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November 07, 2005

Adams Calls Off NY Trip

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News about Ireland & the Irish

GU 11/07/05 Sinn Fein Leader Calls Off New York Trip
BB 11/07/05 Funding Row Halts Adams US Visit
SF 11/07/05 Gerry Adams Response To US Visa Decision
DU 11/07/05 Paisley Jnr Welcomes US Decision On Adams
BB 11/07/05 Seventh Arrest Over £26.5m Raid
SF 11/07/05 DUP Must Accept Responsibility For Direct Rule
TL 11/07/05 Eversheds Secures Role On Nelson Inquiry
AN 11/07/05 The Political Police
TE 11/07/05 RUC Men 'Stood Between N Ireland And Anarchy'
UT 11/07/05 Assembly Members Attend Budget Briefing
BB 11/07/05 The Corrs Awarded Honorary MBEs
CS 11/07/05 The Men Behind The Mop Tops


Sinn Fein Leader Calls Off New York Trip

Tuesday November 8, 2005 2:16 AM

LONDON (AP) - Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams on Monday called
off a trip to New York after the United States refused to
lift restrictions barring him from raising money there.

Adams, who has spent the past two decades guiding his IRA-
allied party into Ireland's political mainstream, had been
granted a visa allowing him to travel to the United States
on Tuesday to receive a peace award.

But the State Department refused a request for him to speak
at a $500-a-plate dinner benefiting his party's U.S.
organization, Friends of Sinn Fein. Adams said he would
speak at a similar dinner in Canada on Saturday.

Senior members of Sinn Fein have been prevented from
raising funds in the U.S. since March because of
allegations that Irish Republican Army members carried out
a $46.3 million robbery on the Northern Bank in Belfast in

Police said Monday they have arrested two more men in
connection with the heist, one of Europe's largest ever.
Only two of the seven men arrested have been charged.

The IRA has denied any connection with the robbery, and
Sinn Fein has protested the arrests, saying the men were
targeted because they were sympathetic to the IRA's cause.

The State Department declined comment on Adams' visa

U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a close ally of Adams, said
the State Department's decision was ``misguided and wrong
and lacks any sense of historical perspective.''

``After Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein have demonstrated
enormous courage and leadership in doing so much to take
the gun out of Irish politics,'' he said, ``this decision
sends exactly the wrong message.''

Adams was due to receive a peace award Tuesday from the
National Committee on American Foreign Policy at a dinner
hosted by Bill Flynn, a leading Irish-American businessman.

The IRA announced an end to its armed campaign in July, and
an international panel said the group disposed of its
entire arsenal in September.


Funding Row Halts Adams US Visit

Gerry Adams said the fund-raiser would go ahead without him

The US government has been engaging in an "amateurish
attempt" to change Sinn Fein's stance on policing, party
leader Gerry Adams has said.

Mr Adams said he had been offered a visa restricting his
ability to attend the party's annual Friends of Sinn Fein
fund-raising dinner in New York.

He will not go ahead with a planned trip to the US but will
attend a similar event in Canada next weekend.

Mr Adams said his party's position on policing remained

"If and when the British government honours commitments
which it has made and which are in the public arena, I will
honour commitments that I have made," he said.

"We want to be part of a policing dispensation, but the
British government has a bit of work to do before that can

Mr Adams said it was "absurd" that he was being prevented
from attending the fund-raising event, which would proceed
without him.

'Tough stance'

DUP assembly member Ian Paisley Jr said the US
administration had made a "welcome and sensible decision".

"I would encourage them to continue to adopt a tough stance
in their dealings with Sinn Fein/IRA and to ensure that
Gerry Adams and his cohorts are unable to raise funds in
the United States," he added.

Ulster Unionist MLA David McNarry said: "The United States
are obviously taking the issue of policing extremely
seriously, a lot more seriously than Sinn Fein are, and
that message (has to) be got through to republicans."

Sinn Fein has insisted the US administration should
recognise the reported completion of IRA decommissioning
and its July statement announcing an end to its armed


Gerry Adams Response To US Visa Decision

Published: 7 November, 2005

ow we can make best use of the recent historic republican
initiatives to move the peace process forward.

