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Philip Norman defends new Lennon book, and Sean Lennon speaks about father.

Folks, so sorry for the lack of updates this last week.  Things have been very hectic in the real world and the blog has suffered a bit. 

It’s been interesting following the stories surrounding the upcoming blockbuster book about our faled Beatle leader, John Lennon.  The book is filled with many small stories in the life of John that we have heard glimpses of before (John lusting after his mom was first heard in the Lost Lennon Tapes radio series), and those that we have not heard about previously (John playing for the “other team” with noneother than Paul McCartney).  These sordid tales have created lots of opinion and talk on the web about the validity of Philip Norman’s upcoming book, but perhaps that just makes for good publicity.  We’ll have to see once the book comes out.

On of the most intersting pieces in the book for me, is the afterward with Sean Lennon.  In a recent article at the Huffington Post, Sean describes life at the Dakota during John’s house-husband period.  It’s hard to relive this time period through Sean’s description.  We get a portrait of his childhood, and it is told almost through the filter of a 5-year old.  It’s all the more tragic knowing the result. 

I find it fascinating that Sean is choosing now to speak about his father.  It must have been very difficult, and I think the world is much better for getting to know John in a much more intimate way.  I just find it a little strange that Yoko would allow Sean to comment on a book, that she once approved of, and has since claimed is unauthorized. 

For now, though, Norman has defended his claims on the book.  Read some of his defenses below.

Here’s what we’ve read.

Noted rock author Phillip Norman is amazed that Yoko Ono has disapproved of his upcoming 800-page biography on John Lennon: The Life, calling the book “too mean” to Lennon’s memory. As with Norman’s 1981 book, Shout! The Beatles In Their Generation, Yoko worked closely with Norman, and only after reading the finished manuscript has she disowned the project.

Norman, who is among the most revered of rock authors, can’t believe that Ono is upset over the book contents, when it was the late Beatles’widow who supplied so much of the revealing content: “In the end, it was the spirit of the book, I think, that she didn’t like. And it was surprising to me, because the book was written in the way that I’d always written about John (which was) through Yoko talking to me, which is always in this very loving but kind of exasperated sort kind of tone: ‘Oh that was so John’kind of thing — so I was astonished when she just seemed to dislike it in such totality, but I do hope that she’s going to change that view.”

Both Yoko and Paul McCartney are reportedly up-in-arms about a very brief aside in the book in which Yoko reveals that Lennon mulled over having a gay fling with McCartney. Norman contends that Yoko was very direct and forthcoming about Lennon’s willingness to explore both straight and gay sex — including a possible affair with the Beatles’manager Brian Epstein — although there is no concrete documentation that he ever acted on it: “Y’know Yoko was willing to go into this territory, to say that there was a time when John was so ambitious that he realized that John was gay, and he more or less said to Brian that if it will help, ‘You manage the group to your utmost abilities, I’m willing to go along with that.’Brian then wouldn’t take advantage of that, being innately decent and gentle as he was.”

Yoko was interviewed extensively for the book — which is the most exhaustive Lennon biography in almost 25 years — leading the way for Norman to interview McCartney, longtime Beatles right-hand man, the late Neil Aspinall, Lennon’s first cousins, his father’s second wife, and Sean Lennon.

Phillip Norman has written numerous books on the Rolling Stones, Elton John, and the Beatles. John Lennon: The Life will be released on October 8th, the day before what would have been Lennon’s 68th birthday.

Source: KBS radio


30 Responses

  1. Now, about Johns homosexuality, he said a lot about how he feels about that rumor in the 6 of december 1980 interview he made for bbc one, with Andy Peebles. He said that the rumor started when he went to spain with Brian Epstein. And in Paul´s 21 birthday party a Disc Jokey from the cavern suggested that he an Epstein had a relationship. John went mad on him and beat him up, braking his ribs. Now the intresting part of this interview is that he said something like: “Because of my reaction when somebody said i was homosexual, i think maybe i was”. Now im not saying that he is. Im saying that john was aware of that thing, and in some point in his life he thought about it…dont you think?
    To me he wasn´t.
    And the thing with Paul is just ridiculus, there is no clue that suggested that.

    p.s You can find that interview in the internet.

