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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Beatles book draws fans
Beatles book on sale in Japan
First editions: An unnamed fan gets his copy
Beatles' fans across the world have rushed out to buy copies of the Fab Four's autobiography.

Fans in Japan were among the first to get their hands on copies of the book, followed by Europe and the UK.

Stores in Japan and Britain opened at midnight to satisfy demand for the book, the first written by the band members about their experiences as the world's most successful group.

Beatles book
The first book goes on sale in Tokyo
Publishers says the 350,000-word volume, at a cost of 35, has already attracted more than 1.5m orders worldwide.

Kim Hardie of Waterstone's in Picadilly, London, said: "We had people hammering on the doors at 2355BST desperate to get in.

"People were really getting whipped up into a frenzy. It was a brilliant atmosphere.

"Many of the customers were coming in and grabbing two or more copies at a time."

Meanwhile, the world's first museum devoted to John Lennon has opened to the press near Tokyo.

The 3,600-square-metre museum, on two floors, holds more than 130 items associated with the life and career of the music legend, and was opened by his widow Yoko Ono.

Due to the difference in time zones, Japan was nearly half a day ahead of Europe and the United States in selling the Beatles' book.

'A penny a song'

The 1,000 copies on sale at a Tokyo branch sold within the hour and waiting fans were entertained by a Japanese band playing a string of famous Beatles songs.

One of the lucky fans, 20-year-old Naoyuki Kamiyama said he had to buy the book because he believed the band's music was classic.

"In the classic world, it's Mozart," Kamiyama said.

"And like Mozart, I strongly believe the Beatles will survive time and fashion."


I strongly believe the Beatles will survive time and fashion

Naoyuki Kamiyama

Extracts from the book, written by the surviving Beatles - George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney - and Yoko Ono, have already surfaced.

The book reveals how the group's record company paid the band just one old penny between them for each single record sold during the early 1960s and 10 pence for every album.

According to the book, Brian Epstein hoped to keep the rest of the band's earnings for himself in return for guiding the group to stardom.

As well as the recollections of each member of the band - Lennon's words are taken from interviews he gave - there are reminiscences from producer Sir George Martin, roadie turned head of their company Neil Aspinall and the late Derek Taylor, the band's long-time press officer.

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See also:

03 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Epstein 'wanted Beatles fortune'
03 Oct 00 | Americas
Lennon killer denied parole
29 Sep 00 | Entertainment
McCartney art makes UK debut
01 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Beatles tell of yesterdays
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