The Beatles' Shadow

Pauline Sutcliffe

05 July 2012
256 pages


Stuart Sutcliffe is the most famous contender for the crown of 'fifth Beatle'. One of the founding members, a close friend of Lennon, he left the band after their Hamburg sojourn in order to pursue his promising career as an artist, dying shortly thereafter of a brain haemorrhage. For years his sister Pauline has tried to protect his memory against the Beatles' need to sanitise their early history and now she is ready to tell the real story. In so doing she sheds new light on their formative period - the rivalry with McCartney, how George Harrison tried to keep the peace, the truth about Stuart's intense relationship with Lennon and why Lennon was haunted by guilt over her brother's death. And she describes what it was like for those like herself and Cynthia Lennon who have had no choice but to live with the Beatles all their lives.

'Gripping . . . the story of Stuart Sutcliffe. . . holds the key to the birth of pop's greatest group' Daily Mail

'An odd, fascinating book' MOJO