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Review: Special Collector’s Edition of Beatles first official book

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Ever wonder what The Beatles did on the day this picture was taken?
The Beatles "On Air: Live At The BBC Vol 2" Cover
This now famous photograph from the On Air – Live at the BBC, Volume 2 CD release is among the photos taken during The Beatles “Day in the Life” 1963 photo shoot featured in the new reissue of The Beatles’ first official book, Meet The Beatles: An Informal Date in Words and Personal Album Pictures.
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During this “day off” for The Beatles, they walked around London as virtually ordinary people – strolling around Soho, shopping at a local market, eating ice cream and sharing fruit with a few female fans. These photos can be distinguished from other Beatles photos since Paul is conspicuously wearing a sweater over his shirt and tie.
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It’s so “fab” and “gear” that a special 50th anniversary collector’s edition of Meet The Beatles has been reissued. Here we get a behind the scenes look at what life was like for The Beatles before they hit it big in America and became a global sensation.
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Meet The Beatles includes a personal introduction by The Beatles, while the rest of the 40-page photo-filled book was written by Beatles’ publicist Tony Barrow, the man who coined the phrase “The Fab Four.”
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The hardcover book is an exact reproduction of the original which was published as a magazine in 1963 by Souvenir Press. The book features black and white photos of The Beatles, many taken by Dezo Hoffmann. What has changed in the last 50 years is the price: originally costing two shillings and six pence in the UK, the price is now £10.
meetbeatlesbk-UK

Original 1963 edition

meetbeatlesbk-2015

50th anniversary reissue

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An interesting tidbit of Beatle history is how The Beatles were listed in the text as “George, John, Paul and Ringo” most likely due to alphabetical order, which surprisingly works for both their first and last names. However, when closing out their introduction (“Thanks a million all you Beatle People — you’re the gear”) their signatures are listed in the customary order of “John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr.”
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Amidst the entertaining “Beatletistics” of each individual member (George “favors smallish blondes”, John “dislikes traditional jazz and thick heads”,  Paul has “a strong liking for Kraft cheese slices”, and Ringo “dislikes onions, motor bikes and Chinese food”) and the many photos of The Beatles in their “Beatropolis,” (a.k.a. Merseyside) is a fascinating look at “A Day in the Life” of The Beatles in London in 1963.
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What Meet The Beatles reminds us is how down to earth The Beatles were. In their introduction, The Beatles respond to a frequently asked question: How has stardom changed you? The Beatles respond: “It HASN’T!” They continue to explain: “Luckily there are three other Beatles ready to sit on any one of us who may show signs of swelling of the bonce…”
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The original UK publication sold 1 million copies and was translated into several different languages. Here is the US version published in 1964.
meetbeatlesbk-USedition2
To get your copy of the Meet The Beatles 50th anniversary reissue, click here.
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One thought on “Review: Special Collector’s Edition of Beatles first official book

  1. Wonderful times indeed.Great memories,seems like only …..yesterday.