Insider Has New Book, Based on Interviews With The Beatles and Their Inner Circle

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A Beatles insider has teamed once again with an author on a new book that offers previously unpublished interviews that they conducted with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, their families, friends and business associates. A preview, published online by The New York Times on April 1, 2024, offers negative comments made by Harrison and McCartney about Lennon just weeks before his murder. The collaborative book, All You Need Is Love: An Oral History of The Beatles, comes from Peter Brown, the former COO of Apple Corps Ltd., and Steven Gaines. It arrived April 9, 2024, via St. Martin’s Press and is available for order in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here.

The 352-page All You Need Is Love is described as “a groundbreaking oral history… comprised of intimate interviews that were conducted by the pair in 1980-1981 during the preparation of their international bestseller, The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of The Beatles, which spent four months on the New York Times bestseller list in 1983. [The earlier title is available here.]

More from the publisher’s announcement: Only a small portion of the contents of these transcribed interviews have ever been revealed. The new title also includes interviews that Brown and Gaines conducted with ex-wives Cynthia Lennon, Pattie Harrison, and Maureen Starkey, as well as the major social and business figures of the Beatles’ inner circle. Among other sought-after information the interviews contribute definitively as to why the Beatles broke up.

Brown was a Beatles intimate since their earliest days in Liverpool. Their passports were locked in his desk drawer. He was best man at John and Yoko’s wedding, and introduced McCartney to Linda Eastman. He was mentioned in a Beatles song, “Peter Brown called to say, you can make it okay, you can marry in Gibraltar near Spain,” from the “Ballad of John and Yoko.”

Of those that have accused Brown of misleading the Beatles and their associates of his intentions for the interviews from decades ago, he told the New York Times in an interview published on April 1, 2024, “There was never any effort on my part to make it negative and nobody’s ever questioned that it was true.”

The Times reporter, Ben Sisario, had reached out to Brown in 2021 to comment about the Peter Jackson film, The Beatles: Get Back. It was only then that Brown, now 87, realized that he was one of the last remaining witnesses to important Beatles history. “The only people left are Paul and Ringo and me,” he told Sisario.

“The publication of The Love You Make four decades ago,” wrote Sisario, “also made him a kind of villain. According to Brown, the band agreed to interviews to set the record straight about its history. Yet the book — primarily written by Gaines, a journalist and biographer known for detailed, warts-and-all portraits — was seen as tawdry and sensational.

“To the band and many of those around them, it was seen as a betrayal,” wrote Sisario. “Paul McCartney accused Brown of misleading him by pitching it as a more general book about music in the 1960s.”

Sisario quoted a comment from the book by McCartney to Brown about Lennon and Ono from an interview just weeks before Lennon’s murder in December 1980. “The way to get their friendship is to do everything the way they require it,” he says. “I know that if I… just do everything like they say and laugh at all their jokes and don’t expect my jokes to ever get laughed at,” he adds, “if I’m willing to do all that, then we can be friends.”

The Times writer also referenced Brown’s interview with Harrison at around the same time in which he calls Lennon “a piece of [expletive]” and wonders why he had “become so nasty.”

Gaines is the author of Heroes & Villains: The True Story of the Beach Boys. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Times, and New York magazine, where he was a contributing editor for 12 years.

Related: Beatles insider Mal Evans was the subject of a full-length biography in 2023

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  1. Batchman
    #1 Batchman 19 June, 2023, 16:37

    Not to be confused with the Pete Brown who recently died, Jack Bruce’s lyric-writing partner.

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