Bagism: Library

John Lennon/Beatles Book Reviews


Have you read a good John Lennon or Beatles book lately? Or maybe you read a book that you wish you hadn't? Why not add a review and let others know what you thought of it.

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Rating: 5.0
Sep 13, 2014
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Rating: 4.5
Feb 8, 2010
Margreet Frens
Book Title: In the studio with the Beatles / Nagra Tapes
Book Author: Dennis Dekker
For over three years Dennis Dekker almost literally spent his time in the studio with The Beatles during the Let it Be-training sessions. Every month he wrote -under the pseudonym Arend G. Cornelissen- a report for the site www.beatlesfanclub.nl. These texts have now been joined together in a unique volume: ‘Nagra Tapes’which can be ordered through the Beatles Fanclub Netherlands, www.beatlesfanclub.nl Dekker was -of course- not literally with the Beatles in the studio. But he got a bit of a 'fly on the wall' feeling. It all happened in the month January of 1969. A month in which the fab four were full in practice and recording sessions. These sessions were ment to be for a live album, which at the end never appeared. The famous film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg filmed this process with so called ‘Nagra Tapes’ and an accompanying filmcamera. Parts of these takes became at the end the famous documentary Let it Be. Dekker listened to all these Nagra tapes (almost 80 hours of material) as audiofiles. In the past years Dekker published every month over about 2 hours of this material. This almost verbatim transcript was published every month on www.beatlesfanclub.nl. Quarrels, discussions on current events and of course much music… What did Dekker hear the past few years? The famous quarrel between Paul McCartney and George Harrison and the departure of Harrison, followed by a rehearsel period without Harrisson. A strongly present, and occasionally very irritating, Yoko Ono. The return of Harrison and the arrival of keyboardplayer Billy Preston in the practice and recording space. The changing of the cavern-like Twickenham Film Studios into the Apple Studio. Paul McCartney who seems to be the bandleader several times during the sessions. George Harrison, the First Beatle who officially admits that he wants to release a solo album. The tuning of instruments and matching of sounds. But also conversations about various TV programs of the evening before. Different views on albums made by artists that the Beatles appreciate. And of course music. Lots of Music and numerous covers. And of course many different versions of their own songs such as Do not Let Me Down, Two Of Us, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, All Things Must Pass, Teddy Boy, Old Brown Shoe, The Long And Winding Road, Drive My Car, Oh! Darling, One After 909, I Want You (She's So Heavy), She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Dig It, Please Please Me, Martha My Dear, Is not It A Pity, Octopus's Garden, Dig a Pony, I ' ve Got a Feeling, For You Blue, Get Back and of course Let it Be. Parts of the recordings in January 1969 were ultimately one and a half years later merged by the famous Phil Spector as the popular album Let it Be.

Rating: 3.0
Dec 20, 2009
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Paul McCartney: A Life
Book Author: Peter Ames Carlin
A thorough if not necessarily deep portrait of Paul McCartney from a biographer who has also written about Brian Wilson. Although I do have a copy of "Many Years From Now," the McCartney-approved bio by Barry Miles I have not read that book so Carlin's is the first book I've read just about Paul. It's a good introduction, hitting all the high (and low) points in McCartney's career right up to "Electric Arguments." The one word that Carlin repeats to describe McCartney is "confident" yet at the same time he was also very insecure. There are plenty of examples of how Paul didn't handle criticism well. There are some original interviews for this book but mainly Carlin relies on other books, interviews and magazine/newspaper stories. The one recurring theme in Paul's life was how he always used music to get through tragedies - his mother's death, Linda's death, the Beatles break-up. The narrative goes into somewhat of the songwriting process but not enough. Nor does Carlin really put McCartney's music in the larger context of the times it was created. He does do a great job with examining the complex relationship between Paul and John, especially in the chapter on John's murder. (I did chuckle when Carlin refers to Paul and Yoko as "the Itchy and Scratchy of Pepperland.") For first time McCartney bio readers this is a good place to start.

Rating: 3.0
Mar 23, 2009
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: John Lennon: The Life
Book Author: Philip Norman
Nearly 20 years after his seminal "Shout: The Beatles in Their Generation" Philip Norman returns with a 800+ page biography on John Lennon. This new book reads like Norman taking a second bite at the Beatles story with an emphasis toward Lennon's side of it. (200 pages are given over to the last 11 years of Lennon's life.) It's blandly written and does a poor job where other recent Beatle books have excelled: putting Lennon in the larger context of his times. For instance, when Norman writes about the bed-ins for peace, he doesn't connect how those stunts figured in with Lennon's growing political conscience. He just reports on them by rote and then moves on to the next episode. This book is fine for those getting their first taste of John Lennon but the experienced fan may find something missing in that the narrative doesn't quite bring Lennon to life. There is new information, primarily from long interviews with Yoko and about John's dysfunctional relationship with his father. This was a good try but the world still waits for that excellent John Lennon biography to be written.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 4, 2008
Chris Gregory
Book Title: WHO COULD ASK FOR MORE: RECLAIMING THE BEATLES
Book Author: Chris Gregory
Review of WHO COULD ASK FOR MORE: RECLAIMING THE BEATLES from Rock’n’Reel magazine now posted at http://www.chrisgregory.org/blog/

Rating: 4.5
Jul 19, 2008
Mike
Book Title: The Last Days of John Lennon
Book Author: Frederic Seaman
This is a great read. It's out of print but it can easily be found online by buying it used. For those who want to know what Lennon's life may have been like in the last few years of his life, I would strongly recommend this one. When you read the book and look at the pictures that go with it, I, for one, don't believe these are a pack of lies. I believe it's probably a fairly accurate portrait. Make up your own mind. I've read other books that give a more positive slant to Lennon's final days. This one seems to be more realistic. It's told thru the eyes of Lennons personal assistant who later was convicted of stealing his private journals (my guess he probably did it for money though he says he only took them because he thought John would want his son Julian to have them - a son he very rarely saw or knew). Knowing these facts, I was very skeptical reading this book. However, after actually reading the book, I really believe I'm getting a glimpse of the real John Lennon and not the mythical figure portrayed in the popular press. As for Yoko, it's clear the author doesn't like her so I'm not sure how fair or balanced the book is when it comes to her. It's interesting to note that I did some independent research of my own and these facts (not opinions) seem to back Seaman (1) He says Yoko was having ongoing affairs- is it just coincidental that she goes on to have a 20 year relationship (1980-2000) with one of the names mentioned on the book, Sam Havadtoy?? (2) Yoko is said to be obsessed with money in the book while the popular myth is that she was totally devoted to John and the making of Double Fantasy was a joyful time for both of them. Why then the lawsuit against the producer of Double Fantasy (she wanted to give him nothing)?? In the end he won a 3 million judgement against her.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 1, 2008
Peter
Book Title: The Revolutionary Artist: John Lennon's Radical Years
Book Author: Patrick Cadogan
Part narrative, part interviews, and part reference book, The Revolutionary Artist takes a look at John Lennon's years of transition, from Beatle to solo artist. A lot of new information is present, including previously unreleased interviews with Lennon. Not as political as the title may suggest, its focus is not on the FBI files which have already been covered extensively in Gimme Some Truth. There is, however, a great deal of focus on the music, including Lennon's thoughts on all of the Beatles' songs and his early solo work. Lennon fans will be particularly interested in the insights provided into the Plastic Ono Band-era, not only of the music, but also the Primal Therapy sessions which John and Yoko underwent for several months in 1970.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 20, 2008
Christine (Rummins) Fredrickson
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Goldman
My last review was six years ago. This book, still, in my opinion, despite all the controversy surrounding it, is best bio of JL ever written. I have read them all, sometimes multiple times over the years. I am now 37 this year. I was 9 years old when John Lennon was shot and living in New York for a short time during the aftermath made an impression on me and effected my life consequently. I hadn't even heard of the Beatles before JL's murder but afterward every shop I went into played Beatles music, everyone wore funny granny glasses, everyone seemed to be wearing the same T-shirts. People cried down walking down the street. I overheard everyone talking about .... bagism, John Lennon, The Beatles. I started spending my money on Beatles 45's instead of puffy stickers for my locker and flowered shoelaces. I stopped saving up for Gloria Vanderbilts and started putting it away for albums. I got a record player for Christmas that year and I spent the next 4 years listening to music, after dinner, in the basement or in my bedroom. I memorized all the Beatles songs (with the exception of the White Album which I didn't understand until my late teens) and started reading the biographies. The first three were Pete Shottons "In my Life", Cynthia's "A Twist of Lennon" and Peter Brown's "The Love You Make", all written by very close intimates of JL. I was a strange girl who wrote love letters to Julian and slept with an 8X10 glossy photo of JL at my bed. I stole library books and cut out all the Beatles pictures and had them plastered on my wall. I was a strange girl, because even in my generation, the Beatles were foreign to the kids I went to school with. I was cool, because I knew who they were and in some primal way this registered with them that I had some ancient inside track to something that was out of their reach, but the music was lost on those soft young ears that only heard Prince, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper (who are all great btw). But it struck me last night watching the second Lennon-McCartney/Beatle run on American Idol, the contestants, save for one or two, had no idea who the Beatles were and didn't even understand what an honor they had last night. It was evident in the song selections and I kept waiting for Yer Blues, She came in through the Bathroom window, Dear Prudence, Happiness is a warm gun (hold breath), Don't let me down, Old Brown Shoe, Norwegian Wood,Don't bring me down, Glass Onion,Rocky Racoon, Something, For You Blue, Golden Slumbers,One After 909 or even Misery, Mother Natures Son, There's A Place, Strawberry Fields or Penny Lane. Not to mention Tomorrow Never Knows, Your Mother Should Know or You never Give me your money. I could go on and on and on. Alas! I was quite thrilled to see the Blackbird performance by Carly Smithson and though it was mucked up I was hoping my fourteen year old godson was watching in California as I sang that song to him when he was an infant and he knew all the words when he was three. (Trying to pass it on...). And so with the butchering of the Beatles by American Idol and the Heather Mills media mockery, Are the Beatles dead? I realize this is more of a rant than a review. But how can their magic be lost so quickly, after only a generation or two - there has never been nor probably will ever be anyone like them and if there legacy is now diminished to being noted as "an influence" on popular artists today and as a showcase set on American Idol which allowed 30 million people to see a bastardization of their songs (and not their best ones or even their average ones), then I am sick, totally heartsick. Back to the book, The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman is still the most complete biography of John Lennon, the good and the bad and the ugly. Though our dear author clearly loathed or, to put it nicer, harshly judged his subject not impersonally, I still beleive this is the most accurate portrait of the man and does fill in and make sense of many more, less complete works. Again, excellent supplamental material would be Ian McDonalds "Revoltion In The Head", Jon Wieners "Come Together: John Lennon in his time", Pete Shottons "In My Life", May Pangs "Loving John", Peter Browns "The Love You Make". Ray Colemans "Lennon", "McCartney" and "Brian Epstein: The Man who made the Beatles, respectively. And also "Grapefruit" by Yoko Ono and "In His Own Write" by John Lennon. Each of these books captures something new and gives a fresh perspective.

Rating: 3.0
Mar 11, 2008
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me
Book Author: Pattie Boyd, with Penny Junior
As the former wife of two major figures in popular music, Pattie Boyd has interesting stories to tell. She had a first hand look at the the joys and sorrows that fame brings and she lived to survive it all. It's a shame then that those stories are told by such a weak writer as Junior. Cliches abound and the timeline is all jumbled. It's understandable if all the events of Boyd's life are jumbled in her mind but a better writer wouldn't subject a reader to what at times is a confusing narrative. For instance, at one point Pattie writes about moving in with George in 1965 to Kinfauns, his home in Esher, then she's referencing a photo taken at least three years later, and then is back to 1965. This happens throughout the book. Boyd's dysfunctional upbringing in Africa and England and the start of her modeling careers are dispatched in the first 80 pages or so. And then the real story begins: meeting George, their romance, marriage and disintegration as Eric Clapton enters the picture. Clapton comes off like a lovestruck high schooler as he pouts and turns to heroin when Pattie doesn't immediately leave George for him. By the time she does, and marries Clapton he is a full blown alcoholic. The couple then divorce and through therapy and a new career behind the camera rather than in front of it Boyd finds self-worth and the ability to stand on her own. Even then one is left wondering if she's learned anything at all. The chapters on her marriage to George have flashes of insight, filling in the picture that gets painted in other books. Particularly interesting is Boyd's description of George's songwriting technique. There is still the feeling that she is holding something back. It's telling that she writes more about trips to Bahrain and South America than she does about George's death. There was a better book in these stories. Who really cares about the long lists of what Boyd bought at the grocery store, or the continuous name dropping. And then there are the stupid errors that any fact checker would have caught, such as that George was on tour in February 1967 (he was at Abbey Road recording Sgt. Pepper) or that it was the morning of Dec. 8 in England when Boyd found out John Lennon had been killed (when it was already Dec. 9 in England when he was shot). As someone whose career was spent in front of or behind a camera, the picture section is exceptional. One particularly great photo is of Pattie, Jane Asher and Cynthia Lennon in Austria during the filming of "Help." It's in black and white but they are all stunningly beautiful.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 21, 2008
Christian Stevens
Book Title: The Rough Guide To The Beatles
Book Author: Chris Ingham
Truely a delightful book, essential to those new and old to the Beatles story. Having first bought this when I was just getting started into the Beatles it really did further my intrest in them. Ingham writes in a style that will keep you deeply immersed in whatever part of the book you are reading, wether it be album ratings and reviews (also including ALL the solo albums realised up untill 2005), a site seeing guide of Beatle places or even just a list of the best that's on offer for the Beatles on the web. He also has included his list on the best beatle book's that have been written, which itself, like this site here, is very handy and useful!!

Rating: 4.0
Feb 17, 2008
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Can't Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain and America
Book Author: Jonathan Gould
Coming just a few years after Bob Spitz's massive Beatles bio, is there really a need for another big book about The Fabs? In the case of "Can't Buy Me Love" the answer is yes. Jonathan Gould unearths no new information on The Beatles story; he did no original interviews for his 605-page book. His strength lies in interpretation and analysis; placing The Beatles within the larger context of their times. Weaved in the now-familiar tales are short essays on the British education system in the 1950s, the Mod Movement, Jungian psychoanalysis and psychedelic drugs, and the appeal of Eastern mysticism. Gould does something I have not seen in any other Beatles book - gives a more deeper understanding and explanation of why the grief felt by young Americans from JFK's death in November 1963 was turned around into euphoria from the Beatles arrival in the US just three months later. As a professional musician himself, Gould also gives strong focus to the music, analyzing practically every song The Beatles put out. He does get technical with note structures but his descriptions are fresh such as describing the solo to "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You" as sounding "like somebody fiddling with an old radio dial on a stormy summer night;" how Paul's bass "like a dancing bear, turns pirouettes" under Ringo's vocals on "With a Little Help;" and how "I Want You (She's So Heavy) is a collaboration "between Phil Spector and Gertrude Stein." Also to Gould's credit is not slanting the story line toward either Lennon or McCartney, instead focusing on each equally and playing up the dynamics of how the group worked together and why it eventually fell apart.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 13, 2007
Screw You
Book Title: Generation X: The Demon Breed
Book Author: God
This website is why I detest all you liars in Generation X. You begin with a review that refers to memories about the Beatles from "Baby Boomers" as being "tired." Instead, we are supposed to believe that the attitudes and misinformed opinions of people who in many cases weren't even born yet or were still shitting in their diapers are somehow superior to the ideas and opinions of those who actually lived through the period as young adults. It's so pathetic, just like the rest of the self-rationalizing, materialistic, spoiled brat bullshit you skinheaded cell phone addicts firmly believe. You little morons don't know the first thing about John Lennon or The Beatles and have nothing with which to judge what about the period that you've read is biased, reasonably accurate, or just plain hogwash. Your ridiculous statements prove how clueless you really are and the fact that you provide nowhere to react to all your misinformed opinions or correct the record shows what a gutless bunch of babies you really are, at heart. Obviously, this will not remain as a review but I just wanted you to know that you are a total phony buddy and a complete chickenshit to operate such a dishonest website as this on. By all means, make sure nobody who lived through the period has a thing to say about it, you fucking gutless little cocksucker.

Rating: 3.5
Sep 27, 2007
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Read The Beatles
Book Author: Various (edited by June Skinner Sawyers)
This is a collection of newspaper and magazine articles, interviews and book excerpts spanning the entire career of The Beatles. The usual suspects are included (the fawning Ray Coleman, Jon Wiener, Cynthia Lennon, Maureen Cleave, William Mann and his aeolian cadences) as well as lesser known pieces giving good contemporary insight into the group and their music. The writing quality ranges from superb to downright awful (especially the excerpt from the Eliot Huntley book about George Harrison). The last section is of writings commissioned especially for the collection about why The Beatles still matter. Yes, there are the (by now) tired recollections of baby boomers but the most revelatory is the musings of Toure, an African-American writer born after the Beatles break up. The book has a noticeable Lennon bias. The introduction is by Astrid Kirchner, who, frankly, has nothing new to say about her role in the Beatles story.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 22, 2007
Cat
Book Title: HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON and HARLEY'S NINTH
Book Author: Cat Bauer
HARLEY, LIKE A PERSON - Harley Columba was born on December 8th, the day John Lennon was shot, while her parents were at a memorial concert for him. Harley is a young artist growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, and feels a deep connection to John Lennon. "Imagine" is her favorite song. She thinks she is adopted, and decides to search for her real parents, a quest that leads her to the Imagine Circle in New York City. HARLEY'S NINTH - Is set all on one day, October 9th, the day John Lennon was born. The story continues with Harley visiting John's artwork in New York City, and deals with spirituality, sex, art and music. The "Harley" books introduce a new generation to John Lennon's life and work, and give a message of hope.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 12, 2007
Clayton Dodd
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
When I was a boy, I idolized Lennon and he was always (while they were together) my favorite Beatle. For good reason...his wit, his voice, the songs and the spontaneity in interviews and the Christmas records. And his honesty. I read this book when it came out, well, actually just skimmed through it, and dismissed as a hatchet job and would probably only given it half a star. I have recently read through it again and, re-considering it after having read nearly all Lennon books, I now have to say that the 'Lives of John Lennon' is probably the closest to a 'definitive' biography as we're going to get. I don't believe that Lennon ever murdered anyone, but I believe that he may have well talked about doing so to buddies. As for the bisexuality claim, Lennon alluded to this on several occasions. Even he left the Epstein affair up in the air. Virtually everything else in the book is verifiable. The mood swings, the cocaine and heroin, Yoko's powerful and destructive hold on him, May Pang and the 'lost weekend', the faux peace-nik bit, the faux house-husband bit, his poor fathering of Julian. his negative obsession with McCartney, etc, etc. I still love the man. Still, I felt that the canonization of Lennon since his death was misleading overkill and actually damaged his image, as he became known to many only as the man who wrote 'Give Peace a Chance' and the overrated 'Imagine'. Lennon was much greater than that, based mainly on his work during the 60's. This book, sadly, goes a long way toward explaining why he never again achieved that greatness again.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 25, 2007
Amanda Pick
Book Title: Skywriting by Word of Mouth
Book Author: John Lennon
This book is deffinately a must for John Lennon fans. Published in 1986, this book contains Lennon's writings around about the time when Yoko was pregnant with Sean. Skywriting by Word of Mouth is such a delightful novel, it feels as though Lennon is talking to you through the pages. Probably one of the most humorous books I've ever read, and leaves you feeling inspired by such a great musician. The last few pages of the book (a note from Yoko Ono) brings a tear to the eye.

Rating: 3.5
Apr 2, 2007
Kris W.
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
Enough years have passed since the senseless murder of our great hero, John Lennon, that evaluations of his character should really start crawling back to the center. The Goldman biography is a dirty business, with questionable "facts" strewn throughout that depict John as not only a deeply flawed man, but at times a murderer, con-artist, self-obsessed prick, pushover and bisexual. The truth is, he may very well have been some of these things. Maybe. Maybe it's time to admit to ourselves that he wasn't the patron saint of peace. I feel Lennon fans should read The Lives of John Lennon - but with a closed mind. Every page should make the reader shout "Oh yeah? Well, prove it!" And, considering Lennon's overzealous lionization over the last couple of decades, it's about time we start asking hard questions about him. This book is basically an account of all the rumors and speculation that surrounded him during his life. Maybe some of it is true. Look to other books - the Coleman biography, Cynthia's recent book, May Pang's book - to corroborate the evidence and try to work it out. As propaganda goes, I certainly don't see this biography as any less true than some of the white-washed, glowing depictions that have been circulated since his death.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 13, 2007
Gary A. Wernett
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I was a younger man when I wrote my original review of this book (almost seven years ago). I still believe in Albert Goldman's journalistic integrity. However, it is clear that his purpose was to deconstruct the popular mythology surrounding John Lennon. An objective person who wants to get the whole picture should probably read this book either right before or right after reading Ray Coleman's "Lennon". Mr. Coleman obviously loved his subject and Mr. Goldman clearly didn't. If you put it all together, you get a picture of an ordinary man with SOME extraordinary talents whose dream of being "bigger than Elvis" came true. After achieving worldly success beyond his wildest imagination, John had to come to grips with the fact that fame and wealth can open some doors, but can also bring a whole new set of problems. And no amount of fame or money can replace the unconditional love that a young child is supposed to get from mom and dad. At the end of the day, John believed in peace and love, and had the courage to stand up and be ridiculed for it. He has my respect in spite of his obvious flaws and ambiguities. The world needs heroes now more than ever. If you don't want John as your hero, that's O.K. Anyone who is willing to stand up for peace, love and understanding will suffice. Take a look at the people in your everyday life: teachers, firefighters, doctors/nurses. There are heroes all around you, doing the right things every day.

Rating: 4.0
Feb 3, 2007
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles
Book Author: Geoff Emerick (with Howard Massey)
Geoff Emerick was a recording engineer at Parlophone/EMI who worked with The Beatles in 1963; 1966-1968; and then was hired away to work at Apple in 1969. His book is valuable in that it shows The Beatles and some of the familiar stories of their work in the studio through another pair of eyes, giving a fresh perspective and insight. While the recreated dialogue from The Fabs comes off as unauthentic, Emerick excels when giving his thoughts on the four members - John was a bully yet had a soft side; George was not that good of a guitarist, flubbing solos in the early years; Ringo was just...well, there; and Paul became the defacto leader of the group as Lennon became a heavy drug user. Even the image of Beatles producer Sir George Martin is unvarnished. Emerick writes that he was an egomaniac and didn't want other personnel at the Abbey Road studios to intrude on his spotlight. The Abbey Road studios themselves - hallowed ground in Beatle lore - come in for harsh criticism. The Beatles couldn't stand the place, Emerick writes. If there is a biased slant, it's definitely in favor of Paul, with whom Emerick has the closest relationship having continued working with him in the post-breakup years. Actually, this a welcome relief from all the John-centric writings of the past 25 years. Emerick wants to give Paul his due. The book is also valuable in that it will send the reader to listen to familiar songs with a new ear after reading how those songs were put together.

Rating: 4.0
Jan 2, 2007
Gina Awad
Book Title: Ticket to Ride
Book Author: Graham Sclater
Ticket to Ride ISBN 0-9545945-7-6 The latest novel by Devon based author, musician and music publisher Graham Sclater is now available from UK publisher Flame Books - www.flamebooks.com Graham spent much of the 60’s living and working as a musician in Hamburg playing with luminaries such as Jimi Hendrix, Elton John and many more. ************************ Ticket to Ride follows the exploits of a naïve under aged five-piece group from the south west of England as they make their futile search for success in 60’s Germany. Although they set out to follow in the path of the Beatles, they soon fall deep into the world that their contemporaries were fortunate enough to escape. Based predominately on the Reeperbahn, the red light district of Hamburg, the group is soon dragged down, their lives affected forever by the everyday world of prostitution, sex, drugs and violence, resulting in a total breakdown of the values that they had once believed in. Realising, too late, that they have no way out, the story charts their desperation and untimely demise. Some of the reviews so far: “All in all, the book exudes the optimism and "damn the torpedoes" attitude of any young rock and roller from any era - definitely recommended!” “The book itself is a breeze to read, and difficult to put down.” "Ticket to Ride" is a monument to those who might almost have succeeded.” “Ticket to Ride is a fun book to read.” “Ein sehr empfehlenswertes Buch.” The novel has already received amazing reviews and is selling well with sales in America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and mainland Europe.

Rating: 1.0
Nov 7, 2006
Johnny Schartzo
Book Title: Dakota Days
Book Author: John Green
This is a terrible biography on the last days of Lennon's life. The author is a tarot card reader brought in to make predictions on John and Yoko's lives. Although he doesn't really praise nor trash Lennon in this book, still it's definintely not worth the read. Got it on ebay from a man who bought at his public library's book sale.

Rating: 4.5
Nov 6, 2006
jim marquez
Book Title: the love you make
Book Author: peter brown
great book, a must read for all beatle fans.i especially loved the early hamburg days.it paints paul as the ultimate bad guy in the group and ringo the dumb one.in my opinion,the author spent too much time on all the messy lawsuits,as they were pretty boring.ive read it 3 times and each time it gets better.if you can find it, get it.

Rating: 4.0
Jun 11, 2006
Karen
Book Title: John
Book Author: Cynthia Lennon
I read the book John last year. If you want to know how John behaved in his intimate circle this book is for you. Cyn now with the benefit of hindsight tells all about her relationship with John which lasted from 1958-1968. The cool thing about this book is she doesn't hold back at explaining how they knew each other, the Hamburg days, and the explosion of Beatlemania. But she also now with the maturity of age explains the reasons why that happened. The surprising part of the book is the end. Where Cyn says that if she would have known as a teenager in Liverpool what she would go through hooking up with John, she would have turned around and walked away. The only good thing from that came out of that relationship was Julian. I give it a 4.0 because towards the end of the book she begins explaining her life after John and I really didn't find that interesting, but it's her autobiograhy, and her life hasn't ended when John left her for Yoko.

Rating: 1.0
May 23, 2006
Montage
Book Title: to Purveyor of Truth
Book Author: Purveyor of Truth
Purveyor of Truth, you idiot, Kane was right in saying John has been written about more than any other- it's a fact that John has had more books written about him than any other musical figure of the 20th century, and that includes Elvis and Dylan, so why don't you do a little research before that half-formed brain of yours tries to write a sentence.

Rating: 5.0
May 18, 2006
Traci
Book Title: Memories of John Lennon
Book Author: Yoko Ono
Ok this book was amazing!It had a great layout it had a great meaning and some parts made me want to cry.That book I recemend to any John Lennon fan.I was so sad when the book ended bcause it was so good and so well done!I hope she makes more books!

