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May Pang: Loving John
25 April 2014
11.22pm
meanmistermustard
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I bought Loving John second hand for about £3 second hand but its one of the many books i bought with the intention of reading but never got around to. A lot of the books i have are second hand as there are quite a few second hand bookshops in Glasgow and would also go around them when away on holiday, altho i believe i bought Loving John in Stiriling one day trip there.

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)
26 April 2014
6.00pm
AppleScruffJunior
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Ron Nasty said
I was lucky enough/am old enough to have been lucky enough to have bought it when it came out. I understand May's view that it didn't end up being the book she wrote, and after all these years - and the knowledge that Beatles-related sells - it's strange that some sort of revised reprint closer to her original version hasn't been made available yet (in this day and age she could easily self-publish as an e-book).

As a memoir of knowing John, I always found it a touching portrayal - especially since discovering (thanks @Joe) that the publisher made it darker than she wrote it.

Oh, and @AppleScruffJunior, there was no famine...

Silly me I forgot that the church in Ireland secretly had lots of potatoes during the famine, and they hid the potatoes in pillows and sold them abroad in potato fairs. Also the Pope closed down a lot of the factories that were making the potatoes and turned them into prisons for children.*

Yeah I forgot that bit of trivial information a-hard-days-night-george-10 

*According to Niamh Connolly anyways

INTROVERTS UNITE! Separately.....In your own homes.----Make Love, Not Wardrobes!
26 April 2014
7.47pm
Ron Nasty
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AppleScruffJunior said

Ron Nasty said
I was lucky enough/am old enough to have been lucky enough to have bought it when it came out. I understand May's view that it didn't end up being the book she wrote, and after all these years - and the knowledge that Beatles-related sells - it's strange that some sort of revised reprint closer to her original version hasn't been made available yet (in this day and age she could easily self-publish as an e-book).

As a memoir of knowing John, I always found it a touching portrayal - especially since discovering (thanks @Joe) that the publisher made it darker than she wrote it.

Oh, and @AppleScruffJunior, there was no famine...

Silly me I forgot that the church in Ireland secretly had lots of potatoes during the famine, and they hid the potatoes in pillows and sold them abroad in potato fairs. Also the Pope closed down a lot of the factories that were making the potatoes and turned them into prisons for children.*

Yeah I forgot that bit of trivial information a-hard-days-night-george-10 

*According to Niamh Connolly anyways

Tut-tut, @AppleScruffJunior! Sinead's (and many others) argument is not that there wasn't a potato blight, but that at the time of the blight, potatoes were not only crop grown in the country, and that other crops that could have fed a starving population were exported rather than used to support a population who had had their staple crop fail. An Gorta Mór occurred at a time when shiploads of crops (at least 30 a day), that could have fed people, were being exported by dictate.

You and I both know there are disputes over aspects of the Irish and British relationship, and there are arguments over what happened at various times, but shipping records show how much food was being exported while my ancestors fled and yours, luckily for us as we have you, made it through.

Anyway, being a bad boy here, I should stay-on-topicblue-meanieblue-meanieblue-meanie

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
8 May 2014
10.33pm
Von Bontee
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Finally borrowed that copy from library last night, started reading it today! Loving the tale of the making of "Fly" and "Up Your Legs" so far.

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Ahhh Girl, HeyTrud
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
11 June 2014
2.48pm
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I'm about 3/4 finished with the book now. My, John was a violent fellow. He should have stopped drinking.

I have this to say...There is one episode that makes me doubt the truthfulness and/or judgment of May Pang...She says that the recording session with John, Paul and Stevie Wonder sounded great. I've heard it. It's awful.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

11 June 2014
3.52pm
vonbontee
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I wouldn't necessarily use May's opinion about that jam session (which I've never heard) as an indicator of truth - if it were you or I witnessing such giants making music together, we'd probably be thrilled and overwhelmed as well! Plus, who's to say how much more music they played than was captured on the tape?

On the whole, she struck me as pretty truthful throughout, partly because of her apparent memory for trivial details, like that whole pointless digression about Bianca Jagger injuring her leg. I can't imagine somebody wanting to make up something so boring.

I appreciated her portrayal of Yoko; I expected her to be depicted as some kind of Machiavellian monster. She comes off as more vague and indecisive, and occasionally impulsive.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
18 June 2014
2.42pm
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SPOILERS AHEAD

I'm a few pages from the end. I'll be finishing the book on my train ride home...I don't think there will be too many more revelations in the last few pages, so I'll give my assessment now.

I came away from this book liking Yoko a little less, but that is understandable because it is told from May's point of view, and she is the one who lost John. Obviously the two of them would be at odds with each other.

The somewhat lazy, depressed picture of John post-1975 seems to jive with the account given in The Last Days of John Lennon by Fred Seaman.

Yes, the "lost weekend" as it became known was a creative time for John, and one in which he reunited with old friends, but it was also a time during which his drinking got way out of hand, he destroyed other peoples' property on a massive scale, and he was physically violent to May.

It seems obvious according to May's version of the story (and we will never know whether Yoko or May is telling the truth) that Yoko resorted to santeria to work some mojo on John. And she probably did some shady "hypnosis" thing under the guise of quitting smoking (and it probably had nothing to do with his quitting smoking and everything to do with mind control to get him back to the Dakota) that made him violently retch and temporarily turn into a zombie.

But, as they say, you can't do anything you don't want to do under hypnosis. The truth is that he loved both May and Yoko. And he was probably better of with Yoko than with May, because he wasn't harming anyone, and he had time to heal from all of his pain and focus on loving his baby son.

Was Yoko an opportunistic, materialistic, narcissistic, manipulative person? Probably. But she and John needed each other, and he obviously didn't occupy any moral high ground. He was just as bad as Yoko.

If it's true that Yoko had him under some kind of spell, then I think the episode of being lost at sea during the storm (as told in the Seaman book) probably saved him and made him regain his confidence. I think he had had time to mend himself, and then finally he regained his will and his confidence and was on the road to taking control of his life again when he died.

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"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

14 July 2014
8.06pm
parlance
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Examiner interview with May Pang in which she mentions planning to update Loving John.

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

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