Thursday, December 10, 2009
A Penny For Some Thoughts About John Lennon
I bought a book on Amazon.com for a penny. It is called "Lennon Revealed" by Larry Kane. That is Larry Kane - K - A - N - E - not Larry King. If you lived around Philadelphia PA you know that Larry Kane is a famous news anchor from the city of Brotherly Love. The local cable company piped his shows into our Valley for 30 years before the rest of the nation caught on to Cable.
Kane wrote the book in 2005. It must have not sold too well because Amazon must have a truck load left to offer the book for one cent - that is one cent and $3.99 shipping - still a super bargain.
People that watch Larry Kane think of a straight-laced friendly news man that shared the anchor desk with Jessica Savich and Joan Dinnerstein. You would hardly think of him as an expert on John Lennon of all people. But Larry prides himself as being the only newsperson to travel with the Beatles and attend every one of their concerts. He rode the Beatles' Lockheed Electra L-188 and had the pleasure of entering their personal life for a few weeks and become a lasting friend.
Clearly the founder and leader of the Beatles - John Lennon personified their image as true rock and rollers. He could be as nasty as a seaman - like his father Arty Lennon - or as personable and charming as any mother should know. Genius and bi-polar are two words that would most easily describe this martyred icon.
The book covers Lennon's life from starting the band while in secondary school. It reviews the days in Hamburg honing the craft - then the mercurial rise to be the most famous rock and roll band of all time. But most of the book deals with the breakup of the Beatles - John's marriage to Yoko Ono - his "lost weekend" with May Pang - and the re-birth of his career right before he was shot in front of his apartment in New York City.
The story focuses on his miserable effort to be a father and husband to Julian and Cynthia - and glamorizes his effort to have a nuclear family with Sean and Yoko. It dispels myths that he and Paul McCartney did not get along - even hinting at a possible reunion of the Beatles snuffed out with the tragic shooting.
A discussion of a homosexual encounter with Brian Epstein and Lennon possibly causing the death of his soulmate Stuart Sutcliff - were glossed over at best.
Having just visited Lennon's home in Liverpool and the Beatles Museum there last summer - the book was a very interesting read to me. It was ironic that I finished it on December 8th - the anniversary of the terrible day in 1980 - when John was killed. The book was published in 2005 and Kane includes many interviews with people that dealt with Lennon - mostly from the post-Beatles era. It is particularly intriguing to review the efforts of the Nixon Administration attempting to throw him out of America - claiming their reasons were a marijuana bust in London - not because of Lennon's strong following in the anti-Vietnam war movement.
The book includes a DVD of interviews - many of them including Larry Kane to prove he was really "that close" to Lennon and the Beatles. Just before Lennon's death - he left his home in New York City and took the train alone to Philadelphia for a weekend fund raiser with Kane at his TV Station. Lennon marveled at the warm personal welcome he received from the city and worked the telethon for 3 days - even doing the weather report on the evening television news. John was awakening from a "lost decade" and truly was enjoying himself not being the "blue meanie."
Then it was all over.