Rating: 2.5
Feb 14, 2006
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Lennon Revealed
Book Author: Larry Kane
Considering Larry Kane's fawning portrayal of John Lennon in his first book, "Ticket to Ride" (reviewed below) it is not surprising that Lennon becomes the sole subject of his second book. And fawning doesn't even scratch the surface of how Kane presents John Lennon this time around. Like the earlier book, Kane's weaknesses are poor writing and repetitiveness. He hasn't met a cliche or an exaggeration he doesn't like. He overuses (and misuses) the term "legendary." He describes many of his sources as "scholars" and "historians;" some legit - Mark Lewisohn, Bruce Spizer - others bogus - Martin Lewis. He lets other sources, Pauline Sutcliffe, for example, make statements that go unchallenged. But the biggest problem I had with "Lennon Revealed" is that Kane tries too hard to write a DEFINITIVE and IMPORTANT book about John Lennon's character that fails because of his poor writing skills. I half expected Kane to say that John Lennon could walk on water. Kane goes out of his way to say that John Lennon was just a regular guy then spends 250 pages putting him on a pedestal. Take for instance this sentence: "From his early days to the afterlife of the 1980 tragedy, perhaps no human being in contemporary culture has been written and talked about more than John Lennon." Oh really? Apparently Larry Kane never heard of Elvis Presley. And I'd argue that Bob Dylan has gotten at least an equal share of attention, perhaps slightly more, as Lennon has. Kane goes out of his way to present John Lennon as the embodiment of "truth" on earth then lets stupid, glaring errors slip through. (Kane: John and Yoko moved to New York City in late 1969; Fact: the move was made in 1971. Kane: did a phone interview with Derek Taylor in 2004; Fact: Taylor died in 1997. Kane: "Double Fantasy" was released to critical acclaim; Fact: the album received mixed reviews.) Long-time Lennon fans probably won't read much new in this book. It actually reveals a lot more about Kane than it does John Lennon. Newer fans would be better served listening to John Lennon's music and reading his interviews than spending time with Larry Kane's weak analysis of John Lennon's character.

Rating: 4.5
Jan 23, 2006
Roger Glover
Book Title: John Lennon: Listen To This Book
Book Author: John Blaney
From British Beatles Fan Club Magazine, Summer 2005. Spanning the period 1968 up to the recently-issued Acoustic CD, this book lists, discusses and illustrates all of Lennon's releases from the UK and across the pond in the USA. Comprehensive in its approach, you can go straight to the UK or US discography that lists all of the 'regular' releases, or investigate the individual listings of promotional and interview discs. The book has been very carefully compiled by John Blaney, obviously a fan, who has presented this material in a concise and compact form. Influences and recording information are also provided, plus if you needed anything more there is a section on Japanese releases and chart performances. If you are a fan of the solo Lennon you will find this book invaluable both as a reference tool and as a 'look book', with all releases fully illustrated (although unfortunately only in black & white). Be quick, as il is a limited edition of 1000 copies'

Rating: 2.0
Jan 22, 2006
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Who Killed John Lennon
Book Author: Fenton Bresler
"Who Killed John Lennon" is British attorney Fenton Bresler's attempt to show that a CIA conspiracy was behind Lennon's death in December 1980. Rather than accept that the killer did his act on his own, Bresler insists the killer was brainwashed by the CIA. Of course, he proves none of this. Bresler deals in a lot of speculation, wishful thinking, assumptions, presumptions, inferences. When he can't explain something, he lays blame on the CIA. He invents dialogue. He asks his his interview subjects leading questions. But at least he presents it in a lively and entertaining style. And he does a service in showing that the killer was perhaps not the Lennon fan and "Catcher in the Rye" admirer he was made out to be. In the end, Bresler leaves it up to reader to determine whether he made his case. This book is out of print. One may have to find it in a library or used bookstore.

Rating: 3.0
Jan 14, 2006
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: The Beatles
Book Author: Bob Spitz
The first major Beatles biography since "Shout" published in 1981, "The Beatles" is a hefty tome at 856 pages. Author Spitz utilizes his own interviews as well as existing sources from books, magazines, and video. The strength in this book is the first half, as Spitz follows the band as it slowly, meticulously works its way out of the pack of bands playing around Liverpool in the late 1950 and early 1960s. A reader gets a real sense of how much hard work the band members put in to be the successes they eventually were. And placed into context of the British music scene, a reader also comes away with just what made The Beatles stand out. The halfway point of this book only gets up to fall 1963. So the prime years of 1964-1966 do not get as detailed a look. The undertone of Spitz's work is that it was the death of Brian Epstein that really shook the band up and laid the seeds for the break up. The later chapters do a good job of showing just how much the business interferred with the music making and drove the four friends apart. I would have give this book four apples if not for the stupid, stupid errors in the text and cutlines. If future editions of the book do not correct the errors it does a disservice to the reader as well as the time and effort Spitz put into the book.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 14, 2006
est bob.es
Book Title: the man who gave away the beatles
Book Author: allan wiiliams
The most informative of books,regarding,their early career in Liverpool and Hamburg.First published in the mid-seventies,it came highly commended by John Lennon.A first rate account.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 13, 2005
Rachel
Book Title: John Lennon
Book Author: Carole Lynn Corbin
The book is very informative and entertaning,for young and old John Lennon fans alike. It's about 23 years old,printed in 1982.

Rating: 3.0
Nov 13, 2005
Purveyor of Truth
Book Title: Ticket To Ride
Book Author: Larry Kane
The best way to describe this book is as a cross between "A Hard Day's Night" and "Almost Famous." Author Larry Kane was the only American reporter to travel with The Fabs for all the stops on the 1964 and 1965 U.S. tours. The good points: gives a better depiction of the tours, especially the dangers faced by The Beatles from crowds, poor security, etc., than the "Anthology" and just how discrete Kane and others were about the band's, uh, extracurricular activities. The poor points: not especially well written, too repetitive and Kane places an exaggerated importance on the tour that really wasn't there. I realize he was just trying to put things into context of the times, but makes it a stretch. An easy, entertaining read that would make a decent movie.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 6, 2005
Kathy
Book Title: John
Book Author: Cytnthia Lennon
This book is what I believe to be the most truthful book ever written about John Lennon. It is a well balanced biography which is refreshing. Cynthia is honest and finally the record is set straight by her. I recommend it.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 29, 2005
Susan Fischer
Book Title: Lennon Revealed
Book Author: Larry Kane
There have been many books written about the life of John Lennon. They tell you about major milestones, facts and fiction, bed-ins, lost weekends and bread baking. They tell you everything imaginable about John down to his preference of breakfast cereal. But Larry Kane’s Lennon Revealed is different from these books. It portrays John’s sensitivity, compassion and his insecurities. It portrays John as a living, breathing human being, faults and all. The retelling of stories from Ticket To Ride gives the reader a bit of deja-vu in Lennon Revealed. But with the mix of great interviews and the author’s exquisite writing, your deja-vu will be a distant memory. Now to the good stuff… The interviews in Lennon Revealed were a wonderful glimpse into the world of Lennon. From the obvious candidate, Yoko Ono (who isn’t the horrible monster that nearly every Lennon book portrays her to be) to an ordinary young man who met and was fortunate enough to befriend his idol, the reader gets an honest and truthful glimpse into the life of John Lennon through those who knew him the best. Another enjoyable aspect of Lennon Revealed dealt with Lennon’s generosity and charity and his constant plight for the “working class hero”. From the days of “hair peace” to Mr, Kane’s insightful story of John’s assistance with a Philadelphia fundraiser for charity. Those stories told volumes about how much he cared about the human race. Each of his contributions made the world a little bit better. The final chapter is a first for any of the Lennon books I’ve been fortunate enough to read over the years. It is filled with stories from the fans; the people who Lennon would inspire and touch in so many ways. From teenagers who weren’t even alive when we lost John, to those who were there from the beginning to the tragic end and everyone in between. Their words of joy, grief, inspiration and love are a fabulous addition to a very candid, honest and beautiful book. I am honored to be one of those fans who are included in the book. There are many more gems in Lennon Revealed about Lennon’s life and I urge everyone to give it a read. It’s insightful, honest and leaves the reader with a better sense of who John Lennon really was; a father, a husband, a friend, a lover, a New Yorker, a poet, a musician, a humanitarian and a human being.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 5, 2005
Kathy
Book Title: Lennon Revealed
Book Author: Larry Kane
After looking forward to this book since last year at the Fest for Beatle Fans in Chicago when Larry Kane, who was one of the guest speakers told us he was writing this book I was able to purchase it and have the author sign it this year. It is a good read, and it is revealing. It confirmed many things that a lot of us Beatle/Lennon fans would be interested. John Lennon was a talent to put it mildly, but foremost he was just a human being and a good one with faults like all of us. I would certainly recommend this book. Looking forward to the new book by Cynthia Lennon due out the end of September. I am fortunate to have ordered it which will come signed by the author. If anyone knows the truth and will tell the truth it will be Cyn.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 3, 2005
Susan Travis
Book Title: Magical Mystery Tours
Book Author: Tony Bramwell
This was really a great book. I learned so many things that I hadn't known about, like George's relationship with Pattie and how he would be pleading with her to come home when she was out at the clubs. It seemed to me though that Tony was pandering to Paul, he never said one negative thing about him, or Linda. He said quite a few negative remarks about John, George and even Ringo, but not Paul, which makes me think that he wants to stay in good standing with Paul. I think the book would or could have been more interesting if he had been more honest concerning Paul. Paul just can't be that perfect, he must have a flaw or two here or there and I would have liked to hear about it. Otherwise, I thought Tony did a great job. Very entertaining.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 18, 2005
Nate Hendley
Book Title: John Lennon: Music, Myth and Madness
Book Author: Nate Hendley
My name is Nate Hendley and I am a writer and author based in Toronto (the city where Lennon held his first full-fledged solo concert, in September 1969). I have recently published a new (short) book on John Lennon, entitled "John Lennon: Music, Myth and Madness". I invite you to check it out at Amazon.com or at my personal website, www.natehendley.com. I look forward to reading your comments on my effort. Here is a link to Amazon.com for my book: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/155265902X/qid=1121695078/sr=8-2/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-5365412-9587228?v=glance&s=books&n=507846 Give Peace a Chance, Nate Hendley www.natehendley.com nhendley@interlog.com

Rating: 5.0
Jun 30, 2005
Beatlecollectors.com
Book Title: Beatles Books
Book Author: Beatlecollectors
Beatlecollectors.com has just opened two new pages on Beatles Books. We have many first editions, rare signed copies, history books, story books and much more. If your looking for Beatles books and/or John Lennon books, this is the place to start. http://www.Beatlecollectors.com

Rating: 5.0
Jun 25, 2005
Micah Paredes
Book Title: The Walrus was Paul
Book Author: Patterson
This book was great! A real insight into one of the most interesting cospiracies ever. Whether you believe it all or not, it's very fun to read, and I guarantee youll be digging through your beatles albums and looking a little more carefully at the covers. I read it in less than a day, and I loved it!

Rating: 4.5
May 29, 2005
Elizabeth Caudy
Book Title: Beatles
Book Author: Robert Freeman
These are beautiful, often grainy black and white photographs of the Fab Four. I could do without some of the anecdotes that seem to be saying, "Look at me, I'm so cool, I hung out with the Beatles," though. Writing is definitely not Freeman's forte; photography obviously is.

Rating: 3.5
May 29, 2005
Elizabeth Caudy
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I ripped through this book. It's a page turner. A lot of people take offense to the fact that it paints Lennon in not a very nice way, but that didn't bother me. What did was Goldman's sexist attitude towards the women in Lennon's life, particularly Yoko Ono.

Rating: 3.0
Apr 4, 2005
emily
Book Title: the lives of john lennon
Book Author: goldman
let me first say that i consider myself to be a very objective person who lets the facts speak for themselves. i haven't read this book yet, but based on all the controversy surrounding it, i'm gonna run out to the bookstore tomorrow to nab this bio, making it my first read about my adoring, dear idol. i'm sure it won't change my opinion of him. i've already read some of his interviews and know he's the first to admit that he ain't no saint (quote: "you have to be a bastard to make it, and that's a fact. and the beatles are the biggest bastards on earth" - JL). i wanna give my own totally objective review shortly after i read it, so stay tuned! :) meanwhile, you can read an article by goldman defending his book: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/4122 and some pretty objective reviews on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1556523998/002-3432330-0098417?v=glance

Rating: 4.0
Mar 30, 2005
Scooter
Book Title: Imagine John Lennon
Book Author: Andrew Solt, and Sam Egan
This is a great book. It has a Forward by Yoko ono, and has my interviews and from people who were in John's life. It talks all about his childhood, the Beatles years, and his life with Yoko. This is a truly good John Lennon book.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 13, 2005
Kathleen Murphy
Book Title: In My Life
Book Author: Pete Shotton
I've read everything I could get my hands on about John Lennon after reading this book, but nothing comes close. By the way, I hate the Goldman book, it makes me want to vomit! How can anybody believe anything based on his diaries when his diaries were stolen AND returned altered!? -creepy!!! ...Anyway, the book 'John Lennon In My Life' came out in 1983 and was written by Pete Shotton who had known John since they were both six and hung out all through their childhood and as adults. It made me laugh so hard that my gut was in terrible pain. Reading this book, when I was fifteen, made me not hate the 'whole' human race and lifted my depression considerably. I was not a fan of the Beatles but became one after only because of John Lennon. I still feel the same about John Lennon as I did when I was fifteen: he is my favorite person of all time! -thanks

Rating: 5.0
Feb 18, 2005
Sophie
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
It's very worth reading because it is not boring and this author is always talking the truth...that's why there you can read lennon's advantages and disadvantages and some quotes etc....i recommend it...for more info send me an email

Rating: 5.0
Feb 9, 2005
Anna Olsson
Book Title: Lennon Legend
Book Author: James Henke
I can't speak english, so I'll keep it short: This is a great book. It has some good pictures, CD with interwiews, and... uhm... what do you call it, memorabilia? A Cavern Club membership booklet, bubble gum cards, tickets to the Ed Sullivan show, handwritten lyrics... I don't know how much it costs in the US, maybe 20, it costed 250 kronor (Swedish money). If you see this anywhere, BUY IT!

Rating: 5.0
Nov 13, 2004
Jolanta Kielbratowska
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The Beatles
It's a breath taking experience to read it. The story told from four different points of view is really fascinating. You can learn a lot of the musicians'lives and understand their music better when you get to know their background, thoughts, childhood memories. What's more the stories are told in actual language the Beatles used. Reading the anthology is a great adventure!

Rating: 5.0
Oct 25, 2004
Dennis York
Book Title: The Beatles,Lennon and Me
Book Author: Pete Shotton
I have read many a biography about John Lennon over the years and have long searched for a copy of the one that I heard Pete Shotton wrote. Pete was John's closest buddy from early childhood until the end and I got a kick out of reading about their mis-adventures while growing up in Liverpool.After I started it,I couldn't put it down.It was refreshing to read such an honest and human (normal?) depiction of Lennon,free of all the worship/vitriol that is present in some of his other bios. If this book can be found,(I believe it is out-of-print,why I do not know!),by all means get a copy and be prepared to laugh, those two scamps would've made Bart Simpson blush! It also portrays a kind and generous loyalty that Lennon had towards those he loved that has sadly gone unmentioned or were unknown or unnoticed by most other Lennon biographers. While some of the stories Pete recalls may have been slightly exaggerated or befogged by the swirling mists of time and chemical enhancement, Pete's book remains my favorite and is the best of all the Lennon bios,IMHO.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 3, 2004
Terry Smith
Book Title: One Day At A Time
Book Author: Anthony Fawcett
An older book that was actually published before John was killed. One of the 1st books I ever read about John. I can't believe there was no review on it here. This & "The Ballad of John & Yoko" were the best / most informative reads I've come across. Anthology is another. Of course over the years everyone & their brother has written about John & the Beatles but I've found it to be the same old stuff re hashed up with a little fiction & personal opinions thrown in to sell the thing. Keep on reading but don't forget to listen to your favorite John Paul George or Ringo song & create your own vision of it. Peace & Love, Tdog

Rating: 3.0
Sep 3, 2004
Constanze
Book Title: Lennon: the definative biography
Book Author: Ray Coleman
I wrote a review of this a while ago (see it below) but I for got to add a few things. Mr. Coleman skims over way to much. He barley mentions the other Beatles and makes it seem like Paul and John were on bad terms when John passed which is not the case. He also completly skims over John's heroin addiction. Just a brief mention of how terriable he looked when he was on it. Anyway, it is pretty good for a new fan but not all that definative

Rating: 4.5
Aug 30, 2004
Kyle Martin
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
First I would like to say that with anything, half of the population will agree with it, and the other half will be strongly opposed to it, although to avoid seeing things completely in black and white their is a little mixing in those who can see on both sides of the track. That being said I would like to say that this is one of the most in depth and detailed biographies of John Lennon and the Beatles that I have ever read, and though I may not like some of what it has to say, I believe that 99% of is the truth. Goldman dos NOT trash Lennon's reputation on every page, he simply describes a human being's life with such well researched, thought provoking detail that people react to it as though he were saying God was just a man. Lennon is God to many fanatics, but he was just a man in reality, and he had his share of problems, but Golman points out all of his accomplishments and the products of his genius along with his problems. I'm glad to see that many people posting reviews on this site have seen in this book what I have seen and that is that Lennonis no less great of a man after we know more about him, but he is actually greater for it. He made mistakes, some great, but don't we all? We set him up on a pedestal so high, that it seems like heresy to try to compare him to a common man. He often stressed the fact that the Beatles were just a band who made it very big, and it's the same concept applied to him. He was just a man, a brilliant man none the less, who became famous. This biography should be read with an open mind by any Lennon fan (though a mentally mature one of at least 14, the age I was when I started it) who cares to know the whole truth about their hero. Hopefully he or she will have the compassion to understand that he made mistakes and to forgive those and embrace his other aspects, his other lives as Goldman puts it. Lennon was multi-faceted, thank God, and his falts are only parts of the whole Lennon. He was so complex and with so many parts that one cannot stop loving and respecting him because of one aspect of his life. I hope that readers of this book will look deep enough to see that John Lennon was still an incredible man despite his faults and will continue to love him and his music which outlasts him and continues to bring new fans into the world.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 9, 2004
Penny
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: the Beatles
In my opinion the best book on the Beatles - and I've read a lot (I thought many of them were a waste of time to be honest).. And I totally agree with the comment by Mina Hayworth way down there.. that if you want to learn something about John Lennon or the Beatles.. the best way is to listen to the music :) I've also enjoyed reading and watching interviews. I feel they give me a chance to view the band's history more objectively than any book written by an 'outsider'.

Rating: 4.5
Aug 4, 2004
Susan
Book Title: Ticket To Ride
Book Author: Larry Kane
I just finished the book "Ticket To Ride" by Larry Kane. I'd like to share some of my thoughts on the book, if y'all don't mind. If you do mind, well then just don't read this, lol! Overall it was a very good read. Mr. Kane captured the excitement of early Beatlemania with great imagery. It made you feel as though you were actually there. The one beef I have is the author's constant mentioning of an incident between Brian Epstein and the author. Mr. Kane played it throughout the book. Frankly I was tired of hearing about it. And you know what, IT WASN'T A BIG DEAL!!! Just because Brian was gay, didn't mean that whatever he said would elude to a pass. It was ridiculous and in my opinion should have been left out of the book. There were much more interesting things to write about than to waste time and energy on that silly little encounter. Overall it was a very lovely read and I urge you all to get it. Peace and Love, Susan

Rating: 4.5
Jul 24, 2004
Constanze
Book Title: Lennon; Definative Biography
Book Author: Ray Coleman
This is the first Lennon book I ever read and I thought it was pretty good. I found that Coleman seemed to skim over a few things and it was a little fawning at times but thats ok. It was well written and I imagine reliable (although I read this and A Hard days write at the same time and found contradictions I'm supposeing that this book is better but how can one know) We see John as a proper person "warts and all" as he may say. And I gotta say I laughed at alot of points at hilarious things John did. I almost read Albert-fuck-you-very-much Goldman's book first but after so many reviews saying how its all lies I diecided to read this one instead and I'm glad I did. Love ya Johnny :)

Rating: 5.0
Jul 10, 2004
C.M.
Book Title: Linda McCartney Sixties Portrait of an Era
Book Author: Linda McCartney
I LOVE THIS BOOK!! It's a collection of photographs of various groups from the sixties taken by Linda. Along with each photo there is a tiny story behind each picture. There are so many pictures that are really beautiful, like the one of John Lennon and Paul McCartney organizing the Abbey Road album together. She was obviously a really talented photographer.

Rating: 4.0
Jun 28, 2004
CM
Book Title: Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now
Book Author: Barry Miles
I really enjoyed this book. It is a very detailed account on Paul's life before the beatles and his role within the beatles. It talks about every important aspect about Paul's life at that time and most of its text is taken from interviews done with Paul, so you know it is an honest account too. I also like the fact that Barry Miles included a chapter titled "John" at the end of the book, dedicated to this major relationship in Paul's life. However, there are two things I'd change: First, at times Barry Miles went on for paragraphs (or pages sometimes) about the life and times of Paul's friends, which I found unnecessary; second, as detailed as it was on the 'Beatle Years' of Paul's life, the detail ends there.Barry Miles wraps up the book with a quick overview of Paul's life from 1970-90s in ONE CHAPTER! (20 years in one chapter!?!) Anyway, I still do think this book is definatly a informative, honest, detailed read about Paul, if you are looking for learning about his life before and during the beatles.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 28, 2004
CM
Book Title: Behind the Sad Eyes:The Life of George Harrison
Book Author: Marc Shaprio
I wanted to learn more about George Harrison and this was a good book to read. It's not long or too detailed, but it covers all of George's life, not only his career but his relationships with other people very important in his life (example, his split with first wife Patti). By reading this book, you really get a sense that George really wasn't into all the fame that came with the beatles and it was a really tough thing for him to handle; he was just a simple person who enjoyed music. Also, at the end of the book there is a discgraphy section which is great if you want to know about all of his work (it doesn't include his last album Brainwashed, though). I think it is a very good book about George.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 28, 2004
CM
Book Title: Loving John
Book Author: May Pang
This book is an interesting read. It is based on the relationship John had with a woman named May Pang during his separation from Yoko Ono (1973-75). It's a love story between John and May, but also it gives you a great insight into John and his relationship with Yoko. You will also read about John's other relationships with the other beatles, and with Julian, and how he tries to re-build a friendship with Paul McCartney. In the beginning, John seems a bit lost and unsure of himself (learning how to promote his own album and partying and drinking too much) and by the end, becoming really creative (he was very enthusiastic to record music)and independant from Yoko. People (Yoko Ono, for example) have denied May's account of their "lost weekend", but I believe it is true-May doesn't have anything to hide and it is obvious that she loved John very much and John loved her too.I think he thought about her often and missed her, as time went on, when he was back with Yoko. While reading this book I honestly felt sorry for May for being caught in the middle of John and Yoko's very complicated marriage. It's a love story, but a sad one, in my opinion.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 28, 2004
CM
Book Title: The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide-3 revised edition
Book Author: Allan J. Wiener
This is a great reference book on the beatles. I often use it to look up stuff about the group. It's accurate and well organized into different areas: chronology, recording dates, discography, bootlegs and unreleased stuff, just to name a few.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 28, 2004
CM
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The Beatles
I really love this book! It's the beatles story told by the beatles themselves. It's accurate, well organized, interesting, covers the entire career and in detail. I also like the personal points of view from each beatle (ex. one beatle might remember an event a certain way, but another beatle may have a completely different perspective on the exact same situation)and there are some personal, funny stories they share in the book too. I have this book and I often re-read parts of it because I like it so much, in my opinion it is the ultimate beatle bio to have!

Rating: 4.0
Jun 27, 2004
CM
Book Title: Linda McCartney:A Portrait
Book Author: Danny Fields
I'm a big fan of Linda and the beatles so I was very eager to read this bio on her. I think Danny Fields, author of this book and long-time friend of Linda, did a terrific job with this book. He talks about every aspect about Linda life without leaving anything out: her marriage, children, careers as a photographer and musician, her life and relationships with people before meeting Paul, the media/public reaction to her, being an animal activtist and her battle with breast cancer. Also, he doesn't just give a one-sided look at Linda, which is easy to do since he was friends with her, he mentions her good points and her flaws/mistakes she's made too("not one of Linda's finer moments" he'd so nicely put it). I only found two things about this book I didn't like: I found sometimes the author tends to go off topic in a chapter and a few paragraphs later (or chapters later) he'll revisit the topic. As well, some things in the book he'd discuss with great detail and he'd have Paul and Linda quotes (which I liked) but some very big events he did not go into much detail. Overall, it's a really good book and it's a great way to get to know Linda better.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 23, 2004
Steve Andrisevic
Book Title: Growing Up With The Beatles
Book Author: Ron Schaumberg
This is what it was like growing up in Kansas City in the 60s and being a Beatle fan. Since, I have that in common with the author,I found the book very entertaining, as, he mentions people and places that I know. I dont think anyone who was a fan of The Beatles would deny that the magic they projected could give life to the dullest area. Kansas City was a very ordinary city back then, and, no, we were not riding around on horse back in non paved streets. When The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan in February 1964 life in Kansas City ,and ,every other city, where there lived a person who loved music,was witness to a music that was multicolored and as new as an infant. If you can find this book by all means buy it. You wont be sorry

Rating: 5.0
Jun 2, 2004
Kristy
Book Title: All You Need Is Love
Book Author: Jewelle St. James
Of all the books I have read about reincarnation, All You Need Is Love By Jewelle St. James gave me the proof I needed that, in fact, past lives are posible. This is a story of an ordinary woman who experienced unexplained grief after the passing of John Lennon. After three years of constantly thinking of him and buying anything and everything having to do with John and the Beatles, she decided she would try to explore these urges. Her mother and sister, who posessed psychic abilities, along with other psychics and mediums, began to help her piece together a story of love that ended tragicly and quickly. She was given two names, Katherine James and John Baron, along with several dates and different locations is England. Without telling the psychics who she was searching for, almost all of them told her that John Baron and John Lennon were the same soul! But Jewelle wanted more...she wanted proof. She spend many hours in libraries and on the phone, comparing facts with her given messages. She was able to find a Katherine James and a John Baron...in one of the years and towns she was given! After years of searching for proof and having regressions, she finally went to England to only discover a beautiful love story that has spanned the centuries. Not only is this a beautiful and well written book, you can literally feel yourself with Jewelle as she shares this amazing story. Even if her past love was not John Lennon, this would still make make you think twice about reincarnation. This book would be an excellent guidline on how to discover your own past life. I only ask you to read this with an open mind and heart and you will be plesantly surprised. check out her website at http://www.pastlifewithjohnlennon.com

Rating: 4.5
May 2, 2004
Bonnie
Book Title: Many Years From Now
Book Author: Barry Miles
This was a very real, very true, great bio. of Paul. It wonderfully describes his partership with John and the other Beatles, and doesn't elaborate on any one subject for too long. I was a little doubtful when I started to read it because of the lenghth of it, I thought it would drag on and get boring. I was very wrong. This is a good book from cover to cover. I'm sure there isn't one piece of false information in it becuase Paul has approved the book and gives his comments all the way through.

Rating: 1.0
Apr 5, 2004
Joe Sicilia
Book Title: The lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Goldman
This book doesn't even deserve a 1.0 rating. It has been discredited and should never have been allowed to by published. It is a pack of unproven lies and rumors. It stinks, literally! Enjoy the money I wasted on it Goldman cause you'll never get another dime from me. As John once said in one of his songs, "How do you sleep at night?".

