The Beat Reader



With the absurd number of Beatles-related tomes available — lists 23,435 books alone — it's hard to imagine that there's anything left to write about the Fabs that could be deemed even remotely "secret."

Don't tell that to co-author Geoffrey Giuliano; the man has cranked out enough Beatles volumes to choke a herd of buffalo, if they ate such things. He's responsible for 35 works, mainly on the group, and has been accused of sensationalism, at best, by critics and Beatle wives Yoko and Olivia Harrison.

What Giuliano offers here is a basic re-hashing of the band's saga; depending on how much you've read on the group, it's either interesting or a steaming load of yawn. And, if you've read a lot (as this reviewer has), the "secrets" are questionable indeed.

Lennon once worked at "the airport" where he wrapped sandwiches, adding spit, dirt, and, yes, semen to the mix. Huh? An organist performed "Yesterday" at Paul's dad's wedding in November 1964. The song wasn't released until the following year. Lennon's grandfather toured the States in a group called the Kentucky Minstrels.

One bit of believable beauty: The eggman was one Jerry Furman, who delivered eggs to the Lennon household in the early '50s. Why not stick him in "I Am the Walrus"?

"Furman was a very private bloke," reads the Lennon quote. "I mean, shit, Paul was fair game. He'd adjusted to the public. Furman's gig was eggs, just eggs ...God, I wanted his job!"

Peter Gilstrap is a freelance writer. Send comments to