The Beatles, Again

Martin Tyrrell at the Dublin Review of Books:

Weber says that most writings about the Beatles can be categorised into one of four principal narratives ‑ four ways of seeing and telling the band’s story. The first and earliest of these is the Fab Four Narrative. This is the more or less official version of the Beatles that evolved following their initial breakthrough. It was propagated by a largely friendly media nudged along by the Beatles themselves, their management and publicists. In the Fab Four Narrative, the Beatles are depicted as four friends whose relationship with each other is easy and free of tension. This is how they come across in their early interviews, their monthly fan magazine, and, especially, in their first two films: A Hard Day’s Night and Help. In Help, for example, the fictionalised Beatles live in a luxurious communal home that is, by mid-sixties standards, high-tech. These are rich young men, leisured and with few responsibilities, but who get along together, well enough to live in the same shared space like perpetual teenagers. As Weber comments, these mainstream films were especially important in differentiating one Beatle from another for a wider public (Jonathan Miller, commenting when they were new on the scene, had thought they all looked the same, like the Midwich Cuckoos).

more here.