Mark Lewisohn

Historian

Mark LewisohnMark Lewisohn is the acknowledged world authority on the Beatles. His books include the bestselling and influential Recording SessionsThe Complete Beatles Chronicle and (as co-author) The Beatles' London.

The world's only professional Beatles historian, he was consultant and researcher for all aspects - TV, DVDs, CDs and book - of the Beatles' own Anthology and has been involved in numerous other projects for them, as well as independent works.

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The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1 – Tune In

The Beatles have been in our lives for half a century and surely always will be. Still, somehow, their music excites, their influence resonates, their fame sustains. New generations find and love them, and while many other great artists come and go, the Beatles are proving beyond eclipse.

So who really were these people, and just how did it all happen?

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Q&A with Mark Lewisohn

Get the inside view on Tune In ... 

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'We know everything there is to know about the Beatles, so what else can possibly be written?' People say that all the time and I don't agree with it for a second.

Tune In some more ...

 Tune In US Edition
My US and UK publishers have TUNE IN websites with unique content

UK: Little, Brown thebeatlesbiography.com LIVE

USA: Crown Archetype tuneinbook.com LIVE

The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1 – Tune In

The Beatles have been in our lives for half a century and surely always will be. Still, somehow, their music excites, their influence resonates, their fame sustains. New generations find and love them, and while many other great artists come and go, the Beatles are proving beyond eclipse.

So who really were these people, and just how did it all happen?

'The Beatles Story' is everywhere: all over the internet, written in hundreds of books, taught in schools and shown on the side of cereal boxes. Told wrong from early on, rehashed in every possible way, and routinely robbed of its context – its extraordinary adventure, excitement and exceptional newness – this is a phenomenal event in all our lives that's in urgent need of a bright, new approach. In his series All These Years, Mark Lewisohn – the world-recognised Beatles historian – presses the Refresh button to relate the entire story as it's never been told or known before. Here is a full and accurate biography-history at last. It is certain to become the lasting word.

Tune In is book one of three, exploring and explaining a period that is by very definition the lesser-known Beatles: the formative pre-fame years, the teenage years, the Liverpool and Hamburg years ... in many ways the most absorbing and incredible period of them all. The Beatles come together in this book, all their originality, attitudes, style, speed, charisma, looks, appeal, personalities, daring and honesty, the tools with which they're about to reshape the world. It's the Beatles in their own time, an amazing story of the ultimate rock band, a focused and colourful telling that builds, builds and builds some more, to leave four sharp lads from Liverpool on the very brink of a whole new kind of fame, a white hot and ever-royal celebrity.

Using impeccable research and resources, Tune In is a magisterial work, an independent biography that packs energy, clarity, objectivity, authority and insight. The text is anti-myth, and tight and commanding like the Beatles themselves – the reader is kept ever at the heart of the action, in among all the incisive characters and moments.

Here is the Beatles story as it really was. Throw away what you think you know and start afresh.

Buy Tune In 

Want to know more about the book? Read the Q&A

Buy Tune In

TRADE EDITION as published in the UK 

BOOK 

From Amazon in UK – buy here

From Amazon in Japan – buy here 

From Little, Brown in UK – buy here

E-BOOK

From Amazon in UK – buy here  

From Amazon in Japan – buy here

AUDIO BOOK 

Introduction and Prologue read by Mark Lewisohn;
all remaining chapters read by Clive Mantle.

From Amazon in UK First Half - buy here

From Amazon in UK Second Half - buy here

 

TRADE EDITION as published in the USA 

BOOK

From Amazon in USA – buy here 

From Amazon in Canada – buy here 

From Amazon in Japan – buy here

E-BOOK 

From Amazon in USA – buy here 

From Amazon in Canada – buy here

From Amazon in Japan – buy here

AUDIO BOOK 

From audible.com USA Complete - buy here

From audible.com USA First Half - buy here

From audible.com USA Second Half - buy here

 

EXTENDED SPECIAL EDITION as published in the UK 

BOOK

From Amazon in UK – buy here  

From Amazon in Japan – buy here 

E-BOOK 

From Amazon in UK (this is part 1 of 2; part 2 available soon) – buy here 

From Amazon in Japan (part 1) – buy here 

From Amazon in Japan (part 2) – buy here  

The Beatles: All These Years, Volume 1 – Tune In Extended Special Edition

Tune In Special Edition

Amazon text:

This extended special edition of Mark Lewisohn's magisterial book Tune In is a true collectors' item, featuring hundreds of thousands of words of extra material, as well as many extra photographs. It is the complete, uncut and definitive biography of the Beatles' early years, from their family backgrounds through to the moment they're on the cusp of their immense breakthrough at the end of 1962.

Designed, printed and bound in Great Britain, this high-quality edition consists of two beautifully produced individual hardbacks printed on New Langely Antique Wove woodfree paper, with red-and-white head and tail bands and red ribbon marker. The two books will sit within a specially designed box and lid featuring soft touch and varnish finishes. The whole product comes shrinkwrapped for extra protection.

