100 Things Beatles Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die By Gillian G. Gaar Triumph Books, 256 pp., $14.95
It's a good thing that we are living longer these days as a human species, because given the glut of books about movies to see, music to hear, art to view, books to read, and places to visit with the subtitle "Before You Die" is only getting longer.
This nifty little tome by music author/journalist Gaar (She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll) doesn't break any new ground from the hundreds of books on the Fabs or have a lot of content not gleaned from other sources.
But it does serve as a pretty compact and comprehensive look at the career and lives of the Beatles, with enough general info that skips through times and topics for the casual fan, and enough nuggets to keep the hardcore at least passingly interested.
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Like the name of the other band booked for the church fete where John first met Paul on July 6, 1957 was the George Edwards Band. Or the first recorded Beatles lyric was not on a Beatles record, but on a 1961 disc by Adam Faith.
Or that they appeared 52 times on 16 different programs playing 257 songs live on the BBC. Or that the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band is peforming the song "Death Cab for Cutie" in Magical Mystery Tour during the stripper scene.
There are also sections that give a good guide to Beatles-related sites for tourists (with info on additional resources) heading to Liverpool, London, and Hamburg.
By distilling five decades of Beatles lore, stories, and facts into one volume, Gaar has done a service for fans of all stripes.