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Author Craig Brown will step back in time to discuss his award-winning book marking 50 years of the breakup of The Beatles during an online event hosted by Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) for Essex Book Festival.

Brown will talk to the BBC’s Tony Fisher about his work, 1 2 3 4: The Beatles In Time, an odyssey of the band’s days from The Cavern Club to the Port of Harwich where they set sail for Hamburg to play ninety-two days consecutively without a break, to 1o April 1970 – the day Paul McCartney issued a press statement stating he was to go his own way.

“1-2-3-4 The Beatles in Time”, a kaleidoscopic mix of party lists, diaries, autobiography, anecdotes, diaries and fan letters, 1 2 3 4 not only captures the inner world of The Beatles, but also the wider world of the era: The Swinging Sixties, the Women’s Lib Movement, Mary Quant’s mini-skirts and Audrey Hepburn’s iconic beehive, plus the explosion of new writers, artists, musicians, including the likes of Andy Warhol, Alan Sillitoe and The Kinks.

It also provides tantalising insights into others who played a pivotal part in The Beatles story, such as John Lennon’s Aunt Mimi, his father Fred Lennon, The Maharishi, Yoko Ono, Brian Epstein, Phil Spector, and Mohammad Ali.

The book “1-2-3-4 The Beatles in Time” won the Baillie Gifford Award 2020, and was named a book of the year by The Spectator, the Sunday Times and the Telegraph.

Laura Scarle, Public Engagement Officer at ARU, said:
“We’re delighted to be teaming up once again with the Essex Book Festival this year and this event promises to be a real treat for those of us for whom The Beatles represents something special in our lives.”



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Adventures of a Teenage Beatles Fan in the ’60s and Beyond. Forewords by authors Richard Buskin and Lesley-Ann Jones.
David Stark is a London-based music industry veteran, a lifelong drummer, who has been a big Beatles fan since first
hearing “Please Please Me” at the age of ten in 1963. He was lucky enough to meet all members of the group during the 1960s and beyond, which this highly accessible new book relates in great detail, thanks to its author’s vivid recollection of every encounter related in it.
David’s most famous exploit happened inJuly 1968 when, thanks to a mixture of sheer luck and “chutzpah”, he managed to gatecrash the premiere of the “Yellow Submarine” film and sit directly behind Paul McCartney and the entire group, while throughout the late ’60s, and well into the ’70s and beyond, he continued to bump into all members of the Fab Four on various memorable occasions.
“IT’S ALL TOO MUCH” makes for totally fascinating reading for Beatles and pop music fans of all ages. It features many untold stories about David’s amazing exploits with the Fab Four, which started in early 1965 when he saw them playing live at Hammersmith Odeon. One year later, at the age of 13 in April 1966, he was outside EMI Studios on Abbey Road when he was suddenly accosted by John Lennon, who was being chauffeur-driven in his Rolls Royce at the time. Being told off by the chief Beatle without even saying a word to him was a bizarre moment David has never forgotten!
However, 1968 was the year in which David’s Beatles encounters really got into gear. Apart from sitting behind the
group at the Yellow Submarine premiere – with a little help from Keith Richards – he was also photographed behind Lennon when he and Yoko arrived at Marylebone Magistrates Court for their infamous drug bust in October. A couple of months later,David was present at the Rolling Stones’ legendary “Rock & Roll Circus” film shoot at which John Lennon was one of the star performers, playing his first-ever show without the Beatles.

David also won a pair of tickets to the Beatles’ planned TV concert in late 1968, which never happened as they eventually decided to play their famous finale show on Apple’s rooftop in January 1969 instead. As a result of this, David (still a schoolboy) was officially invited to the “Let It Be” premiere in 1970, although the group had broken up by then so didn’t attend. 1970 was also the year in which David and a pal decided to go to Ringo’s then-home in Hampstead, north-west London, to ask him out for a drink. As well as Ringo, this hilarious encounter also involves Lulu, Maurice Gibb and Eric Clapton in an unbelievable tale which just couldn’t be made up.
Some of David’s other remarkable encounters recounted in the book include:

