Back in pre-Covid 2019, Mark Lewisohn toured his ‘Hornsey Road’ one-man show about the ‘Abbey Road’ album on its 50th anniversary. Now, on October 7 and 8, he’ll be commemorating the 60th anniversary of Love Me Do’s release with three performances of a brand new two-hour production at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre.
Evolver:62 will see him dip into his own archive to speed-deliver 62 short stories about The Beatles’ 1962: a concept he intends to continue with, next year, 63 history bites about 1963, followed by 64 about 1964 and so on, all the way to the end.
“‘Tune In’ came out in 2013, nine years ago, but – quite honestly – I still don’t know when book two will be finished,” he explains. “It’s really quite some challenge to dive into such a deep, wide and vast history and to assess, condense and relate it thrillingly on the page. It IS coming, and in every single second of every single day I’m aware that it’s for me to do. But what a task it is.
In the meantime, it’s become 2022 and I face an inescapable truth, which is that the book project is underfunded. It had great initial impetus, but that was a long old time ago and now I need to finance staying alive while I’m writing. Evolver:62 is that.
“I love putting my research archive to fresh use; I amassed it to underpin my writing but it’s way too strong to stay locked away in a filing cabinet. I want to share openly what I’ve been gathering in 40 years of perpetual discovery… From 1963 to 1969, the Beatles were visibly on top of everything, but they were ready and primed in 1962 and I’ll use fantastic archive items to let this live again. The Beatles is a tremendous story – really the very best there’s ever been – and I’ll be showing it in ingredient parts.”
The shows: Friday, 7th October at 7:30pm; Saturday 8th October at 2:30pm and 7:30pm.
Tickets go on sale this Friday, 29th July, at 10:00am (UK).
At this point, I seriously doubt we’ll ever see Volumes 2 and 3.
Hope he tours this as he did with Hornsey Road.
I’m not sure if he’s got writer’s block or some other problem, but Vol 2 is so massively delayed it’s ridiculous and hard not to conclude that his time would be much better spent finishing that first, (much as I enjoyed his Hornsey Road tour and will enjoy this one).
Fans/readers have been incredibly patient, but it’s been an inordinately long wait since Vol 1 & I’m beginning to think Vol 2 will never be published (or I’ll die first). Can’t see Vol 3 ever appearing.
I don’t believe Lewisohn wants to publish while McCartney and Ono are still alive
I don’t believe Lewisohn CAN publish while McCartney Starkey and Ono are still alive.
Is it possible to make the talk available online?
I wonder what’s going on with Mark. He released the “Special” version of Part 1 for an insane amount of Money. Definitely a sad rip-off for fans without those kinda financial resources.
Maybe if he didn’t spend his Time Touring, he might get something done.
I think you guys should be more understanding of the situation he’s in. (a) He’s trying to tell the story with comparable detail as volume 1, but volume 2 has VASTLY more information to present, and (b) he needs to eat!
Mark spends all day every day working on this. He starts early morning and finishes at night, year after year, and no-one is paying him. He can’t do normal work as well, and so he has no income. He is doing appearances like this because he needs to support himself, which is understandable. I think he got £1m advance for volume 1, which sounds like a fortune but he started it in 2005 – 17 years ago. That income averages out at £60k before tax, and not only does he travel the world for his research, which is expansive, he won’t get another payment until he delivers volume 2 to the publisher – how long can he go without earning anything? We are so very lucky – all we have to do is sit back and wait until he’s finished. He’s pretty much given his life to this project.
Too right, Terry. Craving fans can be unfair and cruel.
I wrote Mark a year or so ago to suggest he crowdfund or Kickstart his Beatles bio project, saying that hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, or people would kick in some cash to subsidize his researches and writing and living expenses so that these books could be completed. I couldn’t have been the first to put forward this idea. he politely replied that he’d rejected that approach for his own reasons. So there’s very little we can do in the way of philanthropyalas.
He has no publishing deal? Fascinating…Too bad he’s not in the movie business.
He has a publishing deal for his trilogy. But the work has taken so long that his handsome advance payment has been spent.
