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