BeatleLinks LogoNav Panel New Sites Cool Sites Top Rated Fab Forum Add A Site Link To Us Revolution Radio New Products



Go Back   BeatleLinks Fab Forum > Solo Forums > Menlove Avenue


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Dec 24, 2011, 08:29 AM   #1
Snoopy66
Paperback Writer
 
Snoopy66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 2,501

Post Book review "Starting over" by Ken Sharp

Hi everybody

I've been starting reading Ken Sharp's book "The making of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy" and wanted to share my thoughts.

Well, I wanted to upload a picture of the cover, but didn't manage it, so here is the link, how the book looks like for those who don't know:
http://img2.imagesbn.com/images/101560000/101565753.jpg

Well, I honestly, don't like the cover very much. The picture in the background is blurry and the faces of John and Yoko is are cut in the middle. It could have been more attractive; just my opinion.

The picture of John on the back-cover is better quality but happens to be just the look of John I don't like, but again, that's my personal view.

However, the books contains very nice pictures of John and Yoko, like on page 20, 48, 64, 69, 73, 104, 165 and 224 (these are my favourite).

I haven't read it all yet, but so far (till page 70) I found it very interesting, as you've got the feeling being in the record-studio yourself. It shows in what kind of spirit John was during recording his last album and how it was working with him in the studio.

It's written in a very positive way. Well, sometimes I wonder if it's not a bit too positive and it would have been written the same, if John had lived. All musician without exception describes John as funny, talkative, easy to work with etc. hmm... maybe they just didn't write anything negative abou him... I don't know...

I like the structure of the book, which is constructed as an oral history, so it's quite easy to read, nor complicated or nor long sentences, which makes the reading fluent and easy to understand.

The introduction is good, but in one of the first pages it's written "Dedicated to the memory of John Lennon and my beloved basset hound, Herman". Well, I don't see any link between the basset and John, so I found it a bit inappropriate. But, being an animal-lover myself, I don't want to be too fussy...

Here are the passages who struck me most:

John Lennon: I had been under this pressure to produce, produce. My head was chuttered. This shows, how stressed John must have felt before Sean was born

John Lennon: In five years I hardly picked up a guitar. Oh well....

Jack Douglas: The other funny thing about the cassette was at the end of some songs he'd say "just give this one to Ringo". Ringo is much more mentioned than Paul...

George Small about John's apartment: I also remember the solid gold bathroom fixtures. Wow, for a "working class hero"...

Jack Douglas: No one would know (about the Hit Factory). We could go in and out of there without ever being seen. Well, I wasn't aware, that the recordings were kept THAT secret

Andy Newmark: It's great when someone has the ability to very honest and straight-forward out but, at the same time, never alienates the person being spoken to. John was good like that. Nice description of John's personality

Lee DeCarlo: I like working fast and so did John. Well, that's typical...

Andy Newmark: 1980 is also when Jhon had been straight and sober for several years. Well, good to know

Stan Vincent: John said "Gentlemen, the dead fish has arrived" (talking about Fushi)

And the last one:

John Lennon: There's only two artists that I've ever worked with for more than a one-night stand. That's Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono, and I think that's a pretty damned good choice. No comment...

Of course, I'd love to know the opinion of other members, who read the book... ?

Happy X-mas everyone

Snoopy
Snoopy66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 11:09 AM   #2
Fly
Dr. Robert
 
Fly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 21, 2002
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Posts: 1,302
Default

Dammit. I was supposed to read this. I have it but only remember reading a section where the session musicians were so amazed that John knew exactly what he wanted for each instrument/arrangement.

Um, duh? He's John Lennon of course.

Thanks for the quotes. I'll read more and comment another time.
__________________
"It does not matter how old you are, you're as young as you feel right now." John Lennon

Last edited by bearkat77 : Jan 02, 2012 at 08:07 PM.
Fly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 11:14 AM   #3
Maia 66
Sun King
 
Join Date: Sep 09, 2009
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 5,358

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy66 View Post
Andy Newmark: 1980 is also when Jhon had been straight and sober for several years. Well, good to know
Well, I know someone who smoked a joint with John in 1980, so I guess he wasn't all that straight...

I haven't read this one, but I know Scruffie has and she digs it the most. She'll be here shortly to share her views, I'm sure.
__________________

All I want is the truth
Just give me some truth...


