MUSIC GIFT GUIDE | Our book pick

‘Beatles vs. Stones’ by John McMillian

“Beatles vs. Stones”

By John McMillian

(Simon & Schuster)

Anyone looking for gifts for fans of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones knows there is never a dearth of options at the holidays for two of the most important — and scrutinized — bands in rock ’n’ roll history. (Look no further than the box set and DVD sections of this guide for proof.) This season, admirers of both seminal British groups can dig into this lengthy examination of the eternal debate of the title, by Georgia State University professor John McMillian. Although the band members themselves have always generally dismissed the idea of any serious “rivalry” and were clearly friendly, that doesn’t mean they didn’t inspire creative and commercial competition in one another. This look at the gray area between the myth of the white-hat Beatles (the poppy moptops) and the black-hat Rolling Stones (the ribald rockers) delves into the managerial and marketing machinations behind the scenes that helped shape those images. McMillian also uses existing interviews to chart the various cracks and kudos the Fab Four and the Glimmer Twins lobbed in each other’s directions over the years.