Author of Sound Pictures, the biography of Beatles producer George Martin, to host Islington meet and greet
- Credit: Archant
On Wednesday August 22, the Islington branch of Waterstones will open its doors to Beatles fans for a special event hosted by a leading authority on the Fab Four.
Kenneth Womack – who has penned works including The Beatles Encyclopaedia – is to fly in from New Jersey to mark the release of his new book, titled Sound Pictures, which is released on Tuesday September 4.
Sound Pictures is the second and final part of the biography of legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin. It follows on from the first section – Maximum Volume: the Early Years – which quickly became a best-seller after it was published in November 2017.
“When you hear songs like Yesterday and In My Life, it’s fascinating to think about who the first audience for these iconic songs was,” says Kenneth.
“In many cases it was George Martin, and it’s a fabulous thing to think that he had the great privilege of hearing these compositions for the first time.
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“George’s position was an incredibly fortunate place to be when you look at 20th century art as a whole.”
Kenneth won an Independent Music Book of the Year award in 2009 for his book The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles, and his Everything Fab Four column runs in the Huffington Post and Culture Sonar.
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This time around, the author is seeking to offer an insight into a man who was integral to the enduring success of The Beatles. The book includes never-before-heard accounts from George’s two sons and insight from another renowned Beatles historian in the form of Mark Lewisohn.
Spanning the years 1966 to 2016, topics including the White Album recording sessions, the arrival of Yoko Ono and the infamous Jesus Christ tours, but also George’s career away from the Beatles bubble.
Kenneth continues: “I would argue Sir George was the reason we still listen to The Beatles so much today.
“He wouldn’t let the band out of the studio until everything was just right. His legacy is the majesty of The Beatles’ sound – their music doesn’t sound like the 60s, they have been preserved for all time.”
The author is in the UK for the annual Beatles Convention and Sound Pictures’ publisher – Herefordshire-based Orphans Publishing – have selected Islington as a location to launch the book given that George was raised in Highbury.
Kenneth adds: “George came from very humble origins but he had such a gentlemanly air about him.
“He is a great story of social mobilisation, he’s an example that you can come from humble beginnings and make it if you work really hard.
“George is certainly the foundation of The Beatles legacy, but the fact that they each took their gift and talent very seriously (was crucial to their long-standing success).
“They toiled for seven years, working and working on behalf of this talent. When someone realises they can do something to a very high level and they work hard at it, that’s great art no matter what the genre.
“Clearly there’s a lot of enthusiasm and curiosity about George – it’s great to see the number of folks asking about the book and hoping for a sneak peak – it’s a tribute to the man himself.”
Sound Pictures: The Later Years 1966-2016, is published on September 4. The author Kenneth Womack is at Waterstones Islington on Wednesday August 22 at 7pm. Tickets are £3.