Monday, January 09, 2006

It took me years to write, will you take a look?

I just sailed through Cynthia Lennon's reminiscence, 'John,' published in October to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his death and what would have been his 65th - gasp - birthday. Of the assorted products that came out, I'm glad I put my money on Cyn.

Even casual Beatles/Lennon fans should be familiar with most of the story and facts herein. You won't find any bombshell revelations. And thankfully it doesn't read like she has an agenda - with one understandable and excusable exception. What makes this book special is Cynthia's writing voice itself - it's crystal clear she did and always will love John. She writes of and from the heart.

I know the cynical are saying, oh yeah, so is she carrying some psycho post-mortem torch? Is she gold-digging? Nyet, heathens. I felt she wants to share with us her John, and the times, as they have settled comfortably into her memory. She has an old-school 60's feminine sweetness, I must say. She was infatuated by her man - frankly, weren't we all? And although she acknowledges the also old-school male chauvinism of the times, she seems to have that all resolved. Now, she writes of only the giggly guy you knew existed, reacting to Beatlemania with a perfectly natural mixture of pleasure, incredulity, pride, fear, joy, humor, craziness, ego, and yes, a bit of condescension and snottiness. This is not treacly sweet, it's all there, as nature intended. But while there is no hero worship, there is also no crucifixion. It is a warm remembrance, which rings honest and true. It is the most human John I've read, with the sole exception of his own words.

John tried to squash an earlier publication by her - no doubt he was more haunted by guilt than he otherwise let on. Judging by this book however, he needn't have worried. It is nothing more than a loving reflection. Occasionally, a touch of sadness does sneak in. When it does, she rallies; which makes the sadness even more poignant.

That one excusable exception, on the agenda front: her motherly instincts to protect Julian. No question, there are issues there that will undoubtably never be satisfactorily resolved. You get a whiff of it, in his forward.

(Although, Julian, you are 40 now. You've had your moment in the spotlight and a bit of success, apparently. All things must pass and all that...moving on yet, are we?)

I'm no Yoko-basher - but if Cyn can do it, why won't Yoko write about her life with John? It's clear John left Cynthia because he fell out of love with her and in with Yoko. Anyone who still thinks Yoko manipulated John, that he wasn't equally culpable, has never experienced love for themselves. And it's no secret she's been with Sam Havadtoy for nearly 25 years now as well. I don't know, sometimes it makes me wonder. The similarities between John's Aunt Mimi and Yoko aren't entirely dismissible. Sometimes Yoko is her own worst publicist.

Oh, okay...a little bit o' tid - Cynthia and May Pang became friends.

The Beatles, forever. And Cyn? Yes, you could say she was attractively built. Yeah, yeah, yeah!


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