'One of the wittiest and sharpest writers of his generation' - Vogue
Since John Lennon's assassination in 1980 there have been only two attempts at a full-scale biography of this towering 20th century icon. Ray Coleman's two-volume portrait in the 1980s failed to get to the bottom of the story or bring John alive on the page, while Albert Goldman's malevolent and risibly ill-informed The Lives of John Lennon in 1988 can be totally discounted.
Philip Norman's John Lennon: the Life is thus the first definitive biography and the best ever likely to be written. During three years of research, Norman had access to all the major players in the story, notably John's widow, Yoko Ono, who speaks with sometimes shocking candour about the inner workings of their marriage, and their son Sean, who provides a moving reminiscence of the father he lost at the age of five. Co-operation has also come from the likes of Sir Paul McCartney; the Beatles' record-producer, Sir George Martin; and Neil Aspinall, the band's closest associate, who broke a 40-year rule not to talk to writers in speaking extensively to Norman. The book in addition has unprecedented access to never-before-seen letters, family documents, artworks and photographs. Its masterly narrative is presented with the historical sweep and literary verve that has made Philip Norman's Shout: the Beatles in their Generation a classic of biography, in any genre, since 1982
There are revelations - many of them amazing, and contrary to established myth - about every stage of John's life:
* His troubled childhood, the truth about his 'abandonment' by his father Freddie to his unstable mother, Julia, and how Julia's place was taken by his domineering Aunt Mimi, who raised the future Working-Class Hero in middle-class respectability, forbidding him to play with 'rough' children or even speak in a Liverpool accent
* The lifelong effects of his mother's tragic death when he was aged 18; in particular the sexual spell cast by Julia, which made him always regret he hadn't had an incestuous affair with her.
* The misconception that John was an inveterate truant and troublemaker at school, when in fact he was an outstanding English student whose work was used to motivate other pupils. How profoundly his creativity was shaped by books like Alice in Wonderful and, in particular, Richmal Crompton's Just William stories.
* How John met Paul McCartney in 1957, Paul's recruitment to John's first group, the Quarrymen, the disparities and strange similarities that created their perfect symbiosis as songwriters.
* The erratic progress of the Beatles from one of the least-esteemed bands in Liverpool to stars of Hamburg's red light district, the Reeperbahn; John's complicated relationship with his friend, the brilliant painter Stuart Sutcliffe; the deconstruction of the legends that John 'murdered' a sailor in Hamburg and caused Stuart's death by kicking him in the head during a drunken frenzy.
* The truth about John and the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein; how Brian persuaded John to forsake his rocker's black leather for a prissy suit; how John offered to become Brian's lover if it would help the Beatles' fortunes; the truth behind the Spanish 'honeymoon' John took with Brian only days after the birth of his first son, Julian.
* How the fame that John had longed for was quickly poisoned by the excesses of Beatlemania, when shrieking fans would not listen to his music and he was forced to kowtow to the same authority figures he had always hated. Plus brilliant critiques of John's best songs, and George Martin's fascinating account of how they evolved at Abbey Road studios. How, despite John's stupendous fame, he was still regularly berated for his long hair by Aunt Mimi, and how straitlaced Mimi herself had an unexpected love affair with a young academic rooming in her house.
* How a London celebrity dentist first turned John on to LSD in 1965, and the profound effect on his creativity, leading to song masterpieces like Strawberry Fields Forever and A Day in the Life. The boredom and sterility of his life as a 'Nowhere Man' in the Surrey suburbs, married to his first wife, Cynthia, and how his errant father, Freddie, embarrassingly re-entered his life after 17 years, plus fascinating sidelights on his life in letters from his Aunt Mimi.
* How John's frustration and discontent were largely responsible for ending the Beatles live performing career in 1966 after only three years at the top; the real story behind the infamous 'Butcher' album cover and his assertion that 'the Beatles are bigger than Jesus'; the ordeals on the road in the Philippines and the US, and John's remorse at having put his fellow Beatles in danger; his devastation, and guilt, at the death of Brian Epstein in 1967.
