The Beatles (Pocket Biographies)

I bought The Beatles, from the Pocket Biographies series, over thirty years ago from a remainders store near Bloor and Bathurst in Toronto. I was familiar with this series as my library system had a dual biography about both Elvis Presley and the Beatles, and I roared with laughter when I took it out. The drawings inside are just awful. Could you tell that the guy who is second from the left in the oval on the front cover is supposed to be Paul McCartney? Inaccuracies abound, and I am not going to list most of them here, but it was easy to tell that the unnamed author was a decade off with this caption:

“In December, after The Beatles’ Christmas show, newspapers began calling their songs the best of 1973.”

The illustrator used a picture of two anonymous teenaged boys to represent John and Paul, and then used the same illustration one page later yet flipped their identities. I had to reread what each boy was saying to confirm that yes, this one was John and that one was Paul. After the Beatles rose to stardom John was often drawn with his round glasses years before he started to wear them.

I copied two pages of the shoddy drawings, captions and dialogue. I deliberately left the shadow in order to protect the book’s spine when I laid it flat to photocopy. It appears that John’s hairline has receded and Yoko resembles Sacheen Littlefeather more than a Japanese woman.

This book is not one to take seriously. I bought it to provide laughter and after thirty-plus years I decided to read it again. And I will be keeping it, for sure!

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