There’s been a lot of buzz among Beatles fans since the first announcement about the new book, “a is for apple.” The book, co-authored by Axel Korinth from Germany, Ed Dieckmann from the Netherlands and newly named co-author Antonio Caroselli from Italy, is to be a three-volume set with complete details about the Beatles’ Apple Records company, the authors told Beatles Examiner. Caroselli was announced as a new co-author for the series on Oct. 24. He’s also the author of a future biography of Apple recording artist Brute Force.
The book has been in the works for about two years, the authors say, though some of the information dates back further. “Some parts of this book originate from about 2002 when I was working on an entirely different project which was never released. But actually we began collaborating on ‘a is for apple’ in 2012,’ Korinth said. “Like Axel said, the two of us started working on this book in 2012,” Dieckmann said. “But I personally have been working on some sort of Apple project on and off for maybe 10 years, cataloging Apple stuff in various ways,”
“The idea itself is probably older than the project itself,” Korinth says. “A couple of years ago I was writing a feature about Apple Publishing for a German fanzine and later started a series about the first solo records for the same mag. The latter series was aborted though when Ed and myself decided to write the full story about Apple together. We both knew there were so many facts to uncover, so many things to discover. So doing this project is like a natural thing do. Plus, it was very helpful that Ed runs the excellent website Apple Records.nl along with another German Beatles scholar. The discographical facts from the website and our narrative kind of form ‘a is for apple.’” Apple Records released a box set of some of the label’s albums in 2010.
Dieckmann said the book had to be done. “Things like these appear because everyone’s always waiting for someone to do it, and then nobody does it! So we decided we’d make this the most extensive, most detailed book on Apple ever made,” he said.
“For me, it started on a Beatles collectors website where a German collector and me exchanged scans of worldwide Apple records, that turned into a website, then Axel came into the picture and ‘now it’s all this!’ Axel writes a superb narrative and I am more involved with the discography side of the book. And while the general record collecting world knows a lot about records on the Apple label, the records which have Apple published songs on them have been criminally neglected!”
They said getting information for the book wasn’t all that hard. “It wasn’t that complicated,” Korinth said. “Lots of facts were published in newspapers back in the Sixties. But once the information was published it was forgotten. So we kind of had to retrieve it. Plus we had to ask the people who were actually there the right questions. It wasn’t always that easy to get in touch with them, though. In one case a certain person died once we finally located him. Time is our worst enemy.”
The authors have done interviews with musicians, composers and employees associated with Apple. The books will include extensive discographical data along with images of every known worldwide record release, rare plus never before seen photographs, plus vintage advertisements and documents. They say the books will have the most complete Apple discography ever assembled.
“I’d say 90% of the information isn’t very hard to find,” Dieckmann said. “The main problem is shifting the rubbish from the facts. Unfortunately, most people’s memories have been colored through the years, many people associated with Apple have died, lost their memory or remained unavailable for some reason or another. And I would say that a lot of information on songs published by Apple Publishing was quite tough as a lot of them ended up on obscure records.”
The first volume will discuss the label’s beginnings with Lennon and McCartney’s first solo projects, “How I Won The War” and “The Family Way,” and the foundation of Apple Publishing, Apple Retail and Apple Electronics and then, in 1968, the first releases on Apple Records, plus music published before the label’s startup. Sample pages of the book are here.
Korinth says they don’t have a timeline for the release of the other books, “though we initially hoped to get all four books released before Ed’s 60th birthday in 2018. Considering we had planned to release Volume 1 around Christmas 2013, it’s unlikely we’ll get this project done within four years.”
The authors have formed a self-publishing outlet for the book. “Although we publish and finance ‘a is for apple’ entirely ourselves, a book still needs a publisher. That’s why we have founded a little publishing company called Apcor Books. Dig it? This is really only to release our ‘a is for apple’ series although there might be some other Beatles-themed books in the future,” they said.
The authors also announced the final price of Volume 1 will be 55 Euro (just under $70 USD) plus shipping and handling. “As we have to pay the printing company before we send out the books we came up with the idea of a special subscription price. If you order and pay your copy of ‘a is for apple Vol. 1’ before 1 December you’ll get 5 Euro ($6.33 USD) discount.”
The authors also said that as a special gift, those pre-ordering will get a special collectable item not available with later payments. Books won’t be shipped until next April. You can order through the email firstname.lastname@example.org.