* Yoko's extraordinary background in one of Japan's four wealthiest families and her rejection of her heritage to become a pioneer conceptual artist; the inside story of her first meeting with John in London in 1966, and the mutual nervousness with which they circled around each other for the next two years, while John tried movie acting and playwriting and became a disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
* John's unilateral decision that Yoko should join the Beatles; the Beatles' initial tolerance of her presence in the studio; the racist abuse Yoko has to suffer in the media and from fans when her relationship with him became public; the tug-of-love over Yoko's daughter with her second husband, Tony Cox; John's almost psychotic jealousy where Yoko was concerned, and her abandonment of her artistic ambition to be with him.
* John and Yoko's emergence onto the world stage as a 'Zen Vaudeville' double act; the avant-garde filmmaking the bed-ins and 'bag-ins'; the ridiculing of John by a resentful and mystified world's press; his growing disillusionment with the Beatles business, Apple Corps, and his experiments with heroin as an attempt to escape the pressure.
* The Beatles' final breakup - not caused by Yoko, as legend has it, but deliberately engineered by John in his hiring of Allen Klein as their manager to replace Brian and sort out Apple. John's emergence as an international symbol for peace, and encounters with world leaders like Pierre Trudeau; his and Yoko's pursuit of Kyoko all over the world, which finally led to their arrest for attempted abduction in Majorca.
* John's troubled mental state, still dominated by memories of his childhood; his course in Primal Scream Therapy under Arthur Janov, leading to gut-wrenching personal testaments like Working-Class Hero and Mother; his reawakened rancour against his father, Freddie, for his supposed abandonment at the age of six; how, when Freddie wanted to write an autobiography to 'put the record straight', John threatened to have him assassinated.
* John and Yoko's emigration to New York in the 1970s; John's immersion in radical left-wing politics just as the paranoid Richard Nixon is starting to campaign for re-election; the political challenge of Lennon solo albums like Some Time In New York City; the attempts to deport John as an undesirable alien by an immigration service in cahoots with the FBI and CIA; how the hilarious ineptitude of the security services was exploited by his lawyer, Leon Wildes in finally securing him a green card.
* The truth about John's Lost Weekend when he left Yoko and moved to LA with his 'assistant', May Pang; how Yoko persuaded May to go with him and controlled the whole episode; how, despite John's supposed bachelor euphoria, he was always longing for Yoko and begging her to take him back; how his Rock 'n'Roll album was recorded amid a drunken, drug-gorging riot; the truth about the legendary moment in an LA club when he asked a waitress 'Do you know who I am?'
* How John finally reunited with Yoko in 1975, and had a son together despite Yoko's age; John's delight in looking after baby Sean and his decision to retire from music and become a 'househusband' while Yoko devoted herself to generating $25million, accumulating property, paintings, prize dairy cattle and ancient Egyptian artefacts. John's insecurity as he believed that all his former fans have forgotten him. The holiday in Japan, when he saw a photograph of Yoko's great-grandfather and decided it was himself in a former life. How a horrified Yoko answered 'Don't say that - he was assassinated.'
* How John sought to stave off a midlife crisis by a sailing trip to Bermuda, through the Bermuda Triangle, and ended up by having to steer the boat when all its professional crew became seasick. How Yoko let him go partly for fear that he'd find out she had gone back onto heroin. How proving himself on the voyage to Bermuda prompted John to end his retirement by releasing the Double Fantasy album, and stepping back into the world spotlight again. His plans for a European tour, when he would make a ceremonial return to Liverpool on the liner QE2. How two of the clairvoyants employed by Yoko prophesied that some disaster was imminent - and how John encountered his assassin-to-be, Mark David Chapman, outside the Dakota Building, the day before Chapman gunned him down. How, in an awful moment of prescience, he told Yoko, 'If anyone kills me, it'll be a fan.'
|Produto sob encomenda||Sim|
|Ano da edição||2008|