 

Mark Lewisohn adds:

I'm meant to be producing 250,000 words for each of the three volumes, but, as soon as I began writing the first, I knew it would probably sail by its limit. I decided to carry on writing what I felt the story could deliver and take it where I felt it needed to go ... and when finally I finished, three years later, I'd written 780,000.

To their great credit, Little, Brown (my UK publisher: round of applause genuinely deserved) said they wanted to issue the whole thing, all 780,000 words, as a premium-edition item. However, I still had to create a mainstream book (which we've called the trade edition), because a 1700-page tome would deter the casual buyer. I spent three further months picking apart the full version's intricately-woven tapestry, reducing the word-count and then stitching it back together again to leave no holes. Everything is still present, just without some layers of depth and perception.

This is how we've ended up with two different products: the 960-page book (October 2013) and the 1728-page monster (November 2013). It's everything I wrote, and I'm very proud of it. More to the point, I'm happy with both books. 

 Buy Tune In 

Want to know more about the book? Read the Q&A

Mark LewisohnMark Lewisohn was born on 16 June 1958 in London NW9, to parents Jo and Philip. He went to Glebe Primary School in nearby Kenton, and – after his family relocated in 1969 – to Pinner Grammar School. He worked in several admin posts at the BBC 1974–81, was appointed to the newly-created position of research manager at trade magazine Music Week (when temporarily called Music & Video Week), and then, in 1983, went freelance as a writer-researcher-historian, intent on turning his lifelong interest in the Beatles (and much else) into his profession. He's never returned to a normal job since, having now passed 30 years of living off his wits.

Involved in many interesting creative projects right through the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and now 2010s, Mark's full CV would extend to plenty of pages. He wrote for the BBC's weekly programme journal Radio Times for fifteen years, which led to his backbreaking encyclopedia Radio Times Guide To TV Comedy (two editions, 1998 and 2003).

More than anything, Mark is renowned as a Beatles historian, a reputation that began in his years as researcher for other writers and was confirmed in 1986 when he made his debut as a published author with The Beatles Live! – a diary-like account of the group as stage performers. This method of writing history as reference continued with The Beatles Recording Sessions. For this, EMI Records paid Mark to go into Abbey Road Studios to listen to all of the Beatles' tapes – the original, unheard recordings that led to their completed masters – and write a book about them. The essence of this tome was then folded into the Live! text and newly-researched knowledge of all the group's radio, TV and film activities to make The Complete Beatles Chronicle, published in 1992, which some Beatles have called the bible. After this, Mark was one of three authors of capital guidebook The Beatles' London, a constantly enjoyable side project.

Mark was employed in all aspects of The Beatles Anthology, their own official history – working as researcher and consultant to the Apple Corps TV series (and subsequent video and DVD releases), and as right-hand-man to producer George Martin on the three double-CD audio releases, and finally as a contributing editor on the book. He also did plenty of interesting work for Paul McCartney from 1987 to 2002, being for seven years editor-writer of Paul and Linda's fine quarterly newspaper Club Sandwich.

After the 1998 publication of Mark's Radio Times Guide To TV Comedy, Bill, his literary agent, took him to lunch and posed a telling question: 'Instead of spending eight years working on a book for two years' money, why don't you write something that better rewards the effort you put in?' In other words, 'You're 40 years old, it's time to make a change.'

The new way was biography. There'd been invitations before, but Mark didn't yet know if he had the necessary skill-set. As the Comedy Guide was newly out, the obvious step was to pick a comedian, and the consensus from several publishers was that he should write the life story of Benny Hill. It was certainly a rich one – Hill's career encompassed many elements of 20th century performing arts, he was an odd individual (Mark titled the book Funny, Peculiar), and when somehow Hill clicked into an unlikely huge global fame, he suffered simultaneously a disastrous collapse in popularity at home, becoming publicly reviled. Published in 2002, the book sold strongly, won great acclaim and confirmed to Mark not only that he could write biography, but that this long-form narrative lark was a strong vehicle for weaving his research inside an engaging storyline. With that clear in his head, he knew what he had to do.

The Beatles: All These Years got underway in 2003, and Mark signed publishing contracts in 2004. It remains now what it was from the outset: a trilogy, in which the Beatles' story will be told freshly, comprehensively, colourfully, accurately and even-handedly, with no corners cut and no research stone left unturned. TUNE IN is the first of them, finally ready for publication at the end of 2013. After a whirlwind of promotional activity, however, Mark will soon be going quiet again to research and write the second.

Mark Lewisohn is now 55, lives close to London, is happily married to Anita Epstein, and is the proud father of two adult sons, Oliver and Tom. He works hard, long hours every day, and loves pretty much every minute of it.



Mark's Bookshelf

Tune In

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