Lennon in America PDF

by Geoffrey Giuliano What do you say about a book that is full of scathing, gratuitous sensationalism?How does one read a book that is supposedly filled with shocking truths, when that very same book makes bold statements that you personally know are not true?It's a frustrating conundrum, one I faced constantly while reading Geoffrey Giuliano's 2000 book Lennon In America.Yet despite its questionable merits, I read Lennon In America faster than any book I've read in years...

Upon reading the first 20 pages, I figured I made a mistake.Giuliano dives right in at the start of the book with as much dirt as he can dig up.We learn in short time that John Lennon cheated on Yoko Ono, engaging in oral sex with the wife of Wings guitarist Denny Lane.Then we learn about the oral sex he received from original Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe back in the early 60's, as well as his sexual encounter with Beatles manager Brian Epstein in 1963.And this is just for starters...Giuliano takes great pains to point out that John Lennon was pretty much a sex-addict...What he could not get from Yoko, he got from others...and when he could not get from others...he looked at porn, hit on men, and masturbated regularly.Among the images John Lennon masturbated to were Patti Hanson (George Harrison's wife) and future star Madonna.Fantastic.What kind of book is this?This is not the kind of book I wanted to read...I checked on the author, and the publisher....all checked out legit. Giuliano has written a number of books on The Beatles, plus books on Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Townshend and more...He's also a singer/songwriter.Lennon In America: 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries claims to be the result of 16 years of research...citing many sources close to the Lennon inner circle (i.e. former lover May Pang, Liverpool friend Pete Shotton, etc...)...or part of the inner circle proper ( i.e. Sean Lennon, Julian Lennon, etc...).It also claims to base its information on the "Lost Lennon Diaries"...which Giuliano constantly refers to, yet never quotes verbatim.Yet despite it's many claims...Giuliano's sloppy work only serves to undermine it's "factual" telling of John Lennon's story.That said, it's one hell of a read...a real, page-turner...fact or fiction....

The picture that the book paints of John Lennon is not a pretty one...ever.Per Giuliano, John Lennon's post-Beatle life was a total nightmare of drugs, doubt, insecurity, depression, sex and violence.The book's John Lennon was a man who lost any and all control of his life.Far from the picture-perfect marriage put on display for the world to see....Lennon's marriage to Yoko Ono was a troubled one...leaving both parties very unhappy for years.Chief villain, of course, is Yoko One...whose desire for control over her husband's life and estate superseded anything and everything else.Lennon became a slave to Yoko's whims and fancies...She ruled the Lennon household, using her will power, and the consultation of mystics and tarot card readers...and he willfully let her.He ate what she told him to eat.He traveled where she told him to travel...and did not travel to where she did not approve him to travel.It its Yoko who convinced John to move to New York...and leave his Liverpool friends and family behind...forever.Sadly, after moving to America in the fall of 1971, John Lennon never ever returned to his homeland England.He seemed to have missed England terribly, yet Yoko was never enthused enough to schedule a trip for him.Instead, Lennon and Ono spent a considerable amount of time in Japan, where Yoko Ono desperately sought approval from her judgmental, affluent family.

According to the book, John Lennon was incapable of doing anything on his own.Never wanting to take responsibility...he willfully gave it to others.Yoko ran his business ventures, and ran his life.When he got on her nerves, she sent him off to vacation either at a summer house on Long Island, or in Bermuda, or somewhere else.When he was oversexed...she either provided, or allowed John Lennon to have extramarital affairs.Yoko tried to keep her husband happy...even if it meant providing him with drugs.Under Dame Ono, Lennon's health was never good.Either too frail and thin from one bad diet after another...or suffering from the unwelcome effects of cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

As a parent, John Lennon...per the book, was a disaster.Despite many efforts, Lennon was never able to feel comfortable enough to connect with his first son, Julian.Their relationship remained sadly strained and awkward to the very end.Despite taking 5 years off to care for his new son, Sean, John Lennon left much of the work to his nannies.Lennon loved Sean, and did spend some considerable time with him...helping to raise him.Yet he too often lost patience with the young boy...sometimes slapping, and kicking the child out of anger.Giuliano paints Sean Lennon as a helpless victim to his father's many dark moods, and temper tantrums...

