Monday, August 20, 2012

BC2012: Starting Over by Ken Sharp

I started reading this book about the making of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy with great trepidation. Actually, I was leery of even buying it. I knew I wanted to read it, but I also knew it would make me cry. Double Fantasy is a great album (well, at least John's songs), one that sounds even better as the music and the listener get older. But it's also inextricably linked to Lennon's murder.

Starting Over is an oral history drawing from the author's original interviews with about 40 people involved in the project ranging from musicians to recording engineers to photographers. Comments from Lennon come from published interviews from late 1980, including a number from Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times, whose Corn Flakes with John Lennon I began reading as soon as I finished Starting Over. That last sentence shows what I thought of this book. I rarely read consecutive books with overlapping subject matter, but Starting Over left me yearning for more.

Surprisingly, I made it all the way to page 144 without tears. There John describes Double Fantasy's message to his audience:
I'm saying, Here I am now, how are you? How's your relationship going? Did you get through it all? Wasn't the seventies a drag? Let's try to make the eighties good 'cause it's still up to us to make what we can of it. It's not out of our control. I still believe in love, peace.
Of course, he never got the chance to make the eighties good. Just days after he spoke those words, he was gone.

1 comment:

Chris said...

That quote has become rather well-known in the last 30 years; when you take that and add in his interviews with Rolling Stone that were published last year ... wow. Heartbreaking.