Lennon Revealed, by Larry Kane

Lennon Revealed, by Larry Kane

Review by Mario J. Otero
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Larry Kane
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Beatles' fan from ever, with a particular bias to John, I won this book in a trivia contest on the John Lennon Examiner. I received it with an inscription and signed by Shelley Germeaux in February 2013.

It's always hard for me to read about that fateful night of December 8, 1980, and keep reading. Hoping while I read that HeWhoMustNotBeNamed had gotten tired or changed his mind after a whole day in front of the Dakota. But always finding in the end that he doesn't, and the worst happens. So I made my first stop very early, I stopped reading the book at the time.

I restarted it last month. Once I went over this event I found a most interesting book. Looking back now I think that this is because it was written with the heart.
Larry Kane is a privileged man in many ways. One, obviously, having been a friend of John's. Not of the performer or of the musician or the superstar, but of the person all along his stardom. A person who had a response from John when he called him and who was even called by John. Not just being from his inner circle but a friend to whom John opened his home and his heart doors. The second, because between lines he shows he is a good father, a good person.

The book is wonderful.

Many times Mr. Kane is very critical of John's personality and behavior and even then he does it with warmth and love and not letting you forget that John was just a man. Many other times he tells facts almost from John's point of view. One major example of this is the chapter about the concert at the Shea Stadium. Having been on stage, he didn't just see but he heard, felt and lived there almost the same things as the Beatles. How he describes the astounding noise, the behavior of the audience as a mass and of some individuals, the unstable equilibrium between police and fans, how the Beatles didn't even hear what they were playing, also the thrill, the emotion, the total surrender of the band and of John's to the performance... he makes you feel almost what John must have felt on his elbow as he energetically used it to play the organ... amazing, you get immediately transported not to the stadium but to the stage, you look to your left and there's John, Paul to your right watching John eye-to-eye and smiling as they sing, you see George to your side and some steps back there's Ringo balancing the whole with his beat. It's impressive, Larry takes you there. No matter how many times you have watched the footage of this concert, reading this will be new for you. And there's more: because of his closeness to John and what they must have spoken about this, Mr. Kane makes you feel like John did. His fears even before going out to the stage, as they were there, his nervousness and apprehension about the mass of the public, even their concern for the well-being of the fans among the crowd, how he looked at Paul reproaching him for booing the police for chasing the fans... This chapter touched me very much, it transported me to that stage and let me know what happened in there when up to now I had just seen it from the outside.

The closeness of Mr. Kane to John is present in all the pages, so you come to think that closeness and familiarity are normal.
But your own experience and that of the fans who write in the last chapter take the reader back to reality: except for some few privileged, most of us, as the fans who wrote there, are and were away from John in space and in time. I shared with him 20 years in the world but, at least, one continent away; moreover, as for many Americans or Europeans, probably for John too, the world ends to the south in Florida or the Bahamas and we South Americans don't exist, I always was very far in space from him. Many others, as some of those who write, were born years after John's death: many fans are away from him in time and even so they read, and search, and investigate, and read this book to learn more about John (and the Beatles), to know him more, to capitalize his legacy. Those testimonials in the last chapter show how important for the fans are the simple discovery of a song or album they didn't know of, a glimpse of the real person, or the miracle of a short conversation, the signing of an autograph or him taking a fan's guitar and taking his time to play a couple of songs in a place where he was dining. By the way, I was surprised to see Shelley Germeaux amongst the fans who wrote in the last chapter!

This book takes you nearer to your old friend John. Read it. And don't be surprised by some tears every now and then.

MJO, March 2016


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