Troubador Blame It On The Beatles And Bill Shankly

Released: 28/09/2018

ISBN: 9781789014549

eISBN: 9781789011746

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book

Author Website

Blame It On The Beatles And Bill Shankly

by

A highly evocative story set in Liverpool of the 1960’s. 
An exploration of what it was to be like to be young in the time and city of The Beatles. 
The joys of music and football in a golden age. 

At the start of the 1960’s Liverpool is an ordinary, northern city. Badly damaged by German bombs and still struggling to shake off the fall-out from the war. Tony and his teenage friends look at their dull, grey lives and dream of something better. Even their beloved football team, Liverpool FC, seem to be stuck in Division Two and going nowhere. 

Then The Beatles and Bill Shankly come along. And everything goes crazy. 

The city is the focus of world attention. And it isn’t just the music. Liverpool start to dominate English football, becoming one of the very best teams in Europe. Tony and his friends watch The Beatles, who they first saw playing at small local venues like The Casbah and Litherland Town Hall, go on to achieve worldwide fame. 

It is an astonishing time to be young and living in Liverpool. Tony writes songs and falls in love with a girl living in Penny Lane. He and his friends join the swaying crowd on the Kop at Anfield to watch Bill Shankly’s team and sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. 

The future looks bright. But life can be cruel. Nothing lasts forever. We all, in the end, have to grow up.

Blame It On The Beatles And Bill Shankly was published as a paperback at the end of September 2018. It is also available as an e-book.

The book contains lyrics of some unpublished songs from the nineteen sixties, and by visiting the website you can listen to 'demo' recordings of those songs. The website also has photographs of various locations in and around Liverpool which feature in the story.


Here are some comments on the book received from a reader in USA - July 2018

'Blame It On The Beatles' is a wonderful read for anyone who was a teenager in America in the 1960's and can remember the first time they heard 'She Loves You'. The city of Liverpool features in the story and, as an American who has never been there, I immersed myself in the travels of Tony, the fictional main character, to The Cavern, The Kop, Lennon's Art School, Penny Lane, and the coffee and record shops in the city centre.

The author, John Winter, writes with great empathy about Liverpool's bomb sites and post-war deprivations while revealing how the younger generation brought joy to their lives through the sexual energy of their music and the ascendancy of Liverpool Football Club.

Tony endures personal tragedy against this life-affirming background. His story parallels the events of the 1960's and, by the end of the book, he has grown up - as we all have to. His eventual happiness provides an uplifting ending.

Diane Adam (Seattle, Washington State)

http://www.blameitonthebeatles.com

North Somerset Times

Champion Newspapers

Local Life

This is a really pleasant nostalgia trip, filled with real-life incidents of the rise of the Betles and Liverpool football club. The fictional story is a little weak and not particularly exciting, but it forms a framework on which to hang a factually accurate account of the exciting times that were the early 1960s, which the author actually experienced. My husband is from Liverpool and was a young teenager at that time also, so it felt very real to me. Thanks, I enjoyed it!

by Annette Forrest (via NetGalley)


I enjoyed this read as a fan of The Beatles, I only knew a little about Liverpool before reading. Good read.

by A D (via NetGalley)


I really enjoyed reading this. I live relatively close to Liverpool so it was good to read about various areas from a bygone era. Quite enjoyed the fiction interlaced with it too.

by Kayleigh Sanders


This made an excellent read for me and proved to be a real page turner. I moved to The West Country 45 years ago, having spent my formative years in Liverpool. I enjoyed the story John Winter has woven against the factual backdrop of the time. It transported me right back to the 60s as I was there & can vouch for the authenticity. Indeed, I can identify in parts both with Sarah & Fiona!

by Rhona Jellicoe


Having loved the Beatles music, played soccer for ten years, and visited Liverpool several times, I am completely enthralled with this book. Winter very effectively takes fictional characters and weaves them into a story that illuminates the history of Liverpool in the tumultuous 60’s. I could feel the vibrations of the Beatles’ music and the excitement of the crowd at the Cavern Club, and was crushed by the fans in the Kop at Anfield as they lived and died with each goal. In addition, the life lessons learned by the main character, Tony, are as applicable today (maybe more so) as they were then. I highly recommend “Blame it on the Beatles and Bill Shankly”

by James Kendig


I have just been transported back in time and place by the book "Blame it on the Beatles and Bill Shankly"! In 1964 I was one of those screaming teens who couldn't get enough of the 4 moppets from Liverpool and only imagined what life was like in the city which spawned the Beatles and the musical groups who followed. As an adult I have been privileged to visit Liverpool where I also have been exposed to the unabashed enthusiasm & loyalty of the fans of the "Liverpool (Soccer) Football Club" .
As an American, my musings fell short of the descriptions and events portrayed in this book. From an adult perspective I have a new appreciation of how music and sport have drastically changed a city. I highly recommend this "coming of age" tale for the impact its events had on a whole generation.

by Karen K Dornan


Remember listening to your first Beatles album? As an American, this book allowed me to experience the very beginnings of The Beatles in their environment of Liverpool. I was able to walk around the city, visiting all of the places where they gained their inspiration, like Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, and the clubs where they played. It's a story rich in detail of time and place; the fictional characters give the book its emotional tone, from the dullness of post-war living, to the energy of music, and from the success of the soccer team. I highly recommend it.

by Steve


John Winter

John Winter was born in Liverpool. While a student at Liverpool University in the nineteen sixties he wrote pop songs, several of which were published and recorded by people as varied as 'Diddy' David Hamilton, the BBC Disc Jockey, and Faith Brown, the well-known actress, singer, comedian and impressionist, when she was a member of a vocal group called The Carrolls. As a result of this song-writing he got to know some of the musicians and poets who were making the city famous across the world. These experiences provide the background to what is otherwise a work of fiction.

The photograph on the front cover of the book is of the bronze statue of The Beatles which stands on the Pier Head in Liverpool in front of the iconic Liver Building, Cunard Building, and Port of Liverpool Building. It is used by kind permission of the sculptor, Andrew Edwards, to whom I offer my grateful thanks. The statue was commissioned by The Cavern Club and unveiled by John Lennon's sister, Julia Baird, on the 50th Anniversary of the band's final concert in Liverpool.

John Winter has previously published (in 2014) 'Aiming High - Overland to The Himalayas 1971', a book which describes his experiences as a member of an expedition to the unclimbed West Ridge of Indrasan, a mountain over twenty thousand feet in height which some experts say is more difficult than Everest. He and the team travelled overland to India along what became known as 'The Hippie Trail', a journey which would now be almost impossible to complete because of the dangers which travellers would face in countries such as Afghanistan. As well as indicating how different things were in 1971, the book also describes a personal journey. Before joining the expedition he had no experience at all of mountaineering. He had not even climbed to the top of Snowdon. It is a tale of high-altitude mountaineering as seen through the eyes of a non-climber. It describes the problems and physical dangers which have to be overcome by those who choose to climb the world's highest mountains.

John Winter can be contacted by e-mail on 'johnwinter049@gmail.com'.

  • Buy as a printed
    book
  • £8.99

  • 7 customer reviews
  • Buy as an ebook
  • £4.99
  • Find this ebook at your favourite retailer
Also by John Winter / Related Books