John Lennon‘s second book, A Spaniard In The Works, was published on this day by Jonathan Cape.
The 96-page book sold for 10 shillings and sixpence, and contained 18 stories and numerous illustrations by Lennon. It was designed by Robert Freeman, who took the cover photographs for With The Beatles, Beatles For Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul.
John’s inscription on my copy of A Spaniard In The Works when it first came out in 1965 says it all: ‘To Ringo with love, you dwarf bastard’.
The book went through four impressions and sold 100,000 copies within three month, fewer than Lennon’s debut In His Own Write.
A Spaniard in the Works gave me another personal boost. OK, it didn’t do as well as the first, but then what follow-up book ever does? In any case, I had a lot of the stories in the book bottled up in my system and it did me good to get rid of them – ‘better out than in’. The book is more complicated; there are some stories and bits in it that even I don’t understand, but once I’ve written something what’s the point of letting it hang around in a drawer when I know I can get it published? The plain unvarnished fact is that I like writing, and I’d go on writing even if there wasn’t any publisher daft enough to publish them.