Rating: 5.0
Apr 5, 2004
RH
Book Title: Come Together: John Lennon In His Time
Book Author: Jon Wiener
This is a very fascinating book that takes a nonbiased view towards John Lennon. He's not a revolutionary, but an activist. He's not an angel, but a human being. The book succeds in that it paints a picture of Lennon and the surrounding time, providing a refreshing biography that is realy like nothing out there today. How many other bios go into depth about the political trends of the time and how they affected Lennon socially and musically? How many other ones go into detail about his contemporaries such as Boby Dylan? This book is something that all Lennon fans will love to read and will definitely learn quite a great deal from. A must read.

Rating: 1.0
Jan 15, 2004
JLgrl77
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
This book was the WORST biography of John Lennon I have ever read! It seems like as if he makes stuff up about him as the book goes along. He messes up on a ton of facts are really simply if you actually research it! It claims he is some immature, anorexic, rapist and some stupid person. It hurts to know that the moment he left people wrote such mean things. If John Lennon was still alive, this book would not have been writen. It should have never been written. I don't recomend this book to anyone to is a John Lennon fan. You will only be saddened by what stupid things he put about him in this book.

Rating: 4.5
Nov 16, 2003
stavrogin
Book Title: Beatles Recording Sessions
Book Author: Mark Lewisohn
I have been waiting to read this for awhile, it's the only book left for my collection. It's a great read, although there's not much you can't find here that you can't find elsewhere- the one part I had never read talks about how people wanted to visit the recording studio because they found it unbelievable that anyone could sing as well as Lennon- which was a nice anecdote I had not read before. Other than that, it features a Paul interview at the beginning, which is typical McCartney, he calls John a great, great man, then a page later says "we were very equal," saying of course he is also a great, great man. The yawn continues with McCartney's usual jealous bitterness at John becoming a martyr- but after that, it is really good- George Martin is given alot of deserved credit for many of the ideas in songs that in the 90's it seemed people have tried to strip him of, but it's good- although Ringo and George seem a little superfluous to the group- center stage is always either John or Paul, which seems to downplay the others, but it's still very good, and definitely worth a look-

Rating: 5.0
Oct 21, 2003
Peter Costanzo
Book Title: Ticket to Ride
Book Author: Larry Kane
I just read a great new book called Ticket to Ride by Larry Kane. The author was the ONLY American journalist to hang out with the Beatles press group during their '64 and '65 tour. I'm a Beatles NUT and thought I've read it all, but Kane has insider stories that I've never heard before, which made this book a refreshing change from a lot of other books about the Fab Four. There's a great bonus CD of Kane's interviews with all the Beatles over the years and it's just about 60 minutes long. All recorded well with Kane inbetween giving explanations to keep things in context - very well done. Oh, and there's a forward by Dick Clark! It's all good. I highly recommend this book for the holiodays for any Beatles fan. Best, PC

Rating: 2.0
Oct 11, 2003
marmaladeskies87
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Goldman
im trying desperatly hard to give the book a fair review, being a john lennon fan makes this job really hard. it is a mind captivating book and i read it cover to cover. if albert goldman ever decided to write fiction i think he would do a bang up job with it, albert goldman is known for writing somewhat fake biographies including those of elvis. i think it had some truths in it and some pretty good theories but you really cant say it was facts. With an exseption of few people who were money hungry, every one close to him (e.i. yoko, cynthia, mimi, paul, may, ect.) say it wasn't at all accurate. now if you read this book you may be saying to yourself "what... it said, she said he did.... blah... blah" but those quotes he used from those people were just taken out of there books and interviews. what i will give the book was that it depicted john a real person, though it did dwell on negitivity and the dark side of john. Basically thats why i gave it a two it wasnt great but its something i needed to read. so as for whether you should read it or not i definitly say read it, just know where to pick out the falsehoods in it. i would also say dont read it if your under the age of ohhh... 15 thats how old i am and i read it this summer.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 11, 2003
erin palmer
Book Title: Ticket To Ride
Book Author: Larry King
This is a book about the 1964 - 65 tours and Larry King's experiances. Insightful to see the tour from someone who was there, on the inside, but it was written too much as a news story, and not just a tale of Beatlemania; though the mania was captured quite well. This is a book published in 2003, very new, and it comes with a cd of original interviews that Larry King did,as he was a broadcast guy on tour with the beatles, and he sent his interviews back to the radio station he worked for. The interviews are somewhat included in the book, and it is a pretty enjoyable read, and a great listen. The only I didn't like is that the cd is an hour long, and it only one track, so you can't skip through the interviews - you have to listen to it all. Interesting and humorous.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 11, 2003
Erin Palmer
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
I discovered the beatles when I was ten, in 1998. Five years later I find myself listening only to the beatles and the music of John Lennon. Being inquisitive about an era I missed, i found the book Lennon on my great aunt's shelf about two months ago. I absolutely loved it. I poured over each page about John and laughed about things he said and did, and actually cried when it explained his death. My biology teacher asked what was wrong and I said, John Lennon is dead. She looked at me and said, well, I suppose we know who was born yesterday. Not only did ray coleman do an excellent job of potraying lennon in a different light, but he makes it clear that yoko ono is not a wench that broke up the beatles, she just merely brought out some of the best in john. I think everyone who is a lennon fan should read this book so they can all learn more about a wonderful person who lead a splendid life and left us entirely too early. lennon is my hero.

Rating: 2.0
Oct 10, 2003
Eli
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Robert Goldman
I give this book two points instead of one because it is an entertaining read. That said, it a) accuses Lennon of having committed rape, which is quite a serious and in this case unsubstantiated allegation; and b) it claims Yoko Ono feared traditional sex. That is a medical problem which was presented in such a way as to elicit scorn, not sympathy, from the reader. Cheap shots abound in this book, and let's just say some of them hit to close to home for me to let Goldman off the hook for them. What I did find interesting was the claim that John was anorexic. It makes a lot of sense... how else could he have lost that much weight from late '66-early '68? Unless it was drug abuse, an equally painful condition. The voice of Goldman's book is one of "let's write a slasher bio." Compassion or even respect of his subject, with all his faults, is nowhere to be found, and the above examples made me wonder if Goldman had any scruples whatsoever. Not because he said bad things about John Lennon, but because he treats issues such as rape and vaginismus as nuggets of sensationalism rather than the painful social crises that they are for millions of people. Anyway, if you love Lennon, don't read this book.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 27, 2003
suz
Book Title: Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Goldman
Back in 1995 when all the Beatle Anthologies and the Lennon tribute cd was coming out, I wanted to read the biographies of Lennon and McCartney. The Goldman book looked like a real warts and all style biography. The McCartney book on the same shelf had the style of a Disneyfied version of a life, not real at all. If that makes Lennon more real then PM, I'll take the Lennon bio, and I did. And I enjoyed knowing alot of stuff that I never knew before. "War is Over" and "Beatle John" is just John Lennon now and forever. There's a John Lennon Art tour going on now. See it if you can, buy a piece of history if you can too. I did. :)

Rating: 3.5
Aug 16, 2003
karen
Book Title: WE ALL SHINE ON
Book Author: Paul Du Noyer
this book tells of all the stories behind every john lennon song.for a person who does not know much about john lennon before this(like me),its a good read.it is comprehensive and detailed but not to the extend of being annoying.there are also many pictures on almost every other page.i've not read any other book which talks about lennon or the beatles so thru this book i guess i learn quite a lot of stuff too.in a sense this book is written like telling the life story of lennon with his songs.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 26, 2003
jen
Book Title: Loving John
Book Author: May Pang
I really don't like reading but this book really caught my attention. I've always had mixed feelings toward Yoko so I never hated her but never believed her word totally either when she talked about how she kicked John out of the house during the 18 month "Lost Weekend" period. Also how John kept insisting on coming home. If he wanted to come home to the Dakota why didn't he? It was his home too! So I decided to read a book about a person who WAS there with John during those months and knew him on a personal level. The book "Loving John" by May Pang is very detailed and I believe is a very honest book. In my opinion what May said in this book was true, that John did put on a "Press image" and wasn't really the person the press saw. He did love May (Not as much as Yoko perhaps but he did love her) proven when the author Robert Rosen stated that in John Lennon's diaries he would constantly talk about wanted May. Even if you don't believe May, the honest, truthful loving secretary to John and Yoko, read the book because its highly interesting and enjoyable! It truly opens the reader to a side we never knew of John. The person who cried and longed for an escape from Yoko. I do love Yoko but I trust May's word more. I DO recommened May Pang's site: www.maypang.com and read this article if you want/have time: http://articles.absoluteelsewhere.net/Articles/may_pang_int.html

Rating: 1.0
Jul 4, 2003
jorgeariel
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I can't believe how many people are thinking this is some sort of believeable biography. Goldman is being painted as some "brave" writer who had the courage to bring out Lennon's faults when the entire book is based on nothing but rumors and unrevealed informants. Most of what he says is based on his own conjecture and always in the most negative terms. No one said Lennon was a Saint, mostly Lennon himself, but don't think just because he is saying negative things, he somehow has to be honest because only an honest person would have the courage to do so. Falling into that trap is a terrible disservice to Lennon who always tried to be, if not completely, but at least predominantly honest about himself. Don't use John's own best traits against him and think this author has to have the same integrity just because of the choice of who is writing about. I can honestly tell you this book is just slanderous with an obvious agenda to malign Lennon- this book was written, helped in part, by disgruntled Lennon associates who wanted to get back at him. Don't let them win and fall for it.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 23, 2003
Seaofgreen
Book Title: In His Own Write
Book Author: John Lennon
The one is the new edition, with the(short)introduction by Yoko Ono. This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. The illustrations aren't the best in the world, but they complement the stories and no one could've done better. This is best read aloud, and I recommend The Moldy Moldy Man, Deaf Ted, Danoota, (and me,) and the famous 'Sad Michael' story, from which, they reportedly found the title of their first film, "A Hard Day's Night". (though according to The Anthology, Ringo said this while emerging from the recording studio, but oh well!) Have a great time reading, beatle people!

Rating: 5.0
Jun 23, 2003
Thomas Neufeld
Book Title: In His Own Write/ A Spaniard In The Works
Book Author: John Lennon
Um...the first time I read this book with both books in it, I was confused. As Paul McCartney states in the Introduction, "What is a brummer? What does dubb olwd boot mean?", this is what you will think. However, this book is one of the funniest books I've read. He twists words into something else, adds puns everywhere, {Jack the Nipple has struck again!}, and adds double meanings, and you get such stories as: Snore Wife And Some Several Dwarts, No Flies On Frank, Our Dad {very very cruel humor}, Last Will And Testicle, Deaf Ted, Danoota and me, and many more. Don't search for meaning, just sit back and enjoy lennon's twisted humor and mind. PS: Are you debb and dubb?

Rating: 4.0
Jun 23, 2003
Thomas Neufeld
Book Title: The Lives Of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I have loved the Beatles and John Lennon since I was 4.{1 am 12 now.} I read this book after hearing how awful it was. The people who say that need to realize, however hard it may be, that this IS John Lennon. I didn't want to believe some of the stuff in this book, {Epstein and John's affair, his brutal attack on Stu Sutcliffe}, but Lennon was a real person! He was interested in peace, loved Sean, and he wrote some of the best songs the world will ever know! But he also had a horrific temper, a drug addiction, and an over-bearing wife. This book is painful to read, makes you depressed that there are such troubled people in the world, but it is the best biography on John I have read! Goldman tends to dwell on his negative side{s}, and I don't think anyone wants to read a whole chapter about John buying a painting, but this book makes you respect him even more, in a way. Read it if you can.

Rating: 3.0
Jun 9, 2003
Michael Snider
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
When this book first came out its scandalous, sleazy depiction of John's life was widely panned and detested by most Beatle fans. It was regarded like the plague, and treated as pure trash, a slander of the most influential British musician/composer ever and arguably the most dominant cultural figure of the second half of the twentieth century. In the interim, sleazy celebrity bios and portrayals have become far more common as tabloid media culture has grown tremendously. The rise and fall of Kurt Cobain, inspired directly by Lennon and sharing many of the same traits, has shown us that someone that screwed up can make a great impact. Biographies of pop culture personalities ranging from Oliver Reed - another figure who grew up straddling the rigid class boundaries of midcentury Great Britain and a fellow cultural hero of the same explosion of working class culture in 60s Britain as the Beatles - to Peter Perrett ( the Lennon inspired singer of the criminally underrated Only Ones, a tragic figure much like Cobain)have made it clear how many of the greats of the day were similarly damaged. So it is time to take a fresh look at Goldman's book years later. I have no doubt that the basic depiction of Lennon was more or less correct. If anything, that makes him MORE admirable ; a deeply disturbed individual suffering from a bevy of problems who nevertheless changed the culture and turned his immense suffering into great art. So, Lennon suffered from serious mental illness - I don't mean to evoke the "Beautiful Mind" cliche (which is actually inaccurate ; the mental illness associated with genius is manic depression not schizophrenia) but so were many of the great cultural figures of all time - Poe, Dali, Rimbaud, Van Gogh, Coleridge, Hemingway, Nietzsche, Tchaikovsky, etc. So, Lennon had substance abuse problems - this is very well acknowledged. Many readers criticized "Lives" for its depiction of Lennon as bisexual - this is juvenile homophobia to deny that one's hero is not 100% hetero, of the same sort that led so many academics to claim that Oscar Wilde, one of Lennon's heroes and role models, was also 100% hetero except for his involvement with Bosie. So, Yoko was a thoroughly unpleasant character,a scam artist who exacerbated the tensions within the Beatles, and a dominating Dragon Lady who sapped Lennon's creative energy and inner strength - a good case can be made for all these claims. Having known a number of women like this, including one involved with an aforementioned rock star of a later period, I have no reason to doubt that the depiction of Yoko by Goldman may be exaggerated but contains a good deal of truth. So, Lennon became creatively exhausted after "Imagine" - the albums after "Imagine" all have their moments but none of them compares to the work of the Beatles or Lennon's early solo work. So, Harrison was a devoted worshipper to the point of being a mindless follower according to Goldman - this is an exaggeration but it is very clear that George was drawn in by Lennon's great talent and charisma and was influenced heavily by his bandmate ; George was probably closer to John than Paul or certainly Ringo were, and it did take time for him to develop his own distinct creative vision. So, McCartney was more cultured and musically adventurous than Lennon - Macca's talent was a perfect match for Lennon ; his own vision perfectly complemented John's resulting in one of the great partnerships of all time. Despite coming from a much more deprived background than Lennon, McCartney provided the artistic and musical sophistication to match Lennon's pure expression and Dionysian force of nature drawing upon the primal emotion of early rock. So, Lennon made bad choices in terms of associates and political causes - he was hardly the only celebrity in the 60s and early 70s to do so, nor the only artistic genius of any age ever to do so. Dali, who had an impact on his medium and time somewhat comparable to Lennon's, cozied up to the fascist regime of General Franco, while Picasso remained a communist long after the evils of communism were apparent to all. Lennon's politics were essentially anarchistic ,again like Wilde, and his exercise of his political views were an expression of his Don Quijote type personality, one shared again by many great artists. They constituted a sort of war against reality as it stood, which makes for great art but impractical politics. In exercising his rights as a citizen/subject of a democracy, he associated with some decidedly unpleasant and half baked individuals, but Lennon was not trying to hold elective office. It was a part of his mercurial self-expression which he paid dearly for. So, Lennon missed his chance to be "Godfather of Punk" by not following up on the direction he took in the early 70s - there would have been no punk rock without the Beatles. Lennon was the original punk rocker. The first bands who were credited with beginning the "punk" movement like the New York Dolls and especially the Ramones would have been unimaginable without the Beatles. The early Ramones sounded like 1963-64 Beatles with more distortion and fewer guitar solos.Lennon wasn't the only figure of his generation to burn out in the mid seventies. Compare what the Stones, Who, or Kinks, to name a few of his peers, were doing in the mid 70s with what they were doing in the mid 60s. Great moments here and there but the sum of the parts doesn't compare. Goldman's book does have an extremely serious problem with its credibility in an important aspect,however. Goldman used Allen Klein as a source and used "The Lives of John Lennon" to whitewash Klein and make it seem that Lennon was a helpless freak who needed Klein's financial and legal discipline to save him from himself. According to Goldman, Klein was a saint who had Lennon's best interests in mind. This contradicts everything else that has ever been written about Klein. Any book on the Stones - e.g. Bill Wyman's autobiography or Hochner's "Blown Away" - and most other books on the Beatles depict Klein as a money grubbing sleazeball and ruthless predator, convicted of various financial crimes. It would certainly be in Klein's interest to daemonize Lennon, especially in Goldman's depiction of Lennon as an antisemite. I would not doubt that Lennon grew up in an atmosphere where antisemitism was a common attitude,as was the case in many working class and lower middle class neighborhoods in the UK and North America at the time ( indeed, many neighborhoods of all classes) and probably did say a few comments over the years about Jews when angry ; but he had many Jewish friends and associates and racial/ethnic prejudices seemed to play no part in any active part of his life. OTOH, his antagonism towards Klein was perfectly understandable ; you don't look too kindly on someone who is ripping you off. He may have called Klein a "dirty Jew" or something like that, but the context would indicate that it was directed towards Klein and not towards ALL those of Jewish religion or heritage. Much like some white Americans use the "n" word to describe Afro-Americans they don't like even though they are not otherwise racist in behavior or attitudes and don't have a problem with blacks in general. Certainly this sort of thing is not good manners, but it is not really real racism or ethnic prejudice. Ironically Goldman claims that Brian Epstein blamed all of his problems on antisemitism - Klein seems to have used Goldman to maintain a similar agenda re:Lennon. (I don't know if Klein authorized some hack writer to savage the Stones in a similar way, but it would be hard to do so given that Charlie Watts is Jewish). Likewise, Goldman's disparaging of the Beatles vis a vis the Stones or Who is ridiculous. There would have never been a Who if not for the Beatles. Re:Stones, it is true that the young Jagger and Jones were far better looking than Lennon and the Stones certainly were more of a live band than the Beatles ; but the achievements of one hardly negate the other. The Beatles were hardly a commercial sellout ; they CREATED a market, rather than kowtow to it. They CREATED a cultural context, and transcended any purely commercial considerations unless you are talking about very early in their history. And even then, one must remember that rock and roll was not a very lucrative business in the early 60s unless you were Elvis Presley. You didn't have the big money that came later. Managers encouraged their rock singer clients to use rock as a basis for a show biz career and then move on to adult pop singing or acting. Even the "big names" of the time weren't making that much other than Elvis. Record companies dangled money and all sorts of other favors to the singers and musicians which just served to get them deep into debt (which has not changed). Brian Epstein's idea that they would become massive phenomena was one of the great wild ideas that came true. Along these lines, Goldman also discredits Ringo's drumming. Certainly Ringo was not a flashy drummer like Keith Moon or Ginger Baker. He was a solid, steady drummer who perfectly complemented the contributions of the other members. As time went on he got better - anyone who ever heard "Tomorrow Never Knows" or the reprise of "Sgt.Pepper" knows that Ringo's drumming was quite good. Overall, "The Lives of John Lennon" is not to be dismissed, but recommended with severe reservations. Keep in mind that Goldman is serving Klein's agenda, and it is best to read other books on Lennon and the Beatles as a corrective, but what I got out of it was that Lennon managed to overcome all of his issues and transform popular culture and the whole world, turning his pain into brilliance. This book has definately gotten a rap worse than it merits.

Rating: 5.0
May 11, 2003
Alasdair Norrie
Book Title: Paul McCartney-'Many years from now'
Book Author: Barry Miles
A really excellent read,filled with peroid detail from a man who new all the the Beatles in their sixties heyday. Unlike other biographies on the boys, it does not exclude details about the other members of the group, and does not merely concentrate on the music, but shows how Paul lived at the time in London (his 2 years wth the Asher famly being particularly interesting). Helps dispel some on the myths and rumours surrounding Paul, and sheds light on the truth of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting relationship, as well as their friendship away from the studio. Based on hours of taped interviews with Paul, as well as other important figures close to The Beatles at the time.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 11, 2003
Kristie
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: beatles?
This book is filled with words,letters,and a lot of pictures. its one of the best Beatle books I have ever found. But beware its a BIG BOOK and costs about $40

Rating: 3.5
Apr 9, 2003
Edde
Book Title: The Ballad Of John And Yoko
Book Author: ?
The book contains rare interwievs that´s been in the rolling Stone! A great book!

Rating: 5.0
Apr 8, 2003
Helen James
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
I've just finished this book and it is a wonderful book told by people who knew John and Yoko well. I think it's one of the only biographies of him to tell the complete truth. I have also learnt that anyone who blames the break up of the Beatles on Yoko can't be a true Beatles or Lennon fan. It portrays John as a loving family man as well as an excellent musician.

Rating: 1.0
Jan 12, 2003
Angi
Book Title: The Lives Of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
What's really sad is that people believe the lies in this book. Paul McCartney, Cynthia Lennon, Sean Lennon, Julian Lennon, Yoko Ono, and more of the people who were closest to John ALL say that this book is FILTH and LIES! The only reason Goldman is allowed to publish this is because John is dead, and he can't dispute the inaccuracies. Goldman is infamous for writing inaccurate biographies of dead celebrities, another example is his trashy bio of Elvis. Don't bother with this waste of paper.

Rating: 4.5
Jan 3, 2003
Zoe
Book Title: The last days of John Lennon
Book Author: Fred Seaman
I was really happy to find a book about John that wasn't just written by someone who hardly knew him. I haven't read any other books on John so I haven't got anything to compare it to. I believe this book shows Johns true self and recognises his faults and his strengths. I definitely recommend it to someone wanting to know more about his personality. Fred Seaman manages to explain everything with detail. The only fault I found with this book however was its tendency to be obviously biased against Yoko. I am in no way myself a Yoko fan but I think his experiences later on with Yoko lead him to write more critically of her earlier in the book. This book shows a human John who is like the rest of us. Lots of fans hate Beatles biographers but I strongly recommend you read this book and then make your mind up.

Rating: 3.5
Dec 9, 2002
Sharlynna
Book Title: The lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
Several years ago I read this book...I found it to be a very complex and totally critical tale of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. I was seven years old when John was murdered, and find that while many things in this book COULD have happened...it most certainly is not a must have for a Beatle fan. I would not waste the time or money. There are many good books out about the group that would be better.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 8, 2002
Teresa
Book Title: Lennon In America
Book Author: Geoffrey Giuliano
This book is based on Lennon's diaries and it's very interesting. I think, if I had to choose between Goldman's book and this one, I would have taken this one because it doesn't show just the negative sides, but it also shows him from a very human side and doesn't try to make ugly facts more beautiful. Think of other artists. We admire many artists without thinking that they were murderers! That's just to show that Lennon isn't the worst. But this book shows a very human man with an extraordinary talent, not the "saint" we made out of him. I think he had one admirable human quality: He was able to admit his mistakes and tried to make it better. I think that needs more than being a well-behaving angel who doesn't do anything wrong. He did good things and he did bad things, because that's life. He was a human-being, folks! We should take off our masks and watch him as he was; there are no good people or bad people, they are just what they are. We shouldn't judge him because of his mistakes, we should be happy that he was there because of his music. He had to carry his bag, as we do.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 12, 2002
Lennon
Book Title: lennon
Book Author: ray coleman
i read it after falling in love with a man cruelly snatched from the world 7 yrs before i enterted it. dear johnnny ... no longer mistunderastood let youre light let shine on. p.s i love you , real inspiration imagine...

Rating: 4.0
Sep 17, 2002
Geoff Bartlett
Book Title: Shout!
Book Author: Philip Norman
I thought this was a fairly good book because it gave me (a huge Beatle fan) a lot of insight into their financial matters and also little things along the way which I was formally unaware of, such as the girls who milled about outside of Paul's house. I would not reccomend this book to someone who is looking for the story of the Beatles themselves and how they lived their lives because much of it is explaining the activity of the managment. Norman has shown that he has done extensive research though and all in all it was a good read.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 13, 2002
Stephanie
Book Title: The Love You Make
Book Author: Peter Brown
Wow! My mom bought this book for me at a thrift store for 2 bux. I haven't put it down and I can't shut up about it. This is a VERY candid story about the Fab 4, the drugs, women, scandal, animocity, EVERYTHING. I have read the other reviews pertaining to this book on the list, and I must admit it is hard to believe some of the "facts" in the book. Most of the info in the book came at me like an overdose of hard-to-swallow pills, and I didn't want to believe some of it. It definatley doesn't paint a pretty picture. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. And as for the sceptisism, read the book and tell me how you would feel if those truths were exposed about you. I woudl be pissed too!

Rating: 1.0
Sep 10, 2002
parodox
Book Title: The lives of John lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
Fellow Lennon fans, First let me say after reading some of your other reviews I'm surprised at the young age of John's fans. John was 15 years older than Me, and I have a collection of every Interview John gave.Yes John was a drug user, who wasn't or still is that grew up in that era.Yes John was eccentric,Just listen to his song GOD. How many of us even no the religions and phisph... and there meanings that John mentioned in this song. Yes John had faults,fears,and insecurities,We all do Listen to Jealous Guy. As for Goldman's perception of John It is very biased, some truths mixed with alot of lies.In conclusion John was a Man a GREAT MAN Who's music and ideas continue to influence Multitudes to this day. I don't reccomend this book to anyone that doesn't allready have a firm foundation of who John was as an artist,poet,muscisian,and thinker. We Love You John RIP.

Rating: 4.5
Aug 12, 2002
Thomas Neufeld
Book Title: Skywriting by word of mouth
Book Author: John Lennon
I am 11 years old and loved the beatles since I was three. I also like bands like The Who, Doors and anything you can think of that most kids havent heard of. I found this book in my garage. I had already read "In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard In The Works" and I flipped through the book, then read all of it. It is a better book than "In His Own Write" and Spaniard. It has his only autobiography, his very bizarre interpretation of the alphabet, and the funny and slightly insane "Skywriting". It consists of over 25 loosely related stories about weird people and their problems. Some of it is slightly disturbing and nauseating,yet thought-provoking. You should read it.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 1, 2002
Kate
Book Title: Lennon: The Definitive Biography
Book Author: Ray Coleman
This is the best Lennon biography I have ever read. For those of you who read and enjoyed Goldman's book, buy or borrow this book, so you can read a real biography about John Lennon. This man interviewed everyone who was ever important to John Lennon. The facts are amazing, and it shows Lennon like a man...not as a saint, not as Satan. If you want something with true facts, read this.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 27, 2002
Jack Aranda
Book Title: A Hard Day's Write
Book Author: Steve Turner
If, like me, you're always listening to Beatles songs and thinking "What was the inspiration behind that?", or even "What does this all mean?", then this could be the book for you. It has the stories behind EVERY Beatles song ever written. You may know some, or even a fair number of these stories, but you won't know all of them (unless you really are an expert!). The Anthology tracks are covered too, and you'll also find a chronology, discography, and some rarely seen photos - like one of Lucy O'Donnell (Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds) with Melanie Coe (subject of She's Leaving Home). Of course, one or two of the stories behind the songs may be at odds with what you've heard before, but to write this book, it seems that the author has carried out pretty extensive research involving not just existing texts, but new interviews with many people close to the Beatles, and even Paul McCartney himself saw the original manuscript, and pointed out one or two discrepancies, which the author was then able to change. The feeling of the book is always respectful to the Beatles, yet written with objectivity - if there are alternatives stories behind some songs (assuming they sound at least a little believable), we get to hear them too, with the author stating which one he believes to be more likely. Overall, if you are interested in knowing what the songs are about, then I can't recommend this book more highly - it's fascinating. I personally, would want it as a reference book to dip into whenever the urge takes me, rather than a book to read from cover to cover. A superb addition to any Beatles fan's bookshelf.

