Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Review: IMAGINE JOHN YOKO, by John Lennon (mostly curated by Yoko Ono)

Imagine John Yoko is almost too much of a Good Thing. It is chock-full of interviews with anyone and everyone who had anything to do with the recording of the album. It’s also lavishly illustrated, including photos of notes, tech layouts, houses, gardens, people, art, and just about everything that went into the project. The result is a wonderful, huge book that literally took me all 15 of my library’s renewal options to finish. It also required me to clean off a table and put the book on it rather than holding it.

For those of us who remember John, Yoko, the Beatles, and the circus that seemed to be around them at all times, it’s a wonderful look back. I highly enjoyed it and even came to understand Yoko Ono and her work a bit more than I already did. (I had known that in some circles Ono was the “rising star” celebrity and Lennon the “hanger-on.”) In fact, one of the things I came away from the book with was a better understanding of what John found intellectually challenging about her. The book also noted that while John has often said that he took the lyrics for “Imagine” from some of Yoko’s work, it wasn’t until 2017 that Yoko got writing credit for it. Shortly before the announcement, Lennon had noted in a BBC interview that

“‘Actually that should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it — the lyric and the concept — came from Yoko. But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of Grapefruit, her book.”

Yoko Ono added to Imagine writing credits
Published 15 June 2017, BBC News

Again, if you love the Beatles, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, the Plastic Ono Band, and — most of all — the song “Imagine,” you will want to read this one. It’s definitely worth the time and effort.

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