Songs, Pictures & Stories of The Fabulous Night Thread

I recently purchased a book about the Beatles’s records on the American label Vee-Jay, a small Chicago label founded by an African-American woman, her brother, and her husband. Their biggest success prior to the Beatles was the Four Seasons.1 Anyway, long story short, they got the rights to the Beatles’ first recordings because Capitol stupidly passed on them, and one of several records they issued before Capitol got the rights back was Songs, Pictures And Stories of The Fabulous Beatles. A detail of the bios within was included in the book, and it tickled me so much I have to share some of it, with commentary.

Paul is the only Beatle with jet black hair—he has a strong straight nose and full lower lip and gleaming white teeth….his collar size is 15” and his waist size is 30”…he loathes pajamas and prefers to sleep raw—hates tub baths and loves showers.

Wow. I guess we know which Beatle the author was thirsting over, don’t we? Excuse me, I need to take a cold shower. Without Paul, alas.

John is a natural born leader but none the less fun loving than the other Beatles….

As a child he lived a life of uninterrupted calm and cannot recall any childhood sadness—

*explodes in violent coughing fit* Okay. I guess having your father abandon you, being raised by your aunt and uncle because they got custody over you and took you away from your mom, and being caned weekly by your schoolmasters is all in a day’s work for British kids.

…his mother died after his 14th birthday and this event remains the greatest tragedy of his life.

Then again, that’s a surprising bit of honesty for a 1964 Beatles fluff piece.

George was the only one of the Beatles who had been to the United States before the group came here in February

True.

…and he had the privilege of meeting President Kennedy at that time.

*cough, splutter, splutter* WHAT?!? No. This did not happen. No one except perhaps a few American journalists knew who the hell the Beatles were when George visited his sister. I doubt even Kennedy had heard of them, having his hands full with the Cuban Missile Crisis and all.

…although John Lennon looks like the oldest Beatle this dubious distinction belongs to Ringo. When the spotlight falls on Ringo the clamoring squealing and shouting becomes deafening—why is not easily discernible—…He is not the best looking and in fact has a nose that rivals Jimmy Durante and Danny Thomas

All right, shut the fuck up right there. This author was obviously slobbering over Paul and dissing Ringo to a ridiculous extent. It’s enough to make me switch allegiances.

There are also columns of facts about each member in which we learn that Paul’s favorite actress is Ann-Margret, John’s favorite type of music is trad jazz (snicker. I don’t think so.), George plays “one finger piano” as well as guitar, and Ringo’s favorite cartoon is Donald Duck. Awesome taste, Ring.

Last but not least, it may interest you to know that the track lineup for Songs, Pictures And Stories….was exactly the same as Vee-Jay’s first Beatles album, Introducing The Beatles. Why? Two reasons: 1. That’s all the material they had. 2. They were using up unsold copies of Introducing The Beatles by merely putting the records in a new jacket. They didn’t even bother to change the labels.2

Have a Fabulous Night Thread!!