Rating: 2.0
Jul 14, 2002
Jack Aranda
Book Title: Shout!
Book Author: Philip Norman
I borrowed this book from my local library, just as I was starting to get into the Beatles in a big way, to find out their story. "Great!", I thought - "this should be a fantastic read!". Sadly, though, I can't say it is. What it does do, though, is give you the basic facts about them - you find out things like what their childhoods were like, how they got together, Hamburg, Cavern, USA, etc right up to Apple and the end days - this is all essential stuff for any Beatle fan, of course. However, one of the first things that I noticed, after reading only a few pages, is that Norman's writing style, is, well, rather bland to say the least. The guy seems to achieve the impossible - he makes one of the most incredible true life stories of the 20th century sound rather mundane. He also seems to spend too long on the early days - I seemed to be nearly halfway through the book before they even got their record contract. He also seems to spend too long, and go into too much detail about the business goings-on of Apple, sometimes seeming to forget that this is meant to be a biography of the Beatles, not a financial report. Another disappointment for me is that he rarely seems to discuss what the Beatles were thinking or feeling about anything - the result of which is that you hardly seem to find out about their attitudes or personalities at all - and surely this is a big reason for reading a biography in the first place? To summarise - if you want to know the basic facts of the Beatles story, and you cannot locate another, more interesting book about all four of them together - then this may be worth borrowing from the library or a friend - but personally, I wouldn't spend money on buying it. I have to mention, however, that there are two other (much more positive) reviews of the book further down this page, so obviously, this is just my opinion, and it might not be what YOU would think on reading the book. But I stick by my views and say if you are after a good, enjoyable read on the 60s phenomenon that was the Beatles - don't get this book - scroll down the page and locate another one.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 14, 2002
James
Book Title: Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon
Book Author: Robert Rosen
I found this book very interesting and revealing about the final years of John's life. It explains things, in deatail, like all the Thai John smoked, and his facination with nemerology. I suggest this book to anyone who has ever wondered, "Who is John Lennon?".

Rating: 5.0
May 16, 2002
Suzie
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: the Beatles!
Great book! It's fun and insightful to read a book about the Beatles written by the band members themselves. Believable, funny at times, and probably one of the most accurate books on the group out there. A must read for any fan! Added bonus: Looks great on the coffe table too!

Rating: 5.0
Apr 23, 2002
Christine Rummins
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
This is the definitive, most complete and objective biography of John Lennon ever published. What it is most successful at is providing a full portrait of the man with all the brushstrokes and lines colored in! It saddens me that so many JL fans cannot accept that he was an actual human being with many of the same insecurities, fears and neurosisis that we all have. Same is true for Yoko. I think the "Iron Butterfly" chapter says it perfectly. She was both 'airy-fairy' and tough as nails. The same could be true about any us. A recent statistic said that 25% of the population has substance abuse problems. Why would famous rock stars be immune from the dangers of this. It is common knowledge that JL was a drug addict to include marijuana, cociane, LSD, heroin and alchol. In his own words he said he "must have taken over 1000 trips (on acid)". Why do so many people get angry about talking about his and Yoko's drug addiction. Why do so many people get angry when they hear that JL was a violent, angry person. Most addicts are. Also, yeah he had "peace on his lips and war in his heart" That's true. He was violent as a teenager, a young man and an adult. There were hundreds of witnesses to this who've gone on the record over the years in their own memoirs, in interviews, etc including Paul McCarteny, Yoko Ono, May Pang, Ringo Starr, Aunt Mimi. But he was trying to better himself, like we all do, through his music, his peace campaigns, his Primal Scream therapies and strict diets. Sometimes he took these things too far or not far enough. Everybody is a contradiction if their lives are examined in any detail and I wouldn't have it any other way - that's the point of being alive, working those things out. But people don't want JL to be human and I'll tell you why... Alot of the fans want to beleive in the rock-n-roll fairy tale and love story of John and Yoko. That John, a sympathetic, lost hero was saved by the all powerful, nuturing Yoko and they lived happily ever after promoting peace in the world and then settled into domestic bliss until John was murdered and Yoko finally received the love from the world as John's widow. It's just not true. YO met JL at a very uncertain time in his life, go back to 1966-1968 he was a mess on acid and was going further into delusion (he claimed he was Jesus Christ in an Apple Board meeting 24 hours before the infamous 'date' with YO at Kenwood). This was not the JL of the witty, press conferences with the Beatles. In fact, the Beatles were falling apart before Yoko, perhaps even as early as Sgt.Pepper. As JL's creative partnership with PM was diminishing (for many reasons) ,JL was a needing a replacement. After the initial passion of finding YO and probably "feeling saved" while at the same time high on heroin, JL committed himself in public to YO and created the image that he maintained till the day he died. The image he created was in reality his fantasy prototype but it was not real, though he wanted it to be. The facts are the facts - even without the Goldman book. JL was a severly conflicted man and YO was as duplicitious as anyone and extrememly more ambitious than most. I feel, that Goldman's honest & unapologetic view of both JL and YO is a gift to the fans that want the truth, not another sugar-coated diversion of it. AG's book gives us, in amazing detail, the real story. It's dates are accurate which is not the case in many Lennon biographies (even ones endorsed by YO - see "Imagine"). If you have a keen eye for this kind of detail you will see how inaccurate other material is. The only shortcoming, in my opionion here is that it could do with more info on the songs themselves, the writing and recording of them. Excellent supplemental material would be Ian MacDonald's "Revolution In The Head: The Beatles music and the sixites". I have read this book, probably five times in the last 14 years and I always seem to understand JL and YO and PM and GH and RS a little better each time. And that is really, the desire of a fan, to know their subject better to be closer to them. It may sound strange, put that way, but why else do fans become "big fans"?.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 20, 2002
Jack C.
Book Title: 8 Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium
Book Author: Chip Madinger and Mark Easter
This book is awesome!!! It has all the solo songs by each Beatle from the late 1960s to mid-2000. The concert playlists are great too.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 20, 2002
Ashley
Book Title: From Abbey Road to Zapple Records: A Beatles Encyclopedia
Book Author: Judson Knight
I give this book a 5, because it's a fun book! Basically it's an encyclopedia that list topics that involve the Beatles- Everything from their songs to their actual albums (including a list of albums that you need if you want to have all their 215 songs...) to the Charlie Manson murders to backgrounds on all the Beatles to.... Probably nothing new included for the avid fan, but lots of fun information about lots of fun songs... Check it out.

Rating: 1.0
Mar 20, 2002
Ashley
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
My opinion on this controversial book is this- It's for the people who want to believe John Lennon was horrible. It's not for the fans, though I found it interesting and humorous and horrifying, it's for the critics and John Lennon haters who read it and smile and say, "Alas! The truth is out!" Was it the truth, really? We'll never know. John Lennon died 22 years ago... So what I suggest it to read the Beatles Anthology and to read the Rolling Stone interviews and to believe what John himself wanted you to believe.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 17, 2002
Jack C.
Book Title: Strawberry Fields Forever: John Lennon Remembered
Book Author: Barbara Graustark, et al
While this book is out of print, it isn't too hard to find at used bookstores. It is a great bio of John's life, in detail. It has two bonuses too: a thorough chronology of events in John's (and the other Beatles') lives. The other is the very rare 'Newsweek' interview, no longer available, done about the same time as the Playboy one. If you can find it, get this great book.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 1, 2002
Erin
Book Title: Lives of Lennon
Book Author: Goldman, Albert
I have been a devoted Beatles and Lennon fan since watching the first installment of the Anthology in 1995. Since then, I have devoured every book on The Beatles or John Lennon that I can possibly get my hands on. But I must say, Goldman's biography is one of the most interesting and compelling books I have read on the life(or should I say, "secret lives") of John Lennon. I love John Lennon, but I also understand that he wasn't a saint, like many of us tend to believe. The book sheds light on John's tragic upbringing, from his parents' abandonment of him, to him losing his mother, as a teenager. He NEVER recovered fully from these experiences, and he later became the man and the great musican that we have all come to adore, because of them. The book helps explain the problems John suffured as a result. I have read the other reviews on this book and I am somewhat surprised that most of them are negitive. I think what people need to realize is that John Lennon was just a regular guy with just an extraordinary talent. It did not make him flawless, or someone for us to idolize and worship. What some of you other readers may not know is that Goldman did 6 years of research, going over 1,200 interviews to get the information to write this book. I admit, some of the stories in the book may not seem believable to some Lennon fans. The ideas of John Lennon being a tortured, depressed, drug-addicted, alcoholic, and a sometimes abusive man is hard to swallow, for any of us. But those are some of the other sides of John Lennon that we didn't get to see. I don't believe that makes him any less of a talented man, who was just searching for someone to truely love him. We all have our dark sides, things we are not proud to admit. But they don't make us any less of a human being. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is willing to learn the true story of one of the most interesting musicians in Rock History, John Lennon.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 22, 2002
Laura
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The Lads Themselves!
Wow! Of all the Beatle books I've read (and I've read a lot!), this is by far the best. Being born almost 7 years after John Lennon was murdered, I missed out on the entire Beatlemania thing (by almost 2 and a 1/2 decades!), but this book had the WHOLE THING!! I've been a proud Beatlemaniac for 1/2 of my life (since I was 7), and have been waiting for a book like this to come along!! I love the pictures, and I also love how you can open up to any page in the book and read from there. It's defianatly not a book to read from beginning to end (unless you have alot of time on your hands!) So my advice? Buy it, or get someone to buy it for you!

Rating: 5.0
Feb 10, 2002
Lisa
Book Title: LENNON IN AMERICA (1971-1980)
Book Author: GEOFFREY GIULIANO
Lennon in America 1971-1980, is loosely based on the lost Lennon diaries. It really gives a detailed account of the last years of Lennon's life, the things he got up to, his personal, professional, and mental state during the seventies and up to his death. Also, there are countless relevations, and the author seems to have researched every aspect of Lennon's life to come up with certain conclusions based on Lennon stories, interviews with John's friends and family, his taped diaries, and private letters. This book details the life John Lennon was leading in the seventies, the book's really interesting and I highly recommend it. Lisa.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 22, 2002
Chelsea
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The Beatles
This book is by far my favorite Beatle book. Since I went with my little sister (previously the biggest Beatles fan i had known, that is until I became a fan) to see Ringo preform live, i've been trying to find out as much about the Beatles as I possibly can. It's very difficult, though, to find something that isn't restricted only to what can be researched, in other words, only what is on the outside. I love this book because it tells you exactly what the boys felt and experienced. It also gives me an idea of just how crazy the Beatlemania really was. I am a fairly young Beatle fan. John Lennon died 6 years before I was born(exactly six years, Dec. 8th is my birthday *sob*). But this makes it difficult to really know what went on. This book is by far the most interesting and beautiful description of the four most interesting and beautiful people. I highly recomend it.

Rating: 1.0
Jan 22, 2002
Kath M
Book Title: To The Sleeper
Book Author: ...who I see chose to remain anonymous
Well I don't see you winning any prizes from The Beatles Book smartarse...it was them who suggested I post my review to a site. Okay, so it was a little long! But if no-one edits these reviews it's in keeping with the free democatic way of Bagism. xxx

Rating: 5.0
Jan 20, 2002
Lady Jane
Book Title: A Twist of Lennon
Book Author: Cynthia
Of all the Beatles' women, Cynthia was arguably the most wronged (with second place honors going to May Pang), especially given the shabby divorce settlement she and Julian were forced to accept. Those expecting a no-holds barred expose will be sorely disappointed, however--"Miss Powell's" traditional British reserve and stiff upper lip wouldn't allow for it. However, some tender recollections of the brief moment in time they shared as a couple before fans across the globe claimed Lennon as their own. The artwork is awesome and only gets better with time--let it not be forgotten that Cyn studied alongside John and Stu at the Liverpool College of Art!

Rating: 3.5
Jan 20, 2002
Lady Jane
Book Title: Our Hearts Went Boom
Book Author: Brian Kendall
How many Beatle fans know that in North America, the Lads broke through in Canada before they registered in the US charts? Not surprising to those who are aware of Canada's role in the British Commonwealth. Coverage and pics of their rare forays across the 49th parallel, but compiled by an someone who obviously didn't fully research his Fab subjects (there are some annoying errors that could have been corrected by a competent fact-checker). However, a nice addition to the shelves of any serious Beatlebook collector.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 31, 2001
Karen
Book Title: A Cellarful of Noise
Book Author: Brian Epstein
This book is a must for any Beatles' fan. This book is about Epstein and his discovery of the Beatles. Though some of the information in this book may be questionable, or dated, or effected by the media machine that Epstein put into motion, I am really glad that "Rhino" re-released this book in 1998.

Rating: 2.5
Nov 29, 2001
NoFliesOnFred
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
Some interesting insight and new detailed stories are captivating and not to be found in other books on Lennon. This is not the mythical JL, but the error prone JL. Yoko too. Goldman's is a prick and the tone of the book makes it valid. Its an amusing book to open at any page, but dont believe everything you read.

Rating: 4.0
Nov 27, 2001
Ben Gates
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
This book seems to form as big a chasm in John Lennon's fans as Yoko. The truth is, John Lennon could have been the dirty guy who hangs out at the bus stop asking for change. He wasn't special, or destined to change the world. He was just a regular guy who had problems, like everyone else. Being thrust to stardom opened lots of doors for him and he had a very open mind about it, absorbing thoughts and opportunities from many different perspectives, just like you or I would do. This made him cynical about some things and supportive of other things, just like you and me. He was just a regular guy who had done extraordinary things with the talents he had acquired at a very opportune time in history. He ate, slept and pooped like you and me. Whether or not he did some of things that Goldman says he did is open to speculation, but so are some of the things that any other author has written about him, including the other Beatles. On the one hand, we have a broken, cynical, bisexual, pathetic child neglecting drug addict (Goldman's view), and on the other hand we have a peace-loving, caring, intelligent father and househusband (the popular myth). In the middle is the true John Lennon. Many of the Lennon-loving books take things to the extreme of idolization and deification, while Goldman's book just takes things to the opposite extreme. There's nothing wrong with it. People are more comfortable believing in Gentle John than Junkie John, and that's fine. Personally, I found the book to be very informative and it admirably attempts to fill in some of the holes of Lennon's life. I believe many of the controversial things in the book did happen one way or another. You can choose to believe them or discount them, but you can't say for certainty who the real Lennon is. Goldman makes us think and discuss. I like that in a book, so it gets my kudos.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 9, 2001
deadparrot22
Book Title: John Lennon: in his own write
Book Author: John Lennon
This book, though it is not about the beatles, is just plain great. At first, you'll say some thing like, "What the hell is this crap?!" but you'll eventually come to love it. It is all stories and drawings by Mr. Lennon himself. The stories are gibberishish, but it is rather clever. It includes senseless play on word type thingummybobs, (eg. "About the Awful") and has may of John's humorous, though simplistic, drawings. One who really knows John and his history will really appreciate the book because they will realize that the way the John writes the stories is packed with "Lennonisms", which are the silly words or phrases that John often used. And so, i leave you with these word, "I sat Belonely."

Rating: 1.0
Nov 1, 2001
Suzie Schaeffer
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Goldman
I read almost every review of this book on the page. To think that a few actually recommended it somewhat scared me. Why would you tell Lennon fans to read a book that makes him out to be such a sad, horrible, unhappy person? I am sorry to say that it was RIGHT after I discovered the Beatles 6 years ago (I am 18 now) and became very interested in John Lennon that I discovered this book. I watched whatever I could find on him and, since this was before the anthology, had to settle for what I could get my hands on to learn about the Beatles. I picked up "The Lives of John Lennon" at my library and engrossed myself in it. I will admit that being a new Beatle fan, I didn't have a whole lot of insight into the man who I now idolize and who influenced me to pick up the guitar I play today. I read this book and when I had finished I wanted to cry. I was certain that a man who I looked up to so much couldn't be this bad. I returned the book and was sorta' depressed for awhile. As I read more and more about John from other sources I knew that this book could not have been all true. I am one of the first to admit that John was far from being an angel and a perfect human being, but this book seemed almost surreal in its accounts. It was like the author was out to get John. To any fan of John who reads this book: believe whatever you want but try to remember that a man who made so many people happy and wrote such lovely songs at times could not be as terrible as Goldman describes him. I have to laugh at anyone who thinks this is a good book because I remember it well and have since read that even friends of John and the Beatles themselves say it is pretty much all lies. If you are a true fan you can look past ANY faults that Lennon has to appreciate all of the GREAT things that he is. I may be a bit young, but I am a very good judge of character:) Besides, what respectful person would want to write a book that degrades someone so much? If you really want to know about John, check out some other books like Coleman's bio and others by those who actually KNEW the guy!

Rating: 4.5
Oct 7, 2001
Shelley
Book Title: The Day John Met Paul
Book Author: Jim O'Donnell
Very good book detailing the first day that John Lennon and Paul McCartney met. Includes lots of interesting details, many things even, that most selfproclaimed "Beatle-Maniacs" (ie Brittany) do not know. For example it goes through every waking and unwoken moment of that day, it mentions things as mundane as what Paul had for breakfest that day, where he used to practice his guitar, what his father taught him, things about his brother. It does the same for John. Goes over his thoughts on his aunt and mother, and his music. This book is finely researched as its made purely from the thoughts of the people who were there. It tends to go a little slowly the first time read because of anxiety to hear about John and Paul, the second time read you take on a whole new appreciation of the small details so well researched.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 8, 2001
Thane
Book Title: In His Own Words: John Lennon
Book Author: Compiled by Miles
I found a used copy of this book a while back and I'm very glad I did. It's made up entirely of things John Lennon said or wrote. The quotes are catagorized by the years they're describing, starting in 1945. It's also filled with lots of great pictures of John from throughout his life. I really enjoy it because it's not full of what someone else said, speculated, or thought about him - his story is told in his own words. It's a great thing to have if you can find it. It was published by Omnibus Press in 1980 and reissued in 1994.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 25, 2001
Sara
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: the Beatles
I thought this book was great and worth every page. I found it to be funny and sometimes touching and I like that in a book.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 20, 2001
Brittany
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The Beatle Boys Themselves
This is going to be to the point, unlike a few of the reviews I read. I love the Beatles, especially John Lennon. They have opened me up to the wonderful world of rock 'n' roll. This book was amazing. I am very young(young enough to have been born several years after the death of John Lennon). This book convey s information that even some of the biggest Beatlemaniacs could not know. I got the book shortly after I got hooked on the Beatles, and it has become a great resource and a favorite of mine. Like I said I am very young (soon to be 14 on the 1st of September) but I know everything about the Beatles and John Lennon imparticular) I beleive I am the biggest John Lennon fan ever!

Rating: 5.0
Aug 10, 2001
MercuryStar13
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The Beatle Boys themselves
This is going to be to the point, unlike a few of the reviews I read. I love the Beatles, especially John Lennon. They have opened me up to the wonderful world of rock 'n' roll. This book was amazing. I am very young(young enough to have been born several years after the death of John Lennon). This book convey s information that even some of the biggest Beatlemaniacs could not know. I got the book shortly after I got hooked on the Beatles, and it has become a great resource and a favorite of mine. And I know I'm gonna catch flak for this, but I do NOT think Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles. I love them and their music dearly, but they had it coming. Most people are just looking for someone to blame the break-up on, people who were ultra-seriously hooked on them at the time. I think people are missing the fact that she was one of the best things that happened to John. They were totally compatible, way deep in love, and she gave his true, hidden talents a chance to develop. So stop bashing Yoko.

Rating: 4.0
Aug 8, 2001
Lucy Adams
Book Title: John Lennon:a story in photographs (icons of rock)
Book Author: Terry Burrows
I received this book on my birthday,(a couple of months ago), and since then I have not been able to put it down. I have read it from cover to cover twice, and frequently read about my favourite John Lennon moment again and again. This biography is ideal for anyone who is not a great or patient reader, as it has lots of big , clear pictures. The book is broken down into five different sections: 'The Early Years', 'Beatlemania', 'From Pop to Art', 'The Dream is Over' and 'The Final Years'. Within each of these sections, it is then divided into smaller parts. Each page is dedicated to a different bit of the John Lennon story, and beside EVERY page lies a big (about A4 size) black and white photograph. Although maybe not as detailed as other biographies, this book would keep anyone, even non-Lennon fans, entertained and occupied for hours. The pictures are stunning and definitely make this book a must for any dedicated Lennon (or Beatle) fan. A well presented and thoughtful insight into "each key moment in the extraordinary career of this revered iconoclast." I think even John Lennon himself would be proud of this impressive tribute!!

Rating: 5.0
Jun 27, 2001
Bobbie
Book Title: The lives Of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I first read Albert Goldmans book when it was released in the late 1980s. I was unsure if all it it was true...but all the follow up books that I have also read seem to have the same story...an affain between Lennon and Epstein...Johns loss of control in his life in later years...controled only by Yoko. Drugs and depression that plagued his soul.I don't think the average Lennon fan wants to hear the truth..but all in all I don't think all the biographies have lied...espically those who knew Lennon.I think fred seamen and Lennon In America back up what Goldman was trying to tell us in the late 80s. God rest his soul...for John was a tortured soul and is now in a better place.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 21, 2001
Jay
Book Title: Tell Me Why
Book Author: Tim Riley
I believe this to be the best song-by-song history of the Beatles' recording history ever written. It is not a commonly known book, but Riley goes chronologically through their entire history in the studio until the break-up. When read along with the three Anthology sets' liner notes, one can recreate the complete recording career of the group as well as gain an appreciation for the intense work schedule the boys endured for over four years. Riley skips the personal issues that were going on at the time, but that can be supplied by countless other books of varying reliability. Pardon the cliche, but I would call this a "must read" for Beatles fans! Hard to find, unfortunately.

Rating: 2.0
Jun 18, 2001
Michael Hockinson
Book Title: "Blackbird Singing: Poems & Lyrics, 1965-1999"
Book Author: Paul McCartney
I'd be the last to deny McCartney his due as one of the finest and most influential composers in popular music, but a book largely devoted to reprinting their lyrics, sprinkled with some "poetry" is a waste of money. As poems, many of the lyrics hold their own - and some, like "All Together Now," do not - but what's the point? Despite its literary pretensions, this is primarily a fan purchase, and with few exceptions, we know these lyrics by heart. In his introduction, collection editor (and real poet) Adrian Mitchell calls McCartney a "people's poet." I'm still trying to decide whether he's serious, having us on, or if he wrote this to kiss a certain former Beatle's ass. Paul's poems included here are for the most part pedestrian efforts, with some reading more like fragments of unfinished song lyrics. There are a few emotional gems sprinkled in, not surprisingly written about wife Linda. But with little that's new or of any real substance, "Blackbird Singing" is the kind of book you're likely to read once then shelve on your McCartney book shelf between his book of paintings and his "Composer/Artist" songbook. I'll save my money for his next studio album and the planned Wings book and rarities collection.

Rating: 4.0
May 22, 2001
Viki Reynolds
Book Title: Nowhere Man
Book Author: Robert Rosen
This is a good book. It's well written and to the point. As with anything you read, it's hard to know exactly how much of it is true. It does make Johns last years seem a bit depressing, almost as if he is schizophrenic. I do believe and have always believed he has been at battle with himself. He is a very old soul. He never really felt good about himself and was forever in search of someone to love him and make him feel secure. Johns father abandoned them when he was a very small child. Then when John was 5, his mother literally gave him away to her sister to raise, so she could marry a man who didn't want to raise another mans child. All the while she lived a stones throw away and raised children from her new husband. This hurt John and damaged him for life. He loved his Aunt Mimi but longed for his mothers love. His Mother, Julia, was a very beautiful and free spirited woman. She played banjo and was alot of fun. John just couldn't understand why he couldn't live with his mom and be a part of her new family. Then when he was 17, they were starting to see each other and build a relationship when she was struck down and killed by a bus. This book gives insite to his childhood which helps one to grasp what may have given John his insecurites. He was a very rebellious, gifted, confused, loving, hating, sensitive, thoughtful, thoughtless, and lost soul. His last years he tried to be the father to Sean that he had never been to Julian. He battled guilt, drugs, and all his "inner" demons. He knew that he had abandoned his wife Cynthia, and child, Julian, just as he had been abandoned. He had finally come to terms with himself, was starting to build a relationship with Julian, and had finally unlocked the door and come forth with a beautiful album when he was struck down. His whole life seems to a have a tragic pattern to it. I recommend reading this book, but also...... read between the lines.

Rating: 5.0
May 20, 2001
Adam Bailey
Book Title: All We Are Saying
Book Author: Conducted by David Sheff
This was a great book. It was the last major interview with John and Yoko and was conducted in 1980. The reason this book is so great is because, this is it- 1980. What he says here were the last things he thought. This was John Lennon. The interview this is from (Rolling Stone) has been quoted so many times, a lot of this will probably seem very familar to you. I totally recommend this to any Lennon fan.

Rating: 5.0
May 10, 2001
Jo
Book Title: A Twist of Lennon
Book Author: Cynthia Lennon
This book is a great read, it was a hard to find book and an excellent book. It chronicles the time that John and Cynthia met in Art College till the time that their marriage broke up. Cynthia had so much love for John and in turn John really loved Cynthia. The love that John felt for Cynthia was poured out in the letters that he sent her and also in the letters of the guilt he must have felt when he was at home not paying much attention to Julian and hate himself for it. And one of the thing(s)that broke up their marriage was that drugs were playing a great part in John's life and John's attitude was changing toward her. Even after the breakup of their marriage she still loved John. This a must read!!! I really LOVE this book if you are lucky enough to find a good copy.

Rating: 1.0
May 2, 2001
Rachel
Book Title: The Last Days of John Lennon
Book Author: Fred Seaman
This book is an attack on John Lennon and Yoko Ono,it should never have been published How could someone, who apparently was so close to John, write such utter lies. This book is bull shit.

