New books from Apcor

A couple of books looking for a publisher have been picked up by Apcor, the idealists behind the “A is for Apple” series of books. The new books, one about the Beatles in Hamburg, the other about the late Mal Evans, both look very promising.

No Hamburg – No Beatles

Thorsten Knublauch’s upcoming book.

Much has been written about the beginnings of the Beatles in Hamburg. Those days are considered by many as the most important era in their rise to fame. Hamburg welded John, Paul, George and Ringo together even if they didn’t always play in the same group, or were even in the country at the same time. They came up with an incredible repertoire of songs, some of which would later emerge on their first records and continue until the Get Back sessions in 1969 or in solo projects up to the present day. From performing as a ‘living jukebox’ in the clubs where they had to play through the nights, they grew to become a stadium-filling supergroup.

The Beatles played over 1,000 hours on stage in four Hamburg clubs from August 1960 until December 1962. They made studio recordings in each year and released their first record – albeit uncredited on the label. John, Paul and George lost one founding member and parted with another during these days but added Ringo to create a musical unit that may never be surpassed.

This book will tell you everything you need to know about the importance of those Hamburg days for the Beatles – their lives, their experiences, their style, their recordings, their instruments, etc.!

Rumours and myths that have persisted for decades will be re-examined in their historical context to determine if they’re true or not.

Many new facts and details have been unearthed for this book, along with a huge catalogue of photos and reproductions of contracts, memorabilia and other obscure documents.

In addition, the tragic story of Stuart Sutcliffe’s life in Hamburg is summarized in great detail. Pete Best played the Star-Club circuit until the end of 1964 and so his Hamburg story is told beyond his Beatles days.


540 pages, A4 Size, hardback, full colour with 600 illustrations; never before seen photos, documents, adverts, memorabilia, record covers, newspaper reports, reproductions of contracts, letters, bills, receipts, etc. etc.
In-depth stories about the recordings made in Germany, histories of all the places they played, even exclusive picture of their 1966 concerts, this is THE definitive book on the Beatles’ visits to Germany.


The author Thorsten Knublauch is familiar from his previous book, “The Bravo-Beatles-Blitztournee” all about the 1966 short tour of Germany which brought The Beatles back to Hamburg. Thorsten has also helped Mark Lewisohn with his research into the Hamburg era of The Beatles. His new book is the culmination of over 30 years of work Thorsten has invested in this very interesting and generally underrated phase of the Beatles’ early career. So there is absolutely no one better qualified to write such a book! With a foreword by Jürgen Vollmer, the famous photographer who, along with Astrid Kircherr took those iconic shots of the Beatles and invented their haircut, a middleword by Rüdiger Neber, member of The Bats with whom Stuart Sutcliffe performed a few gigs and an afterword by Howie Casey, saxophonist who played on several of Paul McCartney’s albums and world tours and also performed in Hamburg in the 1960s alongside The Beatles.

The new book, “Mach Schau in Hamburg!” is available now for pre-order and is expected to ship around May 2021. So, don’t hesitate and order your copy today from


The Beatle world has been waiting for a book on Mal Evans, the gentle giant who was the Beatles’ assistant in oh, so many ways. And now is the time. The author, Peter Hicks, has signed a contract with the folks at Apcor for his title, “To Serve is to Rule: The Life and Times of Mal Evans, The Beatles’ Gentle Giant”.

Malcolm “Mal” Evans is best known as the road manager, assistant, bodyguard and friend of The Beatles. In the early 1960s, Evans was employed as a telephone engineer and a part-time bouncer at The Cavern Club, where The Beatles regularly performed. As The Beatles gained popularity their manager Brian Epstein hired Evans to serve as their assistant road manager. Since Evans was tall and heavily-built he also served a dual-purpose as the band’s bodyguard.
Evans was also in charge of setting up The Beatles equipment and taking care of whatever the boys needed at home or on the road. Although not a musician, Evans contributed to many Beatle recordings, and appeared in all of the films The Beatles made.

After the Beatles stopped touring in 1966, Evans carried on assisting the band and working with them in the studio. He continued to work with John, George and Ringo after The Beatles broke up. Mal was with John Lennon during his infamous “Lost Weekend” in Los Angles. Tragically, Mal Evans was killed by the Los Angeles Police Department on January 5, 1976. It turns out that Mal Evans had kept a diary, and after his death, rumors swirled that he had been working on some memoirs. Tentatively titled “Living the Beatles Legend,” the book was to have been based on some 15 years of diary entries in which Mal was ensconced in the life of all four Beatles.It turned out that the diaries were kept in the basement of a New York publishing house, and Yoko Ono got hold of them. She then gave the diaries to Evans’ widow, Lily.

While a book has yet to be published containing the full story, the Times published excerpts of the diaries. The excerpts told the sad story of an underpaid and yet loyal employee of the millionaires. Being paid a pittance for his devotion and work – less than £40 per week – he was often broke, having to support a wife and two children while spending most of his time with the Beatles. He was the main go-fer boy: “I would get requests from the four of them to do six different things at one time and it was always a case of relying on instinct and experience in awarding priorities.” Often, John would be in a stupor, only to snap out of it and mutter, “Socks, Mal,” and off Mal would go to the local department store to get several pairs of socks. Once, the Beatles had no cups to drink milk with their sandwiches; Mal pulled out four plastic cups from his pocket.

Mal Evans, fixing stuff as usual.

Mal Evans realised his role within the Beatles, and it bothered him, but he was doing what he truly loved. In perhaps the most poignant moment of the diaries, he confesses:

I feel very hurt and sad inside – only big boys don’t cry. Why I should feel hurt and reason for writing this is ego… I thought I was different from other people in my relationship with the Beatles and being loved by them and treated so nice, I felt like one of the family. Seems I fetch and carry… I always tell myself – look, everybody wants to take from, be satisfied, try to give and you will receive. After all this time I have about £70 to my name, but was content and happy. Loving them as I do, nothing is too much trouble, because I want to serve them.

George arranged for Mal’s family to receive £5,000 on his death; he had no pension and he had not kept up his life-assurance premiums. Lily and Gary Evans have met Paul twice to discuss the ownership of some Beatles lyrics Mal had tidied up, which she wanted to sell. Paul appears to have reached generous out-of-court settlements with her. Over the years, the Mal Evans archive has dwindled as Lily has been forced to sell other parts of it piecemeal.

There has never before been a book about Mal Evans – although there was actually a screenplay and a novel – so this is a most welcome addition to any Beatles library. A publishing date has yet to be announced.

The Times

1 Response

  1. Rob Geurtsen says:

    shocking, to realize The Beatles were / are no different than other artists, rich folkse etc. They know these persons love them and their work, and live in the delusion of being loved too. Let’s be fair… this story might reflect pretty bad on them…

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