  2. Well, rock stars of the 60’s and 70’s used a lot of drugs and said a lot of strange things. It was the psychedelic era, artists were expected to be extreme and experimental. To push the boundaries. John Lennon died in 1980. If he was alive today, he sure would have moved with the times and changed as a person. And viewed life, present and past, with a different perspective. Like all pop/rock-survivors of that period. To paint a new face on a dead person who lived in an era that’s dead and gone, is just rubbish. Lennon can’t even defend himself. And that’s just cruel. – Half of what I say is meaningless, he sang in 1968. Believe it.

  3. As I’ve said before, none of this is new to me. If you’ve ever read Albert Goldman’s Book “The Lives of John Lennon.” written in the 1980s, it also paints John in a negative light, so nothing after reading that book surprises me. John was a rock star and he was willing to try alot of different things including drugs, and yes, he probably tried experimental sex whether it be straight or gay. He was one to wonder “What if I….” Whatever… It was the 60s, the time of free love, sexual experimentation and so forth as well as using drugs to expand the mind or add to the sexual experimentation. Plus he had women and men who threw themselves at him on a regular basis. Who is to say what really happened? As far as his behavior goes towards his wives, and children, I’m leaving that one alone. There have been parents in this world that have been far worse in their offenses towards their families, but it doesn’t excuse abuse of any form in my eyes, however John suffered from depression, bulimia, malnutrition, alcohol, cocaine and heroin addiction. He didn’t handle alcohol well from reports. He was still dealing with confusion from his childhood and loss of his mother and other close friends like Stuart Sutcliffe. And if that isn’t enough to cause someone to act out or change moods erratically, I don’t know what is. Now, I’m not defending bad behavior on anyone’s part but part of John’s redeeming qualities was that he realized that he could be a bastard at times and tried to make it up to people. He just really wanted to be loved unconditionally but often made it hard for those closest to him to do that at times. It seems the people who are closest to you are often the people you treat the worst and push away sometimes. Its sad, but it happens.
    As I mentioned in another post, I would have liked to have met him in his forties because I think, age matures people and gives them insight. Of course, that never was going to happen because someone shot him that December night in 1980. So, in closing, just remember that John can’t be here to rebuke any of this or confirm it. But I think he would be honest in any case and that is another quality that was endearing about him to his close friends, bandmates, family and associates from reports. I think he would have taken care of his family much better (English and those in the states) had he lived. I think he would have made amends to those he had wronged in some way. I firmly feel his life would have gone in that direction. Sadly, I never met the man but I get the sense that this would have happened. You can take it or leave it. I’ll still listen to his music and remember him as a musician who brought great music into my life as a Beatle and as a solo artist.

    • I just love how people assume things. How can you possibly know what John Lennon would have done had he lived. Very ignorant on your part.

      • it’s been a long time since I wanted to read this.
        I agree with you .
        How can you possibly know what John Lennon would have done had he lived

  4. I never heard of PN –john wrote good songs, period.

  5. I have the exact quote from John’s BBC interview with Andy Peebles referred to above, and John’s words were much vaguer than xyzman implies. Here’s John’s quote: “I mean the Beatles first national coverage was me beating up Bob Wooller, at Paul’s 21st party because he intimated I was homosexual. I must have had a fear that maybe I was homosexual to attack him like that and it’s very complicated reasoning. But I was very drunk and I hit him and I could have really killed somebody then. And that scared me.”

  6. hello it is test. WinRAR provides the full RAR and ZIP file support, can decompress CAB, GZIP, ACE and other archive formats.

  7. Hi, Philip. Wow! what a book and what a good read. I’m 58 and I remember the Beatles thoroughly through the life of the band especially from ’65 on. Thank you for this book. I’ve been reading it since Christmas Day and as soon as I started I told my wife that it is well written.

    I agree with Yoko that John does appear mean in the book but I believe you in that I think he had his mean moments. Yoko is probably filled with sentimental nostalgia. The homo things well, I just don’t know what to think about that although you didn’t come right out and say he had flings with men. He probably did though because the old adage ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ is relative I think. I loved the little bit about the boat ride he had to Bermuda in June 1980. That was rich material I thought.

    I was a fan and am one still of the Beatles and of John and am wondering if you will attempt a bio on George Harrison now? Anyhow, take care Philip and thank you so much I enjoyed it from cover to cover.

    Duane Graves.