Rating: 2.0
Apr 30, 2001
someone
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
We all know that John wasn't perfect. Some of this seems ridiculous to me, even the stuff that isn't bad at all. John is probably my favorite songwriter and I care if he did most of the stuff in the book. The only reputation that this might harm, though, if Yoko's: she's always been hated, and she really comes across as a bitch in this book. I'm not sure how much I believe and how much I don't. All I can say is I love Lennon's art, and, a much as a bastard as he was sometimes, I still love him.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 30, 2001
timagine
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I have known many celebrities myself. It's a sleasy business, particularly with rock stars. It is ordinary events I'm looking at here in this book; quite disillusional to many, I suppose. It's the way it is and was for John Lennon. People will tell you things in private, from experience, that you will find in no other place. I believe virtually the whole story, and find it hard to understand why so many would really believe to this day in an integrity in John Lennon. He was a scum, and knew it. This is why he was so anti-social and so self-destructive: he hid and did. I think that those who think John a perfect person or a great kind of person are as scary as the guy who killed him. To a ass hole star like Lennon, it is a sport like golf to go out and be happy and great and make records. At home it's the filthy truth all over again.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 5, 2001
Belinda
Book Title: The Last Days of John Lennon
Book Author: Frederic Seaman
I loved how Fred was able to capture John's childlike insecurity and cockiness all at once. I think he told an honest story about the man he worked for and obviously respected. The tales of constant friction between John and Yoko are devistating, especially when we realize how her lack of affection towards him tore him apart. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to think of John Lennon as a regular human being, not just an ex-Beatle superstar who wrote songs and played the guitar.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 22, 2001
Mina Hayworth
Book Title: Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The remaining Beatles
I agree a 100% with Aaron Clung's comment down there. The only book I deem worthy of giving good facts about the Beatles and John Lennon is the Beatles Anthology book. It's got every Beatle's impression on what happened so you can look at what happened to the Beatles in every angle. As for the John Lennon books, Coleman's is also good to read but the only way you can really feel John Lennon's life is through his songs. Books written by Lennon himself can also be great and the picture books is a great way to take a sneak peek at what's up with Lennon throughout the five years people have been going crazy over. If you want to know what's up with his life during those five years then listen to his music!

Rating: 5.0
Mar 2, 2001
John Ballard
Book Title: A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles
Book Author: Mark Hertsgaard
Hertsgaard thoroughly analyses the Beatles' music and some more peripheral aspects of the phenomonon that was the fab four. While I'm not sure that the book will present a great deal of new information, I am sure that that was not the intention of the book. Mr. Hertsgaard's intention was to increase enjoyment (as if that were possible) of the Beatles' music, etc; and damn if he don't do it, I for one will say that he do.

Rating: 1.0
Feb 27, 2001
Jeff Andrews
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I am simply appalled and amazed that this book ever got published. Practically everything in it disagrees with the statements of John Lennon's best friend, Elliot Mintz. Goldman says, for example, that Lennon did all sorts of drugs. What nonsence! As if Yoko Ono would allow John to get away with such immoral behavior! Goldman also says that John's "househusband" phase (during which John devoted himself to caring for Sean [that's why the Lennons never employed nannies or assistants] and baking bread for Elliot) was public relations BS. Talk about BS! John had too much respect for his fans and for the hardnosed journalists (like David Sheff) he talked to to ever want to misleads them! I hope that no one will read Goldman's book. Instead, check out David Sheff's articles and Coleman's book. Heck, the best thing to do is take Coleman's book, and go straight to the Elliot Mintz quotes. Mintz is the one that John baked all that bread for between '75 and '80!

Rating: 4.5
Feb 6, 2001
Annemarie Lee
Book Title: Two Of Us
Book Author: Geoffey Giuliano
Geoffery Giuliano provides an informaitve and realistic biography which is well reserched. Following John and Paul from the early days. This book is a must for any one who is intrested in john lennon's life and works. This book is a great book. It is quite simply a must. Mr giuliano offers very entertaining journy with the BEATLES. I love it. You will too- Annemarie Lee 5/2/2001

Rating: 1.0
Jan 23, 2001
The Sleeper
Book Title: Kath M's review
Book Author: Kath M
I thought that the text Kath M wrote to review the Beatle's Anthology was a book in itsself and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Rating: 2.5
Jan 18, 2001
Lizzy
Book Title: Nowhere Man:The Final Days of John Lennon
Book Author: Robert Rosen
The background of this book: Fred Seaman gave John's journals to Rosen without telling them that he stole them. Instead, Seaman tells him it was one of John's last wishes to publish the journals. Rosen took on the task, transcribing the journals so he could eventually get them back to Yoko. He lived, ate, and breathed John Lennon. Then he goes on vacation to Jamaica and comes back to find that Seaman had stolen all of his work on the project. Finally realizing the truth, he helped Yoko to get Seaman arrested. What Rosen finally published is what he could remember from the journals, mixed in with fiction. At first I thought, a published fan fiction! Hey, cool! But then I read the book. It's BORING fiction. Let me paraphrase pretty much the whole book: John was a completely insecure man during his last years, consulting psychics for everything. He hated himself for not being able to give up his addictions. He hated fans sometimes, and other times he didn't. And every time something good happened, he thanked the Lord. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And Sean has the vocabulary of...well, not a 4-year old.(Considering what I heard of him speaking on the John Lennon Anthology, his vocabulary was definitely not up to that level yet.) Wait, there's more. This guy even goes so far to write fiction on what was going on in Chapman's mind in the months before he shot John. Once again, it's so repetitive you think you read the same page over. In conclusion, save money not buying this...unless you like fiction that portrays people, even in fiction, like this. (If you ask me, anyone who actually starved himself to achieve John Lennon's weight is a little off, anyway.)

Rating: 4.5
Dec 30, 2000
Kath M
Book Title: The Beatles Anthology
Book Author: 'The Boys...'
The Beatles Anthology Book – A Review And so the long awaited book is finally here. Before I go on, let me say that it is a painstaking and awe inspiring work that should not be given the tag ‘a coffee table book’ – it might get coffee on it! In 1978, John Lennon had a message for fans attending the annual Beatles Convention. This was– ‘Just tell them the music was the thing.’ Yes, it most certainly was. But even with that said he knew there was far more to the whole Beatles trip than just that. ‘It’s history man, history…it’s great to look back on it, man. Great!’ That is exactly what this large glossy book communicates. Okay, we may be familiar with much of the text, quotes, pictures, already. SO what? To have them all together in what is such an obvious labour of love, is an accomplishment. That is not to say that the book is 100% comprehensive. There are omissions and oversights. But overall it is hard to fault much of the Beatles Anthology Book. On the inside sleeve, Klaus Voorman’s winklepicker artwork makes a suitable opening touch before the story begins. ‘Being a Short Diversion on the dubious origins of the Beatles’ – (John) The ‘childhood’ sections of this book are beautifully laid out. Beginning with John, though Ringo is the oldest, his role of ‘leader’ is asserted. ‘I think he still is the leader now, probably’ – George. It opens with a great choice from the endlessly quotable Lennon. ‘What can I tell you about myself which you have not already found out from those who do not lie?’ -A hint of sarcasm and the point of the exercise. Here is an attempt to present a fresh view of the four Beatles. Free from mythology and downright lies, they are going to tell it themselves: in print. Of course, the most recent quotes from John are at least 20 years old. His collection of snippets from various sources are not quite as free flowing as Paul, George’s and Ringo’s, which read more like narratives, and it cannot be helped that his sense of healthy perspective is not as strong as the others, since he never did make it to his walnut rocking chair. This can be an advantage. You have to wonder at times if the truth of their story is affected by the amount of distance and of faded memories on the part of the other three. The available resources are used very well to give John’s side of the story as much weight as the others. Readers who are largely innocent to the Beatles story should not be disappointed. Its rhythm is natural and flowing, not at all confusing or disjointed. The sense of place and time, of growing up in post war working class Liverpool streets, with struggle and humour, is evoked not just in the words of all four, but in the wealth of family photographs that work with the text. Photographs of old 78’s and school drawings done by John, Paul and George add to this feeling of going back in time. The colour schemes are at times unusual. Bright red against black and grey can make it hard to see details, but the book’s picture gallery cannot in itself be faulted. The choice of quotes highlights well the similarities and closeness between Paul and John. Many previous books have tended too often to marginalize this aspect of their relationship. Ringo’s sense of humour is allowed to come though strongly. ‘…Kids Let Off The Leash’ – (Paul) In detailing the Hamburg experience, a fair amount of reading between the lines is necessary. Paul’s stormy relationship with Stu, Pete’s distancing from the group, exactly what went on with the prostitutes: all are mentioned in slightly less depth than some might like. Of course, we cannot expect them as grown men to dwell extensively on what went on as inexperienced teenagers, but at times I feel not everything is being told. Most of the brutal honesty comes from John, as usual, who talks about the time they tried to ‘chat up’ a sailor who they’d plied with drink so that they could rip him off. One of the good things about this book is that it will allow the masses to see that Paul was not as well behaved in Hamburg as films like Backbeat make out! Also, they will hopefully see past the misrepresentation of John that persists so regularly. I do think a chance was missed to highlight how sensitive his bond with Stuart was. There is no inclusion of the sort of private emotion he expressed in letters from the time, or Stuart’s assessment of John’s outward harshness as a big act. ‘I can’t remember anything without a sadness… So deep that it leaves me a spectator of my own tears’- John in a letter to Stu. ‘A heart as kind and gentle as there could be. He really hated hurting people and hated himself for doing so’- Stu on John. The book doesn’t highlight how much he and Stu loved each other. There are some nice contributions from Stuart, though mainly concerning his friendship with the ‘Exis.’ This side of John is only fully allowed to emerge around the period when his song writing began to become more honest and self-confessional. There is nothing from Astrid Kircherr, Jurgen Vollmer or Klaus Voorman, (who was clearly involved in the graphics of the book and who remained friends with the Beatles long after they left Hamburg.) Why not? We hear nothing from Aunt Mimi, either, or Julia Baird (John’s stepsister) who has shared some lovely memories with Paul in the past. Paul attempts to dispel some myths. ‘Let me tell you: he was Long John. There was none of that ‘he didn’t change his name,’ we all changed our names.’ Good indications are given about why they eventually chose Ringo over Pete. His drunken requests for ‘Three Thirty Blues,’ in the Kaiserkeller, eating pancakes with Stu at Grosse Freiheit and Pete’s lack of understanding of their sense of humour. Paul concedes that they may have been bastards over the incident, or cowards for asking Brian to fire him. It is great that readers will get the chance to see Ringo as the incredibly cool Ted that he was, and one who the others were a little scared of. For too long the ‘General Public’ have liked to imagine that he was just lucky, along for the ride but with no real talent. Comments like John’s about what a great rock drummer he was should help square this once and for all! ‘Just to Get Out and Break New Ground…’ – (John) Before 1963 begins, a neat little ‘Instrumental Break’ takes a look at what instruments the Beatles favoured and how Paul ended up on bass. It is a brilliant touch. We are given a great sense of the hectic early days touring and amassing fans, picking up groupies and working ‘eight days a week.’ George recalls how they would ‘quickly suss out the ones (girls) who looked half decent’ and ‘push them through the door with you!’ Throughout the book references are given as to which year (between 1962 and 1970, or in John’s case through till 1980) quotes come from. This is useful and interesting when comparing their changing attitudes. It might also have been helpful to do this for other quotes beyond 1970 so that readers could assess exactly how much material is new. Every once in a while there are interjections from Derek Taylor, Neil Aspinall, Brian Epstein, George Martin or Mal Evans: their particular memories of incidents or overall impressions of the inner workings of the group. Of course, it is first and foremost the ‘Beatles’ story, but I think more extensive use could have been made of these sources, particularly Brian and ‘A Cellarfull of Noise.’ These men were such an integral part of the behind the scenes organisation, I feel they have not quite been given their dues! 2 good pages are spent on John’s ‘In His Own Write,’ and similarly ‘a Spaniard in the Works,’ with illustrated examples from each. (They don't mention the reaction of politicians who thought he was illiterate or the fact that John would sometimes deny having knowledge of Chaucer when he clearly had) but these are minor details. Am I nitpicking now? I am probably am, which shows just how good I think these sections are. There is a beautiful chapter on the group’s first holiday to Tahiti. (It looks as if Ringo took most of the photos!) It injects a real sense of calm, being sandwiched between ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ touring, Shea Stadium, and recording Beatles for Sale, and has some gorgeous private photographs from the ‘family’ album. Some nice quotes here highlight John’s appreciation of the fans and apparently, of Cynthia. (Pg. 139/40.) The book then rollicks along at a fast and exhilarating pace through the taking of America, New Zealand, Australia and so on, providing a great sense of the Beatlemania, and the fact that as John said, ‘we always called it the ‘eye of the hurricane’– it was calmer right in the middle.’ It might have been nice if they had spoken to Jimmy Nicol about his experience on the June ’64 tour. That would have made a great section – an outsider joining the privileged inner circle. But not even a quote! I like the way the book contrasts differing accounts by following them on from each other. E.g. when Ringo says ‘We could still go out…we went out all the time,’ we then have John saying ‘We just can’t get out on our own…people think fame and money bring freedom but they don’t.’ (Or, later when George talks of being ‘disgusted’ by the Butcher Cover. Paul then says how it ‘didn’t seem too offensive to us.’ Aha! So Paul did ignore George’s feelings!) The inclusion of some of John’s handwritten comments about the surfacing of his father is a good choice. Not much is said about the role he then took on in John’s life. Another brilliant section is the one that deals with the thoughts of the Beatles on the whole ‘cripples’ thing, where disabled people would be pushed toward them as though in expectation of a miracle. The book makes sure to point out that John did sympathise with them, despite being ‘allergic’ and that all four were horrified, retreating into a world of private jokes and sick humour in order to deflect it. ‘If it became very heavy we would shout, Mal, cripples! And that became a saying – even when there were no handicapped people present.’ – Ringo. ‘A Hell of a Lot of Pot’…. And ‘ Bigger than Elvis.’ - Paul There is such a natural flow of the chronology in the book; you really can feel like you’re along for the ride if you read continuously. The progression to smoking joints seems an obvious one when you have just finished reading about the craziness of the American press, their escape into the toilets or the necessity of meetings with exactly the people they’d detested since they were kids and who tried to tear pieces out of them, literally! The shift into writing more introspective mature lyrics seems natural, too. The section on the making of ‘Help’ is graphically very good, with a page of snaking wavy text, evocative of their skiing down the hill. Many pages are given to their eventual meeting with Elvis, with some lovely pictures done in blue and great little stories, particularly from Mal Evans, who remembers the dry cleaners who stitched up his pockets that had plectrums in them he could have loaned to The Kings, and how Priscilla seemed like a Barbie Doll. ‘The whole pop world awaits in vigil.’ – Brian Epstein In Tokyo, the Beatles were shocked at the fact that the audience actually listened to the music. However, this was largely due to the heavy police presence. Of course, it was at this time that Ringo received death threats. Extensive coverage is given to the frightening negativity of Manila. ‘There were tough gorillas – little men – who acted very menacingly.’ – George. Tour programmes are included and letters from Peter Brown about the Manila Promoter’s false claims that Brian hadn’t paid them. Lots of time is spent on the ‘Bigger than Jesus’ quote and the right-wing extremist reactions in America. We are shown the frantic attempts at damage limitation written to the American press by Brian. This whole section is one of the best. For the first time it seems the ‘bubble’ could well burst after all. The sense of finality about the Candlestick Park Tour is evoked very well in view of this. It seems reasonable that they should be fed up at this point. ‘It’s like the army. One big sameness which you have to go through.’ – John. The best contributions from George Martin are where he explains the technical production of ‘Revolver’, the different approaches John, and Paul took to getting involved. Of course, it’s not new but it’s good to have a significant contribution from him (E.g. the use of Claricord on ‘For No-One.’) ‘Originally George Martin was the Supreme Producer in the sky.’ – Paul. Letters, photographs and documents increase the sense of anticipation and speculation over Revolver, the new phase the group were entering. ‘Paul and I are very keen on this electronic music.’ – John. The whole psychedelic trip is handled well. There is great use of graphics as a backdrop to their recollections of the first nightmare brilliance of an acid trip; licking flames in bright colours. I like the inclusion of script pages from ‘How I Won the War,’ along with many photographs from the set. Maybe more could have been said about Paul’s solo projects at the time, like his music for Family Way and his experimentation with tape looping etc, which is only mentioned briefly. Again, there is an impressive section about the group’s holidays in Greece and the Bahamas as well as good coverage of George’s solo trip to India in September ’66 to learn the sitar with Ravi Shankar. The section on Sergeant Pepper had to be impressive and doesn’t disappoint. There are pictures of a card the guys sent to Monterey, John’s Pablo Fanques Fair poster and the group’s promotional session, of course, though none of Julian’s ‘Lucy in the Sky’ drawing. Of the various upper middle class outcries to Paul’s LSD admission, there is one newspaper clipping. This is good but not as thorough as it might have been. It could have looked more at the politician’s attitudes and the extent to which they were questioned in the media in general at the time. It might also have looked at the reaction to Pepper or cited a few comments from other musicians at the time, for example Mick Jagger, who went on to attempt ‘Her Satanic Majesties’ along similar lines. The section about their trip to Bangor to see the Maharishi for the first time is handled well. The 5-page tribute to Brian Epstein is very touching, providing a chance for a more in depth look at him, aside from his dependence on pills. Some comments from Alistair Taylor and Joanne Peterson, who discovered his body, could have been included here. ‘Love is the sweet expression of life’ – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi The three Beatles clearly have a mature perspective on the events of the Himalayas trip. Again, there is a great picture section with some particularly revealing shots of Paul and Cynthia looking reflective and sad. A lot of time is given to Yoko, and it is great to see the book highlighting how far she was from the Dragon Lady, with John the innocent in her clutches. It would have been nice to include some quotes from Yoko, and the Beatles women in general. They are background figures that appear in a lot of photographs but there is no account of their perspectives on being there. Throughout the book quotes from Cynthia, Patti, Linda, et al could have provided great insights and given the book a particularly fresh point of view. Some quotes from Cynthia’s book ‘A Twist of Lennon’ could have been used. George speaks of the ‘nasty rumours’ started about the Maharishi by people who were jealous, whole Paul says ‘I don’t think the Maharishi ever did make a pass.’ There is good detailing of ‘Magic Alex’ Mardas’ role, how he managed to suck John in before his inventions were revealed as being like the Emperor’s New Clothes. It would have been good if they could have got a quote from Mia Farrow’s autobiography about the Maharishi, and perhaps others like Mike Love or Donovan, who were there. There are great quotes from George and John in particular about their emergence as spiritual beings and seekers of truth, evidencing George’s point that ‘I understood him and I believe that our thoughts were much more in line with each other.’ ‘What is sweet now turns so sour’ – George. The book moves on to the whole Apple misadventure and documents it’s various problems while creating some of the atmosphere that would have been in the air at the offices. Here some great informative quotes can be found from various members of the Beatles entourage about the clothes, the atmosphere, and the spirit of Apple and of the times. ‘Basically it was John and Paul’s madness…their egos running away with themselves or with each other.’ – George. The Hell’s Angels, the Hippies, the acid freaks, the downright strange who gathered at the Apple Offices…all are remembered with a sense of humour, and while it may all have gone to pot, in the end the book makes it sound like a hell of a lot of fun! Derek Taylor talks about abandoning his suits for more colourful clothes, John remembers the hours spent listening to demo tapes sent to them. Some original memos and an advertising poster to attract new talent add to the whole sense of semi-organised chaos that came about after Brian’s death. …’Every weirdo in the country heading into Savile Row and being given space by John and Yoko.’ – George. The chapters on Abbey Road and Let it Be are particularly well referenced, with some good quotes all around, particularly from George Martin about his reaction to Phil Spector’s treatment of ‘The Long and Winding Road.’ Again, opposing opinions are nicely juxtaposed, like with Paul and John’s opinions of’ Come Together and it’s obvious (?) similarity to Chuck Berry’s ‘You Can’t Catch Me.’ Something could have been said about the extent to which many of George’s song from the time were overlooked. The ‘Let it Be’ film and the band’s reactions to Yoko are documented thoroughly, and again, the sense of perspective is interesting and honest. There is practically nothing about Linda in this book. She is given maybe 8 paragraphs. largely when she marries Paul, though extensive coverage is given to JohnandYoko, as always! Of course, the two of them were far more in the public domain, but nothing is said of her trips to Paul’s flat or their visits to New York. One of my criticisms is that nothing is said of Francie Schwartz. Her book ‘Body Count’ is particularly enlightening about what Paul was up to at the time. She provided a lot of the words for Hey Jude, and in fact, he did consider proposing to her at one point, she says. Paul does say that he was ‘thinking back over all the women I had known, and deciding who would be best to settle down with’: beyond that he will not elaborate, and no one else is allowed to either. Little space is given to why he split with Jane Asher. Yes, it would be difficult to rake over old relationships, and Jane, notoriously refuses to go on record, but if the point of the book is to draw a line under events than it might have been wise not to leave this one open! Little time is spent even on Cynthia or Julian’s feelings about John’s effective abandonment of his family, which has been well documented in the past. There are many beautiful photos of the Tittenhurst Park photo sessions, arranged together attractively. The drug busts, George’s disillusionment, the acrimonious split, and the differing accounts of who finally broke up the band are all detailed clearly and extensively. The appearance of Allen Klein on the scene and George and Ringo’s half hearted collusion with John over Paul is talked about briefly. Not much space is given to the court case where Paul effectively ‘sued them.’ I think it is particularly good that time is given to Ringo and his efforts in Hollywood in ‘Candy,’ as well as John and Yoko’s various avant-garde projects and happenings. There are some nice pictures of Ringo at this time. The inclusion of a memo Paul wrote about the sleeve of the soundtrack LP for the ‘Magic Christian’ is a nice one, as is the memo to Derek Taylor about the ‘Paul is dead’ rumours. The inclusion of John’s drawings of his and Yoko’s wedding is too. A quote from Peter Brown might have been nice in this section. ‘It was just two guys pouting and being silly’ – Ringo There is a great memo written by George on behalf of he and John, to Paul, about the clash of album release dates, which illustrates Paul’s increasing alienation and their reaction to his attempts at assuming the role of Manager. They say – ‘We’re sorry it’s turned out this way.’ ‘We expected too much of them’ –Derek Taylor. ‘The Best Times?’ – Paul The book deviates from it’s chronological ordering to return to pictures of the Beatles when they were at their best, in 1963. It seems, as George says, that life moves in cycles. The end pages of the book are beautiful and have lengthy and touching quotes. The ends are tied together and attempts are made to draw a line under the Beatles story as a group, while acknowledging this: ‘We’re tied together forever, whatever happens.’ – Ringo The picture of the four of them lying on the floor, heads together, in 1965, is a lovely way to end, along with short quotes from all. Each acknowledges the sheer importance of the band. One of the loveliest touches of the whole book, in my humble opinion, can be found on the very last page. In typical Lennon style, his schoolboy writing declares ‘By hook or by crook, I’ll be last in this book!’ All in all, the Beatles Anthology Book is a hugely worthwhile, wholly enjoyable brilliantly put together piece of history about a ‘really great rock ‘n’ roll band.’ – Ringo. After all is said and done, whatever criticisms can be made of it and whether it has the final word or not (and it probably wont. Too much money can be milked in the name of the Beatles for that) its existence shouldn’t be treated with any cynicism. Beatles fans everywhere should celebrate! ‘It’s history man, history…it’s great to look back on it, man. Great!’

Rating: 4.5
Dec 22, 2000
Jim O.
Book Title: The last days of John Lennon
Book Author: Fred Seaman
Recently I had found this book laying around titled,"The last days of John Lennon". Being the Beatle buff I am, I decided to read it. Lets just say that before I had read this book, the image in my mind of Lennon's private life was totally different then what I had read in this book. This was a book written by Fred Seaman who was John's personal assistant in the last few years of his life. It is a very personal book along with many private photos I have not seen before. According to Seaman, the book was based upon writings that he kept when he first started working for John, right up until Lennon's tragic death. It starts out with him in a bit of trouble with the NYPD. Right away it grabbed my attention and kept it all the way 'till the end. It's cool how he describes the Dakota, the Lenono Co. of studio one, and most of all, John's private feelings and just the way he really was feeling up until the end. I could talk about this book on and on. It is a fantastic book to read. There has been alot of talk about this book not being factual. I disagree, this Fred Seaman loved John Lennon and I think he would be the last person to release a book about lennon that was unfactual. After everything this guy went through, he needed to get his story out, and I think he did a fantastic job of letting us know how life really was in the last days of Lennons life. If you can find this book, BUY IT! You won't be sorry. Jim O./Musician

Rating: 4.0
Dec 17, 2000
Soren Itenov
Book Title: Beatles Anthology
Book Author: The Beatles
Finally the Beatle Boys get their book together, five years after the airing of the TV-series. Beautifully packaged with lots of pictures from the Beatles' private collection ( and weighing in at just about 3 kg, I've been told ), it is well worth the hefty £35 price. Having read almost every scrap of Beatle & John biography out there, it is really quite refreshing to finally get a Beatles book without any guesswork as to "what it must have been like", hey, these guys were not just there, they were THE BEATLES, so go on and argue with that, Geoffrey Gulianos and Albrt Goldmans of the world. Even though it is largely composed of interview bits not used in the TV-series, the book still draws a very simple and honest picture of the world's favourite band. So much guesswork and ornamentation has been added to the Beatles myth that it is a great pleasure to be in the "eye of the hurricane" with the guys themselves where things like the breakup is treated with a soberness completely lacking in most Lennon biographies ( There was no big mystery, they just weren't up for it anymore ). This, along with Barry Miles' McCartney biography Many Years from Now, ironically gets you closer to Lennon in the sixties than the Lennon books do, simply because McCartney, Starr and Harrison's perspectives are represented and let's face it, they are probably the only three people on Earth who didn't see Lennon as "that and a Beatle", as Ringo puts it. The die-hard Beatles biography freak (and we are many) will not find any startling new revelations, indeed you will find a lot of stuff that you already know ( how many times have we gotten the full story on the Jesus-comment? ), still this is the story straight from the inside...and it only took thirty years....