"I particularly regret that this decision means that I
cannot attend the National Committee on American Foreign
Policy dinner and thank them and their Chairperson Bill
Flynn for their positive work in the Irish Peace Process
over many years. It is particularly disappointing to me
that I cannot take this opportunity to praise their work as
it was the NCAFP who broke the visa denial on me eleven
years ago.

"I am especially concerned that this decision will play
into the hands of those who don't want too engage in the
peace process."ENDS


Paisley Jnr Welcomes US Decision On Adams

DUP Justice Spokesperson and MLA for North Antrim Ian
Paisley Jnr today made the following statement:

"This is a welcome and sensible decision from the United
States administration. I would encourage them to continue
to adopt a tough stance in their dealings with Sinn
Fein/IRA and to ensure that Gerry Adams and his cohorts are
unable to raise funds in the United States. Sinn Fein/IRA
has yet to return the twenty-six million pounds they stole
from the Northern Bank and everyone knows that funds raised
by them are used to further the goal of terror, fear and


Seventh Arrest Over £26.5m Raid

A seventh man has been arrested by police investigating
last December's £26.5m Northern Bank robbery.

The 39-year-old was arrested in Belfast on Monday. Three
men are now being questioned about the robbery, while two
have been released without charge.

This latest arrest came as a second man appeared in court
charged in connection with the raid.

Martin McAliskey, 42, of Ballybeg Road, Coalisland, denied
giving false police statements. He was granted bail.

The charge concerns the purchase, possession and sale of a
Ford Transit van believed to have been used in the raid.


A detective sergeant said that when charged in police
custody, Mr McAliskey replied: "Absolutely not".

The officer said she believed she could connect the accused
to the charge.

He was later released on bail of £1,000 and remanded to
appear in court again next month.

Earlier on Monday, a 22-year-old man was arrested in Kilcoo
in County Down in connection with the robbery.

On Friday, a 23-year-old County Down man who appeared in
court denied involvement in the robbery. He was remanded in

The robbery happened at the bank's Northern Ireland
headquarters at Donegall Square West just before Christmas
last year.

Some money seized in County Cork last February was linked
to the robbery, but virtually all of the missing millions
remain unrecovered.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/11/07 20:54:49 GMT


DUP Must Accept Responsibility For Continuing Direct Rule

Published: 7 November, 2005

Speaking as Assembly members are preparing to meet with the
British Direct Rule Administration to discuss the draft
budget Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin said
that the DUP had to decide whether or not they were going
to seize the opportunities presented by recent IRA
initiatives and replace the current part time Ministers
with an accountable local administration.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Today's invitation to discuss the draft budget proposals
with Peter Hain and Jeff Rooker is not a substitute for
local accountability.

"I have no doubt that parties present this afternoon will
be in broad agreement on a number of these crucial fiscal
matters. However the real decision needs to be taken by the
DUP. Are they content to simply continue to complain from
the sidelines about the policy decisions taken by the
Direct Rule ministers or are they confident enough to see
them replaced by a locally accountable administration
involving all of the parties.

"If the DUP fail to grasp the opportunity to restore the
power-sharing political institutions presented by recent
IRA initiatives then they must take full responsibility for
the continuation of direct rule and unaccountable
government. That means more cuts to our public services, in
our children's education and in health provision. It means
increased rates and water charges.

"The DUP have the chance now to change all that and move
into a situation where they govern this place along with
the rest of us. They can choose to go down this path or
they can continue to allow British Ministers to continue
taking decisions in the interests of the British government
instead of the people who live here." ENDS


Eversheds Secures Role On Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

Eversheds' inquiries and investigations team has won the
coveted role of adviser to the inquiry into the death of
Northern Irish solicitor Rosemary Nelson.

Led by Peter Jones, the team won a competitive tender to
secure its role on the inquiry. The win comes on the back
of work Eversheds did on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry and its
ongoing investigative role for the General Medical Council
on claims against doctors.

The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry was set up in November 2004. It
will examine whether any "wrongful act or omission" by or
within state agencies, including the Royal Ulster
Constabulary, the Northern Ireland Office and the Army,
facilitated Nelson's death or obstructed the investigation
of it. Nelson, a human rights lawyer and campaigner, was
murdered by a car bomb in 1999.

