All my loving

15 February 2013 | This 'n' that

Early days in Hamburg

(Early days in Hamburg) Even John behaved himself in the photo sessions, at least almost. This is how the famous photos of the young Beatles were taken.
–Should I take one more? (Astrid the photographer)

One day in the antediluvian times of dawning Beatlemania, a schoolboy in a Finnish small town found himself smitten head over heels by the new pop songs by (probably) the most famous band in the world ever (so far). Like some two billion other teenagers, he learnt by heart every single song the Beatles recorded. Yeah!

The schoolboy grew up and became the illustrator and writer Mauri Kunnas (born 1950), whose storybooks, mostly for children, have now been translated into 30 languages.

But his interest in the Fab Four never left him, and last year he published his illustrated history of John, Paul, George and Ringo, from the day they were born to the day when Please, Please Me / Ask Me Why became number one in the British Top 20 in 1962. As the book is partly written in his native local dialect, its title is Piitles. Tarina erään rockbändin alkutaipaleesta (‘Beatles. The story of the first stage of a rock band’, Otava, 2012).

At last the boys came home from Germany, and in June 1962 they left for London with high hopes. But John, Paul, George, Pete and Neil had the same problems that tourists experience even today: The Abbey Road studio is hard to find because it doesn’t look like a recording studio. – It ought to be around here somewhere. – What are you staring at, we’re not famous yet!

At last the boys came home from Germany, and in June 1962 they left for London with high hopes. But John, Paul, George, Pete and Neil had the same problems that tourists experience even today: The Abbey Road studio is hard to find because it doesn’t look like a recording studio. – It ought to be around here somewhere. – What are you staring at, we’re not famous yet!

In this 77-page graphic story the Beatles grow from babies into celebrities. The large number of hilarious visual details keeps the reader vigilant: for example, in their early days on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn John, Paul, George and Pete (Best) stay in lodgings behind a cinema that are less than hygienic, so on closer examination the lads turn out to be wearing underpants with yellow spots.

 –To Eppy! –To my boys!

–To Eppy! –To my boys!

Julia Lennon, Klaus Voormann, Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, Cynthia, Brian Epstein, George Martin: the faces in the gallery of characters are instantly recognisable. Piitles illustrates how Beatlemania was born, and it is truly the work of a faithful fan.

Tags: , ,