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The Last Days of John Lennon [Hardcover]

Seaman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 262 pages
  • Publisher: Citadel Press; First Printing edition (31 Dec 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559720840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559720847
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 193,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

An inside look at John Lennon's last reclusive year spent in a dark New York apartment portrays a man laden with insecurities, conflicts, and confusion.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving tribute. 9 Jan 2006
Format:Hardcover
I read this book years ago when it first came out and it really moved me. The author spent a very intense and intimate time with John Lennon before his death in 1980, and as an outsider looking in was honored to see things for what they were and not what the rumours made Lennon's life to be like.
When Lennon died, Frederick Seaman was as devasted as could be expected of a friend and confidante. He had done what so many others were unable to, to be truly inspired and to be truly close to the man whom so many wished to be.
This book lends the reader these personal memoirs so they too can know the truth. It's a witty, honest and very emotional journey and a must read for all who want to share in a real story about a well-loved man.
A rare gem of a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believable 27 Oct 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I like this guy. He seems a reputable source. Good family background etc. the book seems honest and truthful. There's not that much to gain in printing lies. Totally believe it all and it's a travesty that Julian didn't get the diaries in the end and all the other stuff. Just wish they had got divorced so lennon's money could have been spent on better things like his family rather than her cosmetic surgeries and other craziness. Hope Sean rights some wrongs when he inherits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 Sep 2014
By marie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good service. As stated .good read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm just sitting here doing time... 23 Dec 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
On the surface, this looks like the worst kind of exploitative trash - sordid revelations about a dead rock star by a former assistant convicted of stealing his journals after his death. The inside cover of my paperback copy promises "shocking tidbits" about Yoko's affair with an art dealer and "John and Yoko's colossal shopping sprees." To top it off, Seaman kicks off the book by expressing special thanks to Albert Goldman, "a courageous and uncompromising journalist." But anyone who expects another grubby attempt to dig up the dirt on Lennon will be pleasantly surprised (or disappointed): this is a sober and readable account of the last eighteen months of the ex-Beatle's life. Even Lennon's official biographer, Ray Coleman, who dismissed all the other 'controversial' books (by Goldman, May Pang, John Green, et al) as rubbish, admitted this one had merit, even if Fred does commit the mortal sin of painting Yoko Ono in a less than beatific light. Indeed, John and Yoko's endless hyping of their mythical perfect relationship is revealed to be a front for a depressingly un-romantic situation: John needs Yoko for his emotional and financial security, Yoko needs John for her money and fame. How fast would Ono have been relegated to a footnote in the public eye had Lennon ever decided to finally divorce her? Lennon and Ono's wreck of a relationship isn't the main focus of the book, however; Fred emphasizes his own friendship with Lennon. As for critics who figure that Seaman was just a lackey and Lennon never would have confided in such a minor figure in his life, it's made more than clear in all the shelves of literature already published about Lennon that he was a great talker, and would use any excuse to bend your ear for hours about whatever subjects intrigued him at the moment. At one point, an incredulous Seaman watches as Lennon actually invites a pair of wide-eyed young Beatles fans who turn up at his front door into the kitchen while he pontificates on his favorite subjects: life and death. Lennon's musings on the death of his old hero Peter Sellers, his obsession with violent death and crucifixion, his strange diet, his views on religion, sex, and his love-hate relationship with Paul McCartney make for fascinating reading. We also see a striking contrast between John's obvious love for his second son Sean and his sad inability to reach out to his first, Julian. The trip to Bermuda where John finally regained his muse and began writing the songs for "Double Fantasy" is the focus of the most absorbing chapter of the book. It's as if we're seeing Lennon for the first time all over again, one moment calmly expounding upon the genius of Bob Marley and describing his incredible vision for his comeback album, the next exploding in a tantrum when he learns his wife has decided not to come see him after all. Seaman then describes the troubled Double Fantasy sessions and his own spiral into total despair following Lennon's senseless death. His description of his brief encounter with Lennon's killer - who appears to be no more than another harmless kid hanging around the entrance to the Dakota waiting for an autograph - only hours before the assassination can give you the chills. Disgusted by Yoko's eagerness to capitalize on John's death, Seaman quits, but not before deciding to deliver Lennon's journals to Julian, in accordance with John's wishes and entirely against Yoko's. Unfortunately, that plan went terribly wrong, as Fred explains in the last chapter of his book. The 'friend' he refers to who stole the diaries from him is apparently Robert Rosen, author of the recent "Nowhere Man," based on his 'detailed memories' of the journals he spent many days copying. Somehow, too, a copy of the journals fell into the hands of Geoffrey Giuliano, former Ronald McDonald turned self-proclaimed "world's foremost expert on the Beatles", a notorious hack whose latest opus, "Lennon In America", presents one of the least believable accounts of Lennon's life yet - apparently he slept with Linda McCartney and fantasized about Madonna several years before anyone had ever heard of her. As for Fred, he went on to assist Albert Goldman with his excellent but scathing Lennon biography and then to write his own memoir, probably the best of the lot. Read it and laugh, and weep, and ponder: what if Yoko had only scheduled that appointment with security for any date before December 9?
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yoko Won the Lawuit, What a Shame 25 Nov 2002
By vgoth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've read many Lennon bios, from Goldman to Coleman...John has been my favorite Beatle, and human being, since I was about 15 (I'm now 29)...and I feel sorry for Yoko that she has to stifle this book. This is an entirely human account of the life John and Yoko led in the last year or two of John's life...written by the guy who was a staple in their everyday living, ordering the groceries, setting up flights, witnessing his own Aunt Helen trying to control the young Sean, as his nanny...There is no vindictiveness in this book...it's a loving account of John as a real man. I never, ever, in reading this got the feeling that Seaman was some kind of pariah bent on reaping the profits of a world famous man...Just a mere recording of daily events...with John a central presence....one sequence that stood out was John hearing Paul's song "Coming Up"....and remarking that it was a song he could not get out of his head..he asked Seaman to get hold of the latest McCartney album..."McCartney II'...
a riveting account of a man we all admire, but whose faults are there, in full display.....still feeling for his past, wanting more...this book is a display of passion, a true gem....
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incisive look at the REAL John Lennon 15 Feb 2005
By Ace Backwords - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is an exellently-written book. Without chewing on it, Fred Seaman gives us a very insightful first-hand look at the inner psychology of JOhn Lennon. If you're interested in who John Lennon REALLY was -- as opposed to the air-brushed image of Saint John the Bringer-of-Peace-and-Love-to-Humanity that Yoko Ono has been foisting on the public for the last 25 years -- then you should check out this book. Its no wonder Yoko took him to court. Great job, Fred. And hey, don't feel too bad about the recent public humiliation you experienced in the New York court room at the hands of Yoko's million-dollar lawyers. You saw first hand all the public glory heaped on John and Yoko's heads, and look what happened to THEM. Maybe in the long-run, public shame is preferable. ([...]
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Guy Was There 31 Jan 2004
By Michael Sherrer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Interesting book. Yoko Ono's character here is shrewdly personified. "Imagine", that she was trying to really force her 'music' (warble screetch) on to Double Fantasy. This is while she was having affairs, milking the Lennon fortune, drinking and living like a pack rat-and heavily abusing narcotics. Her songs had to be pitch shifted, note by note just to stay in the key. Sad, that Lennon would refer to her as "mother' in a maternal way.I am not trying to trash Ono. Seaman's insights are vivid-in a documentary style of recorded events. One has to take notice.
Reading this book, you get inside Lennon's day to day behavior.
The Bermuda trip, is especially interesting. Here is a guy, trying to avoid the "mania" of fans (everywhere on the planet) and Seaman for me describes what that was really like. Upon recognition-they are in shock, then they try and get a piece of him, then Lennon moves on, oblivious to their existence and the loss of his essence, seems to be even more of a shock. Beatle mania-and Lennon awe, continued to grow in the 70's as had it first started in the early 60's.
I have read this book 3 times over the last 5 years, and each time it takes you to a different place. Lennon felt the Beatles peaked in 1961 and this comment, and many like this -show how good the group really was, just as they were recording those early mono albums. Raw, full of energy, romantic to the hilt, and with a backbeat you couldn't lose.
When Seaman is beaten by Yoko's bodygard thugs (ex-police officers) you really feel for the guy.It was more torture than just a mere beating. Further more, you certainly can empathize with Julian Lennon and even Paul McCartney who would have to deal with the calculating coldness of Yoko Ono.
Seamen is abit of dweep through out this narrative. (playing bongos and keeping a beat, while Lennon works out a few new songs in Bermuda.) Lennon, coming out of 5 year sleep, is full of creative juice, influenced by Bob Marley raggae to the B-52s-while covering his ears-when he hears the rock wallop and head bang of early Led Zeppelin on the radio. I am not writing this to praise Seaman but the guy should be awarded some attention for keeping diaries and copies (the originals were stolen by Yoko's thugs in a burglary) as well as his keen powers of observation, from a guy that was truly there. Right to the end of Lennon's life.

