In a new book, an insider offers a firsthand look at the Beatles. Here are a few takeaways.
Peter Asher is more than qualified to take us on a journey through the Beatles’ many songs and adventures. He’s a longtime friend of the band, and in the late ’60s was a producer for the Beatles’ Apple label, signing such talents as James Taylor. He’s been producing stars ever since and recently hosted SiriusXM’s radio show about the Fab Four, “From Me to You.” Though hardcore Beatles fans won’t find much that’s terribly surprising about the band in Asher’s new book, “The Beatles from A to Zed,” the writer and producer excels at excavating details and connections that sparkle and entertain.
Adopting Asher’s alphabetical format, here are some delightful — and less-than-delightful — takeaways from Asher’s book. (Space limitations kept me from including the full alphabet.)
A: A is for Abbey Road Studios. It was originally known as EMI Recording Studios and was inaugurated by Sir Edward Elgar, England’s famous classical composer who wrote that school graduation grind, “Pomp and Circumstance.” A is also for allusions. In James Taylor’s song “Carolina in My Mind, he mentions “the holy host of others standing around me.” That “holy host,” Asher reveals, is the Beatles. The title of Paul McCartney’s song “Queenie Eye” alludes to a Liverpool street game, but Asher, a well-off Londoner, has never heard of it. (One point for working-class Liverpool.)