Maia 66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 02:34 PM   #4
Snoopy66
Paperback Writer
 
Snoopy66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 2,501

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly View Post
Thanks for the quotes. I'll read more and comment another time.
I'd love to read your comment, Fly

Snoopy
Snoopy66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 06:17 PM   #5
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default Maia is right!!

Thanks for making this thread Snoopy!

I love this book!

What this book does is break down the entire time period right before, during, and after John Lennon and Yoko Ono went into the studio to record Double Fantasy. What was meant to be a reemergence onto the scene, with more music and a tour to come, ended up being John's Swan Song to the world. For me, the entire read was so bittersweet and so beautifully made.

I don't think any of the session musicians or others who worked with John on the album were overdoing the praise. They really were amazed by him and his energy, humor, and natural command in the studio. He had a charisma and intelligence that shone off of him, and every single one of those men and women were very in awe. But not in a "OMG this man is my god" way, but in a "OMG, John Lennon is right here and he is JUST as amazing as I thought he was, and more."

The break down of each song is my favorite. When I have a chance, I will share some of the excerpts from each of them. I love how tenderly Jack Douglas and others described John coming in and playing those songs to the group of men. They were stunned at the simple beauty of him on his guitar or piano, singing each part and explaining what he wanted them to sound like. He also had the arrangements together and was very clear on what he wanted from each musician.

He joked around a lot! And Jack D. described how he had a tape running during the entire time John and Yoko were in there. At one point, Yoko was recording one of her songs and John spoke into the intercom that she didn't sound too great and she was like "F**k you very much John." But then she redid it. There was a very deep mutual respect and ease between John and Yoko when they worked together.

I also love the way John had a picture of Sean in the studio when he was recording, since he missed his little boy when he was at school. When Sean got out, he would come in and watch his dad and he was very amazed by it and, when John played him "Beautiful Boy," Sean loved it. John and Sean were VERY affectionate with each other.

Ugh, the book is just perfect! It really makes you emotional though...or it did for me. It breaks a lot of the myths that people have about John Lennon or John Lennon in 1980. It's an eye-opener, but in a wonderful way.

I'll comment more later. I'm going to get the book out and reread some things!
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon

Last edited by Apple Scruff : Dec 25, 2011 at 09:13 AM.
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 06:19 PM   #6
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default The cover!

Snoopy, I don't share the same feelings as you on the cover. I love it and the picture tugs at my heartstrings. John's hair...

__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 24, 2011, 06:20 PM   #7
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default

^ I think it's a touching and very delicate cover for such a book! HIGHLY recommend this book! Highly!!!
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2011, 07:49 AM   #8
Snoopy66
Paperback Writer
 
Snoopy66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 2,501

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Scruff View Post
Snoopy, I don't share the same feelings as you on the cover. I love it and the picture tugs at my heartstrings. John's hair...

Thank's for uploading the picture, Scruffie

Oh well, I just think it's a pity not to show the entire faces of John & Yoko on the front cover, but instead to put such large letter for "over"

You're right, John's hair looks great

Snoopy
Snoopy66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2011, 08:01 AM   #9
Snoopy66
Paperback Writer
 
Snoopy66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 2,501

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Scruff View Post
Thanks for making this thread Snoopy!

I love this book!

I don't think any of the session musicians or others who worked with John on the album were overdoing the praise. They really were amazed by him and his energy, humor, and natural command in the studio. He had a charisma and intelligence that shone off of him, and every single one of those men and women were very in awe. But not in a "OMG this man is my god" way, but in a "OMG, John Lennon is right here and he is JUST as amazing as I thought he was, and more."

I also love the way John had a picture of Sean in the studio when he was recording, since he missed his little boy when he was at school. When Sean got out, he would come in and watch his dad and he was very amazed by it and, when John played him "Beautiful Boy," Sean loved it. John and Sean were VERY affectionate with each other.
I like your input, Scruffie

You know, I guess the problem is that the last books I read about John weren't that positive; so I automatically got sceptical about those praising about John. But they sound sincere; I can imagine that it's about every musician's dream to work with John Lennon

I read in another book that Sean missed John a lot when he was in the studio. He just was used to have his dad all day around. John even once said to him "you don't like it when your dad is going to work, don't you ?". It made me heartbroken when I read this, just imagined Sean losing his dad completely so suddenly...

