Friday, June 13, 2008

The Beatles: The True Beginnings

by Roag Best with Pete and Rory Best

Before Shea Stadium, the Ed Sullivan Show, and the Cavern, came the Casbah. The club that gave birth to the Beatles and started a music revolution.

The Casbah Coffee Club, which opened in Liverpool on August 29, 1959, was the brainchild of Mona Best, the mother of Pete Best. It is well known that Pete Best was the drummer for The Beatles in their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg. But less well known is that The Beatles' origins were in fact at Pete's mother's club--it was at the Casbah and with Mona Best's blessing that the greatest popular music phenomenon of the twentieth century began.

And now, the basement club where the Quarrymen, The Silver Beatles, and finally The Beatles played over 90 times before they hit the Cavern has been reopened and revealed by this remarkable new book. The Casbah's significance cannot be overestimated--it brought together some of the greatest names in rock music and became the catalyst for the Mersey Beat phenomenon that swept Liverpool in the early 1960s.

Seen here for the first time in forty years is the basement's interior as it was at the very beginning, juxtaposed with the rooms as they are today, where the ceilings painted by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best still rest. A wealth of rare material from the club and the Bests' own archives, together with newly-commissioned images by renowned photographer Sandro Sodano, documents the club's and The Beatles' intertwined stories.

The Beatles: The True Beginnings also features accounts from early fans hearing The Beatles for the first time. Stunning new color photography of the rooms and memorabilia of the Casbah Coffee Club. Gritty, never-before seen photos of the young Beatles playing for hundreds of their very first fans. And comments from The Beatles and their closest friends from the period.

Accompanied by a fascinating personal memoir of this extraordinary time, written by Roag Best with his brothers Pete and Rory, this is both a moving family tribute and a unique insight into a remarkable period of Beatles history. The glory of the Casbah has hidden for almost half a century in the Best family's basement rooms. This account of their earliest days promises to blow back its roof, and that of The Beatles' unbelievable history, forever.

Roag Best has worked in the music industry since he was fifteen. He has traveled all over the world as a musician, songwriter, promoter, and manager.

Pete Best is world-renowned as the 'fifth Beatle' who played drums alongside John, Paul, and George through 1962. Today he writes, records, and tours with his own group, The Pete Best Band.

Rory Best found the house at 8 Haymans Green, which was to become home to the Casbah Coffee Club, the birthplace of The Beatles and the catalyst for Mersey Beat.

Sandro Sodano (Art Photographer) graduated from St. Martin's College of Art and Design in 1989 and then established the design partnership Aboud-Sodano with Alan Aboud. He taught photography at St. Martin's for seven years. Over the last ten years, Sandro's clients have included Polydor, Gap, Calvin Klein, and Diet Coke, as well as publications including the Telegraph (UK), the Observer (UK), GQ, and Esquire.

International praise for The Beatles: The True Beginnings

"I think it's a good idea to let people know about the Casbah. They know about the Cavern, they know about some of those things, but the Casbah was the place where all that started. We helped decorate it and stuff. We looked upon it as our own personal club."
Sir Paul McCartney

"A wonderful book."
Mail on Sunday (UK)

"At last something new to experience about Beatles history."
Observer (UK)

"Popular Culture's Sistine Chapel."
BBC News (UK)

"The book helps illuminate a fascinating period. It is lavishly illustrated and the best-looking Beatles book published yet. Literally."
Standard London Newspaper (UK)

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