ALL YOU NEEDED WAS LOVE: The Beatles After the Beatles by John Blake

ALL YOU NEEDED WAS LOVE: The Beatles After the Beatles

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dreary, sensationalized gossip on the Beatles' breakup and their individual lives thereafter--with a generally pro-McCartney, anti-Lennon slant. (Blake's acknowledgments ""especially"" thank Paul, Linda, and Ringo.) Here, then, Lennon is the prime culprit in the messy breakup saga, ""staring murderously"" at Paul--who ""was still in love with the Beatles."" (Also, ""contrary to popular belief, he had long been stronger than John, more able."") And once the ""divorce"" is complete--Blake confusingly fractures the chronology in that 1967-1970 period--all four of the Beatles are followed through the Seventies, merry-go-round style, with dubiously documented details on their largely downhill careers. For John, of course, there is above all Yoko; they go through primal therapy together, share creative nihilism, fight savagely, split temporarily; John becomes ""a pawn in Jerry Rubin's game of radical politics,"" drinks heavily, has Immigration problems, rejoins Yoko for the birth of their son. Paul, meanwhile, labors to make good music with wife Linda and a new band (""With Wings, Paul now had the freedom to do all the things he would have done with the Beatles if John and George had not been so apathetic""); but then there's that drug arrest in Japan. Ringo does only so-so with solo albums, does better as an actor; he drinks, divorces, winds up with actress Barbara Bach. And George discovers the Krishna movement, does the Bangladesh benefit, loses wife Patti to super-druggie pal Eric Clapton, has solo hits but winds up in court for plagiarizing ""My Sweet Lord"". . . and is last seen loving motor-racing, new wife Olivia, and a new baby (""To George, the child was more precious than rubies""). The inevitable finale, of course: Lennon's murder, with each of the others hearing about it. Nowhere does Blake do anything more than piece interviews, news reports, and freeform hearsay together, with dramatizations that presume, unconvincingly, to know what was going through the Beatles' minds. And his soppy-lurid prose is wall-to-wall clichÉs: in a single half-page, for example, he manages to refer to ""deeper plumbing of their emotional depths"" and ""inner self"" and ""deepest, innermost feelings."" Fans-only reading on the sub-People, ""deepest, innermost"" level.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Perigee/Putnam