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The John Lennon Letters
30 January 2013
8.26pm
Velvet Hand
A Tunisian Amphitheatre
The Jacaranda
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I'm sorry to say that some of the more glaring chronological/factual errors in the Lennon Letters actually hampered my enjoyment of the book somewhat – stuff like the caption for the photo on page 98 (surely that's not a picture of John by  the pool at Kenwood but rather one taken somewhere in LA in late 1973 or thereabouts?), dating John and Paul's first meeting to 1956 (p. 206) and the Toronto festival to 1971 (214), or claiming (also 214) that John and Yoko appeared at George's Bangladesh concert. I just find it really weird that these things didn't get noticed during the review process I'm sure the book underwent. Does that make me a nerd?

5 February 2013
3.08pm
Mocker
St Peters Church
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I spotted an error in the book and decided to email the address that Hunter Davies put in there and was quite surprised when he actually mailed back.

5 February 2013
3.15pm
fabfouremily
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Mocker said
I spotted an error in the book and decided to email the address that Hunter Davies put in there and was quite surprised when he actually mailed back.

What did he say? :)

 

''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.''

6 February 2013
8.28am
Mocker
St Peters Church
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haha, the exact response from Hunter is as follows:

Well  spotted- several people have given the same explanation- and I am sure you and they are right… ta   Hunter

 

(was with regards to Hunter thinking when John was talking about 'E's, he may have meant ecstasy but when you look his writing, it is clear that he is talking about the actual letter E! and how he writes them)

Was good of Hunter to respond.

 

6 February 2013
1.47pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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Very good of him. And his response was all class, unlike that a-hole Spitz when people (rightly) pointed out the TRUCKLOADS of obvious errors in his "biography."

"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

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8 February 2013
4.33pm
unknown
ay, qué pesado
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The only thing that annoys me about the book is there are a couple times where there is a letter from John to Cynthia where there are pages of the letters that don't remain, and it says something like, perhaps Cynthia ripped them up and threw away those missing pages, for they were to hard to read. Yeah, even though the letters were written like fifty years ago, let's not assume the rest of the letter just got lost overtime, but instead let's assume Cynthia ripped them up.a-hard-days-night-paul-10

 

All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
10 February 2013
11.12am
fabfouremily
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Page 265 – letter number 183 (to Todd Rundgren). He says to him in the letter:

''I never hit a waitress in the Troubador. I did act like an ass, I was drunk. So shoot me.''

Ouch, I almost cried when I read that.

''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.''

22 May 2013
5.27pm
fabfouremily
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Finally finished it this morning! Feel a bit bad that it took me so long, usually I finish any music, and particularly Beatles, book in a few days, not 7 months.

''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 2013
1.18pm
vectisfabber
The Jacaranda
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I found the inaccuracies (and the occasional careless transcription), mildly annoying but not desperate. It's a shame, though, because the thing is presented very attractively.

It is both illuminating and frustrating – it says a lot and nothing, at the same time. You're not going to learn lots of information you didn't know. On the odd occasion when one of the documents tackles part of The Story head on then either 1) we already know the information, or 2) Lennon dresses it up in obfuscatory code words so that the recipient will understand but we don't. To that extent it is frustrating in that it adds virtually nothing to the substance of The Story.

Where it is interesting is that it gives us a distinct flavour of John Lennon the person, and how he changed (and how he didn't!) over his lifetime. We get to see what mattered to him – a feeling for how Julian appeared to be never far from his thoughts, and wasn't the forgotten child we have come to believe in, for instance. Howe he seemed to be genuinely besotted with Cynthia before and in the early days of his marriage. How he genuinely wished that in later years he still had the close contact with his extended family which he had enjoyed in his childhood. And even the fairly tedious Dakota shopping lists give an idea of what was going through his head in those days.

It's not as important a book as it thinks it is, but it merits its place on a Beatle fan's bookshelves.

12 November 2013
2.25pm
DrBeatle
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^nice to hear. That's on my pile of "to-review" books so I'm looking forward to it for those very reasons you state, more to get inside John's head than anything else.

"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

 

12 November 2013
4.28pm
mccartneyalarm
Carnegie Hall
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I liked it because it "backs up" many of the speculations/rumors we've read about in other Beatles books like the Fred Seaman book. Seaman mentions all those To Do lists and some of the letters in his book, and now we have them from John Lennon himself. The letters to Paul and John's family are very interesting as are the letters to Cynthia. It is easy to read because it is very well laid out. You can look up a topic like "Christmas Letters", read it, put it down, then go back and read another category of letter later on. There are some "Boo Boos"..but it is fun to find them!

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

12 November 2013
4.34pm
meanmistermustard
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No idea if it was ever noted here but there is a special edition which has a few more letters and notes than the standard normal one – same price but only available in selected stores. My brother picked it up in Waterstones solely because of that otherwise i'd never have known.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
16 November 2013
11.16pm
Lennonista
Los Angeles
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Yeah, I had heard about this special edition, but haven't seen one. I'll check out some of the few bookstores left in my neighborhood. Thanks!

25 November 2013
7.37pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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I recently got a copy of the new paperback version to review…wonder if that has any corrections/additions/updates? Anyone here know?

"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

 

25 November 2013
7.52pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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DrBeatle said
I recently got a copy of the new paperback version to review…wonder if that has any corrections/additions/updates? Anyone here know?

The one I have claims it has some extra letters (bought it about 2 weeks ago) – but not sure compared to which edition.

 

25 November 2013
8.28pm
meanmistermustard
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There was an edition exclusive to Waterstones (and probably available in a few other places) that had extra letters in it, maybe you picked up that one trcanberra. 

No idea about the paperback but if i has to hazard a guess i'd say it was the commonly available version without the extras.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
25 November 2013
9.27pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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meanmistermustard said
There was an edition exclusive to Waterstones (and probably available in a few other places) that had extra letters in it, maybe you picked up that one trcanberra. 

No idea about the paperback but if i has to hazard a guess i'd say it was the commonly available version without the extras.

Cheers.  Mine is a paperback which has a Phoenix logo on the back, Weidenfeld and Nicholson inside, and says on the back: "The paperback edition contains letters not included in the hardback".

 

26 November 2013
7.20pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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^^^Hmm, I'll have to check my copy to see if it says that…

"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 December 2013
6.54pm
LikeASir
Paris Olympia
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When I get this book it might be interesting to do a spot of handwriting analysis….see how it has changed over time according to how John changed.

 http://afloydianslip.tumblr.com/

"White Album - My joint-fave Beatles album along with Revolver. They show the two sides of Beatles. Revolver's very controlled - even though it's also very innovative. The White Album's playful and almost ramshackle. It's like a scrapbook kept by a genius. Fantastic stuff."

2 December 2013
7.06pm
fabfouremily
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Interesting… So you think his style of writing may have changed as he did in, what, an emotional way?

''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.''

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