John Lennon: The Life – Book Review

I’ve just finished a book about the life of John Lennon. I am a bit of a Beatles nerd so obviously I’ve read a fair few of books about John.  This one, an audiobook called John Lennon: The Life, by Philip Norman, was from as I find my self listening to more and more audiobooks these days, they are great for commuting.

John Lennon: The LifeThe book covers so much and is way more detailed than anything I had read previously.  Starting off with his grandfather’s story, right through to his untimely death there’s a feast of information here.

I think it’s fair to say that despite the fame, money, and near-universal adulation John was a completely messed up sort of guy and this book goes some way to explain the reasons for this. I really enjoyed hearing about their times in Hamburg as for me this is where the essence of the Beatles was forged. A bunch of young guys having loads of fun and playing as many rock & roll gigs as possible in a dodgy german nightclub to a crazy crowd. Fantastic.

It was interesting reading about John’s family and life before and after the Beatles. I don’t get what he saw in Yoko, other than being drawn to a dominating figure which he seemed to do throughout his life with figures such as his Aunt Mimi, George Martin, and Alan Klein playing key roles.

I’m left wondering what would have happened had he lived?  Would he still be making waves, doing whatever he wanted, and not caring who he pissed off or would he have found a sense of security and calm?  I like to think he’d be around and be making interesting music. That’d be lovely, wouldn’t it?

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