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Bindon: Fighter, Gangster, Actor, Lover - the True Story of John Bindon, a Modern Legend

Bindon: Fighter, Gangster, Actor, Lover - the True Story of John Bindon, a Modern Legend [Kindle Edition]

Wensley Clarkson
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

John Bindon is a modern legend. A fine screen presence and a powerful figure in London's underworld, his film-star looks, charm and talent brought him worldwide exposure. His story reads like the plot of a movie which Big John himself might have landed a part in. Usually typecast in tough-guy roles, his on-screen persona was chillingly close to the real-life one. Big John's nickname came from his status as a legendary sexual performer, so it was no surprise that his encounters with stunning women, most famously Princess Margaret, led to numerous high profile relationships. But most of all, Big John was a warm-hearted, complex man, utterly devoted to those who have him respect and always prepared to be the last line of defence to those closest to him. He emerged from a poor, working class London childhood and fraternised with the Krays and the Richardsons, but eventually turned his back on crime to play major parts in films such as Mick Jagger's Performance, "The Who's Quadrophenia" and Michael Caine's "Get Carter". This is the a truly moving book, as powerful as The Guv'nor, about a man who was many different things to many people, but never anything but himself.

About the Author

Wensley Clarkson is an investigative journalist who has written numerous non-fiction books, screenplays and television documentaries. His books have sold more than a million copies in seventeen countries worldwide.

Product details

More About the Author

WENSLEY CLARKSON's books have been published in more than twenty countries across the world and sold more than one million copies. He has also written movie screenplays and worked on many TV documentaries in the UK, US and Spain.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars bit disappointing although some interesting bits 17 Jan 2006
By A Customer
I was a little disappointed about this biography about Bindon. Apart from his debut in 'Poor Cow' here was not enough insight into his film and TV career despite the fact he appeared in numerous 70's productions with many people who are still alive today. The ending of the book was particularly poor, Bindon's decline in health is covered in less than a page - his death is described in one sentence. It left me asking more questions than before I started.
His friendship with Princess Margaret and his trial for murder were the only interesting parts
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Am afraid i have to echo several of the previous reviews in that parts of the book feel rushed, in particular the last stages of Bindons life are barely covered. Early-to-mid stages of his life are covered more thoroughly & portray a tough but loveable rogue who has one foot in the London underworld of the 60's & 70's and the other in the parties & nightclubs frequented by a mixture of royals, actors, politicians, hangers-on & low-lifes.
What the book does mangage to do well is to document an all but forgotten era of London , one in which a charismatic fella from the wrong side of the tracks could use his charm to open doors. It often feels as though you're reading a particularly good version of 'The Sweeney' ! If you're interested in this particular time you'll find much to like here though you may be left wanting a more thorough piece of work on someone who undoubtedly deserves one.
'Moody' by Wensley Clarkson is a better piece of work & more conclusive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars London legend life story short on detail 21 Sep 2007
Wensley Clarkson starts his account of the life of John Bindon anxious to convince us that the princess-pleasuring actor-cum-hardman is a worthy subject for biography. And to be sure, Bindon's comparatively short life had its share of incident and adventure - the `highlights' being his manslaughter of London villain Johnny Darke, and an encounter with Princess Margaret during one of her Mustique sojourns.

But as the book winds on the detail gets less and less, and Bindon's demise is scarcely documented at all. "Researching Bindon's life...," Clarkson writes, "I realised I had a great deal of material I couldn't use because the sources had shady, ulterior motives, and my aim has always been to show Bindon in the light he truly deserved." Perhaps he should have been less self-censorious.

Anyway, that said, what we have is a diverting read, and nicely illustrated with many private photos.

