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'John' by Cynthia Lennon
3 October 2012
5.26am
frankdialogue
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Essential information...Available as an audiobook on YouTube.

 

The real deal.

The real story.

 

4 October 2012
5.50am
goodbyehello
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funny, I was going to write about this as I had just bought an old copy off ebay. I actually think I understand why their marriage didn't work after reading this. Cynthia is just - well. If you read it and know anything about Lennon you could see how things happen the way they did. I get the feeling she never really did know him. Not the real him anyway.two-virgins these 2 were really meant for each other

4 October 2012
6.27am
SatanHimself
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I just listened to Cynthia's reading of the audiobook last week while vacationing in Mexico.

 

My opinion (from more than just this book) is that Cynthia was a positive and extremely tolerant force in John's life.  Sadly, John was very self-destructive and insecure and gravitated towards Yoko during his first round of heavy drug use.  She provided the strict Mothering that John craved from Julia and Mimi.

 

Decades later, we can only speculate the 'what-ifs'.  We have the music we have, and maybe after we die we can explore the alternate timelines and the music that would have been.

E is for 'Ergent'.
20 October 2012
12.45pm
fabfouremily
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I started re-reading this book yesterday. It is the first Beatles-related book I read and I hadn´t known or liked them for very long, therefore, I knew next to nothing about them. Maybe this time, now I have background knowledge, I can read it and possibly enjoy it more. I think I will take some of what Cyn says with a pinch of salt though, we´ll see.

I read the first two chapters last night and I´ve realised that I like reading about John in the 50´s/early 60´s a lot. Before fame, money, drugs and whatever else. He was a young man with many demons as his mom had only just been snatched away from him so it makes me quite sad to think that he was putting on this front of being perfectly cool and ok about everything, as if it didn´t matter to him, but it´s still nice to read about him at art college with Stu and events of a similar time.

So far I have cried a lot, I started when I read the prologue but I´m going to try and take a different approach next time I read some and just enjoy the book.
 

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

28 October 2012
11.27pm
frankdialogue
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John Lennon was always very big on destroying myths...He seemed to take special delight in bad mouthing anything positive the Beatles did especially toward the end.

 

So, in this case it is only justice that myths about him are laid to rest, especially for those that seem to think he was some kind of saint or 'higher spiritual being'...It simply wasn't true.

However, this doesn't mean that he didn't create great music, especially with Paul and the Beatles...It's just that he was merely a human being with many flaws.

29 October 2012
9.42pm
Von Bontee
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Never read either of Cynthia's two autobios, myself; but I think I'd be more inclined to trust her earlier one more than this one, at leaste with regards to the earliest material - the memory does tend to play tricks as the years go by.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
30 October 2012
3.51pm
frankdialogue
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Well, Cynthia has no reason to lie: she was never a gold digger, she got a rather small divorce settlement from John, and Julian got pretty much ZILCH from Yoko and the estate after John was murdered.

30 October 2012
5.27pm
Von Bontee
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Oh, I'm not accusing Cynthia of lying - like I said, I've never even read either of her books. I'm just saying that 10-yaer old memories are bound to be more trustworthy than 40-year old ones.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
30 October 2012
8.54pm
meanmistermustard
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Never read any of Cynth's books but i do remember reading that when her first book (A Twist of Lennon?) came out in the 70's it was serialised in one of the papers. John got to read one or two of the papers and applied to a judge to get it pulled but was refused due to having lived his life for many years with Yoko in the papers so didnt think it right that John could now stop that because he didnt like what was coming out. I think that John also replied to the newpapers letters column responding to what had been printed (something John had a tendency to do in the [early] 70's).

 

Didnt Cynthia write the first book because she had little money? I may have gotten that wrong but i remember that at one time she had a restaurant and that failed, possibly when married with her second husband or after their divorce. The timeline may be way out.  

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
30 October 2012
9.58pm
frankdialogue
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meanmistermustard said

Didnt Cynthia write the first book because she had little money? I may have gotten that wrong but i remember that at one time she had a restaurant and that failed, possibly when married with her second husband or after their divorce. The timeline may be way out.  

She married an Italian, and went into the hospitality business with him, but he ran the business like Apple was run in the early days...I believe most of the money used for the business was from her settlement...She did manage to buy a house, and possibly another property that she was able to save...It's all in the online book...In any case, this Italian fellow apparently was very good with Julian, so she probably stayed with him longer because of that.

I'm sure she received at least an advance for 'A Twist of Lennon' and she deserved whatever she got... The Weybridge house was sold in conjunction with the divorce settlement in 1968 because Cynthia could not afford it.

31 October 2012
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fabfouremily
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She wrote 'A twist of Lennon' at a time when John wasn´t seeing much of Julian - if at all, as he had just left for the States - and she felt resentment towards him. And yes, she was desperate for the money.

