Retrieved 18 August Retrieved 24 November Harry, Bill The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia. London: Virgin Books. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. London: Hamlyn. Revolution in the Head. London: Pimlico. All We Are Saying. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 9 November The Beatles Record Collection. Retrieved 8 January It was part of them, and that continued to be heard throughout their career.
While detractors abounded, honest minded parents had to admit there was unmistakable talent behind the gimmicks. Songwriting History.
He also states as such in a Hit Parader magazine interview. However, Paul gives a vivid and convincing recollection otherwise. At some point during the recording sessions for the song, a guitar solo was featured instead of the vocals in the bridge, which could suggest that the lyrics in the bridge were written during the recording sessions.
On that day, they naturally worked out a two-part harmony for the song first, and then afterward worked out a third harmony for George to sing. McCartney at one point had claimed that his father had taught the Beatles how to do three-part harmony, but Harrison protests this claim. Everybody had harmonies; it was natural to sing a harmony sometimes.
Meanwhile, Ringo sat at the back of the studio smoking a cigarette and reading a comic book. Recording History. It took fifteen takes of the song most of them complete to perfect, although there was more to be done to get it to the complete state as we know it. The vocals were recorded, by the Beatles request, with all three vocalists huddled around one microphone. Two overdubs take 16 and 17 were then recorded, which comprise George Harrison performing octave guitar fills at the end of the song.
T hese overdubs were added to the end of take One more session was needed to get the song into a releasable condition. A mixing session, attended by George Martin and engineer Norman Smith only, was held four days later on October 21st. This day was arranged to create the mono mixes necessary for releasing their fifth British single. They created two mono mixes from take 15 of the recording session and then performed an edit of both of those mixes to get the final version, creating the fade out that is heard on the released recording.
It was decided at this stage, for an unknown reason, to fade the end of the song instead of the full ending The Beatles recorded in the studio. Needless to say, The Beatles continued This Boy perform the full ending on stage throughout the song's performance life.
No stereo mix of the song was recorded at this time, since the song was only slated as a single in Britain. However, entirely by accident, the song was given its first stereo mix on November 10th, Two stereo mixes were made from the edited take 15 of the song, and then both of those mixes were edited together to create the full stereo mix. That occasion was on June 3rd,when The Beatles were auditioning Jimmy Nicol to replace an ailing Ringo Starr for the beginning of their first world tour.
Song Structure and Style. Although a guitar solo was attempted at some point in the recording process, it was decided instead not to feature a solo at all. Because of the elongated 16 bar verses and bridge, a repeat of the bridge and final verse, as did many Beatles songs up to this point in their career, was not done. The song starts out with a strummed three chord precursor by Lennon to set the melancholy mood for the song.
The following four bars are basically the four chord pattern that we will be hearing throughout all three verses, but they set the mood quite nicely. Right on the one beat of the first verse, we dive headlong into the impressive three-part harmony which will eventually permeate all three verses. Silly me. This is just Vol 1. The main character in this book seems not to be the author, but his mother whom he adored and who had a very hard life due to being abandoned by the father of her two children, an abandonment that began long befor I guess I'm not used to memoirs that run into several volumes.
The main character in this book seems not to be the author, but his mother whom he adored and who had a very hard life due to being abandoned by the father of her two children, an abandonment that began long before he actually left the house. I will not qualify this as an enjoyable read, but it was informative about the condition of the marginalised poor such as a divorced mother who is told she must have done something wrong to get left living in total squalor in London.
With no welfare benefits or child allowance, Lily literally works herself into an early grave and her daughter becomes "mother" well before the age of sixteen, when she finds herself alone at the helm. Meantime, Alan doesn't seem to do much to help out, or worry about it much. He is a singularly passive, immature child who prefers to hide out in his room, reading books, playing a few chords on the guitar his mother slaves to get for him, and dreaming of being the next pop star.
I'm sorry, but I didn't find him a very sympathetic character. No growing up fast for him! No taking on the role of provider and "man of the house"--he leaves that to his sister Linda. Oh yes, he does eventually find part-time work helping a friend deliver paraffin etc pink and blue paraffin, now that caught my attention!