  8. I’m reading the book now, it’s a damn good read about the most influential human of our lifetime

  9. an excellent read. lennon was both a genius and an extrovert. together with his wicked sense of humour it will be a while before we see another character like him come along.

  10. I’m confused! Throughout this book I read over and over how John had such a terrible early life which was influential in establishing his character. He didn’t have such a bad youth. He was adored, pampered, indulged and from this spoilage he “matured” (and I use the word ever so sarcastically) as an abuser. He was tolerated because he was feared. What I find so incredulous is that we have all but deified this person when in reality he was a spoiled brat for the vast majority of his life (and to think that I once admired this guy and wept like a child when the news of his death reached me). He was unethical, immoral and lacked even the shreds of decency. Considering the Eastern Mysticism he supposedly studied he sure as hell missed the finer points and manipulated the remainder to suit his own wants. Throughout his life he did not possess an honorable bone in his body. The way he treated Cynthia and his first born was abominable, yet he justified his behavior and everybody forgave him, La-De-Da, because he was John Lennon. Sad!
    I grew up in the ghetto of Brooklyn New York. Evicted as a child by insensitive parents I slept in alleys and ate out of trash cans. I finally enlisted in the military at the tale end of ‘Nam simply as a means to survive. I’ll match the adversities of my youth against Lennon’s cushy existence anyday and I grew out of this environment without drugs, or addictions of any sort. Why do we tend to idolize drug experiementation and excessive usage amongst our dubious “heroes” when all that nonsense is nothing more than a crutch to escape from reality and then blame whatever occurs as a result on the usage itself? Cowardice, plain and simple!
    Then along comes Yoko; another pampered child who honestly believes that her irritating singing voice, illogical life views, input and impressionistic “art” had any redeeming value whatsoever. The two of these people come together and compliment each other perfectly because they are cut from the same cloth.
    I will continue to admire the musical artist/poet who in his later life produced classic songs of immortal heart wrenching noteworthiness, however I have ceased to respect the person who could find humor in the physical disabilities of another human being or yell in the face of a child seeking his father’s loving attention. This man was a scoundrel, plain and simple and the total opposite of the characters he portrays in his work.

    • I totally agree with your views. Especially how John and Yoko are cut from the same cloth. She is from a wealthy Japanese family and had no idea what poverty is all about. They were both narcissistic self indulgent people who looked down upon other people who did not share their views on life. Musically he was a genius along with Paul. Personally he was a s__t.

    • I could’ve not written better.

    • John Lennon is a great example of people can change and are not fixed to be a certain way as a man or a woman.Yoko changed John into a much better person as a pro-feminist man and the feminist changes *are* for the better, and many pro-feminist men have recognized this too! They say it has freed them and allowed them to develop and express more of all of the shared common *human* traits,emotions,behaviors,abilities and reduce and prevent male violence against women and children etc. Definitions of “masculine” and “feminine” differ across time periods, and in different societies.

      John Lennon is a great example of how feminism changing limited artificial gender definitions and roles,changed him for the much better. John as a child and teenager had a lot of traumas that permanently psychologically damaged him,but because of his and Yoko’s beautiful loving relationship,and as he said she was a feminist before he met her,(and he said that because she was a feminist before he met her,they were going to have to have a 50/50 equal relationship which he never had before) he went in to primal scream therapy and Yoko went with him and he dealt with all of his pain and anger for the very first time at age 29.

      When John was a young guy,he was often drunk getting into fist fights with men,hitting women,and womanizing including cheating on his girlfriends and then his first wife Cynthia.Of course Paul,George and Ringo did the same with all of the groupies all 4 of them had while touring from 1963-1966. I hadn’t watched these Mike Douglas shows in years until December 2010 when it was the 30th anniversary of John’s tragic crazy murder.

      Out of the 5 Mike Douglas shows that John and Yoko co-hosted for a week that was taped in January 1972 and aired in February,a young criminal lawyer Rena Uviller(she went on to become a Supreme Court Judge) who worked with juveniles was on, and she,Mike Douglas,John and Yoko were discussing the then very recent women’s liberation movement. George Carlin was on too.

      Rena said,she agrees with Yoko,that the idea of Women’s lib is to liberate all of us,and she said ,I mean we could talk hours on the way men really suffer under the sex role definitions.Yoko agreed with what she said too. Rena said that men don’t really realize they have only to gain from Women’s Lib,and that she thinks that maybe with a little more propaganda we can convince them.