Maybe her memory was better then, but I believe she feels a lot less bitterness now and therefore, can talk about her feelings in an honest way, without exagerrating or anything like that. She´s ready to talk about John and their relationship now, it was a long time ago, after all. Then, I don´t think she was, she still loved him and couldn´t understand why he was behaving the way he did with her, Julian, and almost everyone else he had been so close to before, well.....Yoko.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

1 November 2012
1.21pm
frankdialogue
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fabfouremily said

She wrote 'A twist of Lennon' at a time when John wasn´t seeing much of Julian - if at all, as he had just left for the States - and she felt resentment towards him. And yes, she was desperate for the money.

Maybe her memory was better then, but I believe she feels a lot less bitterness now and therefore, can talk about her feelings in an honest way, without exagerrating or anything like that. She´s ready to talk about John and their relationship now, it was a long time ago, after all. Then, I don´t think she was, she still loved him and couldn´t understand why he was behaving the way he did with her, Julian, and almost everyone else he had been so close to before, well.....Yoko.

You can understand her bitterness with all she went through...After Julian was born, John told a member of the media that "Julian was born out of a whiskey bottle on a Saturday night."...Of course, this was just John being an a**hole as he was wont to do, but words like this and the conditions she and Julian had to live in, with the ice cold Aunt Mimi and later when they lived in a 6 floor walkup in London, will make one bitter.

But certainly, time is a healing factor.

 

One must understand that John & Cynthia certainly had many wonderful and tender moments, and that it must have warped John's personality dealing with the pressure cooker of the Beatles, and also taking into account what happened with his own mom & dad.

 

Ringo once commented that to get the true story of the Beatles relationships, one would have to talk to Jane Asher, and I believe he mentioned Cynthia, too.

2 November 2012
4.56pm
fabfouremily
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Oh yes definitely. I completely understand why she may have felt very bitter, although I think maybe her main sentiment after John left was one of deep sadness, and a bit of relief, little else. I don't know if it was only after a bit of time and it sunk in that she started to feel angry.

frankdialogue, by 'Beatles relationships', do you mean John - Cyn, Paul - Jane etc or between the boys themselves?

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

12 November 2012
5.32pm
frankdialogue
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frankdialogue, by 'Beatles relationships', do you mean John - Cyn, Paul - Jane etc or between the boys themselves?

 

I meant the individual Beatles relationships with women.

2 January 2013
5.58pm
DrBeatle
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I'm about halfway through this now and am enjoying it. Although I'm a big fan of John Lennon the musician (and certain aspects of John Lennon the man), I'm not a devotee like so many are...I know he's flawed and was far from a perfect person, but I've always found him interesting. So far it's a very informative book, both for the new bits of info that shed him in a more positive light, as well as those that reveal his very ugly, dark side.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

2 January 2013
6.12pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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I agree. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and ended up using it in my book.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
2 January 2013
6.21pm
parlance
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DrBeatle said
I'm about halfway through this now and am enjoying it. Although I'm a big fan of John Lennon the musician (and certain aspects of John Lennon the man), I'm not a devotee like so many are...I know he's flawed and was far from a perfect person, but I've always found him interesting. So far it's a very informative book, both for the new bits of info that shed him in a more positive light, as well as those that reveal his very ugly, dark side.

I agree with your assessment. I borrowed it from the library about a month and a half ago and I hope to own a copy someday. Cynthia's an evocative writer.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

2 January 2013
6.51pm
DrBeatle
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One thing I'm enjoying is that she's able to show she wasn't just the meek, boring wife John was "stuck" with that she's been portrayed as by so many. She was a real person with real aspirations and emotions, and John didn't *have* to marry her and stick around for as long as he did, there was obviously something there between them, real and lovely (warts and all) until LSD and Yoko blew all of that out of the water.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

18 January 2013
9.39pm
Sky999
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DrBeatle said
I'm about halfway through this now and am enjoying it. Although I'm a big fan of John Lennon the musician (and certain aspects of John Lennon the man), I'm not a devotee like so many are...I know he's flawed and was far from a perfect person, but I've always found him interesting. So far it's a very informative book, both for the new bits of info that shed him in a more positive light, as well as those that reveal his very ugly, dark side.

 

 

I agree. I've been listening to the audio book on youtube and down in the description box said its advise for Lennon fan's not to listen. As much as I love The Beatles and think they were brilliant, I know they were flawed just like everyone else, so its nice to hear her side.

21 January 2013
5.36am
LongHairedLady
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It would be interesting to read her story.  I always felt bad for Cynthia, and for Julian.  According to John himself, he didn't treat her that well.  He admitted that he used to hit her, so even just that is putting up with a lot.  

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

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