The Man, the Myth, the Music--the Definitive Life

eBook - 2011 | 1st ed.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The author, a music historian and journalist writes a biography that challenges many popular assumptions about Lennon's life, from his widely misunderstood 'Working Class Hero' origins to his epic romance with Yoko Ono. Also critic for NPR he takes us on the remarkable journey that brought a Liverpool art student from a disastrous childhood to the highest realms of fame. He portrays Lennon's rise from Hamburg's red light district to Britain's Royal Variety Show; from the charmed naïveté of "Love Me Do" to the soaring ambivalence of "Don't Let Me Down"; from his shotgun marriage to Cynthia Powell in 1962 to his epic media romance with Yoko Ono. This narrative draws on numerous new and exclusive interviews with Lennon's friends, enemies, confidantes, and associates. He explores Lennon in all of his contradictions: the British art student who universalized an American style, the anarchic rock 'n' roller with the moral spine, the anti-jazz snob who posed naked with his avant-garde lover, and the misogynist who became a househusband. What emerges is the enormous, seductive, and confounding personality that made Lennon a cultural touchstone.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781401303938
Characteristics: 1 online resource : ill.
Additional Contributors: OverDrive


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 02, 2016

I've read many of The Beatle books and biographies. This one stands out from the crowd as exemplary. Riley is an obvious fan but, handles his admiration admirably and doesn't pull any punches. He examines the facts and delves into the myths with clear eyes and open mind. Keeping in mind human nature, he is able to put a man's proclivity for musical genius into the light of glaring human foibles without wrecking perceptions or wrapping the guy in 24 kt gold either. Handles the bitterness of the break-up years and the broken relationship of Lennon/McCartney with realistic insight and objective clarity. UGH

Dec 30, 2015

I have read quite a few books on John Lennon, including A Twist of Lennon by Cynthia Lennon, Lennon by Ray Coleman, The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman and The Last Days of John Lennon by Fred Seaman, plus a few others and quite a few on the Beatles as well. It has been several years since I read much about Lennon as I find it too heartbreaking. I remember the day John Lennon was shot and It still makes me sad to think about it. Riley does a good job of portraying Lennon and the irony of the man who brought so much happiness to so many people through the music of the Beatles and whose life was marked with one tragedy after another and whose own life ended so suddenly and tragically. The bulk of this book focuses on the Beatles' years as one might expect. But I would have liked to read more about Lennon's life outside the Beatles and outside the music business. The last five years of Lennon's life are not really covered in detail as the author finds the most reliable sources of information on Lennon's life to be musicians, producers, recording engineers and so on and Lennon was not around them much between 1975 and 1980. But for Lennon fans or anyone interested in this brilliant, troubled man who revolutionized rock music this book is a must read.

Feb 09, 2012

a true in-deph story, probably the best Lennon bio i've ever read and I've read lots !

Jan 13, 2012

Excellent in-depth look at the life of one of the most influential figures of pop/rock music of all time. Far and away the best bio on Lennon that i've read.

LProfeta Oct 18, 2011

A true story of the time period and awareness of John and Yoko Ono as artists who effected the world for all times.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at MPL

To Top