It’s so “fab” and “gear” that a special collector’s edition of Meet The Beatles: An Informal Date in Words and Personal Album Pictures has been reissued. Here we get a behind the scenes look at what life was like for The Beatles before they hit it big in America and became a global sensation.
Meet The Beatles includes a personal introduction by The Beatles, while the rest of the 40-page photo-filled book was written by Beatles’ publicist Tony Barrow, the man who coined the phrase “The Fab Four.”
The hardcover book is an exact reproduction of the original which was published as a magazine in 1963 by Souvenir Press. The book features black and white photos of The Beatles, many taken by photographer Dezo Hoffmann. What has changed in the last 50 years is the price: originally costing two shillings and six pence in the UK, the price is now £10.
An interesting tidbit of Beatles history is how The Beatles were listed in the text as “George, John, Paul and Ringo” most likely due to alphabetical order, which surprisingly works for both their first and last names. However, when closing out their introduction (“Thanks a million all you Beatle People — you’re the gear”) their signatures are listed in the customary order of “John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr.”
Amidst the entertaining “Beatletistics” of each individual member (George “favors smallish blondes”, John “dislikes traditional jazz and thick heads”, Paul has “a strong liking for Kraft cheese slices”, and Ringo “dislikes onions, motor bikes and Chinese food”) and the many photos of The Beatles in their “Beatropolis,” (a.k.a. Merseyside) is a fascinating look at “A Day in the Life” of The Beatles in London in 1963.
A now famous photograph that appears on the cover of the recent On Air – Live at the BBC, Volume 2 CD release is among the photos taken during The Beatles “Day in the Life” photo shoot. During this “day off” for The Beatles, they walked around London as virtually ordinary people – strolling around Soho, shopping at a local market, eating ice cream and sharing fruit with a few female fans.
What Meet The Beatles reminds us is how down to earth The Beatles were. In their introduction, The Beatles respond to a frequently asked question: How has stardom changed you? The Beatles respond: “It HASN’T!” They continue to explain: “Luckily there are three other Beatles ready to sit on any one of us who may show signs of swelling of the bonce…”
The original UK publication sold 1 million copies and was translated into several different languages. A US version was published in 1964.