Can anyone recommend a good, thorough biography of the Beatles/ John Lennon? I've enjoyed books that feature photographs of the band as well as John Lennons' collaborations with Yoko Ono. I'm really just looking for something with a little more depth.

Thanks.

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I've read more John Lennon biographies than I can remember, and a great deal of Beatles books too.

 

My #1 Beatles book is Here, There, and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick. Emerick was an engineer for most of the records, and his stories are just absolutely fascinating. I gave this book to my father after I read it, and when he finished reading it he flipped back to the first page and started again. It is just that good.

 

A Hard Day's Write by Steve Turner isn't so much a biography. It explains the meanings behind every song. Good companion book to Here, There, and Everywhere.

 

I JUST purchased (highly recommended) Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald. I haven't read it yet as it is a hefty, dense piece of work. It goes through every song on a technical level, and is another fantastic companion book to Emerick's.

 

I haven't read this one yet, but I have it and it's on my list. The highly acclaimed You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett tells the story of the Beatles post-breakup. When they started Apple Corps, they pretty much started a disaster that didn't end 'til decades later. This book is pretty depressing, but also highly interesting from what I gather. It has grabbed some great reviews.

 

John books I have read that are noteworthy:

 

John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman. This book is MASSIVE, and it goes through his entire history, including before he was born. This is the most comprehensive and full account of his entire life out there, that I have found.

 

John by Cynthia Lennon. Written by his ex-wife, gives a slightly bitter but overall fascinating look at what John was like behind the scenes. Cynthia is the mother of John's first, and pretty much abandoned, son Julian. Lots of very interesting, funny, and cringe worthy stories.

 

The Private John Lennon by Julia Baird. Julia is John's half sister, and this book gives a REALLY interesting look at what formed him as a person. It shows how his family worked, and why he was as screwed up as he was. Very, very good.

 

John Lennon: In My Life by Pete Shotton. Pete was John's childhood best friend, and they remained very very close until Yoko came into the picture. He was there for a lot of Beatles stuff, and he also has some pretty outrageous stories from their youth. There are some biases in this book, but overall it's a really fun read.

 

Loving John by May Pang. May was a personal assistant to John and Yoko when she was in her early 20's. When she was 23, by Yoko's suggestion, she started seeing John romantically. This was dubbed the "Lost Weekend," and it lasted 18 months. This book is insane. It's not the best written, and I take a lot of it with a grain of salt, but some of these stories are unreal. It really shows how messed up John was, and it shows a lot of sides to him I wasn't aware of. Warning: some parts read like a romance novel. Speaking of May Pang..

 

Instamatic Karma by May Pang. Mainly a photo book. Beautiful shots.

 

I'm actually interviewing May sometime next month, I should go look at her books again for reference.

 

If you're into pictures, memorabilia, and the like, go get Lennon Legend by James Henke. Really fun book stuffed with replicas of tickets, lyric sheets, and such.

 

Sorry for the overwhelming list. John Lennon is my idol and my hero, so I've read book after book.

Dork.

Ali [mutantmanifesto] said:

I've read more John Lennon biographies than I can remember, and a great deal of Beatles books too.

 

My #1 Beatles book is Here, There, and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick. Emerick was an engineer for most of the records, and his stories are just absolutely fascinating. I gave this book to my father after I read it, and when he finished reading it he flipped back to the first page and started again. It is just that good.

 

A Hard Day's Write by Steve Turner isn't so much a biography. It explains the meanings behind every song. Good companion book to Here, There, and Everywhere.

 

I JUST purchased (highly recommended) Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald. I haven't read it yet as it is a hefty, dense piece of work. It goes through every song on a technical level, and is another fantastic companion book to Emerick's.

 

I haven't read this one yet, but I have it and it's on my list. The highly acclaimed You Never Give Me Your Money by Peter Doggett tells the story of the Beatles post-breakup. When they started Apple Corps, they pretty much started a disaster that didn't end 'til decades later. This book is pretty depressing, but also highly interesting from what I gather. It has grabbed some great reviews.

 

John books I have read that are noteworthy:

 

John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman. This book is MASSIVE, and it goes through his entire history, including before he was born. This is the most comprehensive and full account of his entire life out there, that I have found.

 

John by Cynthia Lennon. Written by his ex-wife, gives a slightly bitter but overall fascinating look at what John was like behind the scenes. Cynthia is the mother of John's first, and pretty much abandoned, son Julian. Lots of very interesting, funny, and cringe worthy stories.

 

The Private John Lennon by Julia Baird. Julia is John's half sister, and this book gives a REALLY interesting look at what formed him as a person. It shows how his family worked, and why he was as screwed up as he was. Very, very good.

 

John Lennon: In My Life by Pete Shotton. Pete was John's childhood best friend, and they remained very very close until Yoko came into the picture. He was there for a lot of Beatles stuff, and he also has some pretty outrageous stories from their youth. There are some biases in this book, but overall it's a really fun read.

 

Loving John by May Pang. May was a personal assistant to John and Yoko when she was in her early 20's. When she was 23, by Yoko's suggestion, she started seeing John romantically. This was dubbed the "Lost Weekend," and it lasted 18 months. This book is insane. It's not the best written, and I take a lot of it with a grain of salt, but some of these stories are unreal. It really shows how messed up John was, and it shows a lot of sides to him I wasn't aware of. Warning: some parts read like a romance novel. Speaking of May Pang..

 

Instamatic Karma by May Pang. Mainly a photo book. Beautiful shots.

 

I'm actually interviewing May sometime next month, I should go look at her books again for reference.

 

If you're into pictures, memorabilia, and the like, go get Lennon Legend by James Henke. Really fun book stuffed with replicas of tickets, lyric sheets, and such.

 

Sorry for the overwhelming list. John Lennon is my idol and my hero, so I've read book after book.

Didja really need to quote the entire monster list, Jen? <3

 

And yes, I know I'm a dork and a freak.

Thank you so much Ali.

You are not a dork or a freak. Or, if you are, you are my kind of freak.

This is very thorough and will keep me very busy.

:)

Whoa, you know so much about Lennon.  MORE THAN ME! :)
Bee Tee Dubs, have you come up with any questions yet?
I haven't. I have not a clue as to what we should ask May Pang. Oh well.

Alison Harford said:
Bee Tee Dubs, have you come up with any questions yet?

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