Well said, Terry! Mark Lewisohn has been such a gift for the fans of the Beatles who want to know a bit more than what colour teeth George had or why they wore their hair like that. I have been lucky to have bought or been given each of Mark’s books and the value and joy I get has long surpassed any monetary value laid out at the onset. I know these books aren’t cheap, but I know I’m lucky. Volume 2 will be massive, given the material available, both in print and on film and tape. In many ways it’s a harder task putting together a coherent story from so many sources. If there’s one person who can succeed in this challenge, it’s Mark Lewisohn. I missed him appearing in Newark, Notts on 9th July (2022) but I intend to see him at some point. He needs to be able to support himself and his family, which, in the current climate, is getting more and more difficult with each increase in fuel, energy and food bill. Keep yer chin up, Mark!
There are many, many of us who would happily do a patreon, even if the perk would be just a year end card as something in return.
I know he said he does not like cashing in without giving something valuable in return, but I’d merely see it as a community grant, with him in return being able to finish the book.
Writer in residence on planet Beatles.
If possible we could add some funds to have the books delivered to public libraries so that they become more accessible for those who cannot afford the purchase, which can be both as physical and electronical resources including the audio book. And make it more accessible by allowing more than just one electronic loan at a time.
I know this is me dreaming, but you may say I’m a dreamer and I will agree. Find a middle ground of generating income for the creator and making the work as accessible as possible. I know that books can be expensive, and if you think how much work and life time has to be invested to create them I am very much astonished that even the expanded edition of Tune In still was very fairly priced.
I have payed more for any of The Beatles’ Super Deluxe Editions as a group and solo than for the expanded All Those Years Vol. 1, except the John Lennon box sets, and I did not purchase any McCartney box sets because they usually are beyond my limit. So I think the book in all editions is already very fairly priced.
Which would be even more reason for me to be willing to add a bit to a crowdfunded researching, writing and living grant for Mark.
What we need, since Mark refuses crowdfunding, is simply for one well-heeled Beatle fan to step up, cut Mark a check for a princely sum, compel him to accept it without obligation, and then allow him to get on with his writing.
Perhaps a guerilla Patreon account could be set up for him.
Find someone trustworthy and well known to agree to be the keeper of the account, we can provide a cup of coffee worth a month each, and the trustworthy person’s job is to convince Mark to take it, no obligations.
That way Mark’s under no obligation to us, but has no need to distract himself from the task to keep the lights on. Win win 🤞
I expect Vol. 2 will be the final installment. Assuming Lewisohn survives and by some miracle actually does complete Vol. 3 within the next 20-plus years, most of the original/oldest fans, i.e. us, will either be dead or in diapers and won’t care anymore.
I think Mark is doing an incredible job. I work in an academic research department at a university and most study grants and research are directed to the usual genres of monarchies, wars and general political machinations. Not a barrel of laughs. Mark is actually covering one of the most joyful and fun interludes in human history and he is already in a league of his own. I saw his Abbey Road Tour in 2019, and his Beatles in India lecture in Liverpool in 2018. Both nights cracking value for money, but also great occasions for everyone there to celebrate the power of obsessive Beatle dweeb-dom.
I appreciate older fans (me included) worrying whether either our good selves or Mark will be able to coffin dodge long enough in order to get the full epic, but hey eat your greens, get some sleep and lay off the ciggies and you’re in with a chance. There is plenty of new work being done on the Anglo-Irish Treaty, Battle of Britain etc, the contemporaries of which are all long gone but people are still interested in reading new research and perspectives into those pivotal events. The Beatles definitely are “history” in the same way, but Mark is the only game in town at the moment, especially working on the big picture.
Of course, Mark doesn’t have exclusive rights to academic research on the Fab Four. The field is wide open and anyone else is free to get their mojo working and produce a document-based biography. The British Library is there for all, but it seems there are few takers for that challenge. In the future, it’s possible that archives that are unknown or off-limits now will be opened and future historians will have Fab new info and insights to give us. But for now, I’m sad that we can’t clone Lewisohn because much as I love the Beatles, I also need definitive 3-volume sets on Peter Cook, Peter Sellers, John Barry, Albert Finney etc. Keep on keepin on Mark!
Many thanks for sharing this Roger. I’ve got our tickets for the Saturday evening performance. We saw Mark’s Hornsey Road show which was brilliant and my daughter did a show and tell about it at school for her then 10 year old classmates. The tickets state the audience members consent to be filmed and so hopefully there will be a version made avaialble to the public.