      John then said,yeah there is a lot to gain from it,just the fact that you can relax and not have to play that male role,he said we can do that,and he said that I can be weak,( but notice how then in a male dominated gender divided,gender stereotyped,sexist society,and even unfortunately still now in a lot of ways,the “female” role was defined as the weak one,and the male role as the strong one) I don’t have to protect her all the time and play you know that super hero,I don’t have to play that,she allows me to be weak sometimes and for me to cry,and for her to be the strong one,and for me to be the weak one. John then said,and it really is a great relief,after 28 years of trying to be tough,you know trying to show them,I don’t give a da*n and I’m this and I’m that,to be able to relax.and just be able to say,OK I’m no tough guy forget it.

      Rena then said,I think in some funny way,I think girls even as children,have a greater lattitude because a little girl can be sort of frilly and feminine or she can be a tomboy and it’s acceptable,but a little boy if he’s not tossing that football,there’s a lot of pressure on him.John said,there’s a lot of pressure,not to show emotion,and he said that there was a lot of pressure on me not to be an artist,to be a chemist and he said he discussed this on another Mike Douglas episode.

      Rena said that unfortunately some of the leaders in the Women’s Liberation movement fall victim to being spokesmen,for Women’s Lib, and yet at least in public personality they seem to really have a certain amount of contempt for the hair curled housewife and there is a kind of sneering contempt,and she said I think it’s a measure of their own lack of liberation.And Yoko said it’s snobbery,and Rena said yeah,they really don’t like other women,but I’m sympathetic,and Mike Douglas then said a sexist woman-hating statement,saying,well women don’t like other women period.Rena said,no see that’s very unliberated and Yoko said, in response to what Mike Douglas said,that’s not true,that’s not true.And John said,you see they are brought up to compete with men.

      Yoko said that even though in Japan they say they don’t have much of a woman problem and women already had some liberation,there is still a long way to go that she really agrees with Rena that so many female liberation movement people basically hate women,and we have to first start to understand women and love them whether they are housewives or not,and she said that snobbery is very bad and we have to somehow find out a way to co-existing with men,and she asked Rena don’t you think so and she said most definitely. George Carlin said,that actually many successful women are acting out male roles just like a lot of blacks think they escaped are acting out white roles.John also said that he thinks that women have to try twice as hard as to make it as men,and he said you know they have to be on their toes much more than a man.

      On another Mike Douglas episode from the same week,former actress and acclaimed film maker Barbara Loden was on and Yoko had requested her as a guest.John asked her ,Did you have any problems working with the men,you know like giving them instructions and things like that and Barbara said,I did, but I think it was because I was afraid that they would not accept what I said,and I wasn’t quite that authoritative in my own self.John said it’s certainly a brave thing to do,and Yoko said it is.

      Mike Douglas asked Yoko if John’s attitude had changed much towards her since The Female Liberation Movement,and at first Yoko says John’s attitude from the beginning was the same,and that they met on that level.John then says,twice, I was a male chauvinist and Yoko says,yes he was a male chauvinist but,and then John says,Can I say how you taught me,and Yoko says yes.John says,How I did it in my head was,would I ask Paul or George,or would I treat them the way I would treat a woman? John then said,it’s a very simple thing maybe it’s fetch that or do that ,and I started thinking if I said that to them,they’d say come on get it yourself,and if you put your wife or your girl friend in the position of your best friend,and say now would I say that to him,then you know when you’re treading on some delicate feelings.

      Mike Douglas said years later that after this week of John and Yoko co-hosting his show,many young people who had never watched his show before,(and his main audience was middle America and people older than their 20’s and even mostly their 30’s) told him they loved the show,and that it was great and his ratings went up high for those shows.Even if John didn’t always live up to his feminist ideals and beliefs in his personal life,(although he did with Yoko because of her and this why and how he emotionally evolved into a caring,nurturing,house husband and father to Yoko and Sean),just the fact that he spoke out as a man in support of the feminist movement on a popular TV show back in early 1972 when most of the sexist male dominated woman-hating society looked down at it and considered it crazy which in some ways it’s still unfortunately wrongly misunderstood(and it’s really the male dominated,sexist,woman-hating society that has always been so wrong and crazy!),and the fact that John was (and still is) greatly admired and influential to many young people male and female,he did *a lot* to legitimize it and show it was rational,reasonable,needed and right!