Rating: 3.5
Dec 3, 2000
Isolation
Book Title: The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away
Book Author: Allan Williams / William Marshall
Published by Elm Tree books [UK] in 1975, then by Coronet [1976]. 237 pages. Allan Williams was the Beatles' first manager, from 1959 to 1961. In his words, he 'dropped' them when they were 'on the brink of success'. There is an endorsement from John Lennon on the cover, saying: "For those who want to find out what it took to become 'a famous beatle' , Allan Williams' book is THE ONLY BOOK that can give an eye witness insight into the making of the Beatles. Obviously everyone does not have the same memory and certain events / people I do not remember in any way..but a lot of it brought back a very important part of my life, I laughed a lot." There are plenty of interesting stories about the early days in Liverpool and Hamburg, although it is lacking in any great insights into the Beatles' characters and sketchy on some details [dates for example]. While Williams' writing style is not the greatest, it is well worth the read.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 2, 2000
15 year old Beatlemaniac
Book Title: The Ultimate BEATLES Quiz Book
Book Author: Michael Hockinson
A fablous quiz book sure to stump every single kind of Beatlemaniac there! I was even stumped! It has hard stumping questions on all of their songs, movies, solo career and on! I find myself often having to look at the answears at least 2 or 3 times each section. It even has pictures from Beatle albums and movies and so forth and they quiz you on them too! Heres a toughie! What was Patti (Harrison's) only line in the movie Hard Day'd Night? Stumped? It was "Prisoners?!" I had to watch it again to be sure. Here's another one from the book, What are some of the things that are said in Revolution 9? Well I certanly had to listen to it some more! "The Wattusi...the twist. ElDorado!" But some of the matieral here and their, just a slight tad of it was kind of wrong. Like the question about You Know My Name, John doesn't say "Dennis O'Fell!" It's "Dennis O'Bell". Well, buy this book, fellow Beatlemaniacs. You won't regret it.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 2, 2000
15 year old Beatlemaniac
Book Title: WITH THE BEATLES: The Historic Photographs of Dezo Hoffmann
Book Author: Pearce Marchbank
Excelent book of some of the most famous and non-famous pictures of the early Beatles. With lots of informative information along with it too, so it's not just a picture book! I love that picture with Paul playing Ringo's drums! And all the goofy train pictures and beach pictures! Only buy this book if your a fan of The Beatle's early career, there are some people who just like theyre later work like Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road, this book is not for you if your not a fan of the early Beatles as well. Dezo Hoffmann kicks ass.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 2, 2000
15 year old Beatlemaniac
Book Title: Paul McCartney & Wings
Book Author: Jeremy Pascall
A very good book of Paul McCartney's Beatle career and his solo career with Wings. I'm not 100% sure this book is still in print. We found ours used and the guy who sold it to us said we were lucky to have gotten it, so that could mean anything! If you come accross this book at a garage sale or anywhere, buy it right away! The only reason I gave this book a 4.5 if because it was just a tad too breif on the Beatle career. It was good, but they could have added a little more.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 2, 2000
15 year old Beatlemaniac
Book Title: A Journey Through JOHN LENNON'S Life And Times In Words And Pictures
Book Author: John Robertson
Fucking awesome! Pardon my French but that about sums up this book! It diserves a 100! Nearly everything you could possibly want to know about John Lennon's young years, Beatle career, and solo career! With tons of beautiful pictures! In a fun format that makes reading the book even more fun! It's just like a 40 year calander. Except on each day, it tells what happend to John/The Beatles on that day! I recomend this book to all Lennon and Beatle fans! It's everything you wanted to know about Lennon but were afraid to ask! It also goes into the fabulous lost weekend. Buy this book, it so so SO much better than the Lives Of John Lennon. That book shall burn in hell!

Rating: 4.5
Oct 28, 2000
Michael Hockinson
Book Title: The Beatles in Rishikesh
Book Author: Paul Saltzman
The trend in Beatles books lately seems to be to focus on a particular event in the group's timeline. Often this is done when the author/publishers have a cache of previously unpublished photos they wish to place on the market. While there's nothing wrong with this, so long as the pictures have some merit, it's nice when the accompanying text actually adds something to the experience (Tony Barrows' "The Making of Magical Mystery Tour" being a recent example of one that does, Richard Buskin's text for "Days in the Life: The Lost Beatles Archives" being one which fails miserably). Thankfully, "The Beatles in Rishikesh" belongs in the former category. Paul Saltzman arrived in India in December 1967, working as a soundman on a documentary for the National Film Board of Canada. Following completion of the project, he attended a lecture on Transcendental Meditation being given by the Marharishi Mahesh Yogi in New Delhi. His curiosity piqued, Paul would travel by third-class train north into the foothills of the Himalayas (one of the stops being a town called Dehra Dhun) and then by scooter-rickshaw to arrive at the gates of the Maharishi's ashram in Rishikesh. Saltzman was initially informed that the ashram was closed - a meditation teacher's course was in progess for the next several weeks; among the sixty meditators there were the Beatles. Fortunately, Paul was befriended by Raghvendra, a disciple of the Marharishi's, who was able to get permission for the twenty-four year-old to learn TM. "The Beatles in Rishikesh" is Saltzman's personal memoir of his time in India, as much (if not more) about his life during this period as it is about the rare opportunity his entry onto the compound afforded this Beatles fan - a chance to take some excellent and previously unseen colour photographs. The Beatles apparently did not mind his cameras and the results seem to bear this out, giving us a rare glimpse of the group (the last time the four would take a trip together) and their wives/partners during a period of reflection and creativity that produced the songs that would appear on The White Album. A highlight for me is a sequence of photos of John and Paul, dressed in white cotton kurta pajamas and sandals, Martin acoustic guitars in hand, composing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." There are also pictures of Mia Farrow, Donovan, Mike Love, Mal Evans, Jenny Boyd and the Marharishi. Tom Brown's page design, in alternating orange, gold and cherry red, wonderfully compliments the text, the heavy page stock worthy of a more expensive Genesis Publication. A quick read, filled with personable anecdotes and a great flavour of the country and the time, "The Beatles in Rishikesh" fills an important gap in the Beatles' 1968 timeline with style.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 30, 2000
Angela Cluck
Book Title: John Lennon, In My Life
Book Author: Pete Shotton
I've read many books about the Beatles, this is my favorite one about John. It captures his charm and nautiness of his childhood and gives the reader an insight to his personality. The author is humorous and embarrasingly honest. The photos are very interesting and the last paragraph sort of says it all. I couldn't put it down once I got started. My library has only one copy, the rest have been stolen. Maybe Pete could surprise us with a reprint for the 20th anniversary of John's death.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 24, 2000
Belinda Rachman
Book Title: Loving John Book Author: May Pang
Book Author: May Pang
I had the unique opportunity to hang out with Yoko at the Dakota in the mid 80s. I had LOVED John and Yoko as a couple since the late 1960s and was horrified when I saw what she was really like. I can assure you that having seen Yoko up close under many different conditions, May Pang's book is true. You can't even imagine how many people surround Yoko who are just yes men, hangers on and facilitators for her bad behavior. Elliot Mintz has made a career off of her and her boyfriend Sam Hagerty keeps her isolated from anyone who would act as a reality check. Anyone who has followed her over the years knows of her VERY greedy and selfish treatment of Jullian. Mind you, I LOVED her as an avant garde performance artist and was NOT predisposed to hating her, so my images of her were not tainted. I believe May Pang

Rating: 5.0
Sep 20, 2000
Gary A. Wernett
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I was struck by a profound sadness after reading this book, because it appears that Lennon was an insecure, bi-polar individual who was prone to violence and suffered from an identity crisis which I believe began when he lost his biological parents (and subsequently never fully "bonded" with his adoptive parents). He was looking for a father figure that he could identify with, and he found Elvis. Then, John set about the task of emulating his hero, just as a young boy would follow in the footsteps of his father. Strangely enough, John was also a dynamic, creative, talented and crafty individual who brought the world some great music and ideas. Unfortunately, the fame that he thought would help him find his true identity only isolated him further from the rest of the world. The more he sought unconditional love, the more he was preyed upon by glory-seekers & hangers-on like Yoko Ono, "Magic Alex" and all the rest. My love and respect for John remains undimished, but this book depicts a tragic figure, and will make die-hard Lennon fans want to hang their heads in sorrow.

Rating: 4.0
Sep 8, 2000
frank may
Book Title: THE MURDER OF JOHN LENNON
Book Author: FENTON BRESSLER ESQ.
It is a factual book based on the events that led up to the tragic event. This is a very serious analytical book and definately throws out the theory that the assasin acted alone. There are many unanswered questions, including the three "unnaccountable days" the assasin spent in CHICAGO the first week of December 1980. The "Lone Nut" theory that so many has attributed to the murder, is easily dismissed by reading this very chilling account.

Rating: 4.0
Sep 2, 2000
Michael Hockinson
Book Title: Loving John
Book Author: May Pang and Henry Edwards
I'm still trying to decide what I find more amusing, Ms. Tucker's slanderous contention that May's book is a "sad collection of lies," or her blind acceptance of Lennon Estate mouthpiece Elliot Mintz. Anyone gullible enough to swallow whole the Ono version of her husband's life (which, by the way, she's exploited for years to merchandise various books, CDs, "art" prints, etc) is truly guilty of a remarkable suspension of logic. Lennon fans need to keep an open mind about their hero. The whole story has yet to be written, but as time goes on more pieces of the puzzle are becoming available. During Lennon's "lost weekend," May was there and Yoko was not, and the insights in her 1983 memoir fill an important gap in his life story. Her anecdotes of John's songwriting and recording during this period are informative and revealing, particularly the chaotic sessions for "Rock 'N' Roll" and Nilsson's "Pussycats." Pang *did* love John and her book is a valid and emotional assessment of her side of the relationship. This does not mean I go along with her interpretation of certain events - I am particularly doubtful of John's return to the Dakota being the result of Yoko's use of a hypnotist on the pretext of a smoking cure, which left him looking like something out of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." The relationship simply didn't pan out; till the end of his life, John remained emotionally dependent on Yoko. Their great love story was ultimately replaced by a great love of money. Yet while John was with May he had started taking tentative steps towards an indepenence I believe he would have relished. I will always wonder if John Lennon would've been better off if he had remained with May in 1975 rather than return to the Dakota with Yoko. His last years there are now emerging as among the most unfulfilling he experienced. Pang's motives for writing "Loving John" are certainly more honourable than those posited by real merchandisers like John Green and Geoffrey Giuliano, or axe grinders like Albert Goldman. This book remains an essential read.

Rating: 1.0
Aug 29, 2000
Annie Tucker
Book Title: Loving John
Book Author: May Pang
This book is a sad collection of lies. I wouldn't recommend it if my life depended on it, out of respect for John and Yoko. John's close friend, Elliot Mintz, describes it the best, "To think that John ran off with May (Pang) to leave Yoko Ono would require a remarkable suspension in logic. John could not sustain May's company for more than a matter of hours without incredible fatigue setting in. It was NOT a love affair. It was a relationship born out of the convenience of the moment. I do not wish to publicly embarrass the lady. She did a fairly effective job of doing that in her own book. It is one thing to merchandise the memories but her contention that she was the other woman in John's life is pure nonsense. May contrived a quasi-fictional scenario in an attempt to give form to a relationship that was not there. From the moment John met Yoko to the last hour of his life, Yoko was the only woman who shared his love." May obviously either wished to cash in on her relationship, or was madly in love with John and created this story for herself. Either way, my personal feelings for the woman are a mixture of sympathy and contempt. If you do decide to read this novel, you will also find warped views of the people in John's life: Yoko became a manipulative monster, Paul McCartney a giggly one-dimensional idiot, Linda a complete ditz with-get this, die-hard fans-a British accent (oops). Unfortunately, this is a sad reminder that we can't believe everything we read. P.S. Her website, www.maypang.com, is not recommended either.

Rating: 4.0
Aug 28, 2000
Michael Hockinson
Book Title: "Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon
Book Author: Robert Rosen
When Fred Seaman removed John Lennon's written diaries of his last years from the Dakota in 1981, it was to Robert Rosen that he took them. For several weeks Rosen laboured over them, deciphering Lennon's handwriting to produced a readable transcript, which was to have been the basis of a book he and Seaman were to collaborate on. His efforts were rewarded when, during a vacation to Jamaica, Rosen believes Seaman entered and ransacked his New York apartment, removing the diaries and all attendant transcripts, copies, etc. Rosen retaliated by making Ono aware of the theft of the diaries which eventually led to Seaman's arrest and conviction on grand larceny, for which he received five years probation. The question I keep asking myself is if *I* were Rosen, I would have made a copy of the diaries and my transcripts and placed them in a safe deposit box. Of course, I couldn't publicly admit I had done this without incurring the wrath of the Lennon estate, but I wouldn't have been stupid enough to have gone on vacation without taking precautions. Any book I would subsequently write would have to be very careful with any new information I'd introduce from the diaries; it would have to appear as if I were recalling it from memory rather than from hard copy. Rosen calls "Nowhere Man" "...a work of both investigative journalism and imagination," the latter giving him some "wiggle room" with the knowledge he has acquired. If one approaches this book hoping for excerpts of the diary they will be disappointed (the author even avoids directly quoting John's song lyrics). What "Nowhere Man" is is a good overview of "the other version" of Lennon's last years, the version that clashes with the Lennon Estate's vision of John baking bread and raising Sean, a "myth" Rosen asserts the Lennons worked to maintain and believe. Rosen distills the essence of all the important works on John's last years (Ray Coleman, Albert Goldman, Seaman, May Pang, John Green and Chapman biographer Jack Jones) to give those unfamiliar with these events a good debriefing. The kicker is that Rosen's work is peppered with additional details that only someone who read the diaries could have known. Nothing markedly revelatory, just more pieces of the puzzle. Well-written, in short, bite-sized chapters, "Nowhere Man" offers a level-headed essay of John's last years. As Rosen had to write this with one literary hand tied behind his back, readers should approach the book with both caution and an open mind.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 26, 2000
Sheila Normand
Book Title: Just Imagine
Book Author: Jewelle Lewis
Excellent book! The person who reads this before you will tell you... "You will want to read the book from cover to cover without putting it down!". Just Imagine, you will wish you were there. I am eagerly awaiting her next book.

Rating: 3.5
Aug 25, 2000
Christopher Cruz
Book Title: John, Paul and Me:Before The Beatles
Book Author: Len Garry
A lot of people don't actually know how John Lennon formed the Beatles and how they evolved. Many think it all started in 1960, with five greasers in leather jackets playing in German dance clubs. This book will tell you otherwise because it was written by a person who saw it evolve into what it was from the begining. Not only that, he sort of "helped" to make it happen. An informative book on the Quarrymen days and a descriptive tale of the meeting of Lennon and McCartney.

Rating: 4.5
Aug 19, 2000
firenze
Book Title: The Beatles, From Yesterday to Today
Book Author: ? By the editors of Life magazine
This book gives a good view of the Beatles, with lots of good pictures and stories. It contains some information on each of them themselves, and then the story of the Beatles from how they began to when they broke up. A good book, with facts, humor, and great pictures throughout. A very worthwhile read.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 7, 2000
pogo
Book Title: John W. Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
First: I'm a big fan of John Lennon; I got this book on my 15th birthday, and I love it. Ray Coleman, who was a big animal in the Melody Maker, have known John 18 Years. He wrote about John's life, about The Beatles, about his death etc. It's just a good book. Every Lennon-Fan should have this book.

Rating: 3.5
Jun 30, 2000
Joe Green
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
Let me first say this: this book should be read by ANY serious John Lennon fan. Don't believe the crap spouted by those who believe Lennon fell to earth on a direct route from the arse of the Almighty. Having said that, there is much that is suspect in this lengthy tome, though recent evidence does appear to point to a vindication of Goldman (certainly more than it does the popular myth). However, the illuminations cannot disguise the fact that Goldman is a lousy writer - he taught at a university for years, so it comes as no surprise. He hasn't the imagination to depict the enormity nor the excitement of what he describes. Its well known you should build up what you then bring down. If I'd of just read this book, I'd have the impression that being a Beatle, as well as what they achieved, was really rather dull.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 30, 2000
Joe Green
Book Title: In My Life
Book Author: Pete Shotton
In case you don't know, Pete Shotton was Lennon's best mate from the age of four and remained close to him until the dawn of Ono. More than any other book I've read on Lennon or the Beatles, this captures the sheer excitement and sense of wonder of their meteroric rise. Primarily anecdotal, its central achievement is the intimate portrait it paints of John before he was famous. I read it in one night a few years ago when I should have been revising for A level History and recommend it to any Lennon fan (especially if you want an antidote to the factors resulting in the Spanish Civil War).

Rating: 4.0
May 30, 2000
Kristy
Book Title: The Last Days Of John Lennon
Book Author: Frederick Seaman
This definitly gives you a different view of how John Lennon's last years were at the Dakota, and also a diferent view of John and Yoko's relationship. Let's just say it wasn't the blissful romance that everyone made it out to be. The book is worth reading, but I hope that John wasn't as bad (depressed, paranoid, etc.) at the end of his life as the author protrays. Even if he was, he was a wonderful man.

Rating: 5.0
May 29, 2000
Alec Way
Book Title: Lennon In America
Book Author: Geoffrey and Brenda Giuliano
I first saw this book staring at me in Tower Records next to lots of Lennon-related books. The picture on the cover caught my eye: John, holding some smoke, slightly unshaven, Imagine-era, Lennon looks intelligent and vulnerable with a billowing Stars and Stripes behind him. I forgot about it but was haunted by it the next day and figured I had to get it. I've read some other Giuliano books but I wasn't prepared for this one. It's made me feel sad for the last few days. Lennon was haunted, lonely and not in control of his world in any way, if we are to take to heart the message of the book. He was homesick, especially toward the end, and needed constant reminders of his childhood in Liverpool, his family, his roots, his reason for being. He always intended to return home. Pushed into this country by his own reaction to not solving the mystery and loss of his childhood, he "lived" in America for almost ten years. Was he really anywhere at all? His larger than life enthusiasms for what he thought were worthwhile causes died completely, along with his will and his innocence. Lennon felt everyone let him down as much as he felt he let everyone down. One could conclude that he came to the U.S. in order to suffer and then to die. He was running and screaming from messes he made with his families and female characters in his life. In this country, he met--and the reader also gets to meet--a loud and colorful cast of characters that come and go. They are, with a very few exceptions, ghastly and repulsive, and turn Lennon's life and his contribution to the universe into an orgy made up of gruesome witches, vultures, finks, charlatans, losers, golims, goblins, clowns and just plain old insufferable wankers. Almost all of them were usurpers or wanna-be usurpers. The book, based on Lennon's tape recorded diaries, also indicates he was in lots of communication with and remained passionate about the former Beatles--including Paul--until the very end. Every single myth that we think we know about John (and family) gets turned inside out, it seems, within every paragraph of this book. "Warts and all" doesn't cut it. There are also amazingly tiny details throughout that any Lennon fan would find worthwhile and makes re-listening to his solo albums an enlightening experience. The lyrics now have even more layers. There's one ton of hot dirt in here, so buy a copy now before it gets swooped up and put in the tower. I thought a short 'n sweet review after reading this book would be nice: "The Nowhere Man chased his own tail for nine years in a foreign country that was nothing more and nothing less than slow poison." John Lennon was a cosmic human, a complex and tragic creature.

Rating: 5.0
May 24, 2000
Izzy
Book Title: Linda McCartney:A Portrait
Book Author: Danny Fields
This book is pretty much based on recorded conversations that the author had with Linda over the course of her life. So it's like Many Years From Now, but it's Linda instead of Paul, and the book's much shorter. You can tell how good of a friend he was.

Rating: 4.0
May 16, 2000
Fredrik Kinbom
Book Title: The Beatles After The Break Up
Book Author: Keith Badman
This massive volume is a day-by-day diary describing what the four ex-Beatles have been up to since the group split up (until late 1999 - it was published in November 1999). It's a very interesting read - nothing you read from start to finish maybe (at least I didn't), but a book you can open at any page at any time and just start reading. The "entrys" in this "diary" are generally satisfying. Bits of interviews and descriptions of recording sessions etc. give colour to something that could have ended up being a pretty dull affair. Something the book lacks is an index, to make it easier to look up a particular person or event, and also a listing of source material. The latter is especially important - as the book sometimes quote quite controversial remarks, it would be nice to know the origin of the quotes. Of course fans of a particular Beatle might think: This George tour is not described in enough detail, or: I want to read more of this interview with John - whatever - but as a general guide to what the four ex-fabs did individually, and sometimes together, after The Beatles broke up it is great. It also includes the last known photograph of John and Paul together.

Rating: 3.0
Apr 16, 2000
David
Book Title: Ticket to Ride
Book Author: Barry Tashian
This short, diary like book was writen by a member of the band The Remains who opened up for the Beatles on their last tour in America 1966. Alot of pictures, 1/2 of them non-Beatle. A few insights as to what happened on tour. I felt it would be a better book if he could have focused on the Beatles more, but maybe that was all the information he could get. A lot of bus ride and plane ride stories.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 14, 2000
Noni Payne
Book Title: Lives Of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
After reading the previous reviews on this great book, I am digusted about the closed mindedness which fans seem to have. This book shows that John Lennon was a person, just like the rest of us, and not perfect. Fans who claim that this book is merely trash, should at least READ the book, and realise that what John Lennon was, was the most interesting man on earth, and still remains so today. The "Lives of John Lennon" creates for us an understanding of a man, who may not have even understood himself. It reveals the black and white of John Lennons world, and shows us that his world was not everything we supposed it to be. I still believe John Lennon to be the greatest musician, writer and man who ever lived. I believe this BECAUSE I read this book. So, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know who John Lennon really was, and not to those who want some flowery rendition of what someone (like Coleman) wants us to think about Lennon.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 5, 2000
SMJA
Book Title: Growing Up With The Beatles
Book Author: Ron Schaumberg
This book is probably the most unique book about The Beatles.It was written from the perspective of a fan who grew up in the midwestern part of America. Iam particularly enamoured with this perspective as I too grew up in the same part as the author,in fact I know someone who knows him. To begin with he captures how it felt to see the world change from black and white dull to multicolored in just the course of one watching their debut on Ed Sullivan. Schaumberg also covers what it felt like to be a fan after the announcement by John about them being bigger than jesus. This is a book I wish I would have written.Iam not sure if it is still in print and I dont have the information as to who published it originally ,but,if you see it somewhere and if its not too expensive,pick it up and read it.Youll be glad.

Rating: 3.0
Feb 12, 2000
Michael Hockinson
Book Title: "The Birth of the Beatles"
Book Author: Sam Leach
Much in the same way Paul used Barry Miles' biography "Many Years From Now" to (rightfully) reassert his contributions with the Beatles, so Sam Leach attempts to do the same with his long overdue autobiography. The title is somewhat misleading, because this is really "The Sam Leach Story", with cameo appearances by The Beatles, Rory Storm, The Big Three, Kingsize Taylor, et al. This is not to say that Leach's story isn't interesting, but for someone who has claimed for years of his strong ties with the group, coming *this close* to managing them over Brian Epstein, his text really doesn't offer much in the way of evidence to back that up. Where are all the personal reminiscences and intimate details that someone in that early "inner circle" would know? Sam doesn't include them here. What "Birth" does paint is a great picture of what being a promoter on Merseyside was like in the early 60's. After you've finished, you get the sense that Leach was an okay guy who promoted 50-odd shows featuring the group, but that's about it. He would like us to believe his contributions to the group's fame were far greater - and he makes some outlandish claims - but in the end the word you take is equal to the salt you shake. "Birth of the Beatles" then, is your "Beatles Book of the Month" selection; a quick read, with *some* value as a reference work.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 12, 2000
Ed van der Wel
Book Title: In his own write
Book Author: John Lennon
I own this book myself (the 1964 version) and read it many times to find the meaning of the poems, but untill now I was not able to find any that's what makes this book funny and mistyrious and gives a good vieuw of the artistic mind he was! Typical Lennon drawings only he could make!

Rating: 5.0
Feb 7, 2000
OasisBeatlesYoko
Book Title: Linda McCartney's Sixties Portrait of an Era
Book Author: Linda McCartney
This is a GREAT BOOK! Sometimes pictures tell the stories better than words ever will. One of my favourite pictures is of John and Paul sitting on the steps at Abbey Rd. looking at each other, and you can only wonder what they are thinking about. People say a lot of bad things about Linda (and Yoko) and 99% of them are just being ignorant. There are so many fantastic pictures in the book of the Beatles, John, Paul, Yoko, and other 60's icons like Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix among others. While, I don't agree with Paul and Linda's PETA philosophies, I can totally relate to these photographs, and now that Linda is gone they are even more important. Get this book if you can! Carol

Rating: 4.5
Feb 7, 2000
OasisBeatlesYoko
Book Title: The Beatles (Updated version)
Book Author: Hunter Davies
Great Book! And yes folks it has been updated! Actually, the first copy I have is a mid 80's update. I drove the vendor crazy at a Philly Beatles Expo because I wanted to open the plastic to see if the update was there! I wasn't going to spend money on the book if it wasn't. The bad news with the 90's version is it stops at Anthology 2's listings, so I had to take my ink pen and write the track listing for Anthology 3. I love both Paul and John. This is the only book where you are going to get in Paul's own words about John for some reason wanting to take credit for Eleanor Rigby. I have to say on that one, I do believe Paul, it doesn't deminish my love for John at all. Hey, it was their row not mine. I love the slide guitar in How Do You Sleep?, by Beatle George. Anyhow, the one thing about the book that disappoints me are two things, I don't have the book at my side at the moment to go into detail, but it's the part about Paul where brother Mike McCartney says, he played music to be saved, but to be saved from what? Something like that. That quote disturbs me. And, the book would have gotten five apple icons from me, if we got the whole meat and potatoes version. Apparently, a lot of good stuff was taken out per Aunt Mimi's insistance. Well, she's gone now Hunter, can't you put that stuff in for us fans? My favourite line (again not verbatim) goes something like the Beatles are dead. Long may they live. (or reign) I haven't re read the book since I turned pro-Yoko, so my review may be a little bit premature, as I can't remember what his view of her was. (He's entitled to his opinion, of course.) and what sticks in my mind (Cause I was in a major Paul phase at the time.) was the green bean incident with Linda and the shawl incident with Heather. It doesn't define them as people, esp. since Heather was just a kid when that part was written. But it's interesting. I have to re read this book again, but from what I remember, it is a good book! Carol

Rating: 4.5
Dec 22, 1999
JMB
Book Title: The Love you make
Book Author: Peter Brown
The book seems to be factual however only those who were there really know. Peter Brown was there so although the story doesn't come from the horses mouth it ain't comin from its ass either. What I found most interesting are the details in which Brown was very focused on as if He wanted you, the reader, to get the best picture of what went on. I thought He did a great job!! I highly recomend this book to any Beatles fan,that is if one can find it.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 15, 1999
Justin
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I first read this book when it was released, and I was a senior in high school, and at the time, I thought it was completely trashing John Lennon. However, now that I am older and have reread it, I realize that this is an excellent book. Any Lennon fan who says he/she hates this book is a fool. If you want an idealized picture of a person, go read one of the fluff biographies that are out there. If you really want to get inside John's head, and really understand this person that you care about so much, you have to take the good with the bad. The only reason that this didn't rate five apples is because sometimes I think Albert Goldman just types to see his words on paper. There is quite a bit of extraneous crap in this book. However, I think that in order to be a true admirer of John Lennon you must understand that he was human, and not the idealized angel that many of you think he is, as evinced by the "poems" and artwork in the galleries on this site. John Lennon was a great man, and I would give my right arm to be able to sit down and just talk with him for an hour or so. After reading this book, I would love to sit down and talk with him even more. If you are truly a fan of more than the way Lennon looked, you should read this book, and learn a little more about him, both the good and the bad.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 2, 1999
Cindy G.
Book Title: The Beatles
Book Author: Hunter Davies
This book was phenomenal. I cannot begin to say how many Beatles books I have, but this one is by far the best. Itis terribly out of date and I am facsinated with the fact that they didn't know all the future things, obviously. It was all written without the knowledge of the White Album, Abbey Road, The Beatles break-up, John Lennon's death... And Mr. Davies creates a very real and personal account by not having to look back 30 years, thus making the book very accurate. It is a must read for any Beatle fan, or anyone looking to be one.

