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Memories of John Lennon
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Memories of John Lennon

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  728 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
'My first encounter with John Lennon gave me a sense of humility, which is funny in a way. The Beatles were such a big deal then - this was in 1963, before we had made a record - and we weren't really anyone.' - Mick Jagger. In this unique and evocative book, Yoko Ono, the widow of John Lennon, gathers together memories from fans, friends, and colleagues about the inspirin ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by It Books (first published September 30th 2005)
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Amy Rollo
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Shelves: favorites
I really didn't know much about John Lennon prior to reading this book, but wow, what an intro to his life. Getting a peek from others' accounts of him really allows you to see the impact that his presence made on this world. If only we could have more personalities in the world like that of John Lennon Ono.
Pete daPixie
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: poptastic
Three hundred pages of memories. Contributions mainly from the 'poptasic' world, luminary artists like Ray Charles, Sir Mick Jagger, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carlos Santana and Mary Wilson to name just a few. Also mother Terri Augello and daughter Alicia Keys. There are sixties Beatle people like Cilla Black, Peter Brown, Astrid Kirchherr, Billie J. Kramer and Klaus Voormann. Tom Hayden tells how MI5 and FBI tracked Lennon on both sides of the Atlantic in the late sixties and early seventies and Jon Wie ...more
Jan 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Put together by Yoko, this is a compilation of memories written by people who knew John Lennon or were affected by him during his life. The only reason I gave this a 4 and not a 5 was because a few of the writers were so wordy I had to skim through their entries. Overall the book was lovely. It was like looking through glasses seeing John for myself.
Merja Pohjola
May 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
4 stars... well, you really cannot rate people's memories can you? But I did enjoy reading most about the casual encounters with John, how he was in real life and how people related to him, and how he affected them and their lives. Realized I am not such a cuckoo after all, and if I am, I am not alone ;) Others who never met him have been affected by him all their lives... just like me... and I was so lucky to meet Yoko once... meeting her made me realize just how wrong people were about her, al ...more
Jun 01, 2007 rated it liked it
I enjoy John Lennon's music and think he was an important cultural figure, but I think this book is more suitable for die-hard Lennon fans. Edited by Yoko Ono, entries consist of essays, artwork and poems centering around Lennon. I found many of the entires redundant; the Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan show was indeed an important landmark on the landscape of rock 'n roll, but where people were and how it affected them was covered again and again (...and again), and I found myself ...more
Jul 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Although this was a nice tribute to John Lennon, I found it surprising that many of the contributors had never even met him. I also found it redundant when more than half the contributors began by talking about how old they were when the Beatles came to America. I actually admire Yoko as an artist, but I found this book to be very self-serving; it was as though she ONLY included essays that made her look like the be-all, end-all in John's life even though he contributed so much to the world inde ...more
Angelina Scott
Throughout reading Memories of John Lennon by Yoko Ono, I felt a lot of inspiration. John Lennon stood out among The Beatles as an inspiration and role model. For any true Beatles or John Lennon fan, I suggest reading this book. Yoko reaches out to all those that John’s life has made an impact on. This is definitely a favorite of all books that I have read. One thing I do dislike about the book is how Yoko never contributes John’s true impact on her life. In the book she states that she can simp ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the intimate stories about John. A few of them brought actual tears to my eyes. My only wish for this book would be that it had been compiled by a less biased eye. Any person other than Yoko Ono. It's easy to see why she selected THESE stories amongst the MANY I'm sure she received. Could she be any more self-serving? I have always been on the fence about the Yoko/John thing but this one tipped my favor into the "Yoko sucks" camp. Why couldn't the bullet miss him and hit her. He probab ...more
I liked this book for what it was -- several glimpses at John (particularly post-Beatles) as seen through others eyes.

I wondered at the inclusion of a couple names (one in particular who has previously published what I thought to be an unflattering portrayal of John and Yoko), and I was sorry for (though didn't wonder at) the lack of a page or two from Cynthia Powell.
Feb 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book includes many different people's memories about the life of John Lennon. Most of the people I don't even know, and many didn't know John well. I would have happier to read memories of Yoko Ono Lennon as she apparently knew him well and might have brought things to light the public and his fans didn't know about. I was very disappointed with it.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
A collection of memories by people, both famous and not, of John. The collection is edited by Yoko (and is therefore, I think, very pro-Yoko!). Nevertheless, it was an interesting read.
Jan 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Few essays allowed me to feel that I was getting a glimpse of John Lennon. The one that stands out was the Mintz essay. That for me was descriptive and solid and telling of John's character.
But to read about a celebrity's memory of when Lennon was shot or when they first heard a certain song- those essays seemed like inconsequential space fillers. I was more interested in the people that knew John than people that never had met him but contributed to the book anyway.
The book was repetitive and
Stephen Lillis
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ενα βιβλιο καθαρα εξυμνητικό που επικεντρωνεται στις θετικες πτυχες του καλλιτεχνη,ανθρωπιστη,πολιτικου ακτιβιστη και οικογενειαρχη Lennon.Tο χαπι θα μπορουσε να ειναι ασημενιο αντι για ολοχρυσο αλλα την επιμελεια την ανελαβε η Yoko οποτε και η εμμεσοι χαρακτηρισμοι του Lennon ως εκκεντρικο και ολιγον εγωκενρτικο ον ειναι αρκετοι.Μεσα απο τις αναμνησεις των 72 ανθολογημενων φωνων παρατιθενται χιουμοριστικα στιγμιοτυπα απο την ζωη του μεγαλου καλλιτεχνη αλλα και ενα καθαρα ιστορικο ημερολογειο πο ...more
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Before reading this book I thought I knew everything there was to know about John Lennon. I was proved wrong, very wrong. And I'm glad I did read this book because despite the long perspectives and insights from all these famous people. I realised they all had the same views about the person John was. I read through each sentence carefully and I learned about the many personality traits that John Lennon had. Some stories made me laugh and some made me cry. These stories were so personal and it g ...more
Mary Narkiewicz
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I always read books and articles about John Lennon that are written by Yoko Ono with a bit of objective distance. But I'm enjoying the anecdotes and thoughts of various celebrities which they have shared for the publication of this book. Cilla Black, John's cousin, David Geffen, etc..