Eversheds is fielding a team of 16 lawyers to handle the
work for the inquiry, which will include gathering evidence
and providing resources for the in-house team. The
investigation is chaired by retired judge Sir Michael


The Political Police

Anthony McIntyre • Fourthwrite Autumn 2005

Walking down the Lower Falls's Albert Street en route to a
relative's funeral a matter of days ago, a PSNI land rover
passed alongside me cruising city ward. Even if the colour
has changed from grey to white the distinctive whirr
emitted by its engine has remained the same, letting you
know it is in the vicinity before it comes into view.
Before turning into McDonnell Street I paused to watch the
vehicle as it stopped, the occupants disembark, spread out
and begin to run. It is a familiar manoeuvre. The cops seek
to surround the house they intend to call at in a bid to
ensure nobody hotfoots it out the back or via other
possible exit routes. In all probability it amounted to
nothing more than chasing some sixteen year old for joy

The British conservative philosopher, Roger Scruton has
argued that 'law is constrained at every point by reality.'
We may wonder then what strange reality was at play in
interpreting the needs of the law in West Belfast. At a
time when loyalists openly strut the streets of the North
plying their murderous hate trade, the enforcers of the law
were scrambling through Albert Street most definitely not
in pursuit of loyalist petrol bombers. Catholic residents
of Ahoghill are living in fear of their lives, Thomas
Devlin is murdered on a mission to buy sweets, Protestant
men are being gunned down in the street by the ceasefire
UVF, chapels are under siege. The Albert Street sprint was
so out of character with the PSNI sedentary stance in
Garnerville last month when their eagerness to uphold the
law being broken under their noses was insufficient to
persuade them to dismount from their jeeps. The UVF and
UDA, in a rare display of unity, gathered to expel the
families of a common opponent from their homes. Doubtless,
included in the ranks of the mob were some who probably
have been up to their necks in recent murders. Evening all
- steady as she goes boys. Even those who are prepared to
endorse the PSNI will find it hard to point to a comparable
scene like played out in a nationalist community.

Since it was caught flatfooted by the Northern Bank
robbery, the PSNI has faced a mounting credibility problem.
It has been lambasted over its inability to curb the
upsurge in armed attacks on cash security vans, and has
taken flak for its violence on the streets of Derry in May.
It caused controversy when one of its patrols knocked down
and killed West Belfast man Jim McMenamin in June. Its less
than robust response to the loyalist feud, and its failure
to protect one section of the community from the type of
attacks that have been carried out by hate mongers in
Ahoghill, have raised the old spectre of a partisan police
force. Deputy Chief Constable Paul Leighton's initial
observations that sectarianism was not a factor in some of
the attacks by Antrim bigots left observers exasperated.

While many nationalists would accept that the knife killers
of Robert McCartney and those of Thomas Devlin inhabit the
same moral universe, they must think they stand pretty much
alone on the issue. The outcry over the Devlin murder has
at no point approached the volume generated by the
McCartney killing. There has been nothing like the same
political and media attention and few expect the Devlin
family to be guests at the White House. Many must hold
genuine fears that the chances of the PSNI pursuing the
killers of Thomas Devlin with maximum resolve must be slim.

These shortcomings are not the result of the PSNI being
little other than a renamed RUC bringing with it all the
sectarian baggage of yesteryear. All but the most
traditional of republicans accept that the PSNI, while
unquestionably a British police force, is a considerable
improvement on the last British police force that London
constructed for its difficult to manage offshore citizens.
The malaise that afflicts the PSNI is more structural than
attitudinal. Having picked up the 'primacy of the police'
baton, it can do little else but slot into the traditional
role of a British police force in the North of Ireland. It
is the cutting edge of British state political strategy,
and must police the peace process, every bit as much as the
RUC policed the war. The imperatives and constraints of
that process govern policing every bit as much as they do
other areas of policy. Fudge, deceit, double standards and
ambiguity prevail. The central policy question for the
British is not 'what is just?' but 'who can we least risk

It doesn't matter in the slightest what the attitudes of
individual PSNI members happen to be. It is not attitude
but government policy that keeps them in their jeeps while
murderous gangsters strut through Garnerville. A genuine
policing approach would not manifest itself in such a
fashion. As ever, policing and the rule of law have been
subverted in order that they may dovetail with the self
serving political rule of the British state.


RUC Men 'Stood Between N Ireland And Anarchy'

By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
(Filed: 08/11/2005)

The officers of the Royal Ulster Constabulary saved
Northern Ireland from the anarchy sought by the "hoodlums
and gangsters" of paramilitary organisations, a court was
told yesterday.