Of course London itself is one of the main characters; both children could have moved to Liverpool and stayed with relatives there, and been welcomed--but like many New Yorkers I have known, the idea of leaving their city is anathema. They'd rather struggle on their own turf than be comfortable somewhere else; or at least Alan would. As "the boy" I cannot call him the man of the house he's more like the spoiled Mediterranean men of his generation that I've spent most of my adult life around than a tough, streetwise East Ender.
The whole world seems to revolve around his comfort, and anything bad is hidden under the veil of "don't tell Alan. And this is the man who became Home Secretary, or so the blurb tells us. One hopes he wasn't quite so self-centred when the fate of an entire nation was in his hands. I can't tell you if he was, since the book ends when he is 18 and already a father. They wanted to work, to be independent, to make their own way--and they were then considered adults, not like the "youth" of today who are still living with their parents well into their twenties and early thirties.
Feb 04, Maggie Craig rated it really liked it. Alan Johnson is a British trade unionist and Labour politician. In his time he has held different portfolios as a cabinet minister, including serving as Home Secretary.
Having read his memoir of his life as a young man, I went back to read this story of his childhood. The district was full of slum housing back then and he, his big sister Linda and their mother Lily lived in a couple of damp and crumbling flats in buildin Alan Johnson is a British trade unionist and Labour politician. The district was full of slum housing back then and he, his big sister Linda and their mother Lily lived in a couple of damp and crumbling flats in buildings that should have been condemned.
Many subsequently were, some swept away to allow the development of the Westway road. Lily always had to struggle to feed and clothe her children and to put food on the table.
When Linda and Alan's dad left, This Boy, that struggle became even harder. It's a poignant read, sometimes almost unbearably sad. Lily, who did not keep well, earned money by taking on too many exhausting cleaning jobs. She always dreamt of having a house with her own front door and never managed to achieve that.
On the plus side, Lily brought her children up to value education and good manners and to have their own dreams. Both she and Alan Johnson's sister Linda shine out of this story. Linda fought like a lioness to keep the family going and together. Often a sad story but well worth a read. It's a different view of London in the early s, although Carnaby Street and Swinging London are in there too.
Alan Johnson aspired to be a pop singer and despite all the odds stacked against him did achieve some early success before fate intervened and he ended up taking the political road instead. On the night he met his first wife he was at a party where Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues was playing on the record player and observes how songs can spirit you instantly back to the past.
Jul 28, Mary Hamer rated it really liked it. The story of a childhood subject to all the stresses and humiliation of poverty and passed in housing condemned as unfit for habitation is told without the slightest self-pity.
Better still, the memoir is alive with love for Lily, the mother who struggled so courageously to bring him and his sister up. Abandoned by a useless husband, she took every cleaning job she could get, literally working her to death in the process.
An operation on her weakened heart came too late to save her. But in spite of the wretched living conditions, the damp, the shared lavatories, somehow that woman contrived a home where the children were encouraged rather than defeated. If she went cleaning in Kensington during their school holidays, she left them, duly instructed, to play in the park. If it rained they were to go to the museums: according to Johnson he and his sister could have been employed as guides in any one of them, they got to know them so well.
Born inJohnson creates a deeply satisfying sense of period as he tells his story, not least in describing the pop music that was his passion: what a surprise to learn he once saw his future as a singer-songwriter! An unexpected pleasure offered by this memoir is the wit that now and then breaks up its level tone. And when he writes of his older sister, Linda, with her brave and determined actions to protect them all, his admiration and gratitude are both unusual and satisfying.
Whilst I found this readable, was quite surprised by the poverty described and could empathise with the hungry Alan, I felt rather non plussed by this book. On reading other reviews,I agree that this story is free from self pity and regret - admirably so given the circumstances described. But perhaps this lack of emotion and of comment is the reason I felt little connection with the characters and did not care enough about their fate.
I always refrain from finding out about a book before I read i Whilst I found this readable, was quite surprised by the poverty described and could empathise with the hungry Alan, I felt rather non plussed by this book.
I always refrain from finding out about a book before I read it, so as to be impartial and try and judge it on merit. I hadn't realised that AJ went on to become a politician and there is little in this memoir that would suggest he would. In fact as the book ends, the future looks rather bleak for Alan.
