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Fred Seaman's Lennon bio
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Expert Textpert
In bed.
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10 July 2013 - 3.46pm

 

Is this book worth anything?  Will it make me dislike John Lennon?  I'm just finishing Philip Norman's biography and I was reading reviews about the Seaman book, and the reviews seemed very good (in spite of what I had seen previously about how horrible it was, and how Yoko said not to read it).

Edit:

I guess it's not really a bio, but a diary of everything that happened.

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

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parlance
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10 July 2013 - 3.54pm

I think it's worth reading, as there are insights into John's mindset in his last couple of years. It's an interesting source to add to the many perspectives on John. Just read it with a healthy dose of skepticism. He's virulently anti-Yoko and well, there's the theft thing. Every time I've read an article or statement from him, he strikes me as desperate and sleazy.

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 Vimeo or YouTube.

mccartneyalarm
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10 July 2013 - 5.09pm

I've read practically every book on John Lennon (or it feels like it at least) and I loved the Seaman book. I do think he is anti-Yoko, and I do think some of the stories may be a bit exaggerated, but for the most part, much of what Seaman talks about I've seen documented in other books on Lennon (including ones John's half-sister wrote (Julia Baird) as well as Cynthia). I highly recommend it (I couldn't put it down) if only because it is written by someone who was there in his last years of life and it isn't a cookie-cutter bio of John. You won't end up hating John by reading it. You may end up (like I did) feeling closer to him and appreciating what his life was really like as he neared the end of it.

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

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Joe
Pepperland
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16 July 2013 - 5.05pm

I didn't think it was a hack job. There are some very interesting parts to the book, giving an insight into what Lennon's life was like during the househusband years, what it was like working at the Dakota etc. He was there when very few people were. Clearly he didn't like working with Yoko but, for me, the best bits are when he accompanied Lennon alone and saw close-up how unusual his life was.

He was an idiot for stealing the diaries though.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes

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10centwings
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11 September 2013 - 4.37pm

I can't get my hands on the Seaman book, but did find Robert Rosen's Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon at the library. I'm only on page 2 at the moment. The book starts off explaining that Seaman passed Rosen John's diaries after his murder. I happened to have just finished Cynthia Lennon's John, and according to Cynthia, Seaman passed the diaries to a "friend" for safekeeping, but the "friend" refused to hand them back to him once he realised their value. Not sure if Rosen is the same "friend"?

Have any of you read this book? Is it any good? As I'm typing this I've moved on to page 3, where Rosen alleged that Seaman broke into his house and stole the diaries. Rosen wrote this book based on his memories of the diaries. At this point I'm really starting to get skeptical. Is it worth a read? Or is it just some sleazy potboiler?

Not sure if this book has already been discussed elsewhere. If so, would be great if you could direct me to that thread :) Thanks!

Jacqueline

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parlance
Slaggers
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11 September 2013 - 4.46pm

^^ I haven't read it yet, but, yes, Rosen is the "friend." Seaman took the diaries, claiming that John had meant for Julian to have them. For some reason he lent them to Rosen for safekeeping (and I read somewhere - maybe here at the board - that Seaman was quietly negotiating a publishing deal), and Rosen refused to give them back. And then Seaman was arrested for the theft of the diaries.

I can't comment on the veracity of the book, but I'd be wary of any verbatim quotes. One of the problems I had with the tarot reader's book was the entire conversations pulled out of his a** that you knew he couldn't have remembered in such detail. But I digress.

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 Vimeo or YouTube.

mccartneyalarm
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11 September 2013 - 5.01pm

I've read "Nowhere Man" and the Seaman book...both are excellent! As with any book, you have to discount those things that don't make sense or don't ring true. But, for the most part, both the Seaman book (my favorite) and "Nowhere Man" are fairly credible with the few exceptions you would see in any book written about a celebrity. I like getting the different perspectives. And when you read as many of these books as you can, you see that they do coroborate certain things that each one claim. I agree with Parlance that the Tarot card reader book, "Dakota Days" is hard to wrap your brain around because Charlie Swan, the author, used quotations of conversations between him and John and him and Yoko as if he was remembering these conversations word for word. That is impossible to swallow. Though, I would still recommend the book to anyone because, for all its flaws, it does give another perspective to John's final days and it does coroborate other books that have been written about that time in John's life (like the Seaman book).

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

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meanmistermustard

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11 September 2013 - 5.19pm

I was reading Nowhere Man and enjoying it due to it not being another dull read that goes over the same stuff again but like with 98% of books I got diverted by other things. Aim to go back to it at some point.

Haven't seen the Seaman book on my travels but will keep an out out

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Expert Textpert
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11 September 2013 - 5.26pm

I forget why Seaman was sidetracked on his journey to visit Cynthia and Julian (to give the diaries to Julian per John's wishes)...but something happened and supposedly he had to leave the diaries with a friend for safekeeping (Rosen), who informed him that he was making copies of the diaries and that they should partner up for a book on them.  Seaman, who found the idea unethical, got the help of a friend, who pitched a fake book deal to Rosen on the terms that he hand the diaries over, and Rosen agreed.

Somehow, I think Yoko got wind of the book deal and sent her bodyguards to beat up Seaman, who at this point did not have the diaries anymore.  He was arrested and forced to sign a confession.

The diaries were supposedly returned, except that the volume covering the time period of 1980 was supposedly and (is still?) missing.

 

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

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Ron Nasty
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11 September 2013 - 5.42pm

Expert Textpert said
I forget why Seaman was sidetracked on his journey to visit Cynthia and Sean (to give the diaries to Sean per John's wishes)...

What was Sean doing with Cynthia?

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

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Expert Textpert
In bed.
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11 September 2013 - 6.17pm

mja6758 said

Expert Textpert said
I forget why Seaman was sidetracked on his journey to visit Cynthia and Sean (to give the diaries to Sean per John's wishes)...

What was Sean doing with Cynthia?

Oh, I meant Julian. I was typing in a hurry.

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

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10centwings
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12 September 2013 - 4.27pm

Wow, thanks guys. Now things make a little more sense :)

I'm 1/3 through the Rosen book. Still reading this with one eyebrow raised though, because he goes into so much detail, but yet claims to have constructed much of the book from memory. Ok, to be fair, he did state right at the beginning that the book's a "confluence of information, imagination and intuition", so he's got everything under caveat. This one's a page turner. I actually lunched in today just so that I could sneak in an extra hour of reading. Ha.

 

Jacqueline

mccartneyalarm
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12 September 2013 - 4.54pm

Another must-read book about John is May Pang's book, "Loving John." It chronicals the "Lost Weekend" and May's relationship with John. It gives further insight into Yoko & John's relationship as well. I didn't find it to be at all exaggerated as she loved John and her purpose was to document their time together. It is another book that you absolutely won't be able to put down!

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

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meanmistermustard

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12 September 2013 - 5.06pm

I have Loving John buried in a box or cupboard somewhere. Another i'll have to one day get around to reading. That piles gets higher every time I go online.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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parlance
Slaggers
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12 September 2013 - 5.24pm

^^ That one I found online. The stories of John's abuse are a real tough read.

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 Vimeo or YouTube.

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