      A few months later he was performing Woman Is The Ni**er Of The World on The Dick Cavett Show and then months after that live in Madison Square Garden.In his very last radio interview done by Dave Sholin etc from RKO Radio just hours before he was tragically shot and killed, John said I’m more feminist now than I was when I sang Woman Is The N**ger,I was intellectually feminist then but now I feel as though at least I’ve put not my own money,but my body where my mouth is and I’m living up to my own preachings as it were.

      He also said what is this BS men are this way, women are that way,we’re all human.He had also said that he comes from the macho school of pretense of course *all* men really are they are just too conditioned all of their lives to realize and admit it.And he said that men are trained to be like they are in the army,and that it’s more like that in England but he knows it’s this way over here too,he said that they are taught as boys and men don’t react,don’t feel,don’t cry,and he said he thinks that’s what screwed us all up and that he thinks it’s time for a change.

      Barbara Graystark of Newsweek interviewed John September 1980 and part of what she said to John is,You’ve come a long way from the man who wrote at 23,”Women should be obscene rather than heard.” And she asks John how did this happen? And John said that he was a working-class macho guy who was used to being served and Yoko didn’t buy that. John then said that from the day he met Yoko,she demanded equal time,equal space,equal rights. He said that he said to Yoko then,don’t expect him to change in any way and don’t impinge on his space. John said that Yoko said to him then she can’t be here because there’s no space where you are everything revolves around him and that she can’t breath in that atmosphere. John then says in this interview that he’s thankful to her for the education.


    • Mike Douglas also said to John and Yoko, You’re both so different, you had such different childhoods. John said, it’s incredible isn’t it? Yoko said, Yes! Mike asked, What do you think has attracted you to each other? Yoko said, We’re very similar. John then said, She came from a Japanese upper-middle class family. Her parents were bankers and all that jazz,very straight. He said they were trying to get her off with an ambassador when she was 18.You know, now is the time you marry the ambassador and we get all settled. I come from a an upper-working class family in Liverpool, the other end of the world. John then said, we met but our minds are so similar,our ideas are so similar. It was incredible that we could be so alike from different environments, and I don’t know what it is, but we’re very similar in our heads. And we look alike too!

      Mike also asked John about his painful childhood,and how his father left him when he was 5,and John said how he only came back into his life when he was successful and famous(20 years later!),and John said he knew that I was living all those years in the same house with my auntie,but he never visited him.He said when he came back into his life all those years later,he looked after his father for the same amount of time he looked after him,about 4 years.

      He also talked about how his beloved mother Julia,who encouraged his music by teaching him to play the banjo,got hit and killed by a car driven by an off duty drunk cop when John was only 17 and just getting to have a relationship with her after she had given him away to be raised by her older sister Mimi when he was 5.

      And John also said,And in spite of all that,I still don’t have a hate-the-pigs attitude or hate-cops attitude.He then said, I think everybody’s human you know,but it was very hard for me at that time,and I really had a chip on my shoulder,and it still comes out now and then,because it’s a strange life to lead .He then said,But in general ah,I’ve got my own family now …I got Yoko and she made up for all that pain.

      John’s psychologist Dr. Arthur Janov told Mojo Magazine in 2000( parts of this interview is on a great UK John Lennon fan site,You Are The Plastic Ono Band) that John had as much pain as he had ever seen in his life,and he was a psychologist for at least 18 years when John and Yoko saw him in 1970! He said John was a very dedicated patient. He also said that John left therapy too early though and that they opened him up,but didn’t get a chance to put him back together again and Dr. Janov told John he need to finish the therapy,he said because of the immigration services and he thought Nixon was after him,he said we have to get out of the country.John asked if he could send a therapist to Mexico with him,and Dr. Janov told him we can’t do that because they had too many patients to take care of,and he said they cut the therapy off just as it started really,and we were just getting going.

