Lengthy book excerpt: Final days of John Lennon

Here is something of note.  It is a work on the final days of famous celebrities.  In my other life I am a librarian, and I work with books all the time.  I have a fascination with books on musicians, particularly ones on facts about deceased musicians. This one happens to cover our beloved John.  Just thought I’d share this powerful and lengthy book excerpt that I came across today. 

Mitchell Fink, a former New York Daily News gossip columnist and best-selling author, has spent much of his life reporting on the inner lives of celebrities.

In his new book, “The Last Days of Dead Celebrities,” he reports on their deaths, examining 15 of Hollywood’s brightest stars, many of whom died tragically before their time. His subjects include John Lennon, Lucille Ball, John Ritter, Warren Zevon and Ted Williams.

Despite a harsh-sounding title, the book chronicles each celebrities’ physical, spiritual and emotional journeys to their final days.

You can read an excerpt of the book below:

It took a long time for John Lennon to feel comfortable in New York.

Like so many others before him, Lennon had chosen to settle in the greatest of all American cities after spending a lifetime somewhere else. New York, in any era, has always promised its new residents lives of unparalleled excitement, round-the-clock action, and enough culture and contrasting beliefs to keep them on their toes for centuries. In public, Lennon seemed to relish the idea of becoming a New Yorker. “I love New York. It’s the hottest city going. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s the fastest city on earth,” was how Beatles chronicler Geoffrey Giuliano quoted the former Beatle in his book Lennon in America.

Lennon had even told Rolling Stone in 1970 that New York was “the only place I found that could keep up with me. . . . I’m just sort of fascinated by it, like a fucking monster.”

The trouble with fucking monsters, of course, is that they can often appear in the guise of an autograph hound, and if the sixties had provided Lennon with anything, it was definitely enough autograph hounds to last a lifetime.

Despite his public pronouncements, Lennon was undoubtedly looking beyond all the noise and fascination of New York on August 13, 1971, when he and his wife, Yoko Ono, moved their belongings into three suites on the seventeenth floor of one of the city’s classic Fifth Avenue hotels, the St. Regis.

Lennon wanted something else from New York, something far more precious and comforting than the speed of the city. Being in New York was a chance, finally, for him to get lost, be anonymous, and walk among thousands of other New Yorkers, free of bodyguards, in a fatigue jacket, sunglasses, floppy hat, and with body language that politely suggested how unnecessary it would be to squeal, scream, cry, or demand an encore.

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Man found guilty of selling lost Beatles tapes.

I am a colllector of Beatle bootlegs.  I don’t have the largest collection, but it’s certainly not the smallest.  I have read tomes on bootlegs (Beatle related and not).  The thought occured to me yesterday while reading this news.  It would make a fascinating story to trace the history of these tapes.  You know, chronicle them from date recorded, to how they got released to the “public,” or in this case stolen and sold.  It reminds me of that documentary that follows the day in the life of a dollar bill and follows it around.  Oh the stories that these tapes would have.  Anyway, here’s some news on the 504 missing Get Back/Let it Be tapes….

A man was yesterday convicted of attempting to sell “lost” tapes of the Beatles’ final recording sessions for about £250,000.

Nigel Oliver, 55, from Slough, was accused of selling 504 tapes made during the historic Get Back sessions for the Beatles’ final album, Let It Be.

A jury found that Oliver, who was charged with two counts of handling stolen goods, committed the acts as charged. Oliver had previously been found unfit to plead to the charges.

During the trial, the court heard how Oliver had been caught during an undercover sting in 2003, set up by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in order to recover the tapes, which had gone missing at the end of the recordings in 1969.

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Lindsay Lohan in another Lennon film, and other Friendly Fire news.

Apparently it’s not enough that Lindsay Lohan has a role in “Chapter 27,” the forthcoming movie about John Lennon’s murder.

Now she’s acting in a short film with John’s son Sean Lennon to promote his new album.

His CD “Friendly Fire” hits stores in late September, a few days before the Grammy eligibility deadline. If it’s a hit, Sean will be following in the footsteps of older brother Julian, who scored big-time in the 1980s with his album “Valotte.” Recently, Julian told me he’s also working on a new CD and should have it finished soon.

I do want to interject here: Sean Lennon is one of the nicest celebrity children I’ve ever met. He is soft-spoken, respectful, articulate and intelligent. His mom, Yoko Ono, takes a lot of hits, especially in this column, but she was obviously a good parent.

In the short film version of “Friendly Fire,” Lohan is one of many young celebs, including Sean Lennon’s sometime girlfriend Bijou Phillips, daughter of the late John Phillips; Harper Simon, son of Paul Simon; Devon Aoki, daughter of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki; Asia Argento; Jordana Brewster and Simon’s former stepmom, Carrie Fisher.The irony in Lohan’s appearance is that in “Chapter 27,” she plays a groupie who hung out at the Dakota, where John Lennon was gunned down. Sean’s mother, Yoko Ono, still lives there, and Sean grew up there.

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