Snoopy
Snoopy66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2011, 09:17 AM   #10
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopy66 View Post
I like your input, Scruffie

You know, I guess the problem is that the last books I read about John weren't that positive; so I automatically got sceptical about those praising about John. But they sound sincere; I can imagine that it's about every musician's dream to work with John Lennon
I see what you're saying, Snoopy. But don't forget that the last book you read (I believe by GG?) was written by a man who never met or knew John. He is going by word of mouth of people who are intentionally trying to present a very negative picture of the John and Yoko union. You can not trust him as an author, as he associates with thieves and liars and is, by all accounts, a very poor writer.

These men in the Starting Over book have not all shared these insights before. Some of them never spoke about it before, and came out to share their experiences as a commemoration of 30 years of John being gone/30 years of Double Fantasy. All of them aren't tied to Yoko or to a theme. For goodness sakes, these are all very successful musicians in their own realm. So...they had no agenda or anything up their sleeve except the pure memories of their experiences with this legendary man.
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2011, 01:41 PM   #11
Snoopy66
Paperback Writer
 
Snoopy66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 2,501

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Scruff View Post
I see what you're saying, Snoopy. But don't forget that the last book you read (I believe by GG?) was written by a man who never met or knew John. He is going by word of mouth of people who are intentionally trying to present a very negative picture of the John and Yoko union. You can not trust him as an author, as he associates with thieves and liars and is, by all accounts, a very poor writer.
Yeah, I've been a bit influenced by the book of GG . Oh, but I've read sooo many negative things in different books about John, so it seemed just "too good to be true" to read such nice comments about John.

Of course, I will give more input about "Starting over", as I'm reading more and more...

Snoopy
Snoopy66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2011, 01:50 PM   #12
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default

I know. But many of the negative things you read-although some could definitely be true- many were created by these terrible non-entities who want to disgrace the reputation John had, still has, and the relationship he had with Yoko. Some, like Seaman and his friend Robert Rosen, have their own agenda. And some are just...well, LOSERS like GG who write terribly and slanderous things to boot.

This book by Ken Sharp is excellent because it relies on no "heard it from him who heard it from him, etc." This is real and it was written from a very balanced perspective. It is not eulogizing, it is sharing a time and a place with the readers who weren't there to experience it.
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2011, 02:08 PM   #13
Snoopy66
Paperback Writer
 
Snoopy66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 11, 2009
Posts: 2,501

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple Scruff View Post
I know. But many of the negative things you read-although some could definitely be true- many were created by these terrible non-entities who want to disgrace the reputation John had, still has, and the relationship he had with Yoko. Some, like Seaman and his friend Robert Rosen, have their own agenda. And some are just...well, LOSERS like GG who write terribly and slanderous things to boot.

This book by Ken Sharp is excellent because it relies on no "heard it from him who heard it from him, etc." This is real and it was written from a very balanced perspective. It is not eulogizing, it is sharing a time and a place with the readers who weren't there to experience it.
Actually, it's terrible how MANY bad books there are still existing about John Often, very often, I ask myself: Why is that so ? Why so much dislike, even hate ?? I can't recall that John ever talked badly about other people. Sometimes I think it's John's fault, as he once apparantly said that he didn't care what the press wrote about him. But if he really knew....

On the other hand, I did enjoy some passages of GG's book , but at the same time, I tried not to take everything for granted. Sometimes I have to make a break; as I'm scared about the following effect: the more I read about John, the less I know and at the end I don't know what to believe.

You're right Scruffie: Those musicians met John for real and know him probably better, than those negative authors

Snoopy
Snoopy66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 25, 2011, 02:21 PM   #14
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default

I hope Ken Sharp's book will begin something new in Lennon journalism. I am so sick of reading the same rehashed myths from hack writers out to make a buck. Do you want to know why there are so many Snoopy? It's because they know drama and sordid tales $$SELL$$. How many Beatles fans do you think saw a new book about John's last days and ate it up?

Shoot, I was one of them.

But the books are garbage. And you need to "wash that GG outta your hair" because he is absolute trash. Books like Sharp's are gems because they don't need to hype up drama. It's honesty in writing and honesty in facts- the kind of honesty that John was about.

Plus, it's focusing on the music. The more I come back to John's last music, the more I love it. I mean LOOOVVVVEEEE it. Like, I could listen to "I'm Losing You" 20 times in a row and still want more. I know, I know...but I'm telling the truth here.

