Hundreds of books have been written about The Beatles, ranging from biographies to critical analyses of their music to memoirs of individual Beatles, ex-wives, childhood friends and associates. Following are selected books on The Beatles available at one of the branches of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.
By Brian Bess
If any of the ex-Beatles thought after the band's breakup that they would be able to retire to a life of anonymity and seclusion they were sadly mistaken. In the forty-plus years since the breakup of the band, the individual members have continued to capture the eye of the public as well as the pens of journalists and tabloid hucksters. John Lennon had a knack for getting headlines but his murder in 1980 captured the biggest one, followed by a series of revisionist myths. George Harrison's attempt at a private life was the most successful although even then an almost successful attempt was made on his life in the privacy of his own home. After his death from cancer in 2001, his posthumous legacy has been subject to less debate and revisionism than John Lennon's but he still gets his share of attention, as recently as the Martin Scorsese-directed HBO film Living in the Material World from 2011. Paul McCartney continues to perform (to retire would be tantamount to suicide for him) and has co-written his autobiography. He seems determined to set the record straight while he is still here. All of his attempts simply generate more publicity and more debate pitting him against the myth of his former partner. Ringo Starr also must continue to perform. His lovable public persona generally deflects scandal-mongering and he seems content to embody the myth of the Beatles through a 'Beatles Lite' approach.
Following is a small sample of biographies of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, all available at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.
By Brian Bess