Lennon Remembers has been in my pile of books longer than anything else (with the possible exception of The Power Broker and Mason & Dixon†). Kim got it for me in a second-floor used book store on the Upper West Side about 7 years ago and I just finished reading it. The book is a long interview with John, Yoko and a Rolling Stone reporter conducted in December 1970 soon after the Beatles had broken up.
I used to be a huge Beatles fan (I cared enough to get very upset that the Anthology albums didn’t include “Watching Rainbows“, “Sour Milk Sea” or some other good bootleg songs). I also tend to be an apologist for Paul, so it was interesting to hear what John said about him — specifically that he was a bastard and an egomaniac.
To be fair, John said as much for other people too, including himself. Some quotes:
The Beatles were the biggest bastards on earth.
People like me are aware of their so-called genius at ten, eight, nine… I never forgave her [his Auntie] for not treating me like a fuckin’ genius or whatever I was, when I was a child.
…I can knock the Beatles, but don’t let Mick Jagger knock them. Because I would like to just list what we did and what the Stones did two months after, on every fuckin’ album and every fuckin’ thing we did.
There are other interesting things in there, so read through it if you like the Beatles.
Next, I’m going to read a book called Green Centuries that my mom gave to me.
* The last three words in the book are “scrapbook of madness.” The full quote is:
Q. Do you have a picture of “when I’m 64”?
A. No, no. I hope we’re a nice old couple living off the coast of Ireland or something like that—looking at our scrapbook of madness.
† I just haven’t been in the mood for over 1,100 pages of Robert Moses or almost 800 pages of Thomas Pynchon’s version of pre-Revolutionary America. Go figure.