by John Wyse Jackson
John Lennon (1940-80) was the founder of the most successful pop/rock group of all time, the Beatles. Convinced of his genius from an early age, he explored his own complex, witty personality in his songs, drawing on drugs, meditation and psychotherapy for insights into his art. His career was transformed in 1968 when he joined forces with Yoko Ono. As the Beatles broke up, the extraordinary couple became public 'clowns for peace', and familiar figures in the international protest movement. Lennon's groundbreaking solo work during the 1970s would be overshadowed by the success of the 1971 'Imagine'. The song became an anthem after he was shot by a mentally disturbed fan in New York on 8 December 1980. John Wyse Jackson's biography is published to commemorate the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death. Touching for the first time on his Irish roots and how his background influenced his music, philosophy and attitude to life and politics, it travels to the heart of the 'little child inside the man'.
John Wyse Jackson was born, raised and educated in Ireland. He came to London in 1980 to join the team at John Sandoe's bookshop off the Kings Road in Chelsea. In his spare time he wrote and collaborated on various books, including James Joyce's Dubliners: An Annotated Edition, The Rare Oscar Wilde, Flann O'Brien At War and John Stanislaus Joyce: The Voluminous Life And Genius Of James Joyce's Father. In 2003 he and his wife returned to Ireland with their children: while they are at school, he pursues a writing career from a book-lined shed in County Wexford.
"I am not in the group of people who think that because all our dreams didn't come true in the Sixties everything we said or did was invalid. No, there isn't any peace in the world despite our efforts, but I still believe the hippie peace-and-love thing was worthwhile. If somebody stands up and smiles and then gets smacked in the face, that doesn't invalidate the smile. It existed."