Book Review: You Never Give Me Your Money

You Never Give Me Your Money
By Peter Doggett
Published by Harper
Review copy supplied by publisher
ISBN 10: 0061774464
ISBN 13 978 0061774461

Review by Lynn Loper

I remember reading a ‘making of the film story about Raging Bull years ago. Martin Scorsese said he put the comedian scene in first, because everybody knew that De Niro had put on a lot of weight for that part of the movie, and he wanted them to get the fat man out of their minds and watch the movie.

The prologue of “You Never Give Me Your Money” lays out the book for you. Time, death, lost hope, tangled relationships, pain. For some reason, it took me three days to get through it. Am I still that much of a Beatlemaniac? Probably. I still can’t sit still watching “A Hard Day’s Night.” I want to scream.

After that, it’s a well-written, densely researched, humane and absorbing book about the Beatles as a business entity, how their personal relationships became inexorably linked with the business, how they changed and warped and aged. About the women in the picture, and the managers, and the hangers-on and producers. The author has used his own interviews as well as he wealth of other Beatles material available, and although nobody ever got any of the four people most involved to sit down and say “Here is how it all happened”, you don’t feel any gaps in the story. You want to find out what’s going to happen next, even if we all know.

About those things we all know: watch out for page 270. Explicit anatomical details of John’s death. I could have lived without that. But it’s my only objection to the book, which fills in the details of the Beatles aside from their girls and songs and fights. Necessary, if sometimes painful, details. Life is full of those, and so is this book.