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The Mysterious Michael Braun: Love Me Do!
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Earlier this week, I was raving about Adrian Dannatt's Doomed and Famous: Selected Obituaries, mainly because it brings up fascinating, obscure individuals that somehow fell between the cracks of time or in the backend of fame. Such a figure as Michael Braun. He was born in 1936 and dead by 1997. Beyond that, is life is a bit of a mystery. I tried to find a photograph of him on the Internet, but none can be found. Braun was on the fringes of journalism and the film/theater world. When he died, he was the producer of a Broadway-bound piece called Titanic. Before that, Braun produced the film The Secret Life of Plants based on a book by Christopher Bird and Peter Tomkins, with a soundtrack by Stevie Wonder. In the early 1960s, he found himself in London, where he worked (doing what?) with Stanley Kubrick on Lolita and Dr. Strangelove and was also a journalist for the Observer and Sunday Times. It was at this time he was introduced into the world of The Beatles. Braun's book, Love Me Do!: The Beatles Progress, is a fascinating first-person look into the world of Beatlemania as it was happening at the time. In 1970, John Lennon thought it was the most honest book on the Fab Four, exposing them to drinking, cursing, bored, and witty.
Written as a quickie journalistic exploitation, the book gives insight into the fishbowl life of the four lads from Liverpool. It covers their first English and American tour, focusing on their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. There are hints here and there that the teen idolized four enjoyed adult life when they can leave their fame-related prison in secrecy. A clear eye view of fandom and all of its restrictions. Very much the prototype of their first film, A Hard Days Night.
Braun is very much the invisible man in this book. He's there to do the job, and he does so, yet, it's strange that he never became successful or known in his field. He even lived in a homeless shelter after the wild and decadent Los Angeles era 1970s. A friend of Roman Polanski and seemingly an intellectual who read widely, but still, a ghost figure. Probably someone who is in the room with a photographer but never caught in the shot.