FAIRPORT, N.Y. -- Local author and musician Andy Babiuk is releasing an expanded version of Beatles Gear, an in-depth look at the musical instruments played by John, Paul, George and Ringo. The Ultimate Edition includes about 650 new pictures, plus never before told stories, all done with the help of The Beatles and those close to them.
"I've always taken a great interest in equipment that the Beatles used," said Babiuk, whose longtime band The Chesterfield Kings flew the garage rock flag proudly. "A friend of mine said y'know, if you wrote down everything you know about The Beatles equipment, lock yourself in your house for a week and get a case of beer and you'd have a book. I thought that's a great idea."
Six years after that, Babiuk's first Beatles Gear book came out, but this new one is even more comprehensive.
"It tells the complete story. We have pictures of the albums, so as you go through you really get a feel for what the band was doing. Their tours, their recording. It's kind of fun."
The cover includes a picture of John Lennon's J-160E, which recently sold for $2.4 million.
"When Paul McCartney says it's really great to finally see John's guitars because I haven't seen them since we recorded the record, that's really cool, y'know?"
That's right - The Beatles themselves not only approve the book, they use it.
"It was really a noble effort to create a historical document. Once they saw that was what I was trying to do, they really kind of embraced it," Babiuk said.
"I think 75 years from now there's gonna be kids that are going to hear Beatles music, and they'll wonder how the heck did they do it? And here will be an actual historical document showing chronologically exactly how it was done."
Babiuk's writing credits also include Rolling Stones Gear.