Giuliano works hard to portray John Lennon as a deeply unhappy man...completely paralyzed by paranoia, depression, insecurity, a cold, controlling wife, and a loveless marriage.Despite the massive success he achieved in early in his life, Lennon would spend hours and days without any direction...holed up in his room...watching television and staring at the wall.He envied the success of his best friend/arch nemesis Paul McCartney...yet was too afraid to make a move...any move in that direction.It's a heartbreaking to read about such a sullen existence for such an important musician.It feels as it the malaise of the 70's, Yoko Ono and the walls of his apartment at the Dakota sucked the life out of him.Lennon once had strong political passions, and fought hard to obtain legal immigration status in the U.S.Yet once the fight was over, and he got his green card in 1976...there was little to no passion left.His days and nights during the mid-70's were wasted and listless...with no end in sight.

Of course, when it comes time to discuss Lennon's comeback in 1980, Giuliano stumbles completely.Despite endless discussion on John Lennon's dreams, drugs, tantrums, and masturbatory fantasies, Giuliano has little to offer when it comes to details on how exactly John Lennon got himself back into the recording studio after so many years away.Only a few pages are devoted to the recording of Lennon's and Ono's Double Fantasy record, its subsequent release and promotion...and followed by John Lennon's murder on December 8, 1980.Of course, Giuliano is dismissive of the record...making sure to let readers know the reaction to the album was "lukewarm" by both the fans and the critics...The book ends on a sad postscript...briefly discussing the struggling lives and careers of Lennon's children...Julian and Sean, and the post-Lennon life of Yoko Ono.

Look, I'm just going to say it...Geoffrey Giuliano is an idiot.His fact-checking skills are piss poor, and his writing if too often rambling, and repetitive.Among the errors I noted in the book offhand...1. Madonna did not release her first single until nearly two years after John Lennon died...so how he masturbated about her years before is anybody's guess.2.Rod Stewart and The Faces were never an opening act for Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden.Led Zeppelin generally did not have support acts.3.John Lennon met Paul McCartney on July 6, 1957...NOT June 15, 1956, as stated in the book.These are just the errors I noted offhand, who knows how many other errors are made in the book?Also, Giuliano writes in the Chronology at the end of the book for 16 August 1962 "For reasons that remain a mystery to this day, drummer Pete Best is unceremoniously sacked from the group and Ringo Starr is quickly brought in."Is he kidding?Does he actually think that Pete Best was sacked for"reasons that remain a mystery to this day."This um..."mystery" as he calls it has been discussed at length and solved over a thousand times in countless books, interviews, and television programs since '62.Again, Giuliano undermines his own "16 years of research" with such idiotic statements...

Yet for some crazy reason, I found Lennon In America: 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries fascinating.Sure, much of it his hogwash...yet it's still a very compelling read...even if perhaps only 10-20% of the book is actually true.Perhaps it was simply my strong desire to learn more about John Lennon, and believe that I was truly reading about his intimate and most personal and private thoughts and actions.I wanted to feel as if I understood John Lennon, the man...warts and all.Giuliano is moronic and untidy...yet I will give him credit for at least putting a good story together...one in which I looked forward to each and every page.What does that say about me, I wonder?Perhaps I like trash?I don't know.What I do like is the fact that Lennon In America presents one story point after the next...with little filler.There's no waxing philosophical about 70's culture, music or politics...there's no over-analytic approach to song lyrics...there's no B story that takes main John Lennon story off on a tangent.No, in Lennon In America: 1971-1980, Based in Part on the Lost Lennon Diaries, Geoffrey Giuliano just presents the "facts"...one after another...as true as Giuliano chooses to tell them.If only Giuliano could have checked his facts, and perhaps provided a less myopic view of John Lennon's life and work...then he would have had not only an engaging and entertaining book, yet a good one as well...

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