The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write: The Story Behind Every Song

Sara Pisak, Opinion Editor

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This Sunday television networks will broadcast The 57th Annual Grammy Awards. In celebration of The Grammy Awards, I decided to explore Steve Turner’s book, The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write: The Story Behind Every Song. Although, The Beatles do not hold the record for most Grammy Awards of all time as that honor belongs to Hungarian conductor, Sir Georg Solti with 31 awards, the band’s lasting impact on song writing deserves to be applauded.

I have to admit that I am not a Beatles aficionado. I am more of a causal fan, even though upon reflection, I know almost all of the lyrics to The Beatles’ songs. However, I am a fan of music of this time period including such greats as James Taylor and Carole King. The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write possess not only a “puntastic” and catchy title but the book itself seems to be a must have for Beatles fans everywhere. The subtitle is not lying when it states: “The Story Behind Every Song.” Readers are treated to the inner most workings of one of the most prolific song writing duo, Lennon and McCartney.

The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write is graphically perfect. Each page contains well known color photography of some of the most famous pictures of the group. While other pages, introduce the reader to non-widely published photography. Either way, the book visually offers readers quite a feast for their eyes. A diehard fan would love to relive, through the use of photography enclosed in the book, the band at the pinnacle of their career.

When it comes to the story behind every song, the book also delivers. I believe it is safe to assume that hard-core fans of the group would know most of the details Turner elaborates upon. However, as somewhat of a novice, I was enlightened as to several of the inspirations behind some of the group’s most popular tunes.

Upon opening the pages of this text, the reader may be fascinated to learn that The Beatles hit song, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” is not about an LSD fueled fantasy as often suspected. Instead, the song has an innocent motivation. This song is based on a drawing young Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son, drew of his classmate Lucy O’Donnell. Furthermore, I was unaware that Paul wrote The Beatles song, “She’s Leaving Home” when he read a news story covering Melanie Coe, a teenager who ran away from home in 1967.

There is a downside to accumulating all of this pop culture knowledge, within Turner’s text. Although the book delivers on splendid visuals and the inspiration behind every song, the reader must trample through several errors. As the book fights to keep a perfectly square text box on every page, the editor does so by creating many uneven spacing errors. The play this creates on one’s eyes can almost be forgiven in the name of artistic style, if the text did not contain other errors. In addition to spacing and paragraphing errors, the typographical error “he” appears where the word “be” should be employed. As an English Major, it does not get much better than discovering an error in a written text. Sadly, The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write certainly fulfills this dream. When it comes to this text, the cliché six of one, half a dozen of the other applies. I enjoyed this book as it places into perspective the songwriting of two of the most adept musicians of all time. However, the question remains. Can the reading public overlook the typographical blunders in order to cure their case of “BeatleMania?”

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