I intend to share some excerpts from each song and perhaps some people can see why I love this book. It focuses on the things we know and love most about John, not the make-believe.
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2011, 09:47 AM   #15
wildewoman
Taxman
 
wildewoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 20, 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,895

Default I got this book for Christmas!

...I just read the introduction and was dismayed to find that he got John's birthday wrong. October 8? Really, dude? Wish you'd let me fact-check your preface before it went to print....

That said, I do look forward to reading the rest because of Scruff's recommendation, but boy, did that glaring error hop out at me!
wildewoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2011, 09:57 AM   #16
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default

Oh that would just be a minor blip compared with the whole picture, wilde. It's a very beautiful book and I know you'll enjoy it.
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon

Last edited by Apple Scruff : Dec 26, 2011 at 09:57 AM.
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2011, 11:24 AM   #17
wildewoman
Taxman
 
wildewoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 20, 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,895

Default I'm sure you're right, Scruff

...I asked for this book based on your recommendation. My Christmas list was total John-geek this year and I ended up with not only this one, but the Gruen one about the NYC years, the book based on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibit, "Lennon Legend" --which is a hell of a lot of fun, sort of like a pop-up book for Lennon fans. It may not offer a lot in the way of new information, but there's beautiful photographs and reproductions of his school report cards, handwritten lyrics, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings and the like! It's great fun!

I also got the Doggett book and Geoff Emerick's book, which I understand are none-too-flattering. The person who gave them to me meant well, but I am not sure if they are worth reading or whether I will end up tossing them across the room. I have read especially negative things about Doggett--mainly that he's not particularly kind to any of the group.

But I'll zip through "Starting Over" and share what I get out of it.
wildewoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2011, 11:30 AM   #18
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default

I don't know this Doggett book. But I have great disdain for Emerick's book. He is cruel and insensitive and comes off as though...well, he comes off like a self-righteous a-hole.

Oh, I know you'll enjoy many parts of this book wilde! You were there during that time...it is going to take you back. Maia and Snoopy as well!
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2011, 12:37 PM   #19
wildewoman
Taxman
 
wildewoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 20, 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,895

Default The first DF rehearsal occurred on my 17th birthday!!

August 2nd. I was up in the Boston area that summer and it amazes me that the same day my friend and went to the movies to see "The Blue Lagoon" (LAME!!!), John was in his first rehearsal for making his comeback!

Another thing that surprised me--John was a fan of Christopher Cross? Honestly? Oh, man, John, not THAT lamer. (Shakes head).
wildewoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2011, 12:41 PM   #20
Apple Scruff
Sun King
 
Apple Scruff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 10, 2002
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 10,536

Default

Yes but...I told my husband that John loved Billy Joel and he started fake choking.

It was Billy Joel from the 70s! What's wrong with that?

edit: SOOOOO cool about your 17th birthday wilde.
__________________
"Let me live in you..." ~ John Lennon

Last edited by Apple Scruff : Dec 26, 2011 at 12:42 PM.
Apple Scruff is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Book Review: ‘John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth’ by Elizabeth Partridge Peregrine9 Menlove Avenue 5 Dec 07, 2011 04:16 PM
BOOK REVIEW: MANSFIELD'S WHITE BOOK Esmirelda Paperback Writer 0 Nov 05, 2007 09:18 AM
Geoff Emericks Upcoming Beatles Book... Harb83 Paperback Writer 12 Apr 21, 2006 01:37 PM
Dear Sir Or Madame... JDanRyan Paperback Writer 1 Oct 19, 2002 01:29 PM
MY Review of the Stu Book HMVNipper Paperback Writer 4 Nov 27, 2001 10:09 PM


Advertisements

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Site Features
Search Links

  Advanced Search
Category Jump



BeatleMail

FREE E-MAIL
@ BEATLEMAIL.COM


Username


Password




New User Sign-Up!
Lost Password?
Beatles History




Donate
The costs of running our database and discussion forum are steadily rising. Any help we receive is greatly appreciated. Click HERE for more information about donating to BeatleLinks.
Extras
» Chat Room
» Current News
» Monthly Contest
» Interviews Database
» Random Site
» Banner Exchange
» F.A.Q.
» Advertise
» Credits
» Legal
» Contact Us
Copyright © 2000-2020 BeatleLinks
All Rights Reserved