Rating: 3.5
Nov 19, 1999
Laura
Book Title: Across the Universe With John Lennon
Book Author: Linda Keen
I was assigned to read this book in a history class. This book written by Linda Keen takes on a metaphysical view of John Lennon. Linda Keen herself, claims in her book that John Lennon has contacted her through her collective unconscious, and takes her on as his apprentice. He wants to work with her to spread his message to us, of what he has learned so far after his death. It is very well written and I was intrigued by how articulate she was about John Lennon during her meditations, which she had to go through to have these "meetings" with him. There were some parts that seemed to be sugar coated, with a bit of cheesy dialogue, but I somehow got over it. Whether the book is real or just fantasy it is clearly written with good intentions. It is up to you to decide...

Rating: 5.0
Nov 17, 1999
heather/shine4fab4
Book Title: The Beatles :The Music was Never the Same
Book Author: ?
this book is great its the book that brought me so much closer to all of them. it give s a chapter for each of there childhoods and then go's into detail about the very beginning with Stu Sutcliff and all he early members. then it gives as many details as i' ve been abel to find in a book about them it tells all the most interesting stuff and of course every thing is interesting about them. after it tells about the Beatle story itself then gives a brief update in their lives now it was published in 1996 and i think this book truely deserves its rating. i give it a good five apples!!!!!!!! if your a lover of the Bealtes e-mail me i'd love to talk

Rating: 5.0
Nov 17, 1999
Tanky
Book Title: the live of John Lennon
Book Author: albert goldman
I read this book cover-to-cover in one night several years ago, and it never even occurred to me to hate the author. Whether or not all of the tackier details are true, this is biography of the highest order- we learn who Lennon was in each of his "lives" , in painstaking detail. Writers don't go to that much trouble with a subject they don't like. Goldman not only nails each of Lennon's masks, he gives a spot-on analysis for why he need ed them... and it wasn't just his hypocricy. Far from resembling a tabloid, The Lives of John Lennon is similar to Alice Miller's Thou Shall Not Be Aware in the absolutely subjective view of history through one person's wonderful and horrible life. This book will be enjoyed by ANYONE who is interested in the varieties of human emotion, music business, Jungian psychology and modern history. It will be rejected by anyone who takes criticsm of any kind as an attack.I am a Beatle's fan and I love Primal Scream,but my I feel more, not less, for John Lennon after reading this book. If your image of your loved ones is so fragile that you reject them for being human, well, I refer you to the first chapters of Lennon's life. Oh, and incidentally, Albert Goldman is the only person I have ever heard of who made sense of Lennon's attraction to Yoko.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 1, 1999
jason whitehead
Book Title: a hard day's write
Book Author: ?
i learned so much from this book. its amazing how the beatles came up with so many fascinating stories to their songs... its so hard to duplicate in songs. its virtually impossible. but they were somehow put on this earth together to write the best songs the music world has ever seen...and there's no explanation for it. it just happened that way... by the way this book is the story and concept of every beatles song. get it today... all you need is love...

Rating: 4.0
Sep 28, 1999
Lucy
Book Title: John Lennon
Book Author: Geoffrey Guiliano
This book is somewhat like a picture book, and is generally just made up of facts about John Lennon. It's good for those who don't want to read something biased, but want hard facts about the actual person. The pictures are in colour, often page sized, and are great. There are also some wonderful quotes. Guiliano has spent a lifetime researching the Beatles and there are also books on the other Beatles similar to this one available. Well worth it for those who are new to the world of Lennon and the Beatles.

Rating: 4.0
Sep 24, 1999
Pratik Majumdar
Book Title: Elvis And Lennon
Book Author: Chris Hutchins and Peter Thompson
A most unsual book, this one talks about the deadly feud that supposedly existed between John Lennon and his one time idol Elvis Presley. How much of it is true, no one will really know but Chris Hutchins was the one who had initiated the Beatles' meeting with Elvis in 1965. He was the only journalist present when the historic meeting did happen. He gives a detailed account of it in Chapter 13 and goes on to describe how that meeting changed John's view on Elvis and how it triggered off a war of sorts between the two. The book makes a good read when taken as fiction but the fact that a lot of it had actually happened can make it seem unbelievable at times. Go out and get it anyway !!!

Rating: 3.5
Sep 14, 1999
Donna
Book Title: Many Years From Now
Book Author: Barry Miles
I thought that this was supposed to be a biography of Paul McCartney,not the stories of John Lennon, John Cage, Marianne Faithfull, or anyone else who happened to be around at the same time.But when the story is focused on Paul, it's written really well.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 23, 1999
Maisie
Book Title: The Beatles
Book Author: Hunter Davies
Contrary to popular belief, it's an advantage that this book completely out of date. There are interviews with people who have since died, and useless bits of trivia that would have been forgotten.(Who else would remember that Cry Baby Cry's refrain is based on an advertisement?) Davies, being the official biographer, also had access to songwriting and recording sessions,such as the much told story of Paul starting to write The Fool on the Hill and John tells him to write it down, and Paul claims he'll remember it...the book's still in print, so if you're still choosing which Beatles book to read first, go for this one. They haven't even begun to break up yet.

Rating: 4.0
Jul 25, 1999
Jeff Haske
Book Title: The Longest Cocktail Party
Book Author: Richard DiLello
A great inside look at the happenings and workings of Apple Corp. This book is hard to find but worth the effort to any true Beatle fan. Written by the "House Hippie", it tells the story of Apple from it's early days in 68, right through to the court proceedings of 71. Although DiLello isn't a literary genious, his candidness and off the cuff style makes this an easy read. It's great to find out the intimate details from an insider to some of the most popular Beatle tales that have been in circulation over the years. You also get a glimpse at some of the ideas that never made it to reality. The author is careful to never play favorites and just give us the straight facts. Again, I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to gain some more insight into the final years of the Fabs.

Rating: 1.0
Jul 22, 1999
Susan
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I have been a huge Beatles fan for 19 years and I am currently 30 years old. I thought I had read and seen everything possible on The Beatles until I went to a used book shop and saw this book. What a mistake! It was so upsetting. I could not believe that this was the John Lennon who wrote "In My Life", "Give Peace a Chance", "Woman", well you get the picture. I was also upset by the way the book describe Yoko Ono. Come on! This was such trash. I wish I had never read this book but like an idiot I read the whole thing, which is what the author wanted I guess. All I have to say is that some of the story may be true but some of it seemed so far fetched! Yeah, Lennon was not the happiest or friendliest of people (which is what his friends have always said) but, this book makes him and Yoko out to be the biggest monsters ever!! Basically, according to this book, Lennon and Yoko did everything but commit murder. I highly recommend that this book not be read. I have to agree with the other fan's comments on this book.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 22, 1999
Justin Wagoner
Book Title: "The Last Days Of John Lennon".
Book Author: Frederick Seamen
Frederick Seamen,who was John Lennon's assistant during the last years of his life,does an excellent job in telling the story of a different sort of Lennon. The book goes over John's being a househusband. It describes how while he would retreat into the privacy of his bedroom smoking pot,feeding the cats,and writing, Yoko would play buisness woman. By reading it,one can also see that much of Sean's upbringing should be credited to the nanny and not so much John and Yoko. The John Lennon that once wore granny glasses and spoke up so many times in public about peace,now had a scruffy beard,was skin and bones,and only left his bedroom to eat or grab the newspaper. Overall, it was an interesting book to read. It was so different from the usual stories about Beatle John Lennon.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 20, 1999
Isabel
Book Title: Playboy Interviews with JohnLennon and Yoko Ono
Book Author: David Sheff
I loved this book. It gives a lot of insight into how John Lennon was during his last days. Before the text starts they say that the actual transcript is not this book,because then there would be volumes of text. I, for one, would like to see the rest. One particular thing about the book I noticed is how little attention it paid to when John died. The very last sentence is "On December 8, John was gone." Touching....

Rating: 5.0
Jun 28, 1999
Nathaniel Otte
Book Title: We All Shine On, The stories behind every John Lennon Song 1970-1980
Book Author: Paul du Noyer
This book is a great lookout on the solo career of the greatest musician of all time, your favorite and mine, John Lennon. It tells the stories of every song on every album, and every single, starting with "Give Peace a Chance," right up to the last days of his life. It gives great insight on John as a person, and how he was feeling at that particular time. I would reccomend it to any Lennon fan. The only thing about it that chokes me up is there is a picture of John's murderer (when I saw that, I felt as if I had been stabbed in the back and that I had to vomit, as his very existance contaminates our very society) taken the morning after he committed the most tragic act of our time, and his evil deed put him number one on my list of people to kill or beat the crap out of. But anyway, this is a great book and provides great insight on the career of the man we all love so dear.

Rating: 4.0
Jun 27, 1999
Me
Book Title: The Love You Make
Book Author: Peter Brown and Stephen Gaines
This is a very good book from an insider's point of view. I'm not giving the book that extra apple for 2 reasons: 1)The book seems like everything was bad. They must have smiled once in a while....right? 2)Incorrect information,such as one point where they say that John was the oldest Beatle, when most fans know that Ringo is.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 26, 1999
simran dhani
Book Title: beatle the pete best story
Book Author: pete best
The book is excellent it targets on the former beatle pete best he used to be the drummer in the beatles before he was replaced by ringo starr.It tells the full story of the beatles which nobody has heard before i cant tell you anything more about the book read it and then e-mail me at gurpreet@dhani84freeserve.co.uk id love to see if you enjoyed it.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 18, 1999
Pratik Majumdar
Book Title: We All Shine On
Book Author: Paul du Noyer
Finally a book on John's much overlooked and neglected solo career. Ok so everyone thinks John Lennon solo was Imagine and Jealous Guy and that's about it. But du Noyer shows us the truth with his wonderful insight into the mind of the man who created some of the best sounds and words of all time. And what's more, for these gems he did not have the services of George Paul or Ringo. Paul du Noyer is honest and objective about Lennon's work and is able to segregate the ordinary from the brilliant, without sounding vindictive (Albert Goldman are you listening???)After reading the book - or even better while reading it - run through Mind Games, Walls And Bridges, Double Fantasy and Milk And Honey and appreciate them even more than before. Great work Mr. du Noyer ! You've made me appreciate John lennon even more than before. A must read for all Lennon fans.

Rating: 2.5
Jun 2, 1999
Kevin Leonard
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I'm a high school senior who became an instant Beatle convert a couple years ago. Then I started getting into the solo albums and later on their lives. So, I started reading all the bios I could get my hands on, and eventually I happened upon a copy of this in the library (easy enough, I use to work there) that was on sale for 50 cents. This was the second Lennon bio I read (after the superior Lennon by Ray Coleman) and I have to admit, it was quite an experience. I had some considerable respect for Goldman because I enjoyed his biographies of Elvis Presley and especially Lenny Bruce, but man, that respect flew out the window after slogging through this. Let's be fair here: no matter what the merit of this book, it is well written and a very engrossing (if incredibly sordid) examination of Lennon. But, the main problems are the inaccurate dates given for certain events and the extraordinary talent Goldman has for recreating scenes in Lennon's life which he (or anybody else for that matter) wasn't even at. Plus, I took offense at Goldman's charge that Lennon became famous simply by ripping off rare B-sides and unknown songs and slightly retooling the melodies and lyrics to produce another #1 Beatles hit. That's totally unacceptable and false. Take the Chuck Berry thing: he says that just because a few lines were taken out of his song "You Can't Catch Me" and placed into "Come Together," that constitutes plagirism. Okay, maybe, but the two songs don't sound anything alike at all (I can say that: I have heard the Berry song) and plus, Berry spoke glowingly of Lennon in his fine autobiography. Another Goldman charge people hate is that Lennon was a horrible father to both Julian and Sean and was abusive. Recently, Julian said in an interview that Lennon was indeed an awful father, but that probably meant that he was a neglectful parent, probably not abusive; plus, that incident involving Julian screaming at the thought of going to Disneyland with John and John only is true (I have read older books with the same scene), so something must have occured to him that prompted that. But by all accounts, Lennon was a model father to Sean and I have no idea how Goldman got such scenes as Lennon hitting Sean and throwing the cat across the floor. About the abuse thing: Lennon admitted he beat Cynthia more than once (hell, he even SANG about it in "Getting Better"), so that is true. But Goldman's attacks on Yoko aren't appreciated either: he should have been sued just with the accusation that Yoko had McCartney set up for his infamous drug bust in Japan, which ISN'T TRUE. As for the music analysis: it seems Goldman hates Lennon's solo work (save for Plastic Ono Band) but likes the Beatles' albums (even if he did call Abbey Road "a middle-of-the-road production" and lobbied a semi-insult at The White Album, my personal fave); his theory on how the two sides of Plastic Ono Band mirror one another (pounding-piano-personal song with "Mother" on A and "Remember" on B, gentle song with "Hold On" on A and "Love" on B, hard rocker with "I Found Out" on A and "Well Well Well" on B, and so on) is interesting, and I like his description of "A Day In the Life" and some other Beatle songs. That's about the only good thing in this book: detail. His descriptions of John and Yoko's art shows, the John Sinclair concert and the Rock and Roll sessions with Phil Spector are very well-written, I say through gritted teeth. So, if what Goldman said--how Lennon was a heroin- and cocaine-addicted, bixsexual, backstabbing, selfish, abusive, drunken singer who got famous by ripping off others--is true, I don't care and don't really want to know; if you're a true Lennon fan, you'll just shrug it off. I think the book is worth a brief look, but stick with Coleman's bio instead.

Rating: 4.0
May 21, 1999
Anonymous
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
Very repetitive. How many times does Coleman have to repeat that his Aunt Mimi raised him? In those exact words?! Otherwise........it provided a lot of stuff that I hadn't heard of before. Like how he was at art college. Personal memories by Coleman also provide a laugh or 2. There's one section stuck in my mind where a plane has engine trouble and has to land early, prompting John to run off screaming "Beatles and children first!".......

Rating: 5.0
May 20, 1999
Nathaniel Otte
Book Title: Lennon: The Definitive Biography
Book Author: Ray Coleman
This is without a doubt the best Lennon biography there could ever be. Unlike Albert Goldman, who trashed John and didn't know what the hell he was talking about, Coleman was a friend of John's from the days of the Beatles up until his tragic death. It tells John's story in full detail, and in TRUTH (hint, hint). I am telling you, this is THE Lennon book to buy, as it is truthful and well-written, and must be in the house of every hardcore Lennon fan, like myself. I urge all of you to STAY AWAY from the Goldman book, as it contaminates society just through its existance. Thank you, Ray, for giving us a long biography we can appreciate. John, God rest your soul and see you in heaven.

Rating: 1.0
May 20, 1999
Nathaniel Otte
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
I urge everyone out there to stay away from this book. This book trashes the man we all love so dearly and falsely accuses him of horrible things in a horrible way. For example, Goldman states that John was sexually manhandles by Brian Epstein, who was a homosexual. While the part about Brian being gay is true, John was NOT manhandled by Brian. And also, it said that he "pitched the cat down the hall and kicked his [Sean's} pampered ass." That is also not true, as John was a loving father to that child and brought him up in a great way only a really good man can. This book is like a "second murder" of John, and is just terrible. It hurt those who were close to him and all of us who continue to love him to this very day. So, I urge all of you to boycott this book as it is nothing more than a bullshit piece of trash.

Rating: 4.5
May 2, 1999
Mariana
Book Title: El Joven Lennon(Young Lennon)
Book Author: Jordi Sierra i Fabra
This is one of the best books about Lennon I've ever read. It's a fiction based on real dates and facts that happened on Lennon's teenage years. The book gives us a side of John's personality never seen before. It tells us how the meeting between Paul and John could have been, and how John reacted to his mother's death. I'll give you an excerpt from the book, translated by me, so there might be some mistakes: ~~~~~~~~~~~"You don't play bad, you know? I mean, I haven't seen toomany bands like yours here in Liverpool." "It was a terrible performance." - John confessed. "Yeah, that's true - the unknown Paul McCartney agreed- but one thing is to be bad and make a horrible performance, and another thing is to be good but not have too much practice. You're good, and your voice... yourvoice is strong(...)." John smiled. He ran his hands across Paul's shoulders e leaned on him carefully. They had drunk too much beer before Ivan Vaugham left them alone. Paul noticed that his mate was a bit dizzy, but Lennon's voice was completely sincere when he asked: "Listen, do you wanna join the band?"~~~~~~~~ We all know that maybe this didn't happen like Jordi describes, but the author throws a lot of emotion into the book. It's worth reading it!

Rating: 4.0
Apr 22, 1999
Glenn Moran
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
This is an honest book about Lennon. The author knows his stuff and lapses into hero worship are rare yet occaisionally do surface, particularly when dealing with John's witty retorts down through the years. Chronologically it could be better, it gets confusing at times but is always factual and an excellent reference point. Lennon biographers generally fall into for-or-against Yoko and I feel Coleman is on the side "for". I'd tend to sway the other way myself on that issue feeling it's hard to get the balance right between having access to the important people for interviewing yet portraying them honestly and critically. Maybe in this instance Coleman was too close. It stretches the patience a bit when the Peace thing is delved into but unlike the Lost Lennon Interviews it doesn't dwell too much on it. There are some nice photos included, however the last one of Lennon inside the book is dreadfull, he looks more like a pissed off stock market dealer than a Working Class Hero. However, it's highly enjoyable and exciting to see that the author was present at many of John's most memorable moments.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 17, 1999
Julian Bashir
Book Title: Many Years From Now
Book Author: Barry Miles
This book is not a John Lennon/Beatles book in the strictest sense of the word, as it deals with Paul as opposed to the group as a whole. Miles' book covers Paul's life and music up through the breakup of the Beatles and also includes a chapter devoted entirely to Paul's relationship with John. This book is an excellent read for any Beatles fan, and perhaps the best aspect of it is that Miles was able to have Paul's cooperation in the writing of Many Years From now, and interviewd Paul extensively prior to writing this. Thus, a great deal of the information found in Many Years From Now is straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, giving the book a unique feel. Probably the best description of this book is a quote of Paul's that can be found on the cover: "Along the way I'd like to register the fact that John was great, he was absoloutely wonderful and I did love him, lest it be seen that I'm trying now to do my own kind of revisionism. He was fabulous, but really all I'm saying is that I have my side of the affair as well, which sometimes gets ignored, hence my agreeing to be a part of this book." Probably the only thing the could make Many Years From Now a better book would have been if it had covered the years following the Beatles breakup. I personally would have been almost more interested to hear about Paul's life and career after the Beatles and into the present, since there really aren't too many books covering that, while there are hundreds, possibly thousands that have been written about the Beatle Years.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 7, 1999
Jeremy Norris
Book Title: Revolution in the Head
Book Author: Ian MacDonald
An amazingly versatile book. The majority of the book is devoted to a song by song breakdown of every recording that the Beatles released (the rest of the book being an introduction on the sixties, a chronology, and a glossary.) Because the book is interesting, informative, and very well written, one is able to sit down with it for hours at a time. Furthermore, because of the books "song-by-song" format (with 1/2 to about 5 pages per song, depending,) it makes great bathroom reading. Perhaps what is most impressive about the book is that, though it is seemingly just a collection of critiques/descriptions of Beatles songs, it manages to tell the story of the Beatles and the sixties in considerable detail. Perhaps the only criticisms one can offer are that MacDonald is obviously something of a "Paul" person, and most Beatles fans are sure to disagree with some of his reviews ("Dig A Pony" better than "Across the Universe"? And I LIKE "Helter Skelter.") Still, MacDonald never lets anything get in the way of his objectivity, and his remarkable book should be required reading for any Beatles fan.

Rating: 2.5
Jan 30, 1999
Jet
Book Title: Drummed Out! The Sacking of Pete Best
Book Author: Spencer Leigh
The cover of this book proclaims that the sacking of Pete Best is the last unsloved Beatles Mystery! And I guess it'll stay that way! This book only raises more questions. It does bring together a list of various reasons for Pete's dismissal. Ranging from Pete was not a very versatile drummer, to the others were jealous of his looks, to Pete rejected Brian Epstein's passes - the theories are endless. Only a little new insight is offered here. Such as, Epstein was asking other Liverpool drummers if they'd like to join the Beatles months earlier than the actual dismissal. For those who haven't read much about this period in the Beatles' lives this book could be enlightening. Most interesting is the comments by other Liverpool musicians. Although, I would have preferred to read longer interviews with them rather than just brief quotations. Another problem is that the author often seems to jump to conclusions without providing sufficient backup information. For example, he says that George getting a black eye by the fans after Pete's firing is significant. (Maybe he was just unlucky!). Most disturbing of all is the books very Anti-Macca tone from page one. Overall, the book was not a total waste, but I felt a little let down at the end.

Rating: 4.0
Jan 25, 1999
Lucinda
Book Title: Who Killed John Lennon??
Book Author: Fenton Bresler
Rather interesting book..delves deep into all the controversy surrounding John Lennon's Death..and suggests a major conspiracy much like Siran Siran and other figures who have killed major celebrities. if you have seen the movie, Conspiracy Theory, it falls somewhat along these lines. not to spoil anything of course..a MUST read for a John Lennon fan who is also into Conspiracies...

Rating: 1.0
Jan 24, 1999
Joanne Harwood
Book Title: The Love You make an insiders story of the Beatles
Book Author: Peter Brown and Steven Gains
A great story, If you enjoy fiction. I read this book and was so impressed I started telling people about it on the Internet. It has a lot about Women and scandles between the Beatles. I don't know how much of it is true, but I got back some very desturbing information. It seems that after this book Peter Brown was concidered a traitor and while promoting his book on a radio station another Beatle insider was brought in to ask some questions. It seemed that Peter Brown wasn't ready to be questioned by another insider and had no answer to the doubtful events in his book. Paul McCartney wasn't too pleased with Peter Brown and was rumoured to have tried to get the book retracted from the shelves. As I said I don't know how much of it is True and how much is fiction, but it sure as hell must have had something to upset the Beatles and Co?

Rating: 4.5
Jan 9, 1999
Laura W
Book Title: A Hard Day's Write
Book Author: Steve Turner
Everyone knows some facts behind the Beatles songs; "Hey Jude" was written by Paul to Julian during the divorce of John and Cynthia, "A Day in the Life" was writen by John after reading the newspaper. But of course, most of us don't know all the stories. This book covers every song recorded by the Beatles in which the Beatles wrote. The information was nicely presented, and there were a lot of photos I've never seen before. I thought the book was really great, and I had fun reading about each song. The only part I found fault with was the "label" each Beatle seemed to get: John being the pessimist, Paul the eternal optimist, George being the quiet Indian influenced musician, and Ringo the drummer who'd get a cut on most albums. Though some of these stereotypes are in fact true, the Beatles didn't always live up to those names. John went on the write such ballads as "Imagine" and "Woman" even if he did have songs like "Misery" and "I'm a Loser." I'd recommend this book to anyone... it's fun to read and the pictures are great!

Rating: 4.0
Dec 26, 1998
Michael J. Hockinson
Book Title: "The Last Days of John Lennon"
Book Author: Frederic Seaman
The Lennon Estate views Mr. Seaman as persona non grata. Yes, he did steal the Lennon diaries and doubtless his motives aren't completely honourable, but "Last Days" still remains the *only* book to fill (with something approaching objectivity) an important gap in the Lennon timeline. (While Albert Goldman covers the same period in "Lives," the data offered is so compromised by the author's "spin doctor" narrative that it can't really be read without prejudice.) I came away from reading "Last Days" lamenting how incredibly sad and unfulfilling much of John's final years really were. Seaman's recounting of Lennon's Bermuda vacation offer the reader a brief escape from this. Also of interest are the stories behind the writing and recording of the songs on "Double Fantasy" (you hear the "Anthology" version of "I'm Losing You" a little differently after you've read of John and Yoko's indifference to Rick and Bun E.'s efforts during that 12 August session). The Lennon fan keen to swallow to the "house husband" myth trotted out by John and Yoko during the promotion of "Double Fantasy" (and that Ms. Ono has continued to foster to this day) will probably want to give this book a pass. The Lennon fan willing to approach "Last Days" with an open mind will find his perception of Lennon and Ono irrevocably alterted. *

Rating: 4.5
Dec 6, 1998
Laura
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
This is one of the most remarkable books I have ever read. It shows in depth who John Lennon was and who he strived to be. Ray Coleman had quite an advantage of being close with the Beatles. This book is highly recommended to anyone and everyone. If you want to get to know John, READ IT! If you just want to scratch the surface, read it and you'll find out the surface is unwanted and you have to know everything to truly understand. This book will make you relive every moment of John's remarkable life, from Mimi's thought at the time of his birth to John's heart-ripping death. You will laugh out loud and often be a bit angry. You'll smile and feel charmed then you will feel pained and cry. This book is truly for all ages and shows you whom the true man behind the music was.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 23, 1998
ILoveJohn
Book Title: Twist of Lennon
Book Author: Cynthia Lennon Twist
This hard to find book is one of the best sources for a real inside look at John, from the perspective of his first wife. The book is from the mid seventies so it is slightly dated. She writes a little about her own life before and after their marriage, but most of the book is dedicated to the years they spent together. It is a wonderful recollection of what it was like to be "the Beatle wife," especially at the height of the Beatles, and how she and John slowly drifted apart. Highlights include her stories about hiding their marriage from the press and her reaction to finding John with Yoko when she returned home from a trip. Although, obviously, written after their divorce and before the tragedy Cynthia writes of John with love. This is a must read for every Lennon fan who wishes to see John from a different perspective.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 23, 1998
Gil Dell Isola
Book Title: Come Together: John Lennon in His Time
Book Author: Jon Weiner
This is an excellent book that covers all of John's political activism and the harrassment of him by the US government in the 1970's. Not much musically here, but it shows us the side of Lennon that the Nixon Administration feared the most, his ability to be a leader for the peace movement. The author, Jon Weiner, writes extensively about the FBI files and the surveilance of the government of Lennon. John spoke up at the time of his phone being tapped and being watched and people thought he was paranoid, but with the release of the FBI files we learn that he was not. This book covers Lennon's "Give Peace A Chance" movement better than any other I have read.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 10, 1998
Brianna
Book Title: The Beatles
Book Author: Hunter Davies
This is the funnest Beatles book I have ever read! It was originally printed in 1968, and it is largely told from interviews with the Beatles and friends. John, Paul, George, Ringo, Brian Epstein, the Beatles' parents, Beatles fans, and Hamburg friends like Astrid and Jurgen all tell amusing and revealing stories which cover everything from the Beatles' childhood to the making of Sgt. Pepper. Also, the author was present during the creation of some songs from the Sgt. Pepper album; making for very interesting reading. Some of the viewpoints taken by the storytellers are at times questionable, but this is still a very FUN book to read. And the compassionate way in which, for example, John refers to the other Beatles, is very touching.

