Yoko Ono still remains a presence around the Beatles and she found a way to help someone in their close circle to help. But this story starts out with finding old papers.
Leena Kutti was cleaning the basement of New York City publishing house G.P. Putnam’s Sons when she made a shocking discovery. In 1998, the office temp came upon four boxes in a room overflowing with papers.
Kutti opened them and discovered unseen photographs of the Beatles, along with a manuscript titled Living the Beatles’ Legend: Or 200 Miles to Go. She also found notebooks, diaries, a drawing by Beatles member John Lennon, and an autographed color photo of Elvis Presley. There was also another drawing by Beagles member Paul McCartney.
As it happened, they belonged to Malcolm “Mal” Evans, the Beatles’ road manager. These archives have been described as “a Holy Grail” among Beatles fans and music historians.
The Beatles Story Grows Thanks to Mal Evans, Kenneth Womack
Kenneth Womack writes about this in his book, Living the Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans. This book is the first full-length biography of Evans, known as the Beatles’ beloved friend, confidant, and roadie. Womack, a Beatles scholar, had full access to Evans’ unpublished archives. He conducted hundreds of new interviews to shed light on a forgotten figure.
“Mal’s story has always been this great mystery in the Beatle world,” Womack told Fox News Digital. “We’ve all wondered about him. He’s this wonderful, lovable guy with horn-rimmed glasses in all the photos. And when I received the opportunity to tell Mal’s story from his family, I couldn’t help saying yes.
“It’s been a mystery we’ve all wanted to understand more for all these years,” Womack shared. “When I found out from Gary Evans, who is Mal’s eldest son, that all of this material was out there, I couldn’t help it. I had to do it.”
Evans was killed in 1976 in Los Angeles. It was mere weeks from when he would submit his memoirs for publication with Grosset and Dunlap.
Yoko Ono Steps In To Save The Day
“[Leena’s] job was to throw away old material because Putnam had purchased Grosset and Dunlap, and they were consolidating their storage room,” Womack explained. “She found all of this and thought, ‘This isn’t right. They’re going to throw this stuff away.’”
Worried Evans’ personal archives of his time with the Beatles would be tossed away, Kutti marched down to The Dakota where Yoko Ono lived.
“That day she got the lawyers going,” Womack explained. “And under Yoko’s guidance, they got that material to Mal’s family like that. They’d been waiting 12 years. They didn’t know where it was. And it’s amazing that it’s not in a landfill today. Yoko (Ono) provided Mal’s family with this legacy. They had lost their dad in this incredible moment that was confusing for them. They didn’t quite understand [what happened]. Suddenly, they had, at least, all of his effects to be able to think about him and remember him – remember the good stuff.”
In the later years, Evans struggled with his mental health. Womack pointed out that during Evans’ time, mental health was misunderstood and not treated with the same care that it is today.
According to the book, police repeatedly ordered Evans to “drop the gun” that he had in his hands, but he refused. He told them, “No. Blow my head off.” After a standoff, Evans raised “the Winchester toward his shoulder, as if he were preparing to fire it.” Police shot Evans, who was killed instantly. He was 40.
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