April 06, 2006 articleWon’t You Please Help Me?
The life and death of the Beatles.
By Timothy M. Thibodeau Disbanding the Band
The demise of the Beatles, recounted with mind-numbing detail in the closing chapters of the book, seems less surprising and more inevitable in Spitz's reconstruction. In fact, given the perpetual conflict, chronic drug abuse, and chaos that engulfed the band, we can only wonder how they endured for so long. The Beatles were great songwriters and performers but had no aptitude for the business end of Beatlemania. As Spitz notes, they were the victims of a number of bungled business deals and scams that resulted from the shortcomings of their all-too-distracted manager, Brian Epstein. His grooming of the Beatles when he "discovered" them in the Cavern Club paved the way for unimaginable success.
But Epstein's bumbling through the terra incognita of celebrity of such magnitude was compromised by his own inner turmoil. A life-long homosexual (when such behavior was both scandalous and illegal), Epstein, like Lennon, fell into a downward, inward spiral just as the Beatles phenomenon had hit a dramatic crescendo. His own self-destructive and hedonistic behavior, which paralleled Lennon's, culminated in death by a drug overdose at the age of 32. If only he had found the equivalent of a Yoko Ono to pull him back from the abyss.
The Beatles never recovered from their manager's death. As Lennon later declared, when Brian died, "I knew we'd had it." Their brilliant producer, George Martin, continued to work his magic in the studio with the band members (his magnificent production of Abbey Road is perhaps his greatest achievement), but he invested little emotional or spiritual capital in his personal relationship with them. He clearly admired them as musicians but not as people. In aggressively attempting to fill the gaping hole left by the loss of Brian, Paul only generated more strife among the band members. Critics panned his disastrous television project, Magical Mystery Tour, and another of his ill-fated schemes, the movie Let it Be, unwittingly became an embarrassing archive of the band's demise. Even Paul admitted, years later, that he had crafted the "Beatles' break-up on film." http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/thibodeau200604060625.asp
---The sentence that made me almost break out in tears was,
"If only he had found the equivalent of a Yoko Ono to pull him back from the abyss."