The debt owed to the RUC was described on the opening day
of an attempt by former officers to obtain compensation for
the alleged post-traumatic stress caused by 30 years of the

The province's biggest-ever civil case began with tribute
being paid to the ordinary men and women who had been
broken mentally during the "savagery" of the conflict.

More than 5,000 former RUC officers, of whom 2,000 are
still serving with its successor force, the Police Service
of Northern Ireland, are seeking compensation in the High
Court in Belfast.

The claim, which could result in the Government paying out
£100 million in damages, accuses the Chief Constable of
negligence for failing to prepare or treat officers for
stress, anxiety and depression.

Stephen Irwin QC, acting for the officers on behalf of the
Police Federation for Northern Ireland, said RUC officers
had been awarded the George Cross for their "determination
and persistence in face of the most ferocious adversary".

Many had killed themselves with their own service weapons
as a result of the stress. Others had suffered from marital
problems, gambling addiction, and alcoholism.

Mr Irwin said: "Those who were injured in their minds were
injured just as much as those who were shot or maimed in
explosions. A number have killed themselves because of the
pressure on their lives.

"They are just as dead as those on the roll of honour in
the annual reports of chief constables."

Mr Irwin argued that the suffering of ordinary officers,
who were psychologically damaged having been forced into a
heroic role, should be acknowledged. The officers involved
in the legal action ranged from constables to a chief
superintendent, said Mr Irwin, who has been lead counsel in
Army post-traumatic stress disorder claims.

Mr Irwin said it was obvious RUC service would lead to
extreme pressure and a risk of psychological damage.

"They faced incessant risk. They faced hatred day afterday
from part of the community they served. They faced physical
and mortal injury. They knew that they were at risk as they
washed the car or came out of church almost as much as they
were facing a hostile crowd.

"That was part of the aim of the terrorist - the IRA - to
break the morale and break the minds of those against

Mr Irwin described those against the RUC on both sides of
the sectarian divide as "gangsters and hoodlums dressed as
paramilitary leaders".

He said: "The Royal Ulster Constabulary stood between
Northern Ireland and anarchy. As night follows day that was
the reason they were targets. They were standing in the way
of those who wanted anarchy."

The officers accepted that they could be hurt, said Mr
Irwin. But they alleged that the police authorities failed
to deal with the psychiatric and psychological

"They were volunteers for a highly dangerous job. They got
hurt and hurt more than they should have done. That is what
this case is about - they seek acknowledgement and
compensation. Acknowledgement of what happened and help for
those who need it."

The claim also alleges that RUC chiefs knew by the mid-
1970s the potential dangers facing officers exposed to
severe trauma on a daily basis.

By 1977, it was clear that the terrorist campaign would not
end quickly. The RUC was being pressured by the loyalist
community as well as the IRA, which had promised a long
war, Mr Irwin said.

The hearing continues.


Assembly Members Attend Budget Briefing

Stormont Assembly members today responded sceptically to a
briefing given to them by Northern Ireland Office minister
Lord Rooker about the budget.

By:Press Association

In the first meeting of its kind, the NIO Finance Minister
invited all 108 MLAs to Stormont for a budget briefing
today in a bid to make direct rule more accountable.

However as they headed into today`s meeting, Sinn Fein
general secretary Mitchel McLaughlin and Alliance leader
David Ford were sceptical about the move.

Mr McLaughlin said the briefing was no substitute for local
accountability and placed the onus on the Rev Ian Paisley`s
Democratic Unionists to revive power sharing.

"I have no doubt that parties present this afternoon will
be in broad agreement on a number of these crucial fiscal
matters," the Foyle Assembly member said.

"However the real decision needs to be taken by the DUP.

Are they content to simply continue to complain from the
sidelines about the policy decisions taken by the direct
rule ministers or are they confident enough to see them
replaced by a locally accountable administration involving
all of the parties?

"If the DUP fails to grasp the opportunity to restore the
power-sharing political institutions presented by recent
IRA initiatives,then they must take full responsibility for
the continuation of direct rule and unaccountable

"That means more cuts to our public services, in our
children`s education and in health provision. It means
increased rates and water charges."

Last month, Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain announced
plans to a raise the domestic regional rate by around £1 a
week in a bid to release an additional £20 million for
public services over the next two years.

