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Author Topic: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould  (Read 5621 times)

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Indica

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Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« on: January 17, 2008, 09:39:34 AM »



Whilst browsing in Waterstones last december, I came across this book. Recently published, Gould pulls together cultural history of the 60's, musical analysis and of course The Beatles story. Although I've only made a small dent in the book (606 pages!) it's fascinating explanation of Liverpool and the Scouse traditions, Teddy Boy origins and Northern Chic have already gripped me. Well worth a look up.

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2008, 10:11:14 AM »

Maybe if your lucky you could compliment the man himself. He joined this forum a few months back.
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harihead

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 12:23:24 AM »

I loved this too, Indica. Best book on the Beatles I've read. I put a nice review of it somewhere else on this sight-- under the "currently reading" thread? (I have no memory...)
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All you've got to do is choose love.  That's how I live it now.  I learned a long time ago, I can feed the birds in my garden.  I can't feed them all. -- Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, May 2007<br />

Bobber

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 08:15:08 AM »

Quote from: 551
I loved this too, Indica. Best book on the Beatles I've read. I put a nice review of it somewhere else on this sight-- under the "currently reading" thread? (I have no memory...)


Correct. Here and further: http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/b-books/m-1169261662/s-120/#num134
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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 12:20:49 PM »

Dear Indica,

Thank you for the kind words about "Can't Buy Me Love."  It feels wonderful to know that people are reading the book, enjoying the book, arguing about the book, and generally paying attention to the book.  I don't have much experience with forums like this - I'm a bit of an internet geezer - but I'll check in periodically and mke myself known.  

And Harihead, thanks again for your lovely review...

All best wishes,

Jonathan Gould
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harihead

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2008, 06:43:32 PM »

Hey, Jonathan! Great to see you again.

I've been reccing your book all over the internet, on various blogs and Beatles forums, wherever they want to know the "best" Beatles book to start with. In fact, I just did that again this morning-- recced you and Hunter Davies. So if you get one more sale today, I did it. *preens*

One of the things that I really appreciated is that you in fact read almost everything else (within reason) first. I'm a huge reader, and the contradictory stories are really fascinating. I try to rely on the source as much as I can, while knowing that the Beatles (like all other mortals) have amazingly faulty memories. But you make a good run at acknowledging the difficulties of working out an honest history at this late date, which I think is the best way to approach it. Cheers!


Edited to add:
Just saw this posted on the other blog:

"Harihead gave some excellent titles. These are all essential IMO. ... Gould's book, 'Can't Buy Me Love', is one I'm reading now, and I can't recommend it enough. It's so well written and intelligent. If you read any Beatles bio., it's the only one you need to read"

:)
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All you've got to do is choose love.  That's how I live it now.  I learned a long time ago, I can feed the birds in my garden.  I can't feed them all. -- Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, May 2007<br />

Brynjar

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2008, 08:56:59 AM »

When will it be available on paperback?
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stevie

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 01:11:09 AM »

Just found this at the library. Its amazing - after reading literally every book written about the Beatles, you'd think a Beatle nut like meself, could never find a new fact. But i did...

JG opines that 'And Your Bird Can Sing' was John having a lash at Frank Sinatra! Ol' blue Eyes had a habit of using the word 'bird' in his everyday speech: How's your bird, its good for your bird, etc(he didn't mean females). Cranky Frankie never rated the current groups he was up against in the Sixties, and apparently used to bag them, including the lads.

Its an intersesting thought, and the book has some wonderful new insights into the way certain Beatle songs were written.
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Almighty Doer of Stuff

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 03:47:09 AM »

I have an Uncorrected Proof - Not For Sale version of this book, but I haven't read it. My mother gave it to me for Christmas one year. She works at a publishing company, so she gets stuff like this occasionally.
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lucknow1856

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2010, 04:15:14 PM »

Hi, newbie here.  I'm just re-reading this excellent book.  Being quite old (how old? well I remember with some embarrassment that as a schoolkid I sat and listened to every episode of the 1972 BBC radio series The Beatles Story and actually took notes as I didn't have a tape recorder) I've read a lot of Beatles books and this one is in my top 3.  It's certainly better than any other for the insight it gives into the broader social context within which the story evolved, which is of course the author's main aim.  Even for non-fans of the Beatles, it would serve as a great overview of the development of popular music and popular culture generally in that momentous period from the 1950s to the 1970s.

One thing intrigues me though. Is Jonathan Gould British, or is he American?  If he's American, has he spent a lot of time in the UK?  I'm guessing he must be British to have such insight into the way British society worked, from micro to macro levels, in the period he writes about, but the book sleeve says he lives in the US.   Does anyone know?  I note Mr G himself has visited the forum on occasion, perhaps he can tell us.  I hope this isn't an intrusive question and apologies in advance if it is - it's just hard to believe a non-Brit could so unerringly survey everything from 'Teddy boy' fashion to the UK honours system to the Scouse accent and put it all in context without dropping a stitch.  Cheers for now.
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Bobber

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2010, 05:13:30 PM »

Unfortunately Jonathan hasn't been around much lately.
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lucknow1856

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2010, 01:53:45 AM »

Thanks anyway.  I've now found out.  I've just listened to Mr G on a podcast talking about his book and his accent places him squarely on yon side of the pond so I for one am all the more impressed at his pin-sharp insights into the social/cultural background to the story in the UK.
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Tomo

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2010, 06:03:36 PM »

I bought this book a few months ago and it was only my second Beatle book! I must say it's really great - I love reading about cultural circumstances during Beatles' years, and long passages about albums and songs are very informative too - makes you go out and listen.
There are some musical explanations to some songs, which I don't understand, but it adds a perspective - you realize that Beatles were actually a musicians and didn't come up with songs out of thin air... :)

I recently saw Revolution in the head in a bookshop - is this really an essential reading and how does it compare to this one?
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lucknow1856

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 12:45:25 PM »


I would regard Revn in the Head as being near the top of any list of which Beatles books might be considered essential.  The book consists of an excellent context-setting Preface (added for the 1997 edition) and Introduction before the main body of the book which is a numbered chronological description and 'review' of every song the Beatles recorded in turn, each with background information.    It's not just a 'list' book though, as the background looks at their wider career and the world in general etc.    The only minor quibble I had was that Ian Macdonald was occasionally reserved in his enthusiasm for certain songs I regard as brilliant - but that's unavoidable with any book that attempts a critique.  The difference to Can't buy Me Love is that the story in RITH is told through the songs and looks outward rather than looking at the broader picture first.  As in Can't Buy Me Love, you also get the occasional musical explanation in Revn in the Head but these are very broad and you don't have to understand music theory to follow them.
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Bobber

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 02:14:27 PM »

Revolution In The Head is being discussed in here: http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=118.0
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Tomo

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2010, 03:58:07 PM »

I actually bought Revolution in the head yesterday (it's a third revised edition), and have only glanced through it, but it seems a very promising read...I hope it'll be just as good and illuminating as Can't Buy Me Love. It does look a bit easier to navigate!

And thanks for the link Bobber, I'll check it out... :)
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Bobber

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Re: Can't Buy Me Love By Jonathan Gould
« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2010, 07:02:40 AM »

You're welcome. Did you get the book?
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