Saturday, October 04, 2008

John's Secret Dreams: The Life of John Lennon

by Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by Bryan Collier

John Lennon was a teenager when his aunt told him he could "never make a living" as a guitarist. Luckily, John did not take no for an answer. Although he often had to hide his dreams from family and friends, John Lennon accomplished what most consider to be come of the greatest triumphs in popular music.

Doreen Rappaport's elegant prose and Bryan Collier's breathtaking art together depict the complex life of John Lennon and make it accessible to young readers. In addition, through the selected lyrics quoted inside, Lennon speaks for himself to new generations, and is bound to win over a legion of new die-hard fans.

John's Secret Dreams is an extraordinary experience of the senses, told by Doreen in prose, Bryan in pictures, and John in song. Filled with factual details, including a bibliography and a chronological account of important moments in John's life, this book allows readers to come to know the rebel, the activist, the genius, the musician who helped change our world.

Doreen Rappaport wrote the critically acclaimed Martin's Big Words, which received a Caldecott Honor, a Coretta Scott King Honor, an NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor, a New York Times Best Illustrated citation, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award, and was a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. She is also the author of Freedom River, an ALA Notable Book and winner of the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. She lives and writes in upstate New York.

Bryan Collier received a Caldecott Honor for Martin's Big Words, and a Coretta Scott King Honor for Freedom River. He won the Coretta Scott King Award for Uptown, which he wrote himself. Mr. Collier is a graduate of Pratt Institute and volunteers in Harlem in a program that offers work space and materials to self-taught artists. In his travels he aims to inspire children to explore their artistic side. He divides his time between New York and Pennsylvania.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Real Love: The Drawings for Sean

by John Lennon

John Lennon was many things to many people: singer, songwriter, poet, political activist, and, not the least, the most outspoken member of what is, inarguably, the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time. But to Sean Lennon, he was Daddy, a role he took on with as much humor, intensity, and enthusiasm as any he had tackled.

John made the drawings in this book with and for Sean. Drawing pictures and making up funny captions was one of the ways they played together. It was how John taught Sean about the simple joys of creativity. It was one of the many ways John was able to express his real love for--and great joy in--his son.

John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool, England, on October 9, 1940, and raised by his Aunt Mimi. At the age of six, he wrote and illustrated his first book. When he was 20, he and some friends started a rock-and-roll band called the Silver Beatles. As everyone knows, The Beatles went on to become the most famous musical group of all time. While still a Beatle, John wrote and illustrated two books of poems: In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works. Of the former, the Times Literary Supplement wrote: "It is worth the attention of anyone who fears for the impoverishment of the English language and the British imagination." John died on December 8, 1980. His thoughts, his music, his poetry, and his art live on.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Marx & Lennon: The Parallel Sayings

Selected by Joey Green

Selected by bestselling author Joey Green, a collection of 400 quotes by Marx and Lennon, juxtaposed to reveal their hilarious similarities. No, not THAT Marx and Lenin! Heres a much funnier and artistically talented pair from history. Revolutionaries in their own rights, John Lennon and Groucho Marx did not share much common ground with their Communist namesakes, or even with each other. Where they do overlap is through their very humorous and irreverent takes on life. Editor Joey Green brings together a collection of more than 400 Groucho Marx and John Lennon sayings, juxtaposed to emphasize their hysterical and unexpected similarities

Joey Green, the bestselling author of 30 books and America's favorite inventor of wacky uses for brand-name products, is a frequent guest on such shows as Today, The Tonight Show, and Good Morning America. His books include Joey Green's Amazing Kitchen Cures, Joey Green's Gardening Magic, and Polish Your Furniture with Panty Hose. He resides in Los Angeles, California.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Unseen Beatles

Label: Liberation Entertainment

With rare & previously unseen footage

At the height of their fame, The Beatles performed their last live concert - never touring again following the 1966 US sell-out shows.

The Unseen Beatles explores the unique talent that set them apart and drove them on through a series of increasingly ambitious tours, conquering the world and inventing the modern rock tour. The price they paid for all this saw them abandon life on the road, rather than let it destroy who they were.