  • David’s other career as a drummer, who played with The Quarrymen on once occasion; toured Europe with John Lennon Experience; and still plays with the Trembling Wilburys tribute band.
  • How David organised a Blue Plaque for the late Brian Epstein at his old offices next to the London Palladium in 2014, and how he was part of the small team which successfully erected a Blue Plaque for the Beatles at 3 Savile Row in 2019 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the rooftop concert.
  • How David has a long-standing involvement with LIPA, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, of which Sir Paul
    McCartney is the Lead Patron. In 2006 David was inducted as a “Companion of LIPA” for his work with songwriting students.
  • Meeting John, Paul, George and Ringo on many other occasions at some very special events.
  • Meeting John’s legendary Aunt Mimi in Dorset just months after her famous nephew was murdered, and how she told him that John had visited her in secret.
  • A chapter dedicated to Sir George Martin whom David knew well, and how he was invited to take a photograph at the legendary Beatles’ producer’s final recording session at AIR Studios in 2000.
  • David’s career in the music business which started at Premier Drums, Dick James Music and Decca Records, before he eventually moved into the press side of the industry and ended up launching SongLink International, the acclaimed resource used by songwriters, composers and music publishers worldwide.
    As David says, “I was a total Beatles nut from the time I first heard “Please Please Me” on the BBC’s “Pick of the Pops” chart show at the age of 10 in 1963. Following this I soon started my many Beatles scrapbooks which I kept going right through the ’60s and still have. I only saw the group playing live on one occasion but was lucky enough to meet them at various times thanks to my perseverance, sheer cheek and “chutzpah”,i.e. making my own luck.
    The book has been getting many rave reviews on Amazon along with a four-star review in Record Collector magazine (May 2021). This is a Beatles book unlike any other, which follows their remarkable journey through the eyes of a fan who was lucky enough to meet them on many occasions.
    What they are saying about “It’s All Too Much”:”Of all the Beatles books I have read this year, this one is the best” (British Beatles Fan Club review)”David was there and tells his stories in a most readable way”,”One of the best Beatles fan books you will ever read”,”Essential reading for all Beatles fans”,”Thank you David Stark for a truly amazing book!”,”Simply the best Beatles book to have come out in years.” In addition, the book features over 100 photographs from David’s personal collection and other sources, including some of his prized memorabilia items. Signed copies still available for £14.99 / $19.99 + P&P. Also available on Amazon (Kindle)and as an Audiobook. ISBN: 978-1-8380708-16.Published by This Day In Music Books


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One-Two-Three-Four: The Beatles in Time by award-winning author Craig Brown.
ONE-two-three-four is such a clever title from a very clever writer.
The musical ‘count in’ is used by musicians the world over and the Beatles were no exception from Hamburg’s seedy clubs to The Cavern … and from the Liverpool Empire to the Hollywood Bowl to the final goodbye on the Apple rooftop.
It also sums up the four unique individuals who loved each other and together became the greatest band the world has known.
This Beatle book with a difference by Craig Brown was released in hardback to mark 50 years since the group split in April, 1970.

Now Craig’s a paperback writer as the book is receiving favourable reviews all over again.It’s been the ideal ‘must read’ during lockdown and is a Sunday times best seller .
He is on a Beatle pilgrimage of sorts allowing us to thumb a lift with them on the long and winding road of anecdotes
Craig is the master of re-telling a tale: author of 18 books; a critic for national newspapers and broadcaster he has also been a columnist for Private Eye magazine for 32 years.
For his latest tome he has already won one major literary prize – The Baillie Gifford Award for his multi-layered account of the Fabs in all their glory.
It is certainly a refreshing take on the Beatles story peppered with humour, poignancy and some never-heard-before revelations.
In a recent interview Craig, 62, said the whole Beatle story is “endlessly fascinating”.
He added: ”There’s a sociological backdrop, the curious phenomenon of fandom – the array of intesrting weirdos in their orbit. ”The book is 600 pages but could have been ten times the length.”Craig regards exhaustive chronological biographies as “boring.”
So he does not offer day-by-day account but skips in and out of the magical history story with brief chapters here, there and everywhere sitting alongside more in-depth analysis.
There are 150 chapters in all and more than 50 illustrations.
Beatles fans are used to new films and book biographies emerging every year but this one stands out for originality.
Craig uses a vast amount of source material as shown in the seven pages of acknowledgements.

One Two Thee Four: The Beatles in Time (Paperback)
Get your copy Here. and Here.