However, Clarkson has been ill-served by the editors at publishers John Blake - the text would have benefited from a better sub-edit to trim it of repetitions. And for no obvious reason the biography has no index, and no detailed 'ography of Bindon's screen and stage appearances.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bindon review 23 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was a pretty informative and insightful book, detailing many aspects of an interesting and infamous man. The beginning chapters, covering Bindon's early years, are quite thorough and give a good account of his upbringing in Fulham. His school days however are glossed over, and there could be more on this (despite him leaving school quite early). He is portrayed here as a vigilant type, who stands up for the bullied kids, and this is a theme which runs through the book. As in later chapters, this is not altogether believable, and seems to be aimed at portraying Bindon in a positive light. While the book doesn't shy away from his many violent encounters, he is not portrayed as a man who starts fights, rather one who reacts to trouble makers and puts them on the floor with a single punch. Again, not very believable. Despite his "charming" persona, he does seem a bit of a thug. His early forays into the film world are covered, but there is precious little of his overall acting work, which is a shame (even though he didn't have many big roles). The writer seems obsessed with portraying Bindon as the tough guy hero, protecting the weak, and making everbody laugh. The size of his penis is also regulary brought up, and this gets pretty tedious. The most detailed aspects of his life in he book are his trip to the island of Mustique, where he encountered, and allegedly charmed, princess Margaret, and his role in the death of John Darke at the Yaught Club, and the subsequent trial. The years following the trail (the 80's and early 90') are covered, but don't seem to match other reports I'd heard/read. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars rubbish! 25 Jun 2010
"Get Carter" gets one sentence,John Bindon's sad decline is over in two pages or so,
all the author seems interested in is the infamous Bindon member which gets mentioned with tedious regularity every couple of pages,reducing John Bindon to an almost joke figure with just one party trick which i'm sure he wasn't.
a very VERY dissapointing book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Big And Thick? 12 May 2010
This is the biography of the notorious John Bindon, who became a minor staple of the tabloid gossip columns in the late 1970's thanks to his relationship with a model thought of and written up by the gossip people as "upper class" (because her father was a baronet, the lowest rung of the faked-up British "aristocracy"). Bindon was also, it was hinted, not unknown to Princess Margaret. Bindon is often mentioned in memoirs of the 1960's and 1970's such as A Diamond Fell Into My Pocket, by Morris Spurling (a cracking book, much better than this one, by the way!). He was a villain, Fulham hard man and general roisterer whom some people thought of as having had a good heart, others thought of as a thug and most feared.

Bindon was cast in a number of big screen and TV films, in "villain" roles: Poor Cow, Get Carter, The Sweeney, etc.

The book details the Margaret connection and makes it clear that Bindon did bed her (and smoke marijuana with her) on various occasions, even at Kensington Palace. MI5 enforcers were the only people, as a group though, able to put the fear of God into Bindon. He did not talk (much) about the Princess and her little peccadilloes.

The book notes that bindon had affairs or flings with a number of women now "respectable...even wives of top politicians" and "a sporting superstar" of the 1960's or 1970's. Unnamed those these be, I think one can guess at some identities. Sporting superstar? Think British tennis, I would guess. As to the politician's wife, maybe a former model? Maybe (screwing up face and thinking really really hard...) Conservative Party? In the end though, these are only guesses.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars not really what it,says on the tin.
johns early life seemed to be covered well , an interesting insight into the man, sadly the latter part of the book and johns final years, and ultimate death leaves the reader... Read more
Published 2 months ago by kevin hutton
5.0 out of 5 stars very good read
well this book reflects what life was realy like in the sixties you had a choice depending on where you grew up as an inner london boy john bindon chose the gangster life but also... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jr Hyams
5.0 out of 5 stars Bindon
Always wondered what happened to John,sad really, also what happened to Vickie Hodge ,hopefully she managed to settle down with good thoughts of John,He certainly was quite a guy... Read more
Published 7 months ago by joy page
3.0 out of 5 stars A great story to be told.....but this isn't it.
Having skimmed through this book a couple of years back and deciding not to buy it I was recently given a copy so it would have been rude not to read it. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Oldbiker
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT
The title of this book says it all. This is a fantastic book by Wensley Clarkson about a truly amazing character. Read more
Published on 8 April 2008 by Mr Presley
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing
The title of this review says it all. Whilst Bindon himself was no doubt a great subject for a book the way the author has written it lets it down no end. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2006 by "slatsy"
5.0 out of 5 stars John Bindon (1943 - 1993)
This is an excellent book written about a larger than life character, the late Mr John Bindon, actor/raconteur/villain/lover who lived, loved, partied and possibly even murdered,... Read more
Published on 12 Sep 2005 by E. J. Kenney
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