In the draft budget, Mr Hain also announced plans to
increase regional rates by 6% in the year 2007-08 when the
British government will also introduce water charges in the

Alliance leader David Ford described today`s briefing as a
window dressing exercise designed to avoid true
consultation between British government and elected

As his party took to the streets of Belfast city centre to
campaign for Government savings by ending segregation and
mainstreaming integrated public services, the South Antrim
MLA said: "Today`s meeting was an opportunity for the
minister to talk at us rather than talk with us.

"As such, it was a cynical window dressing exercise.

"The simple fact is that if the Government took its
obligations under `Shared Future` plans seriously, these
rates bill hikes and extra water charges would not be
necessary. That is why we decided to take our campaign
directly to the public today.

"But let us not forget that other parties have their
responsibilities here too. The governing parties during
devolution had their opportunity to progress `Shared
Future` policies to avoid having to pay extra for
segregated services, but they left them sitting on the
shelf for a year.

"We are now paying, literally, for the failings of the
governing parties during devolution and for the current
Government`s preference for carve-up over integration.

"We want the Government to announce exactly what it plans
to do under its `Shared Future` commitments, as some months
ago we were promised movement in the autumn. As we approach
the winter, no amount of window dressing gets us away from


The Corrs Awarded Honorary MBEs

Irish pop band The Corrs have been awarded honorary MBEs by
the Queen.

The group have been honoured in recognition of their
outstanding contributions to the music industry and
charitable contributions.

Each of the four-member band was given the MBEs at a
ceremony in Dublin. The award is honorary because The Corrs
are Irish.

The British Ambassador to Ireland, Stewart Eldon, presented
the award to the pop stars, who are from the border town of
Dundalk in County Louth.

"I am delighted that The Corrs' immense musical
contribution has been highlighted in this way," he said.

"I am sure their many fans around the world will be
delighted to hear that they are getting the recognition so
richly deserved."

British honours are awarded "on merit for exceptional
achievement or service to British interests", the British
embassy in Dublin said.

They are awarded by the Queen on the advice of the Foreign
and Commonwealth Office.

The group have played charity concerts to raise money for
the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, victims of the Omagh
bombing and the Prince's Trust, it said.

They supported the 2003 Special Olympics in Dublin and have
been active on behalf of charity Concern, focusing on
alleviating the situation of AIDS in Africa.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/11/07 13:09:21 GMT



The Men Behind The Mop Tops

What can there possibly be that we don't already know about
the Beatles? You'll have to read this book to find out.

By John Kehe

I wouldn't be surprised if there are as many books about
the Beatles as there are Starbucks, and most that I've read
are as soothing as their lattes, sweetened and smoothed
over the years by popular myth and faded memories. If you
like your Beatles just as you remember them - cute and
cuddly and dusted with magic - you might want to avoid this

Conversely, if you're looking for insights into the flesh-
and-blood men behind the mop tops - warts, peccadilloes,
drugs, and all - then this is your definitive Beatles

It's a meticulously researched, finely detailed biography,
filled with intimate scenes from inside the boys' humble
childhood homes, and affectionate re-creations of early,
often awkward, encounters with one another in the
playgrounds and schoolrooms of 1950s Liverpool.

Among its indelible highlights are almost palpable eye-
witness accounts of seminal performances, including their
wild and woolly coming-of-age days playing marathon shows,
night after night on Hamburg's notorious Reeperbahn. At
three inches thick and almost 900 pages, it's by no means a
quick read, but it's a cracking good one, especially for
fans who think they already know the whole story.

The first third of this opus is a treasure chest of
revelation. Author Bob Spitz demonstrates his deep research
and writing chops by transporting us to the place where it
all began, decades before the Beatle boys were born. We
peek in on the O'Leannains (later changed to Lennon to
bridge the sectarian divide) and McCartneys, two Irish
families among the tens of thousands fleeing the ravages of
the Great Potato Famine in the 1840s, casting their lots in
the then boom-town of Liverpool. By the time the Beatles
were born, smack- dab in the middle of World War II,
Liverpool was a rusting, decaying husk of what had been a
proud and thriving seaport. "To the rest of the country,
Liverpool was an anglicized Siberia: out of sight, out of

But the "scousers" (slang for local residents) were proud
and hard-working folks. Spitz writes, "The people living
within these confines saw the seaport as a threshold on the
horizon. Beyond it, an invisible world beckoned."