Rating: 4.5
Oct 10, 1998
Brianna
Book Title: Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Book Author: Davd Sheff
I found this book, a transcription of John and Yoko's interviews with the editors of Playboy magazine, to be wonderfully informative! What better attesting to the truthfulness of a book than for the words to be out of the mouth of John Lennon himself? John covers most all subjects in this interview, given just months before his death; and his humour, sensitivity, intelligence, and passion speak out from the pages. There is quite a lot of cussing in this interview, so be prepared for that. However when John does cuss he rarely does it gratuitously. Also, this book is very much about JOHN not the Beatles, so don't go reading it looking for funny stories and anecdotes about the lives of the Beatles.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 10, 1998
John Jackson
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
Ray Coleman's "Lennon" is quite simply, a masterpiece. Over the years I would read stories about John Lennon that were either incomplete or misguided. I would have to piece together fragments of the truth from HUNDREDS of Beatles/Lennon stories just to get an overall view of GOD(Lennon). However, a lot of these stories would list Ray Coleman's "Lennon" as a source. Coleman's name or his book would constantly show up everytime I read a new article about John Lennon. For a few years, I looked for this book but could not find it anywhere. Then, I was book hunting one day and I came across a brand new revisited copy. I quickly purchased the book. What I read was perhaps the GREATEST book of all time. Coleman had a unique advantage of being close to the Beatles and John. He gave a full and complete writing about John's life that I have never read before. This book gives a new meaning about "The Man Behind The Myth". Coleman describes in full and honest detail about John and his life. I was so drawn into this book, I could not help to relive the pain and tears I felt about Lennon's death. I can only say that I finally have the full understanding of the greatest man who had ever walked this earth. This book is a Bible in my eyes.

Rating: 4.0
Aug 12, 1998
BertieG
Book Title: The Best Years Of The Beatles
Book Author: Pete Best with Bill Harry
This book is former Beatles drummer Pete Best's story. He is helped by "Mersey Beat" editor Bill Harry who provides accurate and interesting background information. This book is interesting as it gives a first hand account at what it was like to be in the Beatles. There are no great insights but it is interesting to hear Pete's side of the story and hear him and Bill Harry dispell a few Beatle myths. Because both men were friends and comrades of the Beatles there is air of authenticity about the book. If you can't believe these guys who can you believe. Even though Pete was shamefully sacked by the band (unfortunatly there still does not seem to be an explanation) he bears no grudges and this book is not bitchy or an attempt to get his own back in the slightest. He is very honest and talks with good will about his former colleagues. Overall an interesting insight into The Beatles early days.

Rating: 1.0
Jul 28, 1998
Dr Phil Harris
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
It is only a shame that the review schema does not allow for a 'no Apples' award. A previous reviewer of this book has asserted that it is 'all lies'. My problem with it is that it is quite so clearly based upon what must be conjecture. Lennon is continually described as doing something along the lines of 'sitting alone silently, pondering the futility of his existence and the lacklustre sales of his most recent album while gazing forlonly onto the early morning dew on the lawn outside' (actually, I made this particular section up but there are so many like it in the book that actually picking one would be churlish). The simple question is, of course 'How can Golman know this'. If there were no witnesses present (though even they would have no access to John's thoughts unless he expressed them audibly) and Goldman had no access to what would have to be very extensive and seelf-indulgent Lennon diaries, then he is merely conjecturing upon Lennon's actions and thought and passing them off as fact for the purposes of absurd sensationalism and faux verite. I will make only one more comment. Goldman's critical appreciation of Lennon's (and the Beatle's) music is laughably bad (the laugh freezes, however, when you realise that he received an advance and royalties for this dross). One point. He tries to question McCartney's ability by re-telling a story which recalls the surprise and astonishment of a group of New York session musicians to hear McCartney refer to chords not by their technical names (C minor seventh, for example) but by how they sound ('the pretty one'). I simply cannot see how this lack of formal training and knowledge does not make McCartney more rather than less accomplished. Baisically, he wrote Hey Jude and Goldman and those NY musos are barely fit to even listen to it let alone capable of emulating it. Goldman's main critical beef does indeed seem to be that the Beatles (including Lennon) had no formal musical training. Reading 'The Lives of John Lennon', I will eat my hat if Goldman has had any formal literary training (or at least if he has, it doesn't show. A truly atrocious and unpleasant piece of work. I'm just off to wash my hands.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 27, 1998
Alan Dammit
Book Title: Shout
Book Author: Philip Norman
Since beatles were musicians and not Gods, I think this book is really good. I heard that Paul McCartney wasn't glad of this, he said that Philip represented them as silly children or something like that. I don't agree. Everybody makes errors and also beatles did. It doesn't take off anything to them speaking about that. I also read other books like the Julia Baird one... I suppose that there are many things About the Beatles that nobody will never know, this book sais a lot of things and it is an honest book in my opinion. I don't know what Paul today thinks about this book. I think he could be much more glad than in the past, Philip wrote it. If your interest is real you should be interested in the truth and in knowing things, good and bad. The author of this book speaks about the good and doesn't hide the bad. This is why I think it is a very good book.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 26, 1998
Jet
Book Title: John, Paul, & Me Before the Beatles
Book Author: Len Garry
Len Garry was a member of the Quarrymen. In this book he shares his memories of John and Paul. The book does a good job of recreating John's teenage years for us. Len discusses meeting John, their teenage pranks, and John and Paul's first meeting. One of John's pranks involved getting Len and another boy to pretend they were new students enrolling in Quarry Bank High School. This gives us an example of John's sense of humor. Len developed Tubercular Meningitis and could not continue with the band. The book contains many pictures of Liverpool and the sites discussed in the book. The copy I bought contained a cd featuring a converstaion between Len and Pete Shotten in Liverpool. The only problem someone might have with the book is that it is written (partially) in the form of conversation between John and his friends, which seems rather awkward at times. I think any Beatle fan would enjoy this book because it was written by someone who was there and it provides insights into John's personality.

Rating: 3.0
Jul 26, 1998
Jet
Book Title: In My Life Encounters with the Beatles
Book Author: Robert Cording, etc. (Editors)
This book is a collection of poetry, fiction, and essays on the Beatles. It is set up similar (I suppose) to the Beatles career with an optimistic opening, a psychedelic middle, and a slightly depressing end. I don't think the casual fan would enjoy this book, but if like me you can't get enough on the Beatles you might enjoy it. Besides poetry and fiction there are some memories of fans. The problem I had with the book was that in several cases I couldn't tell what was fiction and what was a recollection by a fan. Some of the authors include Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, and Tom Wolfe. The book does do a good job of showing how the Beatles have affected the lives of so many people. It made for a nice read, but I don't think it was worth the $25.00 hardback price. Wait for the paperback.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 21, 1998
sadie francis
Book Title: My Brother:John lennon
Book Author: julia baird
julia's book is a must for any lennon fan. informative,witty,and touching,it makes john feel very close. it describes in great detail john's childhood and teen years. it covers john the man who wept on the telephone talking about his mother not the naughty john who appeared nude on TWO VIRGINS. MY BROTHER is not a book for dates and useless information it a book which captures the spirit of a great man.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 14, 1998
Adam Rayfield
Book Title: The Love You Make, an Insider's Story of The Beatles
Book Author: Peter Brown & Steve Gaines
One of the best insider books ever written about the fab four, nothing is left to the imagination, the drugs the women the good and bad side of a band that will remain part of music history for ever. Being one of the closest people to the Beatles Peter Brown gives you an insight so rarely shared by other Beatle authors, this book helps you smell the Cavern, and feel the strain as the end drew near, a definite must for anyone who needs to set the record straight and get a good overall view of one of the greatest bands to make music in our's or anybodies lifetime.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 29, 1998
BertieG
Book Title: Revolution In The Head
Book Author: Ian Macdonald
This book is a must for Beatles fans. It goes through every single song recorded by the Beatles and provides information and a critical analysis of each one. The newest edition includes the "Anthology" extra tracks. Also in the book is a chapter on the sixties and it's music, attitudes & how the beatles were are part of it plus it includes a chronology. The book is extremely well written and provides interesting footnotes and quotes. The only critism is that Macdonald can a little bit too critical about some great songs. He doesn't particularly like "Across the Universe" & "Nowhere Man" which are favourites of mine. But overall a right riveting read!

Rating: 4.0
Jun 21, 1998
Edgar
Book Title: Paul McCartney---Many Years From Now
Book Author: Barry Miles
This book is an obvious atempt by Mr. McCartney to set the record staight once and for all about who was the guilding force of The Beatles. The book reads more like an interview than an account of what happened behind the scenes. Although there are many many McCartney quotes and name dropping's, this book does hold many secrets that have never appeared before in the hundreds of Beatle books. But it does appear that Paul has had enough hearing that John was the Beatles guru and spiritual director. All in all its a good read and very entertaining. But come on Paul: true Beatle fans know it was all four of you guys that made the magic....Let it be

Rating: 4.5
May 4, 1998
Meisje Regensburg
Book Title: The Day John Met Paul
Book Author: Jim O'Donnell
"The Day John Met Paul" is not a biography in the strictest sense. It's a story, a fairy-tale, a true fantasy. O'Donnell's lyrical style, much like that of James Joyce, draws the reader into another world from the very start. The heroes are two teenage boys named John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the setting a hot July day in 1956, in the suburbs of Liverpool. The story begins in the early hours of the day, in a house on Menlove Ave., in the bedroom of a sleeping John Lennon. He is not the superstar, the demi-god, the Beatle that we know--he's just a kid, a regular teenager, caught in the whirlwind that was rock 'n' roll. And this is what gives this book its appeal. The portrayal of Lennon, McCartney, Aunt Mimi, the neighbors and friends are so realistic. There is no dialogue--the voices and words are left up to our imagination. The description of the docks, the churchyard, even the weather makes you feel you are there at the fete with them, watching the Quarry Men make their debut. The old black and white photo of that young kid wearing a checkered shirt and a thin-lipped smile, strumming a battered guitar to a skiffle tune, takes a life of its own with this book.

Rating: 5.0
May 2, 1998
Merlyn Ruth
Book Title: Shout;the Beatles in their generation
Book Author: Philip Norman
This is one of the greatest books of all time! Even if I wasn't a Beatlephile I would adore this book. It is written in an honest biographical style. Norman doesn't sugar coat the Beatles, nor does he make them sound like horrible cruel sadists, that couldn't stand eachother. I especially recommend the detailed accounts of the Beatles' friendship. This book is one of the few that actually says "Yeah they were great friends, but they saw eachother too much and just had to let go." as opposed to the two commonly held beliefs that they were ethier never really friends, or they were and always will be the greatest of friends ever to walk the earth. Norman also provides an excellent psychological view of everyone connected to the Beatles story. It's simply the greatest!

Rating: 4.5
Apr 12, 1998
Laura Weingarten
Book Title: The Beatles, Lennon, and Me
Book Author: Pete Shotton
I would have to recommend this book for a few reasons. One, it's written by Pete Shotton, long time friend of John and an original band member of the Quarry Men. It's informative on John and Pete's childhood and carries on through his death. BUT WATCH OUT! Pete, like John, has got quite a mouth. If you're sensitive to slang.... or flat out profanity, don't read this. You get a lot of Pete's opinions throughout the book, so if you're not a Beatle/John history buff, this book may be confusing. But if you know some slight history, for instance by reading Ray Coleman's Lennon or Shout by Phillip Norman you should do okay. I enjoyed it, and hope you do to!!

Rating: 5.0
Mar 31, 1998
Fredrik Kinbom
Book Title: A Spaniard In The Works
Book Author: John Lennon
This hilarious collection of Lennon-wit can really make you laugh, his wordplay is exellent. I really recommend this book, but there's another reason I'm writing this as well; I'd like to tell LENNON FANS OUTSIDE SWEDEN about a recently published bilingual edition of the book (in English and Swedish ("translating" John Lennons endless wordplay is, however, in my opinion hardly worth while - it must be read in English)), which contains A UNIQUE CD WITH PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED LENNON MATERIAL! The CD contains some homerecorded songs and parts of interviews, made from 1971-1980. Four of the songs has never been released (officially, anyway) om record before; the Swedish publisher Bakhåll has a contract with Yoko Ono personally which enables them to release the CD. If you want information about the book/CD, and addresses to the publisher, feel free to email me.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 28, 1998
Justyn Dillingham
Book Title: The Art & Music Of John Lennon
Book Author: John Robertson
Most books on Lennon concentrate either on his colorful public life as a Beatle or ex-Beatle or his equally colorful private life. And, for the most part, his music is relegated to something of secondary interest, and his experiments in art given hardly a glance at all, as the self-indulgent panderings of a self-centered rock star. But Lennon was ultimately much more than a rocker, and this book finally sets the record straight on his life and music. Robertson points out the flaws in both the 'official' story (as given by Yoko, Ray Coleman, etc.) and in the 'alternate' version (as given by Albert Goldman and Fred Seaman), while never letting Lennon's turbulent life overshadow the real reason we remember him- his music. In addition to a full and convincing analysis of his work with the Beatles and often overlooked and underrated solo work, Robertson gives us dates and descriptions of Lennon's major interviews and television appearances and a full discography. All in all, an essential book for any Lennon fan.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 25, 1998
Masha (aka sunflower)
Book Title: In His Own Write/A Spaniard In the Works
Book Author: John Lennon
Now THESE are ultimate John Lennon books :) Both extremely hilarious, they have been reissued in the US and England, and in other parts of the world right now. John's quick tongue and humor takes a dig at anything from other books to religion. Don't try and find a meaning in the crazy poems and incoherent stories. Just take it the way it is--I garantee a good laugh :) My favorite poem is "The Fat Budgie" (I think that's what it's called...) in Spaniard. And I really love "Snore Wife and Some Several Dwarts". The title itself is a good example of how the book sounds. Hard cover is expensive, so it's only for really crazy collectors like me, but in Britain both books sold together in paperback are 9 pounds (something like that:) enjoy!!

Rating: 5.0
Mar 20, 1998
Jenny Leon
Book Title: John Lennon, My Brother
Book Author: Julia Baird, with Geoffrey Guliano
I want to add another comment about this book. I just finished reading it, and, although I haven't read very many Lennon books, this is my favorite so far. This book is good at telling about John Lennon's life through the eyes of his (step)sister. Although it seems that it doesn't really focus on how the public knew John Lennon, I learned many different tidbits on how his family thought of his fame. I especially liked on how much Baird focused on their mother, Julia. Julia and Lennon truly cared for each other, and it seemed that I knew John personally when I read this book. I highly recommend it for the personal memoirs of one of his siblings. The only drawback is that it was written in 1988 and doesn't tell us about any recent happenings, such as the Anthologies.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 18, 1998
Fredrik Kinbom
Book Title: The Complete Beatles Chronicle
Book Author: Mark Lewisohn
This is the ultimate book for everyone with a genuine interest in The Beatles. Mark Lewisohn is an acknowledged authority on The Beatles and it´s amazing how much time he must have spent on this book. This book isn´t a ordinary biography - it covers, on a day-to-day basis, everything The Beatles did in the studio, on tour, for radio and television etc. from 1957 to 1970. If you (like me) have a particular interest in The Beatles´ musicmaking, you´ll like this book. Lewisohn (who has listened to all tapes in the Abbey Road studios) reveals tons of interesting stuff about the group´s recording sessions and the progress of their songs in the studio. If you would like to know where and when The Beatles has performed live, you´ll find it all in this massive book (it contains lots of photographs etc. in both colour and black & white as well). "The Complete Beatles Chronicle" is a must for all keen Beatles fans!

Rating: 3.5
Mar 18, 1998
Fredrik Kinbom
Book Title: John Lennon, My Brother
Book Author: Julia Baird
This book is written by John Lennon´s half-sister, Julia (named after her and John´s mother). It contains some very interesting reading; the perspective of a younger sister seeing her brother´s rise to fame from a family point of view adds something to everything I´ve previously read about John Lennon (I´ve read quite a lot). Julia Baird and John Lennon weren´t brought up in the same household, but they seem to have been pretty close. The tragic death of their mother formed a close bond between them that lasted over the years, even though they didn´t always stay in touch. The parts of the book that tells the Beatles story isn´t going to present anything new to readers with knowledge about that, but I recommend the book on account of such things as, for example, John´s family experiencing Beatle mania first hand when attending the Liverpool première of "A Hard Day´s Night" and concerts. A seven years younger sister´s experience of having a brother that suddenly was famous all over the world couldn´t have been written by anyone else than that sister herself.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 18, 1998
Fredrik Kinbom
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
This book is THE book if you want to learn a great deal about John Lennon. The author knew John personally, and that makes the book far more interesting than books by people who didn´t. Ray Coleman has based the book on his own interviews with John (from 1963-64 something and onwards), his personal memories of spending time with John (at home, on tour) and interviews he has made with people who were close to John. You can read about John´s personal life (NOT tabloid-style like in Goldman-or-what-his-name-is´ terrible "biography"), about his musicmaking and most other things you might want to learn more about - read this book! (The book was originally published in two volumes - "John Winston Lennon" and "John Ono Lennon" - and if you can find these, buy them instead of the one-volume paperback "Lennon" since they contain a lot more photographs, and a couple of photocopied letters from John to Cynthia written in Hamburg which can´t be found in the paperback).

Rating: 4.0
Mar 16, 1998
Starr Kress
Book Title: The Beatles
Book Author: Allan Kozinn
Part of "The 20th Century Composer Series" by Phiadon Press ----I had read several books about the Beatles that had turned the story of the band into a soap opera. I wanted to read about Beatle music, what made their sound unique. Initally I was put off because it is written by a music critic from the New York Times. It could have been too technical and dry. But after trying a few pages, I coughed up $18.00 and gave it a shot. Not a bad buy. Kozinn speaks to what was happening with and to the band members while their albums took shape. Then he uses his music critic's understanding to focus on the songs that are new, different, perhaps revolutionary. In the discussion of Abbey Road, for instance, he gives great attention to the experimental "He's So Heavy" not the more popular "Here Come's the Sun" as the later is more conventional than the former . After looking at the band, Kozinn showed me the huge impact of Beatle music on all popular music. I saw the way the Beatles influenced "serious" composers and preformers of all music genres. My respect for the band grew ever larger. . Also I loved it when the music-critic-author, calls, "All you Need is Love" the perfect song for 1967, or the three-part harmony in "Strawberry Fields", exquisite and "A Day in the Life" a masterpiece. As Kozinn says, "The world has seen nothing like them since." This book might challenge your vocabulary, but it flows well. I call it a good read.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 15, 1998
Anna Carolina Fagundes
Book Title: The Young Lennon ( original title - El joven Lennon )
Book Author: Jordi Sierra&Fabra
A narrative telling John's life in Liverpool before Hamburg - the family, the rock and roll, the Quarrymen. At the beginning, the book might be a bit boring, but as the story goes on, you find yourself all tied up in the events - the story and the History mix together in a wonderful and touching story.The way Sierra tells us about the meeting of John and Paul, in the fair of Woolton, is enough of a reason to spend some bucks buying it.

Rating: 2.0
Mar 9, 1998
Janelle
Book Title: The Lives Of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
"Lives" is a pack of lies. If you haven't read this book already, don't start now. It was released a few years ago and triggered a major controversy over the stuff it said about John Lennon. If you have this book, don't believe a word it says. It can be found all over the U.S.--for some reason, bookstores and libraries seem to prefer this book to a better bio, like Ray Coleman's "Lennon". Goldman's information mostly came from people who John disappointed in some way, like Fred Seaman (fired by John) and May Pang (had an affair with JL--later, he went back to Yoko). I gave it the 2 points because the section in the middle with all the old photographs was great.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 6, 1998
Angie Bickel
Book Title: A Twist of Lennon
Book Author: Cynthia Lennon
I'm a huge Beatle fan, but an even bigger John Lennon fan. Personally, I think this book is great. Who would remember it better than the wife of John Lennon, besides The Beatles themselves? She has rare, family pictures of John, herself, and even Julian as a young child. It's a very informative book. It lets you re-live Beatlemania, and she lists big dates when the Beatles made history. It's well worth the time and the money. I highly recommend this book!

Rating: 5.0
Mar 5, 1998
Sgt. Lennon
Book Title: Dakota Days
Book Author: John Greene
I checked this book out from the library a while ago, and I was thourghly entertained. This is a truly funny book, and I will definatley check it out again next time I go to the Library. From the point where Yoko supposedly said, "John wiil be mad if he finds out you have the same name as him" To the end of the book, this is FUNNY. It's so far fetched and silly I couldn't help laughing at it. I couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculous portrayal of both John AND Yoko. The guy who writes the book himself is pretty funny. I recommend this book if you're looking for a good laugh.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 4, 1998
"Starr" Kress
Book Title: Imagine: John Lennon
Book Author: Andrew Scott & Sam Egan
Forward by Yoko Ono: Published by Macmillan Books - - "Imagine" is the companion book to the Warner Brothers film of the same name. - - - - I have not yet seen the film "Imagine." But thought I had read all of the better books about John Lennon until I checked this one out of the library. "Imagine" is one of the best. The text appears to be accurate yet brief. It relies on quotes of Lennon and those in his close circle of family and friends. They are all insightful to the man behind the image. It took me about six hours to read the entire text. But, what is striking are the pictures. Lennon's whole life is told in pictures. Many of them are old and familiar friends, but there were enough new pictures to keep me anxiously turning each page. John is the little boy horsing around with school mates outside of Menlove Avenue. He is one of three rockers in black with guitars, singing wild songs. He is the fisherman showing off the catch of the day with friends Ringo, Maureen and Cynthia. He is floating in the clouds with Yoko, the girl with kaliedoscope eyes. He is the father, in awe of his son. There is an air honesty in this book, communicating the journey of a man seeking to find real life, real art, real meaning, real love.

Rating: 3.5
Feb 27, 1998
Ellenore
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
It's not a bad book. I personally think it white-washes John Lennon a little bit, but it's the best bio I've read so far. However, I wouldn't recommend this book to you unless you really want to know A LOT about John Lennon, the book's pretty big. But then again, if you didn't really want to know a lot about JL, you wouldn't be here, right? :) In other and shorter words, this book is reccomended.

Rating: 4.0
Feb 27, 1998
Kristin Turberville
Book Title: Loving John, The Untold Story
Book Author: May Pang and Henry Edwards
"Loving John" is a book about John's "lost weekend" as it is more commonly known. If you don't know about it, John was with May Pang. I liked this book...it was interesting to read anyway. This book has 334 pages and there are a bunch of pictures. It's not the best but it's an 'up close and personal with John Lennon' type of book. It cost me about $4 (USA) at a used bookstore.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 27, 1998
Kristin Turberville
Book Title: Lennon
Book Author: Ray Coleman
I think that this book was one of the best ones I have ever read. Coleman fills 596 pages with a great account of John's life. It starts when John was a child up until the time of his death. There are a lot of great pictures and there is a Chronology at the end of the book. Coleman personally knew John Lennon and he knew what he was writing about...unlike some other books I have read on John. I recomend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about John Lennon. I got my copy at a used book store for $5 (USA) so I'm not sure how much it would normally cost.

Rating: 2.5
Feb 25, 1998
Tenel Ka
Book Title: The Lost Lennon Interviews
Book Author: geoffry and brenda guiliano
I was snooping around a book store when i came across this book. it was the ONLY beatle book there. I turn to the back and there is a quote from george harrison saying "This guy knows more about my life than I do" and another from Charles Lennon (John's uncle) saying "Geoffrey Giuliano is rock 'n' roll literature." So i thought, hey if george said a good thing bout this guy, this book has got to be good. WRONG! This book is a more fiction that truth. The beginning is OK. it has newspaper articles and all the interviews given during yoko and john's peace thingie. the rest is only interviews with has-been friends and family of john(when i say that, it means they really didn't have contact with him). THe interviews are really an outlet to the person being interviewed to bitch and complain that john didn't do this, yoko did that, stuff like that. I don't suggest buying this book but buy it if you want all the press conferances given during the whole peace thingie. nice pics too. BUT, other than that, SAVE YOUR MONEY. THIS IS NOT WORTH THE $20 (canadian) THAT I GOT IT FOR!!

Rating: 4.5
Feb 25, 1998
King of Marigold
Book Title: Paperback Writer
Book Author: Mark Shipper
As this book has long been out of print, it may not be fair to list it here in the reviews section. But if you happen to see this book in a used bookstore, do not hesitate to buy it. "Paperback Writer" is the only fictional account of The Beatles as far as I know. And it's a funny book. A very funny book. It's one of the few works of fiction that I can say had me laughing out loud. There's no mistaking what Shipper had in mind, right from the cutline to the first photo: "In an exclusive interview for this book, Ringo Starr tells the entire Beatles' story to author Mark Shipper (right). Shipper then proceeds to lose his notes on his way home, which forces him to make up his own version of their story." So what happens in the world of Shipper's fictional Beatles? Paul McCartney had a solo career before joining the band, George quitting the band over religious reasons, John and Paul write a song with Bob Dylan, the film "A Hard Day's Night" becomes a drama, and John and Yoko team up with Sonny and Cher to form the Plastic Bono Band. Running jokes abound throughout the 252 pages, from where The Beatles got titles for their films, to Ringo "enjoying" hit singles every year. The cutlines to the photos are hilarious , as are the footnotes at the bottom of some pages. Lest you think Shipper is just going for the laughs, he makes some good observations about fans's expectations of the Fabs as HIS Beatles are able to reunite, record a new album and go on tour. All with what some may consider surprising results.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 24, 1998
isolation
Book Title: Revolution In THe Head
Book Author: Ian MacDonald
Published by Pimlico,London, 1995 [Revision....original Publisher Fourth Estate 1994] This is 387 pages long; 250 of these are individual descriptions of the Beatle's songs. Most are done in considerable detail, including meanings of and stories behind the songs, technical musical details etc.Each song is listed in order of the time of recording and every official Beatle's release is included.Also has a chronology of Beatle's events, a good bibliography and a discussion on the Beatles and the Sixties. I found it super interesting, probably more than any other Beatles book. Cost me $20[Aust.]

Rating: 1.5
Feb 24, 1998
King of Marigold
Book Title: The Lives of John Lennon
Book Author: Albert Goldman
The Lennon biography that fans love to hate - even if they haven't read one word of it. Vilified, scorned, even burned in Liverpool, Goldman's book is still, even at almost 10 years old, the most recent major biography about John Lennon. Words such as garabage and junk have been used to describe the book, due to its less than perfect image it portrays of Lennon, especially in the later years. The Rock Music Establishment circled the wagons when this book appeared in the summer of 1988. That said, what will you find in "The Lives of John Lennon"? Well, the least that can be said is Albert Goldman wasn't a good enough writer to make Lennon's life interesting for 699 pages. His book is negative in tone, suspect in its sources. The bulk of the book is given over to Lennon's post-Beatles career, one in which, Goldman asserts, he was manipulated by Yoko Ono and had his artistic visions compromised by others. Drug addicted, alcoholic, skin and bones is the portryal Lennon gets at the hands of a biographer who doesn't like his subject or the music he has made. That said, "Lives" does give a more detailed look at John and Yoko's early 1970s art shows and the custody battle for Yoko's daughter than other books up to that time. Not all of this much-maligned biography is to be looked down upon and outright dismissed. After all, Goldman does get a few things right: there really was a John Lennon and he was a member of The Beatles. Reading "The Lives of John Lennon" is really a test in toleranance. Those who HAVE read the book and criticize it should be congratulated. The close-minded need not apply.

 

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