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Date: 02/06/2004
Author: Patti Kelly
Subject: PHILIP NORMAN BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF SHOUT! The True Story of the Beatles IS SIGNED BY ecco FOR THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN LENNON

News



Contact: Patti Kelly
Director of Publicity
(212) 207-7269
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



PHILIP NORMAN
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF
SHOUT! The True Story of the Beatles
IS SIGNED BY ecco
FOR THE DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF JOHN LENNON




New York, NY (February 6, 2004) – Best-selling author Philip Norman, considered by many to be the one of the finest music biographers, has signed with Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, to publish JOHN LENNON: THE BIOGRAPHY. This definitive new work will be written with the support of Yoko Ono and include previously unreleased information. Daniel Halpern, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of Ecco, negotiated the deal with Peter Matson of Sterling Lord Literistic, Inc., Norman’s U.S. agent. HarperCollins will publish the book simultaneously in the U.K. under the HarperCollins Entertainment imprint -- Trevor Dolby, Managing Director and Publisher of HarperCollins Entertainment, negotiated the deal with Michael Sissons of Peters, Fraser and Dunlop -- and in Australia and New Zealand. The book is tentatively scheduled for fall, 2006.
For more than two decades, Philip Norman’s Shout! The True Story of the Beatles has been hailed as the definitive account of the band Lennon both created and discarded – and also as a book which set a new benchmark for intelligent music biography. Since its original publication in 1981, Shout! has been translated into more than a dozen languages and listed among the best biographies of the 20th century in any genre.
“John Lennon’s story is a modern fable, as human and charming as it is incredible,” says Norman. “How a bluntly-spoken Liverpool boy, for whom his schoolteachers predicted only failure, formed the most adored pop band of all time, wrote music that was compared with Schubert, and then ditched the Beatles to team up with Yoko in a partnership that was to challenge the whole world, is an epic story waiting to be told.”
“It's hard to believe that the Beatles were actually together for only nine years -- from 1962 when Ringo joined, to the official breakup in 1971," notes Halpern. “But they have never disappeared from our collective imagination. In fact, today they are as iconic as they were in the Sixties -- and their reach is now multigenerational, very young to very old. This is the right book at the right time, written by the right writer."
Norman will speak to all the crucial characters in the story, among them Sir George Martin, the record producer who worked with Lennon on Beatle masterpieces; Pauline Sutcliffe, sister of Stu Sutcliffe, the tragic “fifth Beatle”; and the members of the Quarry Men, Lennon’s first-ever band. Preliminary research has already uncovered new information on Lennon’s parents and early life, previously unpublished letters and poems and the full account of how, at the time of his death, Lennon was envisaging a triumphal return to Britain, sailing up the Mersey to Liverpool on the QE2. He will also have access to the unpublished reminiscences of John’s Aunt Mimi, who brought him up.
Philip Norman was born in London and brought up on the Isle of Wight. He joined the Sunday Times at the age of twenty-two. In 1981 he published Shout!, the groundbreaking biography of the Beatles that was a bestseller in both Britain and the US. He has also written the definitive lives of Elton John and Buddy Holly. Although he resists classification as a "rock biographer," a musical theme pervades almost all of Philip Norman's work. In 1983, he was named one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists for his autobiographical novel The Skaters Waltz. His shorter fiction includes Word of Love, about Buddy Holly's last hours.
In 1999, HarperCollins acquired Ecco, the prestigious literary fiction and non-fiction imprint founded in 1971. HarperCollins is one of the leading English-language publishers in the world and is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NCP, NCPDP). Headquartered in New York, the company has publishing groups in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Its publishing groups include the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children’s Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand, and HarperCollins India. You can visit HarperCollins on the Internet at www.harpercollins.com.
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