DVD Extras:
- Extended interviews with Allan Williams, Tony Barrow, Larry Kane and more.
- Photo Gallery
- Rare footage of The Beatles in Jersey

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John Lennon - Come On, Listen To Me

Label: His Master's Choice, HMC 004

1. Going Down On Love [rehearsal] 4:01
2. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [overdub on take 7] 3:35
3. Old Dirt Road [rehearsal] 4:41
4. What You Got [alternate take] 4:08
5. Bless You [rehearsal with false start] 6:32
6. Scared [rehearsal] 4:53
7. #9 Dream [promo edit] 2:52
8. Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird Of Paradox) [rehearsal] 3:36
9. Steel And Glass [rehearsal] 5:16
10. Beef Jerky [rehearsal] 3:17
11. Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out) [rehearsal] 5:14


12. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:15
13. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:50
14. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:18
15. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:05
16. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:34
17. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:13
18. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 4:14
19. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:34
20. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 4:17


1. Ain't She Sweet [improvisation] 0:27
2. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:43
3. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:34
4. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:35
5. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 0:47
6. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:23
7. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 1:46
8. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:50
9. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:57
10. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 4:02
11. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 1:23
12. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:02
13. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take 10] 4:02
14. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take 11] 4:00
15. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [takes 12 & 13] 0:56
16. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take 14] 4:01
17. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take 15] 2:28
18. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [takes 16 & 17] 0:32
19. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take 18] 3:49
20. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 2:19
21. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [take unknown] 3:44


22. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [alternate take] 3:48
23. Move Over Ms. L [rehearsal with false start] 2:55
24. Bless You [alternate take] 3:51
25. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [rehearsal] 1:44
26. Beef Jerky [alternate take] 3:27
27. Move Over Ms. L [alternate take] 2:40
28. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night [rough mix] 3:30

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Beatles Unauthorized

Label: GoodTimes Entertainment Limited

See the Beatles in Historic Live Performances and Interviews

A must for every Beatles fan, this one-of-a-kind compilation offers a fascinating, entertaining, and surprising look at the Fab Four with rare newsreel footage, candid and revealing interviews, and historic performances. Included are their first U.S. concert in Washington, D.C., never-before-seen highlights from the Hollywood Bowl, a rare uncensored interview filmed just before their very last concert, and live renditions of many hits. You'll hear "Roll Over Beethoven," "From Me to You," "I Saw Her Standing There," "I Wanna Be Your Man," "Till There Was You," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and "Twist and Shout" from Washington. Original Beatles drummer Pete Best appears on I've Got a Secret, while in The Beatles Speak Out, they discuss everything from income taxes, critics, and the price of fame to their musical influences and imitators.

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We All Want to Change the World: The Life of John Lennon

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."
--John Lennon

Monday, September 29, 2008

Skywriting by Word of Mouth and other writings, including The Ballad of John and Yoko

by John Lennon

"Candid and scathing. . . . A reflection of its author's creativity and enduring appeal."

"Skywriting is a thrill. . . . Lennon at his best."
--San Jose Mercury News

John Lennon wrote Skywriting by Word of Mouth, an impressive collection of writings and drawings, during Yoko's pregnancy with Sean, and always planned to have it published. It was a wish that seemed to end with his assassination in 1980 and the theft of the book from the Lennons' home in 1982. When it was recovered and first published in 1986, Skywriting received immediate critical and popular acclaim. Filled with Lennon's extraordinary creative powers and lavishly illustrated with his own drawings, the collection reveals his fertile creative spirit up close and in full force. Included in Skywriting is "Two Virgins," written when the public learned that John and Yoko were living together as husband and wife, and John's only autobiography. In addition there are notes on his falling in love with Yoko, the breakup of the Beatles, his persecution by U.S. authorities, and his withdrawal from public life. This is a book with John Lennon's spirit on every page--a spirit the world needs to remember.

"It's no wonder Lennon's fans grow more in love with him as time goes by. . . . His great influence on popular music makes him impossible to forget. So does this book."
--Houston Chronicle

"Marvelous, delightful reading, and for Lennon fans a must."
--Publishers Weekly

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lennon Legend: An Illustrated Life of John Lennon

by James Henke

Presented in a handsome slipcase, Lennon Legend is both an illustrated and an interactive biography of the creative genius - songwriter, artist, social activist - who changed his times. Created with the cooperation of Yoko Ono Lennon, who has opened her archives for this project, the book offers insightful details about every era of John's life, from his early days at art school to the height of Beatlemania to "Imagine." A live recording of that song is included, along with several interviews of John talking about his life and art, on the audio CD contained in this package. Throughout, the book features archival photographs and reproductions of John's handwritten song lyrics, drawings, memorabilia, and personal papers. In all, 40 removable facsimiles can be enjoyed by the reader, several previously unpublished, including an intimate self-portrait in pen and ink and a plea for world peace. It's been said that John Lennon's was the voice of a generation. Lennon Legend celebrates that voice's power to resonate across the generations.

James Henke is vice-president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. For 16 years he was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine. He has also written and edited several books on rock and roll.