I don't know, for some reason I was already doubting the validity of this book when I read the little bio of the author on the dust jacket describing Taylor as "the ultimate Beatles insider". It also said that "only one person knows exactly what was behind the Fab Four." Please! Actually, only the four Beatles knew that and then only what was in their own individual minds. We are not a race of telepaths!
I should right off tell you that Alistair worked for the Beatles or more correctly, their manager, for a period of years and then was fired and after not amounting to much in life after that is finally exposing all their secrets for the world to know! This book is packaged like a National Enquirer but the inside is quite tame.
Taylor hired on to Brian Epsteins record store and discovered alongside Epstein those then scruffy, cursing, leather-clad teddy boys who would later become our suit wearing Fab Four playing in the Cavern Club. Alistair soon came to be called "Mr. Fix-it" by the Beatles and handled all the grub work of the group and Epstein. This book tells about his years with the Beatles, and offers nothing shocking but still is entertaining for some of the personal anecdotes. For example, one time when George Harrison wanted to look at a house, he disguises himself as a chauffeur while Taylor and Patti Harrison charade themselves as a married couple looking at mansions. It does offer glimpses at the personalities of all the Beatles but only in snatches.
The Beatle that Taylor seemed to be closest to and gets the most attention in the book is Paul McCartney. Taylor makes a big deal of how Paul had to cry on his shoulder, literally after his break up with Jane Asher in the 60s. It is basically put on that Taylor was the only person Paul could turn to and there's a little too much self-satisfaction in his reaction to it. Look at me, I was there for a Beatle!
Ringo is hardly even mentioned and is even insulted in my opinion. He seems to be characterized as dumb and just lucky to have landed in the band. John is seen as a genius while Paul is just a good songwriter. George, like Ringo, doesn't really appear in the book even though Alistair does mention that he could have been a good songwriter in his own right if he had stuck up for himself. I guess this erases the fact that towards the end he was writing better songs than Lennon or McCartney (Something/ Here Comes the Sun).
I took a lot of this book with a grain of salt. It feels too much the work of a disgruntled ex-employee sometimes. Or the work of wounded friend who believes in the aftermath of rejection that he had a special connection with the Beatles when it seems as if he was just an acquaintance. With the packaging of the book, it seems like an exploitation. Sometimes, it almost feels like Taylor is going to say "If it hadn't been for me, the Beatles would never have existed."
It is not a secret history. I learned nothing new. Just heard some new stories about the boys personalities, but no new facts. But I did like it though. I welcome any new perspective, however biased, about the greatest group that has ever been....well, ever been to this point.