For the last Wednesday Review of 2015, I am reviewing another one of the books in the "Beatles in the News" series. If you recall, I reviewed one of these books earlier in the year. The one I bought previously was about the Beatles in 1964. This time I decided to go the solo route and bought John Lennon in the News 1969-1975. Like the 1964 Beatles one, the John Lennon version has direct copies of newspaper and magazine articles from the UK written about John Lennon. And once again I have to thank C. Barratt for doing these books. It really is an amazing the work he is doing to preserve the newspaper articles about the Beatles. As an ammeter Beatles historian, I do not have the availability to look up all of the newspaper and magazine articles about the Beatles that I need. And C. Barratt has done all of the work for us. He has taken the time and money to secure the rights to publish these articles from England thus saving many of us time and money to track them down ourselves. Pretty amazing. Now let's look specifically at the John Lennon In the News Book.
I really enjoyed this book. Remember my complaint about the Beatles 1964 version that it wasn't in chronological order? Well---the John Lennon one is pretty close to being in order. It starts with the bed-in in 1969, goes along to John as an activist, into the Lost Weekend and finishes off with Sean's birth and the end of John's immigration troubles. I actually would consider this book to be the perfect companion piece to Lennonology as it truly goes hand-in hand with the day-by day account of John and Yoko. It would be interesting to read the two books together and see what you can learn.
There is a wealth of information in Lennon in the News. Articles that I have never read before and most likely most Americans haven't read either. I especially enjoyed the interviews with Aunt Mimi--I love how she told it like it was. You do not get to read very many articles where Mimi was interviewed about John, so it was a treat. I also especially enjoyed the Lost Weekend time and the reviews of Walls and Bridges. The first hand account of the Smother's Brother's fiasco of 1974 is a must read for all Lennon fans!
Once again I had some issues reading the small print in the book. There was one particular article that I just was unable to read because I thought the print was too tiny. I only point this out because I know a few readers out there have eye problems and cannot read small print. It might be best for those of you who have this difficulty to get the e-book version of the book, and you can magnify the articles. There were also places where the original newspaper article had been folded and it blurred some of the words. However, this wasn't on many articles and is expected when you are using scans of original copies. I guess we need to be thankful that the articles haven't deteriorated over time and are still readable at all.
One thing I was baffled about in the book was the fact that there is a full page photo of Paul and Linda in Halloween costumes from 1970 that says "Happy X-mas" in the book. I am not sure why that is in a John Lennon book. Can someone shine a light on that for me? Was this supposed to be a mean-spirited jab at John and Yoko and their Christmas message?
Lennon in the News is a must have book for all Lennon historians. There are interviews that you can't read elsewhere located in this book. If you aren't a Lennon freak, maybe you would be interested in the Paul, Ringo or George solo books that are also available? You can order all of the book from http://www.beatlesinthenews.co.uk/index.html and I noticed that if you order before Christmas Eve you get 10% off!
Or you can order the kindle version or paperback directly from Amazon.com