There seems to be a smidgen of Camelot myth making involved.. He did have his dark side, as we all do. and then there's his first son Julian, and his first wife Cynthia.. I haven't seen if Julian contributed anythin
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I read almost all of this. To be fair, I skimmed a few pages with political subjects. Overall, it was an interesting book. We checked it out for my Dad but I opened it--just for a quick look--and ended up reading the whole thing over a period of a few days.

I enjoyed learning more about Lennon. He was interesting--he had his good and really, really horrible sides. The different testimonies were an interesting way to do this. I guess, for me, it lacked oomph. I couldn't connect with it.

Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Included in this book are, not surprisingly, people’s memories of John Lennon. Those included range from his cousins, to close friends, to musicians, to people who never met him. They all write very well; even the people who only manage one sentence show the depths of their emotion in missing Lennon. My only issue with this book is that, with Ono being the editor, there are quite a few essays that go on and on about her greatness. Yes, I think she affected Lennon’s life and should be included. N ...more
Ben John
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed reading about a man whose prophetic lyrics have touched so many. While it's difficult to know how 'real' their 'take' on Lennon is - I mean what else would you say, are they really being honest? - but who cares, if they guy was a dick then he wouldn't have written 'Imagine', simple as that. It's interesting his interest in Primal Therapy, you don't delve that deep unless you're one deep dude.
Dec 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all music fans and romantics
Well, I'm actually still reading this (the Holidays, you know, not much time), but everytime I read a little memory from one of the Lennons' friends, or from Yoko, I get all choked up. Why can't I have an amazing romance like this?, I think! The pictures are beautiful, and the contributors are some of the greatest people of our time, and some that recently passed, Norman Mailer included.
Highly recommend it!
Cathryn Hrudicka
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am fortunate to have a copy of the I corrected proof, which may have more intimate memories by a greater variety of contributors than the published version. This, I'm giving it one or two more stars than the average Goodreads review. The proof really includes some lesser known stories that capture the essence of John's life...and I like the drawings and photos.
As George said, It's All Too Much. Person after person tells about how much John meant to them, how they met/didn't meet him, how they loved him, how he inspired them. There are some good stories, but they're buried under all this well-meaning mush which quickly becomes repetitious.

Too bad. At half the length, it could've been much more interesting.
Farah Gh
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love it!
this book is a collection of memories that were told by people who effected by john ..
these collection was edited by yoko ono..
and i'm happy to know more about how john was in real life and how people related to him ..
however, i'm sad cause no one of the other beatles was a part of it,therefore i give it 4\5 !
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan since I was nine years old, when the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show. For people like me, the wealth of personal details and perspectives in this book bring the period and atmosphere of the sixties and seventies to life and make us realize that it wasn't just our imagination: John Lennon really was a unique and powerful person.
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book features a collection of people's memories of John Lennon. Very few of these accounts are interesting and worth reading, however there are some interesting photographs and drawings of Lennon scattered throughout. A biography of Lennon would probably be a better place to obtain a better understanding of Lennon and his impact on the lives around him that he touched.
Helen Chevreau
Dec 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people without brains
Worst book ever. she knew John Lennon better than almost anybody else, and yet believes that ALICIA KEYS(and other celebrities who didn't even know him) would have more interesting things to say about him. Yoko Ono is an idiot, and calling her the 'author' of this book would be a stretch.
Robert Vaughan
Mar 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Made me miss the musician and poet more than I ever have. A masterful tome edited by (guess who) Yoko.
Sep 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book, the only regret is that none of the Beatles were a part of it. Mentioned, but not a part of it. But over all this is a great book.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Most of the contributors never even met john. Elliot Mintz 's contribution was nothing new ditto Mick Jagger and Cilla, Eltons dissapointingly short. Only Astrids was good.
Mary Lou
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
An attempt by Yoko to keep Lennon relevant, while padding her bank account. Lots of fawning.
SM Richmond
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Much better than any I have read. Yoko's voice comes through clearly. Accurate information
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Yoko Ono Lennon is a Japanese artist and musician. She is known for her work as an avant-garde artist and musician, and her marriage and works with world famous English musician John Lennon.
More about Yoko Ono...