He may have been overjoyed to be married and a father, but I didn't pick this up, probably due to this emotional disconnect. I was just left with a mild curiosity about how he was going to provide for his new family. Feb 25, Richard rated it it was amazing. This book is so refreshing. A political memoir written not by an over-privileged, over-moneyed posh boy but by someone who has had to struggle in life who has known poverty and had 'proper' jobs and been to normal schools.
This Boy 'simple' and beautiful book. Jul 15, D rated it really liked it Shelves: englishbiography. Nothing to add to the other reviews that say the same.
Makes you angry with those that destroyed social democracy, especially in the UK. Alan Johnson was born just two years after me and also grew up in a working-class area, though he knew greater hardship than I did, especially after his father left.
This is a moving and heart-warming testament to his mother who died tragically young, and his elder sister who steered them through one crisis after another. His recollections of his teenage years brought back many memories, and the whole memoir is told with an objectivity and humour that is admirable. Encountering both cruelty and Alan Johnson was born just two years after me and also grew up in a working-class area, though he knew greater hardship than I did, especially after his father left.
Encountering both cruelty and kindness it's also an example of how This Boy children can be, but also how their childhood experiences can shape their futures. Well worth reading and deserving of the prizes it received. Children bringing up children when adults become sick or let them down. No loo. Children not loved. Thought provoking. It amazes me that people can remember so much about their childhood. The ending however felt too rushed. Apr 15, Caroline Southgate rated it it was amazing.
A well written and moving account of a childhood in poverty in North London in the s and s by a man who went on the become a Cabinet Minister in the Blair government. Alan Johnson rose to the political heights of Home Secretary but his early life gave no indication of his future success. In this straight-forward and unadorned memoir he recounts his childhood and youth in a poor working-class neighbourhood in London. His feckless father abandoned the This Boy early on, and his mother Lily was left to bring up Alan and his sister Linda as best she could.
A grim story, yet one infused with love, tenderness and This Boy matter-of-fact attitude to just making the best of a bad job. This is no misery memoir, but a warm and compassionate story, with not a trace of self-pity and not an ounce of sentimentality. As much a homage to his mother and sister as a record of his own life, the book is also a wonderfully graphic social chronicle of London working-class life, an evocation of an era, and an insight into the strength of character that took Johnson out of the slums and into politics.
All respect to him for never whinging and for taking responsibility for his own life, a trait that Linda must surely have instilled in him. Very readable and very enjoyable, this is a no-frills account that will touch a chord for anyone much of an age with the author as well as being enlightening for younger generations, whether interested in politics or not.
Though a memoir of childhood poverty and squalor, Johnson writes this book in a charming, witty and modest way. The book focusses on two women, his mother and sister, and of how they battled against the hardship and injustices of working class life.
The book was of particular interest to me as Johnson grew up in the same street as my father had some twenty years before him. I had in fact recently published a book telling of my father's experiences of growing up in Southam Street 'In and out of Though a memoir of childhood poverty and squalor, Johnson writes this book in a charming, witty and modest way.
I had in fact recently published a book telling of my father's experiences of growing up in Southam Street 'In and out of the Lion's Den: Poverty, war and football'- My father climbed out of the street to become a successful professional footballer in the s. Although essentially two different stories, I was able to draw many parallels between Johnson's memoir and my own book as it seems that life in Southam Street had not changed very much during those 20 years.
Both books convey the hardships of working class life, but also the strong sense of local community and prevailing optimism in the face of poverty. Perhaps a sequel! Jan 21, Catrinamaria rated it liked it. The former Home Secretary's memoir feels honest and down to earth with an acceptance of what was his lot as a boy.
It is inspiring to think that a man who had such a tough start in life could end up running one of the highest ministries in the land. Quite a journey. And yet, the fact that the childhood is in the main remembered without emotion might indicate how steely Johnson is.
A sense of respect for mother and sister is clear, a sense of admiration. There's a matter of fact rejection of his The former Home Secretary's memoir feels honest and down to earth with an acceptance of what was his lot as a boy. There's a matter of fact rejection of his father; again quite steely. Johnson says he'll give credit where it's due saying his father was a better dad to his second family A good read. Not least because it evokes a bygone era which feels so long ago and is in fact is barely a generation back.
Oct 08, Margaret rated it really liked it.
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