Particularly sad is the fact, that Yoko dismissed any form of protection for John when he would walk into the Dakota Apts-which perhaps would have (think of Reagan's attempted assassination) saved his life. This book may give you dreams at night.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting 10 Jan 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I heard Fred Seaman on the radio promoting this book, he said he thought John might have arranged for his own murder, which is so insane and far-fetched, I avoided this book like the plague. But I happened across it in a library, and, unlike his radio interview, the book is actually a reasonably sober, even-handed telling of his working for the Lennons (without such insane theories, thankfully). There are a few spots where you wonder if Seaman is exagerrating or withholding information to suit his own purposes. But overall it gives an interesting take on Lennon. Lennon is kind of pathetic in spots (his subordination to Yoko's will at times makes you wonder how much individuality he got when he left the Beatles. He might as well have stayed with the Beatles, for all the "freedom" leaving them gave him.) If Seaman is right, it looks as though John and Yoko were headed for a divorce just before he was murdered. John relates to Seaman that when he was a boy, he witnessed his mother Julia serve as a prostitute for men on occasion. And John, even though, or because of, his preaching peace and love, admitted to Seaman that he had fantasies of crucifying women and disemboweling women. He said in a "Playboy" interview that "It's the most violent people who go on about peace all the time." Well, he may have reformed his violent actions (he used to beat his first wife, he and Cynthia both admitted), but he still had violent thoughts. Unpleasant insights like this, as well as some pleasant ones, into Lennon, make this a worthwhile book for the diehard Beatle fan.
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