The Boys Next Door by Dan Greenberger

The metamorphosis of the Beatles began in Germany when the lads were on the cusp of breaking into a global phenomena. The leather-clad beatnik musicians were earning their chops and ready to conquer the world. Dan Greenberger creates an elaborate world of what-if imaginary weaved tale of youthful cool. It was the breeding ground of what was to come after 1960 and beyond.

The Boys Next Door by Dan Greenberger (Appian Way Press) tells the story of a Columbia University student and poet named Alan Levy who, while spending a semester abroad in Hamburg, Germany in 1960, finds himself living next door to Paul, John, Ringo, and former members Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best, otherwise known as The Beatles. Alan is a pompous intellectual who would like to write his own version of Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and finds himself both irritated and fascinated by this group of young musicians. 

Alan Levy is a college student who, in the fall of 1960, spends a semester abroad in Hamburg, Germany. There, he has the misfortune to rent a room next door to an up-and-coming rock and roll band from the North of England. They call themselves the Beatles.They are loud, rambunctious, and high-spirited. They are wildly unconventional (at least compared to Alan’s Ivy League polish) and play horrible, jarring music at all hours of the night. They are friends, however, with a young woman with whom Alan has fallen hopelessly in love—a beautiful German photographer named Astrid. The Boys Next Door is a bittersweet love story and a tall tale; a fast-paced, comic what-if, and a true fantasy fulfillment for Beatles fans everywhere. It’s a loving evocation of a time when rock and roll was new and dangerous, and when the lads from Liverpool were taking their first baby steps toward conquering the world.

A beautiful epistolary story juxtaposed with memoir-like style evokes the feeling of young men in a time in flux (and sporting on the cover, one of the best photos taken of The Beatles by Astrid herself) The Boys Next Door is literary love story to poetry, rock music, Hamburg and The Boys Next Door.

Dan Greenberger has worked as a writer/producer for CBS Television, creating trailers, features, and comedy videos for How I Met Your Mother, Everybody Loves Raymond, Survivor, The Big Bang Theory, and many more.  He is the recipient of many Writers Guild Awards for his efforts at CBS.

Fun Fact: The band liked the idea of using the name of an insect as a band name, and they were fans of Buddy Holly and the Crickets. John Lennon loved puns, he altered the spelling of “Beetles” to “Beatles”.