Alma to publish story of the Beatles' hairdresser

Alma to publish story of the Beatles' hairdresser

Alma Books has signed The Cutting Edge: The Story of the Beatles' Hairdresser Who Defined an Era by Leslie Cavendish.

The publisher acquired world rights to the book which will be published in September to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Beatle's eight studio album "Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band".

The book is written by Cavendish who was the hairdresser of the Beatles and many more 60s celebrities including the Bee Gees, The Who, James Taylor, Peter Cook, Terence Stamp, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills and Nash.

The blurb reads: "The Beatles’ hair changed the world. As their increasingly wild, untamed manes grew, to the horror of parents everywhere, they set off a cultural revolution as the most tangible symbol of the Sixties’ psychedelic dream of peace, love and playful rebellion. At the centre of this epochal change was Leslie Cavendish, hairdresser to the Beatles and designer of the four iconic men’s hairstyles, a brand image as immediately recognizable as the Nike swoosh or the Coca-Cola bottle.

"But just how did a fifteen-year-old Jewish school dropout from an undistinguished North London suburb, with no particular artistic talent or showbusiness connections, end up literally at the cutting edge of Sixties’ fashion in just four years? His story – honest, always entertaining and inspiring – parallels the meteoric rise of the Beatles themselves, and is no less astounding."

Cavendish was born in East London and grew up in Burnt Oak, North London. He was apprenticed to Vidal Sassoon in 1962, becoming a stylist in his own right three years later. By a stroke of luck he became Paul McCartney’s private hairdresser in 1966, and soon began to work on the image of all four Beatles, at the Apple offices and in their recording studios, and was even invited along as a friend and participant on the Magical Mystery Tour. In 1967, he opened his own salon, backed by Apple and the Beatles, at King’s Road, Chelsea.

After the official breakup of the Beatles, Leslie closed his salon and ran a clothing boutique in South London, while remaining a freelance hairdresser. In 1978, he entered the family footwear business and remained there until 1998 before moving to Spain. He now works for a major charity but also conducts occasional “VIP Beatles Tours” of London, lectures on the Beatles and Sixties culture, and consults with the Beatles Fan Club. Leslie Cavendish has two sons and divides his time between Britain and Spain. This is his first book.