I share quite a few similarities with the author of Blues & Beatles, Neil Roberts. There are obvious things – like him I adore Everton and like him the Beatles have been the central musical influence of my life. But there are less obvious things too; having a young son, an embarrassing childhood injury, moving abroad at a young age, and the slow inexorable divorce of my parents. This is why Roberts’ book is so compelling; beyond the layers of Everton anecdotes and exploring his love for the Beatles is a book that plunges deep into his family.
At this point I’m going to mention the dreaded ‘H’ word, the word that stalks all football books – Hornby. Roberts’ book is very Hornby-esque, but not in the way that you’d think. I found the parts of his book about Everton fascinating, especially when he was working for the Liverpool Echo and his love for the Beatles is brilliantly explained too. However, it is the parts about Roberts’ life, his family and how Everton FC has weaved itself into that family unit that is closest to Hornby. Rather than Fever Pitch, I think that parts of this book are very close, in terms of their raw emotion, to About A Boy.
All in all Blues & Beatles is a tremendous read from one of our 60 Evertonians, Neil Roberts.