10 Best Beatles Books

Dishy tell-alls, fact-crammed studio logs and more essential Fab Four literature

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'Lennon Remembers,' by Jann S. Wenner

5. 'Lennon Remembers,' by Jann S. Wenner

The Beatles have just ended, and Rolling Stone founder Wenner sits down with Lennon for a confessional that doubles as harsh attack, soul purging, study in how songs came to be, and, in the end, a kind of lament for something that was the defining journey of a life, which would never come close to being replicated. Lennon is more hurt than angry, one senses, as he lobs stones at the stained-glass windows of Beatledom. Ironically, for all of the bashing, the book presents McCartney as the Beatles' most talented member, reflecting a respect that Lennon clearly feels. He tells you – not always correctly – who wrote what, song-wise. But beyond the hurt feelings and foggy memories is a clarity of thought that emerges almost despite the man himself. As he says: "And the thing about rock and roll, good rock and roll, whatever good means, etc., ha-ha, and all that shit, is that it's real. And realism gets through to you, despite yourself. You recognize something in it which is true, like all true art." Hear, hear.

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