Harry Hill on five of the best books about The Beatles
The comedian Harry Hill on his favourite books about the Fab Four
By Harry Hill
06 Nov 2012
I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was 12, after a kid at school lent me his brother’s 7in single of Can’t Buy Me Love/You Can’t Do That – I’ve still got it.
Michael Braun’s Love Me Do! The Beatles’ Progress (1964) was the first book written about “The Boys”, following them around on tour for six weeks in 1963. The group gaily eff and blind – Braun seems to have got in there before they were completely polished up.
The Beatles (1968) by Hunter Davies is actually the only authorised biography of the Fabs. He had a lot of access and stayed in touch with them after so it’s a bit “official”, but it bowls along and has some nice domestic detail.
Tony Bramwell, who wrote Magical Mystery Tours: My Life With the Beatles (2005), grew up with them and was their PR man among other things. There are some nice anecdotes, like when he gave Ravi Shankar a standing ovation – not realising that he had just been tuning up.
I only read You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle for the Soul of the Beatles (2009) by Peter Doggett recently, a book which follows the band’s break-up and subsequent legal battles. It surprised me at the end how they managed to remain friendly privately while filing various lawsuits. Liam Gallagher has bought the film rights apparently and I put my hat in the ring to play John.
Finally, there’s Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties (1994) by Ian MacDonald. Basically you're not a bona fide Beatles fan unless you’ve got this book, which takes apart the catalogue song by song.
Harry Hill’s 'A Complete History of Tim (the Tiny Horse)’ (Faber, £7.99) is out now
John Lennon Paul McCartney George Harrison and Ringo Starr pose on the set of Top of Pops before The Beatles first ever live per...B5034R Photo: Alamy