Being John Lennon: A Restless Life

Being John Lennon: A Restless Life

by Ray Connolly

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An intimate yet unsparing biography of one of the greatest and most mythologized musicians of the twentieth century.

What was it like to be John Lennon? What was it like to be the castoff child, the clown at school, and the middle-class suburban boy who pretended to be a working-class hero? How did it feel to have one of the most recognizable singing voices in the world, but to dislike it so much he always wanted to disguise it?

Being John Lennon is not about the whitewashed Prince of Peace of Imagine legend—because that was only a small part of him. The John Lennon depicted in these pages is a much more kaleidoscopic figure, sometimes almost a collision of different characters.

He was, of course, funny, often very funny. But above everything, he had attitude—his impudent style somehow personifying the aspirations of his generation to question authority. He could, and would, say the unsayable. Though there were more glamorous rock stars in rock history, even within the Beatles, it was John Lennon’s attitude which caught, and then defined, his era in the most memorable way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643130910
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 11/27/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 242,796
File size: 25 MB
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About the Author

Ray Connolly has published a number of books, including Being Elvis (Liveright). He also directed the television documentary James Dean: The First American Teenager and worked with record producer Sir George Martin on the BBC television series The Rhythm of Life. He lives in London. Follow him on Twitter @rayconnolly.

Table of Contents

Author's Note xi

Foreword xiv

1 'I forgot about my father' 1

2 'I was aggressive' 8

3 'The sort of gang I led' 16

4 'I must be a genius' 21

5 'Nobody was fighting' 28

6 'The way I looked' 36

7 'What's so sad about the past' 44

8 'Paul looked about ten' 51

9 'The copper came to the door' 59

10 'The underlying chip on my shoulder' 62

11 'It was terrible' 67

12 'I ruined his life!' 74

13 'This guy who had a drum kit' 82

14 'I grew up in Hamburg' 86

15 'Women should be obscene and not heard' 92

16 'Is this what I want to do?' 97

17 'You'd call them groupies now' 104

18 'I wasn't too keen on reaching twenty-one' 108

19 'We were in a daydream' 112

20 'I was the closest to Brian' 118

21 'I looked up to Stu' 125

22 'Cyn's having a baby' 130

23 'I had to do the talking' 138

24 'We sang for twelve hours' 146

25 'The holiday was planned' 154

26 'I play a guitar, too …' 160

27 'This isn't show business' 168

28 'We just walked through it' 172

29 'A Hard Day's Night' 177

30 'A rock and roll musician' 184

31 'We were like Kings of the Jungle' 190

32 'Once you plug in and the noise starts' 201

33 'Nowhere Man' 209

34 'We're more popular than Jesus' 212

35 'It's like we're four freaks being wheeled out' 218

36 'Our lives had been threatened' 223

37 'An imaginary nail' 226

38 'Strawberry Fields Forever' 232

39 'Mick Jagger wears a codpiece' 238

40 'I was scared' 245

41 'I am the egg man' 250

42 'Flying on a magic carpet' 258

43 'I think I'm Jesus Christ' 266

44 'Someone as barmy as I am' 270

45 'Get your drums out' 274

46 'You're not worth any more' 279

47 'My prick on an album' 287

48 'We hope we passed the audition' 293

49 'It was Yoko that changed me' 299

50 'I'm leaving the Beatles' 307

51 'A crutch for the world's social lepers' 314

52 'Free means free' 320

53 'I might just as well have been a comedian' 327

54 'The radicalism was phoney' 334

55 'Imagine' is anti-religious 340

56 'New York is at my speed' 347

57 'Don't fuck with my ears' 356

58 'To finish off … we thought we'd do a number' 363

59 'If I began writing with Paul again' 370

60 'I've battled all the monsters' 374

61 'A second chance' 378

62 'Wanting to make music' 386

63 'Playing guitar and singing' 394

64 'I don't believe in dead heroes' 401

Afterword 404

After John died what happened to … 407

John Lennon's best recordings 410

Bibliography 413

Acknowledgements 415

Notes 416

Picture credits 436

Index 437

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Being John Lennon: A Restless Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
SEH59 More than 1 year ago
What you saw of John Lennon, what you've read or heard, this book will show Lennon and you will not believe. The author knew Lennon, and very well. This book is John Lennon, the real John Lennon, the Lennon the public never saw. It will take you inside Lennon, you will understand the relationship with Yoko, Paul, it was startle you. I just wish that when books are written about celebrities, they tell the real story as this book does. It lays Lennon out, no protection, no holding back, this is Lennon and not the Lennon you think you know. I enjoyed this book, I found myself shocked that he was such a person. I can say this, who he was, was the same person prior to Beatles Fame, he did not change. You will not like him after reading this book, you will not respect him. Who was the better song writer, John or Paul? The answer will surprise you. If your a Beatles Fan, best read this book, it is a must. But realize it will surprise you, shock you, make you mad, but also shows Lennon for who he really was.