      Also this great article by long time anti-sexist,anti-men’s violence,anti-pornography former all star high school football player and author of the great,important 2006 book,The Macho Paradox:How Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help, Jackson Katz.John Lennon on Fatherhood,Feminism,and Phony Tough Guy Posturing http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/john-lennon-on-fatherhood_b_800333.html

      Also Cynthia Lennon is quoted in the great John Lennon biography Lennon,by award winning music journalist and former editor of The Melody Maker Magazine and good friend of John’s for 18 years,Ray Coleman as saying somethings like she knew as soon as she saw John and Yoko together she knew that she lost him,and that it was a meeting of the minds and that she knew that they were right for each other.She also said that she told John before he started his relationship with Yoko that she sees and incredible similarity between him and Yoko and said to him that there is something about her that is just like you.She told him that he may say that she’s this crazy avant garde artist and that he’s not interested in her,but that she can see more into John’s future with Yoko then he can.

    • In this January 1971 interview with Red Mole John says that Yoko was well into liberation before he met her and that she had to fight her way through a man’s world and he said the art world is completely dominated by men and said so Yoko was full of revolutionary zeal when they met. Then John said there was never any question about it that they had to have a 50-50 relationship or there was no relationship and he said he was quick to learn and he said that Yoko did an article in Nova more than two years back in which she said Woman is the Ni**er of the world. A year later he co-wrote with Yoko the song Woman Is The N*gger of The World,and bravely performed it live on The Dick Cavett show and at Madison Square Garden in 1972 and the song was banned off a lot of radio stations.

      John also says in this same interview that it’s very subtle how you’re taught male superiority.


    • I haven’t read this book, but I first read the excellent,empathetic book,Lennon by award winning music journalist and former Melody Maker editor Ray Coleman in 1985, a few years ago I got the updated version,and I still believe it’s the most accurate and the most to be trusted.

      Ray met John as an early Beatle in 1962,and he remained good friends with John right till the end, and he spent a lot of time with him and interviewed him over these 18 years. He does report John’s bad sides and behavior,but he also knew and reports his good sides and qualities and he totally understands John and how he was psychologically damaged by the traumas in his childhood and teens and how he worked on himself and changed for the better especially during his last 5 years of his life. He says in the introduction,that to know John was to love him,Phillip Norman never really knew John and wasn’t a friend!

      Also if Philip Norman did such a ”good job” on this John biography,then why do quite a few people say in reviewing it that John was a horrible insensitive person and that reading the book made them hate John!? Like this review on Barnes and Noble.com titled,A good Read But Drags On, that says that John was a horrible insensitive person and that he made fun of black,gay,and mentally and physically disabled people(this was when John was a *very young psychologically messed up guy*!),and said he deserved to survive the bullets and be a brain damaged quadriplegic!

      http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/john-lennon-philip-norman/1100555558?ean=9780060754020#reviews-header >:D :-X (puke)

      It’s very obvious that Philip Norman writes a lot of sensationalism a lot that isn’t even true to sell his books! He’s probably going to do the same thing with his new Paul biography too unfortunately.

    • John Lennon said in his very last radio interview (just hours before he was so cruelly, insanely shot and killed by a crazy,horrible piece of sh*t who used to be a big Beatles fan since he was a teenager, and John was his favorite Beatle) that like most young men he was more involved with his career than with his children,and he said he regretted not spending enough time with Julian. He also said that he and Julian would have a relationship in the future but sadly they both were deprived of this.

      And John didn’t do the same horrible thing to Julian that his father did to him. John’s father literally totally abandoned him and literally didn’t see, or talk to John from the time he was 5,until he was a successful famous 24 year old.John did see Julian sometimes, and spoke with him on the phone and sent him post cards,birthday and Christmas cards and presents and he bought Julian a guitar when he was 11 as a Christmas present. John’s father never did any of these things and John said it was like his father was dead.

  11. Mr. Norman, enjoyed reading your book while recovering from surgery. You must have spent years doing the research, don’t you think ecco could have been more careful proofreading your work before sending it out? I found 5 copy mistakes that they ought to correct for the next printing. Mistakes:
    1. p. 8, 4th paragraph, 4th line reads: it was merely for an dull job. Should be “a” dull.
    2. p. 329, 1st para, 4th line reads: John, and a female third party ended up bed together, should be “in” bed together.
    3. p. 539, 2nd para, 9th line reads: parents home, Julian was packed off stay with Dot, the housekeeper. Should be: packed off “to” stay with Dot, the housekeeper.
    4. p.638, 2nd para, 9th line reads: teens,he sometimes used be in Julia’s room with her when she had a. Should be used “to” be.
    5.p. 701, 2nd line reads: John put on record, he urged him soften his persona by public. Should be: urged him “to” soften.
    I wouldn’t doubt there are probably more errors and if ecco would like to hire me to go through the book with a finer tooth comb, please contact me.
    Mr.Norman, hope you read this. I just thought you should know about their sloppy work.

