John Lennon was a dick.
That’s pretty much what I learned from Philip Norman’s John Lennon: The Life, so it’s not surprising that Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, didn’t endorse the book’s release, claiming that Norman was “mean to John” (p.820). While Ono, and many of Lennon’s comrades, claim that he was a humorous, loving, charming fellow, there’s also no denying that the man was a chauvinist, a sex fiend, a drug addict, a dubious friend, and an even worse father as far as son Julian and stepdaughter Kyoko are concerned (Fact: Lennon once almost killed them both in a car accident because he refused to do anything to fix his eyesight).
Further dampening the read is
Indeed, as an historical analyst,
But as an historian,
Given that he’s one of the most renowned and prolific songwriters of the 20th century, it’s funny how John barely figures into The Life’s first 50 pages or so. The book actually begins with the working class hero’s grandfather, also named John, an Irish musician who took part in the “first transatlantic popular music industry” (p. 4) during the late 1800s. Then the book moves to John’s parents, Alf Lennon and Julia Stanley. From there,
Again, John Lennon – The Life is a difficult, uneven (and poorly copy edited) read. The musical criticism isn’t too abundant or informative, especially during the post-Beatles years. At the same time, though, it’s not like readers need