Living the Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans

Dey Street. Nov. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063248526. $40. MUSIC
In 1976, Mal Evans, the road manager and personal assistant to the Beatles, died and left behind unpublished memoirs and diaries. Nearly 50 years later, music critic Womack (John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life John) has incorporated these texts with original research. The result is a biography of Evans (1935–76) and his time within and without the Fab Four. The book initially revels in Beatlemania and Evans’s friendship with the group, gradually giving way to Womack’s take on the undocumented growing pressures on Evans, especially following the band’s breakup. The biggest issue with the book is not clearly indicating who the targeted audience is. The type of readers who would reach for this volume are already well-acquainted with many Beatles stories presented here. On the other hand, readers unfamiliar with Beatles lore would probably not seek out such an esoteric volume. Still, many may find this book to be long overdue.
VERDICT A commendable tribute and welcome companion to the promised upcoming volume, the second in a two-book project that draws deeply from the Evans family archives.
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