    • hello joanne

      i noticed one even more glaring mistake. in the 2009 version that i have, in page 500, mr norman had mistakenly attributed the singing of ” altogether…everybody…” in “all you need is love” to john.

      it was, in fact, paul that sang these two words.

      this couldn’t have been a typo or printing error. no fault to the proofreader too.

      indeed, john sang the whole song and the last bit “she loves you yeah yeah yeah” mockingly.


  12. Mr. Norman,
    You mention ‘meet the wife’ in Good Morning,Good Morning but assume it means tea in the morning, whereas it’s clear that the day has been gone through by the time this line appears and Meet the Wife refers to a sitcom in the early evening on TV starring Peggy Mount.

  13. I just finished reading Mr. Norman’s book. I also read Shout. He’s quite a talent. Anyway, this is mainly for Yoko: if you should read this I think you should reconsider your negative view of Mr. Norman’s book. No one is perfect, certainly not John Lennon. And Mr. Norman was fair: He debunked the long-told tale about the waitress insulting John at the club in L.A. didn’t he. It was a fair and well researched biography. I was a fan of John’s. I went to a record store every few days for two weeks before I finally got a copy of Double Fantasy. When John died I lived in New Orleans. There was no Dakota to go to share my grief. I drove by Sea-Saint studios where Paul McCartney recorded Venus and Mars thinking there might be a flag at half-staff or something. No such luck. Anyway, my point is I’m still a fan of John’s and his great talent. Mr. Norman’s bio in no way diminished that. So, Yoko, if you read this, please consider that you might be wrong about your negative view of Mr. Norman’s work.

  14. John was obviously a spoiled brat and did not have such a terrible childhood. He was in fact well looked after by his Aunt.

    By the way Mr. Norman Mosport is not in Quebec as stated in the book but near Bowmanville in Ontario.

    Please get your facts correct.

    I do still love the Beatles music at age 67, their personalities aside.

    • hello sue

      thought i’d share this with you too.

      quote –
      “hello joanne

      i noticed one even more glaring mistake. in the 2009 version that i have, in page 500, mr norman had mistakenly attributed the singing of ” altogether…everybody…” in “all you need is love” to john.

      it was, in fact, paul that sang these two words.

      this couldn’t have been a typo or printing error. no fault to the proofreader too.

      indeed, john sang the whole song and the last bit “she loves you yeah yeah yeah” mockingly.

      chanhongseng@yahoo.com” – endquote

  15. […] 15 Aug 2007 by Willard HARRY & JOHN March Of Dimes Walk-A-Thon (1974) 13 Apr 2007 by Willard Philip Norman defends new Lennon book, and Sean Lennon speaks about father. 21 Sep 2008 Through the Lives 26 Jul 2009 by – var mLink = null; var mProvider = null; […]

  16. Why doesn´t anybody write something about the similariries in music between Lennon and Wagner?
    Lennon´s musical inovations before Yesterday, and just calls it Chuck Berry-like rock n´roll?Lennon´s sexual status is absolutly unintresting.

    Why doesn´t anybody write something about the real cause to the Beatles split? So it was:

    The y o u t h discovered the Beatles, the n e w excitement in Lennon´s Please please me, their first number one single in February 1963. lennon´s music was dominating in the singles, the albums and the films during the years 1963-1965, or with other words, before Yesterday. But the public, or the people outside the inner circle, didn´t know that lennon was the composer.

    Everything changed with Yesterday in the Help-album in August 1965. Now at length the elder generation and the e s t a b l i s h m e n t discovered the Beatles, or rather McCartney. The establishment has the interpretation prerogative. The whole world was informed that mcCartney was the composer of Yessterday.
    The establishment–among them George Martin–could easier understand a conventional song like Yesteray with strings and a AABA-structure as the songs by Cole Porter and Irwing Berlin than the dynamic songs in the Beatles before Yesterday. George Martin started the rumor that McCartney was the composer in the Beatles.
    George Martin always (not nowadays) talked about Lennon´s music with less regard. George Martin damaged Lennon´s selfconfidense and contributed to the split.

