Book collects Lennon musings from wide range of admirers
Memories of John Lennon celebrates one of rock’s most prismatic figures.
The trickster, rebel and peacemaker are only a few of the kaleidoscopic images that emerge from reflections by 73 men and women affected by Lennon—close friends and passing acquaintances, as well as some who only knew him through his music.
A labor of love edited by Yoko Ono, Memories has all the strengths and weaknesses of a family scrapbook, displaying a sweet, regretful nostalgia with only occasional flashes of the turmoil that gives any real family its spark. As in a family scrapbook, loss haunts the pages.
Lennon’s life is not laid out for retracing over a rigid timeline. The alphabetical arrangement of contributors turns the book into an encyclopedia of dreams. A poem by Alicia Keys is followed by an essay from Astrid Kirchherr, whose early photographs helped turn The Beatles into The Beatles.
Some, like Dennis Hopper and Norman Mailer, contribute exactly one weary sentence apiece. Bono offers a picture he doodled at age 12.
Memories is not a book to pick up and read from beginning to end. Browsing its short pieces encourages meditation and self-reflection, but only rarely surprises.