In the late 1950s the unknown horizon being scanned by four
Liverpool lads came in with a good deal of static. It
arrived via Radio Luxembourg, a dim signal from a "pirate"
radio station that carried the exotic sound of rock 'n'
roll and rhythm and blues hits from America to the living-
room radios of John Lennon, James Paul McCartney, George
Harrison, and Richard Starkey.

Living within a few miles or blocks of one another, but not
yet acquainted, they would soon be blazing uncharted
musical waters of their own.

The brief courtship and nearly instantaneous marriage of
musical soulmates gets plenty of ink, with rich quotes from
several members of John's schoolboy band, the Quarrymen.

Percussionist Pete Shotton recalls: "Right off, I could see
John was checking this kid out. Paul came on as very
attractive ... wildly confident. I could see that John was
very impressed." He quotes Lennon's impression of the first
time he saw the baby-faced McCartney perform.

"I half thought to myself, 'He's as good as me.' It went
through my head that I'd have to keep him in line if I let
him join the band. But he was good ... he also looked like
Elvis. I dug him."

John and Paul's was a creative marriage that lasted over a
dozen years and spawned some of the greatest pop music ever
made. Prolific songwriters, they were daring, undaunted by
the limitations of what a song could be or what a band
could do. As musicians, they saw in each other the "same
heartfelt commitment to this music, the same do-or-die."

But as people, they could hardly have been more different.
Paul's relentless cheerfulness and desire to please rubbed
against John's quicksilver nature, disdain for conformity,
and appetite for drugs, until eventually they couldn't
stand to be in the same room together.

Yoko Ono's disruptive arrival on the scene in 1968
certainly didn't help the relationship, but it was already
in irreversible decline. The music wasn't enough. Being a
Beatle wasn't enough. And by 1970 the divorce was final.

One of the new dimensions offered by this book is the
degree to which George and Ringo are fleshed out.

There's a touching scene in the tuberculosis sanatarium
where little Richie Starkey was forced to spend nearly all
of his 12th year. As part of his therapy, he would beat
rhythms out on the hospital bedframe with whatever was
lying around. This so entertained and impressed his nurses
that they gifted him with "Bedtime for Drums," a swing-band
record which he played over and over. "Someday, I'm going
to play just like that," he boasted.

More familiar material - the first trip to America and the
Ed Sullivan Show appearances, Beatlemania's early giddy
excitement before becoming a virtual prison for the band,
the making of A Hard Day's Night and the revolutionary Sgt.
Pepper's album, the trek to India to see the Maharishi - is
chronicled with fly-on-the-wall detail and an impressive
array of quotes and sources.

The John and Yoko coupling and John's cruel discarding of
wife, Cynthia, and his son Sean is heartbreaking and will
be disillusioning for his fans. In fact, if ever there was
a case for John Lennon to be de-sainted, this book makes

The Beatles' jaw-dropping naiveté at trying to start their
own businesses under the Apple umbrella even as their
patina was rapidly wearing off is somewhat comical. The
ugly infighting and jockeying for financial control -
portrayed in high-definition and living, seething color -
is not.

The fact that in the middle of this litigious, tension-
racked disaster called Apple, they could break away and
record one more Beatle masterpiece - Abbey Road - is a
final testament to their fathoms-deep love of musicmaking.

As the Beatle dream finally disintegrates, the air comes
out of this book. Or maybe that's just the pain of reliving
the slow death of a too-good-to-be-true dream.

But it was true. Many of us were grateful witnesses to the
Beatle years, and this book works well at evoking for us
their glorious art even as it reveals their sometimes
inglorious humanity. In the end, when they broke up, they
were just slightly older versions of those "scouser" lads,
ears pressed to the radio, lost in the music.

"A vastness of talent, of charm, of genius ... an ocean
like the one the four boys looked out upon, peering west
from the hills of Liverpool ... a flood that cascaded out
of the Cavern Club and Hamburg ... that pushed aside what
had come before, that cleansed and battered and in the end

This book reminds us - in generous detail - that the Fab
Four were just people. Not gods, saints, or shamans. We
like our idols to be perfect. These men clearly were not.
But in the end, the music they made came awfully close.

• John Kehe is the Monitor's art director.

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