Living the Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans (Hardcover)

Living the Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans By Kenneth Womack Cover Image

Living the Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans (Hardcover)

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The first full-length biography of Mal Evans, the Beatles’ beloved friend, confidant, and roadie. 

Malcolm Evans, the Beatles’ long-time roadie, personal assistant, and devoted friend, was an invaluable member of the band’s inner circle. A towering figure in horn-rimmed glasses, Evans loomed large in the Beatles’ story, contributing at times as a performer and sometime lyricist, while struggling mightily to protect his beloved “boys.” He was there for the whole of the group’s remarkable, unparalleled story: from the Shea Stadium triumph through the creation of the timeless cover art for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the famous Let It Be rooftop concert.

Leaving a stable job as telecommunications engineer to serve as road manager for this fledgling band, Mal was the odd man out from the start—older, married with children, and without any music business experience. And yet he threw himself headlong into their world, traveling across the globe and making himself indispensable.

In the years after the Beatles’ disbandment, Big Mal continued in their employ as each embarked upon solo careers. By 1974, he was determined to make his name as a songwriter and record producer, setting off for a new life in Los Angeles, where he penned his memoirs. But in January 1976, on the verge of sharing his book with the world, Evans’s story came to a tragic end during a domestic standoff with the LAPD.

For Beatles devotes, Mal’s life and untimely death have always been shrouded in mystery. For decades, his diaries, manuscripts, and vast collection of memorabilia was missing, seemingly lost forever…until now.

Working with full access to Mal’s unpublished archives and having conducted hundreds of new interviews, Beatles’ scholar and author Kenneth Womack affords readers with a full telling of Mal’s unknown story at the heart of the Beatles’ legend. Lavishly illustrated with unseen photos and ephemera from Mal’s archives, Living the Beatles’ Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans is the missing puzzle piece in the Fab Four’s incredible story. 

Kenneth Womack is one of the world’s foremost writers and thinkers about the Beatles. In addition to such titles as Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles (2007), the Cambridge Companion to the Beatles (2009), and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four (2014), he is the author of a two-volume biography devoted to the life and work of Beatles producer George Martin, including Maximum Volume (2017) and Sound Pictures (2018). His book, Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles (2019), was feted as the go-to book by the Los Angeles Times for readers interested in learning about the band’s swan song. His most recent book, entitled John Lennon 1980: The Last Days in the Life John, was published in September 2020.


Womack serves as the Music Culture critic for Salon, as well as a regular contributor to a host of print and web outlets, including Slate, BillboardTimeVariety, The Guardian, USA Today, The Independent, NBC News, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Womack also serves as the Founding Editor of Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory, published by Penn State University Press, and as Co-Editor of the English Association’s Year’s Work in English Studies, published by Oxford University Press. Over the years, he has shared his work with public libraries and community organizations across the nation, as well as with audiences at Princeton University, Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Grammy Museum Experience, and the 92nd Street Y. He has also served as an expert commentator for ABC’s 20/20 and NBC’s Access Hollywood.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063248526
ISBN-10: 0063248522
Publisher: Dey Street Books
Publication Date: November 14th, 2023
Pages: 592
Language: English

"A Holy Grail for fans, offering an extended look into the band." — People Magazine

"Womack's account is full of thrilling moments. Devoted fans of the band will find much to cheer about." — Publishers Weekly

"Almost 50 years later, after the manuscript and other materials were discovered languishing in a storage basement by a publishing temp and returned to Evans’s family with Yoko Ono’s help, Kenneth Womack has finished the job with rigor and care." — New York Times

"Womack has woven a portrait full of complex threads that lead everywhere and, near the end of Evans' life, nowhere. The devout dedication to 'his boys,' his obsession with Westerns and guns, abandoning his wife Lily and children Gary and Julie for weeks and months on end as he ate, drank, slept, and drugged around the world . . . to finally the gut-wrenching, horrific conclusion to his life that, until now, has become the stuff of legend. This book is just amazing." — Q

"Womack’s book is a celebration—not just of Evans, but of all the unsung supporting characters who make creative life possible. . . . It removes the cloud of mythology that often shrouds the Beatles’ story and reminds us that their superstardom was by no means predestined." — The Guardian

"Like discovering the contents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Womack’s exclusive access to Evans’ unpublished archives, diaries, self-recorded notes, unfinished autobiographical manuscripts, and previously unseen pictures (along with numerous new interviews) conveys another view of the Beatles’ stunning history." — Culture Sonar

"With Living the Beatles Legend, Womack has shined an enormous light on a Beatles adjunct whose enormous contribution and heart-rending personal story has not been told until now." — Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Womack's Living the Beatles Legend is packed with behind-the-scenes stories spanning the band’s career and beyond [and] illustrated with rarely seen photographs and pages from the diaries of Malcolm Evans, their road manager and right-hand man, whose tragic story is itself fascinating." — Washington Review of Books