I recently finished the latest John Lennon biography, which my parents got me for Hanukkah. It was good. Not the greatest book, but I did read it in record time and am sad that it's over, so I think I liked it A LOT more than I realize. Overall thoughts:
1. It's good to be a millionaire. Actually, it's GREAT to be a millionaire. He did whatever he wanted whenever he wanted to.
2. The whole story makes me so sad. His parents made him pick between mom and dad. His dad leaves him after that. His uncle, one of the only men who showed him any love, dies when he's young. His mom dies. Then his best friend dies. He never gets to see his sons grow up. so sad.
3. Part of what is so sad is that he himself caused so much sadness. He basically abandons Julian at a young age just like his own father did to him. He's unbelievably cruel to his ex-wife and dissolves friendships that had lasted for years. No warning, no looking back, see ya.
4. John talks about his time during Sgt. Pepper's recording as his 'fat Elvis' period. He lived in the suburbs, left in the afternoon to got to work, getting stoned on the way. He'd make music all night, then come home to his wife and child. Get up the next day and do it all again. Sounds like heaven.
5. After everything I've read, I have a much greater respect for Yoko. John broke up the Beatles to dedicate his energies to her. In turn, he took over her creativity. Almost everything they did together started off as her idea, though she never gets credit. She loses all credibility in the art world and become a world-wide object of hatred. Any work she has done since she met John has been forgotten, all because she fell in love with a guy she didn't even know was famous.
6. In the early 70's, John was paranoid. He was getting sued by his former best friend Paul, undergoing therapy to deal with his childhood, and hooked on methadone (after getting off heroin, which he convinced Yoko to do with him after she had already quit). He even threatened his father's life, when he said he wanted to write a book. It was after this period that he became a target of the Nixon administration. Just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you.
7. John used to wonder why more people covered Paul's songs than his own. I think it's because John's are more personal; not many people can do them justice. Also, the recordings are kind of sloppy. He never wanted to spend too much time on any song, anxious to move on to the next. Paul, on the other hand, was a perfectionist and made sure each note was right.
8. John loved cats and always had a bunch where ever he lived. He never wore shoes, maybe flip flops. The book says that he would stand in his NYC kitchen and all the cats would come up to him and rub against his feet. He called his Aunt Mimi, who had raised him. They say he started to look and act just like her.
9. Sean wrote that in the end, he and Yoko had very few friends. As Sean, wrote in the book, they burned a lot of bridges. There was them, and everyone else was an employee.