Wednesday, January 6, 2016

At John Lennon's House--A book review

Happy new year Beatles fans!   Welcome to the first Wednesday Review of 2016!  For those of you new to this little blog, you should know that on Wednesday I review a Beatles book, concert, video, event, etc.

Today's book review is on an e-book called At John' Lennon's House by Rosura Lopez Lorenzo.   This book was written by the woman who was the housekeeper for John and Yoko at the Dakota from 1976-1979.  She spent a lot of time taking care of Sean, cleaning John and Yoko's bedroom and most importantly, teaching John how to bake bread.

John's househusband years have always been clouded in mystery.   The few books on the subject portrayed John often as a depressed and abusive man who never picked up a guitar.  Rosura's story shows John in a much happier light--a man who loved his sons and was pleasant to be around.  She says that she often heard John playing the guitar in his bedroom.   She also stated that the never saw John take drugs or did she ever feel  that he was high on any substance when she was around him.   The John Lennon she worked for was a happy man who enjoyed talking to her and learning about her life   growing up in Spain.

This photo is from John and Sean's birthday party in 1978.  You can see Rosura in the background.  She is wearing a polka-dotted top with a sweater over it and there is a balloon right above her head.

I found it very interesting that one of the "insiders" that wrote a very trashy book about John was called a liar by Rosura and she said that the Lennon even fired this man because they discovered he was a liar (his book sure didn't say anything about that!)

She does not bash Yoko as many others have done.  While it is obvious that she found Yoko's astrology and numerology beliefs to be odd, she learned to accept them as part of who Yoko is.  She had much respect for Yoko and even asked for her blessing before publishing the book.

Rosura really loved Sean.  She found much pleasure in watching the young child grow and learn.  She became Sean's housekeeper in the 1990's in two different apartments.  It was obvious that Sean bonded with her.  When Sean moved into a new home, he gave Rosura some of his father's clothing.

Sean playing with Rosura's son inside of the Dakota

This book did not have any major revelations.  I did learn that John slept on the right side of the bed.  She also gave a detailed description of the inside of the Dakota while she worked there, which was fascinating.

The book was originally published in 2005 in Rosura's native language, Spanish and then translated into English for an e-book.   It isn't the best translation of a book and reads sort of "choppy" at times.  There were a few glaring mistakes (Saying that John and Yoko met in the late 70's and John's birthday was October 8).   But not enough to discredit the author.

At the end of the book are some amazing artifacts from Rosura's personal collection.   She kept everything from her time with the Lennon family including postcards John sent her from his travels.  I never knew that John went to Hawaii in 1979!   Sadly these are reproduced very small and I could not make them larger.

John sent this postcard from Hawaii sometime in 1979 (too bad the post mark is smudged)

Insiders don't always write books, and this one is very short.  Even though it wasn't well written, it is worth your time if you like to read about John Lennon's life.   It would be a great book to download and read on a cold, snowy (or rainy) day.


  1. The postmark looks more like 1978 and in one book I saw it was actually mentioned that John travelled to Hawaii in late September 1978. Surely someone must have at least a definite month and year. Surely Yoko must have some photos from that trip but none have ever shown up.

  2. Hi there,
    Maybe not quite related but we would like to know which are the best Beatles books that contain pics and info of the Beatlegirls (specially Jane and Pattie). We mean, the larger pics but also the most rare.
    We already have The Beatles Anthology, At the Apple's Core and Beatles in Rishikesh.
    Thank you very much, keep up the good workd and HAPPY NEW YEAR! xoxo

  3. John traveled home from Japan in September 1978 so it appears he stopped in Hawaii on the way back.
    Probably very brief visit ....extended layover?

    1. The only flaw with that thinking is that the postcard is from California but postmarked Hawaii. So that would mean that he traveled from California to Hawaii. And the book says it was from 1979.


  5. I read Rosa's book last year which I enjoyed, despite a poor translation to English and some date errors.
    If in fact this was 1979 the same scenario could have happened while they were traveling to Japan in August stopping in California and than Hawaii before flying to Japan.
    It just seems like the most likely explanation IMO