Troubador Blame It On The Beatles And Bill Shankly

Released: 28/06/2021

ISBN: 9781800465206

Format: Hardback

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Blame It On The Beatles And Bill Shankly



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The book contains lyrics of some unpublished songs from the nineteen sixties, and by visiting the website you can listen to 'demo' recordings of those songs.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.

These same photographs have now been collected together and published as a high-quality picture book by Bob Books. 'Blame It On The Beatles And Bill Shankly - The Picture Book' can be viewed and purchased on their website - ''.

The picture with Kevin Keegan was taken at a book signing at Waterstones in Liverpool. Kevin was signing copies of his recent book, 'My Life In Football' (which I have read and can highly recommend), and he asked for the signed and inscribed copy of 'Blame It On The Beatles And Bill Shankly' which he is holding.

He, of course, was signed for Liverpool Football Club by the great Bill Shankly back in 1971. So Kevin said he would be very interested to read the book - and then give his opinion.

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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, with 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.

The picture with Kevin Keegan was taken at a book signing at Waterstones in Liverpool.

John Winter can be contacted by e-mail on '[email protected]'.

John Winter

With Kevin Keegan at book signing
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