There is a lot in this letter that I would advise you to read.
I've been through a few libraries lately, looking for books on The Beatles. Yours happened to stick out on the shelf. I have already had experience reading Beatle bios and it is not a pleasant task. I mean to say that it is pleasant reading about a band that I love, but what infuriates me is that when I pick out a book, most, not all, of the time it is a very trashy, stupid work of fiction with a few facts scattered here and there. After reading the most ridiculous book about them recently, I started to approach others warily. I wanted to be receptive, but I've found that when I am, the stupid filth gets in under my nails, making me arise to wash my hands. What does any of this have to do with you? Well, sir, you wrote a book several years ago, which you probably know; I'm a Writer myself and I know what I've written. But there is a difference between Writers and writers, in case you were wondering about the "unnecessary capitalization." A writer is someone who churns out material, carelessly, just writing in the stodgiest meaning of writing. A Writer is a Dreamer (I will not explain the capitalization here), an artist in words both beautiful and cutting. It is also possible that a Writer may not be a Dreamer, but most are. Examples: L.M. Montgomery, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, C.S. Lewis...you get the picture. I am very angry at your writing in your book, the crap you wrote about the Four. You might say maybe I'm ticked because you wrote the truth and that wasn't what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear a candy-coated version of their lives. That is utterly false. In the TRUE things I've read, I have found what I wanted. Barry Miles is a good Writer on The Beatles and Paul McCartney, having been Paul's friend since 1965 to the present and a good friend of The Beatles in the Sixties. You do not know them, yet you come across as an authority on them. The new Mark Lewisohn! Maybe that isn't what you meant to come across as, and I must admit that your book and the other works of other authors are very interesting, except that they are also enraging, leave a bad taste in the reader's mouth, and "tell as gospel" known rumours. You said so yourself, you knew them only as a reporter and a star, but you divulge into their lives as something else. I know I am probably being very unfair, but instead of the even more scathing, child-like angry letter I was going to write, I am giving you a more stately, refined, though more cutting letter.
One of the things that seems hard to avoid in Beatle biographies---of the group and solo---is that everyone has a favourite Beatle and insists on trashing the others (very unfairly, I might add). But what they have in store for "their boy" is "damning with faint praise." Praise and ludicrous, exaggerated things are inter-mingled and that destroys the praise. I am not trying to say, however, that you should pick between damning them or exalting them to the skies. It is just that the way it is mixed together is---well, you figure it out because it's beyond adjectives.
Copyright 1999: Lissa Michelle Supler/StrawberrySunshine
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