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Reference Library: Lewisohn and his Bible

Newsgroups: rec.music.beatles
From: dlm3@midway.uchicago.edu (saki)
Subject: Re: Who is Lewisohn?
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 19:30:33 GMT

Previously, M L Gilbert (aiamktg@sprynet.com) wrote:

Sorry to bring this up again, but I guess what I really wanted to know is - What makes HIM so special? Why did he get to "hear almost every second of every Beatles recording" as opposed to any one else? Is he part of some inner circle of friends, or did he work for the Beatles at any time?

Lewisohn worked with EMI/Abbey Road Studios (I'm not sure it's accurate to say he worked *for* them, since it's unclear who paid him for his research) to finish a cataloguing project of all Beatles-related recordings at Abbey Road. The project was begun by engineer John Barrett, who died before he could complete it.

Lewisohn's credientials were impressive, and he was the only natural candidate for the job. He'd won at least one major Beatles-trivia contest in the early eighties; worked as a research assistant for Philip Norman; and had a day-job as an accountant at the BBC (perhaps this was good training for accuracy. :-)

Lewisohn approached the project much as he did in his own first book, "The Beatles Live!" which was an impeccably researched tome on the Fabs' live performances. What made his work so notable was his reliance on documents and verifiable information to build a comprehensive history of the Fabs on stage. He used this approach for "The Beatles Recording Sessions", the book he completed while working with EMI on the Beatles' session material, and included much heretofore-unseen documentation and session notation.

Lewisohn continued to improve upon this book with "The Complete Beatles Chronicle", an amalgam of "Live!" and "Recording Sessions", with corrections as needed.

He's not perfect---he slips up occasionally---but Lewisohn's works are among the most dependable sourcebooks in the field.

Lewisohn was also asked to work on historical documentation for the "Anthology" projects, and is generally called upon whenever the Fabs or Abbey Road needs further research or verification of session material.

"Everywhere I go I hear it said in the good and
the bad books that I have read".
saki (dlm3@midway.uchicago.edu)

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