The family of Mal Evans – The Beatles’ longtime roadie, manager and general acquaintance, who featured prominently in Peter Jackson’s docuseries The Beatles: Get Back – have announced the publication of an authorised biography set to cover his storied life and career.
HarperCollins’ Dey Street Books imprint will publish it in 2023, with Evans’ estate working closely with author Kenneth Womack – himself an accredited Beatles scholar and, per his own website, “one of the world’s leading authorities on The Beatles and their enduring cultural influence” – to tell his story in resounding detail.
The biography, as yet untitled, will be followed in 2024 with a sprawling compendium of Evans’ personal archives, which Rolling Stone reports will feature diaries, manuscripts and more. Having obtained The Beatles’ blessing, Evans planned to published those manuscripts himself before his death at age 40 in January 1976.
“My dad meant the world to me,” Evans’ son Gary said in a statement. “He was my hero. Before Ken [Womack] joined the project, I thought I knew the story of my dad. But what I knew was in monochrome; 15 months later it is like The Wizard Of Oz (dad’s favourite film) because Ken has added so much color, so much light to his story.
“Ken has shown me that dad was The Beatles’ greatest friend. He was lucky to meet them, but they had more good fortune with dad walking down the Cavern steps for the first time.”
Evans remained on the Fab Four’s payroll until his untimely passing; he was hired as a roadie in 1963, and quickly grew close with the band. He continued to work with them in various other capacities, including as their manager, for years after they stopped touring in 1966.
The Beatles: Get Back debuted on Disney+ last month. It’s split between three episodes, totalling almost eight hours (a runtime that director Peter Jackson has staunchly defended). It chronicles the making of The Beatles’ 1970 album Let It Be, and incorporates a staggering 123 of the 400-odd songs the band recorded during the sessions on display.
NME gave the series a glowing five-star review, with writer Alex Flood praising its in-depth exploration of The Beatles’ recording processes. “It is precisely because of Get Back‘s lax editorial policy that it succeeds,” he wrote. “You might not be able to say anything new about The Beatles in 2021, but Jackson hasn’t tried. He’s shown us instead.”
Discussing what he expects fans to glean from the docuseries, Jackson said: “Now, they are our grandparents or great-grandparents. But here, John and Ringo are 28, Paul is 26 and George is 25, and you never once feel this footage is 52 years old. I’ve always thought their music transcends generations, but this will make them seem young again.”