The Other Fab Four: The Remarkable True Story of the Liverbirds, Britain’s First Female Rock Band

Grand Central. Mar. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781538739969. $30. MEMOIR
The musical crucible that was Liverpool in the 1960s produced a four-piece band called the Liverbirds (pronounced “lie-ver birds”), one of the first all-women rock bands in the world. In alternating chapters, McGlory and Saunders—the band’s two surviving members—tell amazing and touching stories about growing up in postwar England, the club scene of the early 1960s, and their experiences at Beatles gigs. They played the Cavern Club, opened for and befriended the Rolling Stones and the Kinks, and eventually played a run of shows at the famous Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. Their time in Hamburg is the focus of the book, as the city became the home base for their touring career and personal lives. There are numerous tales of love affairs and adventures within and outside the music scene. The Liverbirds disbanded in 1968, after marriages, pregnancies, and tragedies. Afterward, they got jobs (in and out of music), raised families, and reunited briefly in 1998. Their story spawned the 2019 British musical Girls Don’t Play Guitars, and there’s a documentary film on the horizon.
VERDICT A fascinating and tender look at the Liverbirds and their extraordinary lives.
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