    From autumn 1965 the media, reviewers, publishing houses and encyclopedias started to regard McCartney as the composer ij the Beatles. Harrison said that McCartney “thought he was Beethoven” (Giles Smith in The Beatles, paperback writer, 2009). “Yesterday got to his head”, said Lennon (Ray Coleman in his book Lennon, 1984 and 1995). When fotographing the group, McCartney started to place himself in front of the others to demontrate that he was the Beatles. (Read the long interview with Lennon in New York City on 8th December 1970).

    There are or were an unnumerable amount of encyclopedia where Lennon was regarded as the composer and Lennon perhaps the lyricwriter. Some examples.
    New York Review of Books 1968,
    The Penguin Stereo Record Guide first edition,
    Das grosse lexikon der musik 1978,
    The New Grove 1980.

    When the album Revolver was reviewed in the swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, in August 1966, it was written that McCartney not only had composed all music, he had even made all the arrangements.
    As late as 1991 Peter Gammond placed a l l songs to McCartney.

    When making and finishing the work with the film Let it be McCartney ordered the filmmakers to have focus on himself. Lennon got enough and left the Beatles in September 1969. (Again, read the interview from 8th of December 1970).
    In 1971 McCartney said: “Lennon-McCartney is only a myth, it´s all mine”.

    The first one who realised that McCartney tried to get the impression that he had created more than he actually did, was Albert Goldman in his book 1988. He was even the first who took up Lennon´s frustration that “everybody thinks that Paul and George Martin did all music”.

    The way the media, publishers and so on, with help from George Martin and McCartney is one of the biggest scandals in Music History. It can be compared with the situation when Otto Hahn instead of Lise Meitener got the Nobel prize for the discovery of nuclear fission 1944.

    Not until i the 1990s got the public information who composed what in rhe Beatles, by a lot of books. And now the public really realised the musically genius in John Lennon.
    But McCartney was worried that Lennon got too much praise. He made some important statesment, seemingly bagatelly, and the establishement bought what he said, as usual. Lennon and Harrison are dead, nobody can control what he sais.
    Now the latest books has again, a little, begun to regard McCartney as a kind of musically head person in the Beatles.It´s grotesque. Mostly the authors don´t make any own researches, they only write what others have written, and certain faults can last forever.

    McCartney´s explanation to the reason why they changed to “Lennon-McCartney” is bullshit.
    Because McCartney wrote “Love me do”, they called it “McCartney-Lennon”. But when Lennon had composed Please please me, the A-bit in From me to you, the number one singles for Billy J. Kramer, Do you want to know a secret? and Bad to me, in the spring of 1963 and most of She loves you in the summer 1963, Lennon decided, now it´s time to change to “Lennon-McCartney”.

    I cannot see that Philip Norman writes anything about Lennon´s materpiece Bad to me–the wonderful middle part!– the summer 1963 hit. when people write about McCartney, the never miss any mcCartney-success.
    There is tremdous of things I would say about pure Lennon music, but today I only say: When McCartney composed Yesterday 1965, he could have, without knowing it, been inspired by Lennon´s Do you want to know a secret? from August 1962.

    Above I have been critic to McCartney and the establishement. Therfor it will not be accepted. it will atways go McCartney´s way.
    But i have sources for almost all of it.

    Johan Cavalli

  17. John lenom sem duvida foi um homossexual que nao teve chance de viver sua própria orientação sexual, aí entra a figura de Yoko ono, sendo que Yoko talvez foi nada mais que um poderoso ARMARIO que blindou a imagem desse cantor como heterossexual, mas também pudera os Beatles eram apologistas pessoais ao heterosexismo, e lembrando que após ficar viuvo Paul foi o que levou o maior ferro com um segundo casamento cuja mulher depenou sua fortuna, fato que o obriga a fazer turnês baratas (se considerarmos a fama que tem), pois todo mundo sabe que no alge da fama os Beatles nunca considerou vir ao Brasil dar shows mesmo sabendo que aqui estavam os seus maiores fans em número e em grau.

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