John Lennon . . . as much a part of our world today as he ever was
He touched many lives in his brief forty years, and continues to move and inspire millions more to this day. Now, invited by Yoko Ono, friends, family, and fans from all walks of life—including some of the great artists of our day—reminisce about Lennon as a visionary and friend, musician and performer, husband and father, activist and jokester.
In their own words and drawings, poems and photos, Lennon's life from his childhood through the Beatles years to the happiness and tragedy of his final days become stunningly vivid.
Intimate glimpses gathered from musicians who knew John, such as Pete Townshend, Sir Elton John, Billy Preston, and Joan Baez; friends and relatives such as producer David Geffen, publicist Elliot Mintz, and cousin Mike Cadwallader; and artists who followed him such as Bono, Alicia Keys, Steve Earle, Jello Biafra, and Carlos Santana.
And, for the first time, renowned photographer Annie Liebovitz presents every frame of the historic last session with John and Yoko.
Memories of John Lennon is a rich and deeply felt appreciation of a truly great man.
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Twenty-five years after his death is still too soon for Yoko Ono to write about life with her famous husband. "I could not open that part of my heart while it's still shaking," she writes in her introduction to Memories of John Lennon, and so the long-awaited inside story of one of the last century's great romances remains untold. Instead, Ono solicited material from over 70 of Lennon's friends, contemporaries, and admirers, and is marking that terrible anniversary with a collection of their reminiscences. (Notably absent are Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Lennon's first wife, Cynthia, who just wrote her own book on their decade together.)As might be expected, there is a fair amount of hero-worship in these pages--Paul Reiser and Nils Lofgren both call the Beatle a "friend I never met," and B-52s singer Kate Pierson admits to considering him "practically a mythological figure." Some, too, choose to memorialize him in poem, art, or song, none of which particularly resonate. But the book is not without its share of engaging moments, most of which come from those who actually spent time with Lennon. Family confidant Elliot Mintz writes of the devoted husband, "how he used to brush [Yoko's] hair...or when we'd be going out to a restaurant and she would put her coat on and he would adjust her collar so that it would look pretty and frame her face." Double Fantasy drummer Andy Newmark remembers the spirited musician, exhorting him to simplify his fills and just "play like Ringo." Donovan recalls days with the Maharishi in Rishikesh, teaching Lennon to finger-pick his guitar and hearing "Julia" and "Dear Prudence" as they were composed. Others cover the political activist, compassionate friend, and loving father. Memories of John Lennon can hardly be called a balanced portrait of the man, but neither is it all dull hagiography. Worth a look, though it may not be essential reading. --Benjamin Lukoff About the Author:
Yoko Ono is a musician and multimediaartist. She lives in New York City.
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