replied sarcastically, “Yeah, because that’s what the world needs. Another book about The Beatles.”

It’s impossible to pinpoint a number, but there are thousands, maybe in the tens of thousands, of books written on The Beatles. I found an author, Mark Lewisohn, who has written more than twenty by himself. So, yeah, the world really didn’t need another book about the Fab Four.

But yet, when I found out that Peter Asher was writing a Beatles book, I could help but to be excited. Here’s a guy who is a musical legend in his own right. He was the first name in the duo “Peter & Gordon.” He’s been a long time record producer and manager; working with illustrious names like Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and Cher. In fact, he was the one who brought Taylor to the attention of The Beatles and had him signed to his first record deal with Apple.

More importantly, Asher was around The Beatles before they hit it big. His sister, Jane, dated Paul McCartney for a couple of years. Sir Paul even occupied a room in the Asher household. Peter & Gordon’s biggest hit “A World Without Love” is a Lennon-McCartney written tune. He even has a weekly one-hour radio show on The Beatles.

You add all these things up and you have the makings for a legendary book. Sadly, we didn’t get that.

What we did get was an alphabetical look at The Beatles and their music. For each letter, he picked a song from all four of The Beatles and gave a quick review of why he thought it was great. Us Beatles fans didn’t really need that. I didn’t need a story on why the harmonica on “Love Me Do” is cool. We already know.

Sometimes there would be a story about the making of a record or the writing of a song. Other times he would take us behind the scenes of what life with The Beatles was really like. Those details were a lot more interesting. Here’s a guy who was there from the time the band was getting started, to when they hit it big in Europe and America, to the breakup of the band. He lived and was a part of those times. He knows the stories that we don’t know and would love to hear.

That’s why I was excited to read the book. That’s why I walked away disappointed.

I think Peter Asher has another book in him. In addition to the stories about The Beatles, he must have plenty others about his work with Ronstadt, Taylor, etc. Btw, did you know that he was the best man at Marianne Faithful’s wedding, in 1965. Now that’s a book I want to read. That’s a book I hope to read someday.

Related Post: The Beatles-Our lives were never the same

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