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Wirral Beatles book is a hit in Russia
BEATLES music was denied to the youth of Russia for decades when the Soviet authorities banned it as bourgeois and subversive.
But reaction to a new Beatles book, describing people’s personal contacts with John, Paul, George and Ringo, has demonstrated that the Russian people's passion for the Fab Four never waned despite the clampdown.
The Beatles and Me, compiled by Dean Johnson from Birkenhead, is set to become a best-seller in Russia after being featured in a national television report.
A camera crew from Zvezda (meaning The Star) TV visited Liverpool to interview Dean and to capture fabled Beatles landmarks in the city.
Dean said: "Liverpool represents a magical land to the Russians. It is the birthplace of a revolution in music created by The Beatles.
"Since we appeared on Soviet television the interest in the book there has been amazing."
The Beatles and Me is thought to be the first publication to feature recollections and pictures of the fans themselves.
Among them was a submission from Bob Dylan fan Chris Hockenhull who met George Harrison in Mathew Street, Liverpool in 1996.
Merseysider Chris recalled that George was with his wife Olivia and he was wearing a big black overcoat and scarf.
He said: "At first I didn’t recognise him. George was very laid back and he had a cold. He had been visiting people up here. I bought them a drink and they bought me one.
"I remember his unassuming smile and the fact he listened – he was a good listener.
"I am lucky to have met him on that cold, drizzly day."
The Beatles and Me was published on March 22 – the 50th anniversary of the release of the first Beatles album Please Please Me.
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