I acquired the slim paperback John Lennon / Julian Lennon by Nancie S. Martin the year it was published, in 1986. Although only 101 pages, nonetheless it remained on my bookshelves unread for the past 34 years. By 1986 I was a student of literature at university, and had no time whatsoever to read anything except my course materials, yet surely I could have found the time during the summer to read this. It would have only taken me a few hours. As I continue to de-clutter my bookshelves I have been busy reading my Beatles paperbacks. While slight in nature and rushed to the presses as pop biographies go, this one offered no information about John or Julian that I hadn’t already known before. For nearly three and a half decades it filled a few centimetres of shelf space. I need that shelf space now.
As books are meant to be read, I have to read this before I get rid of it. It’s the least I could do after allowing it to live on my shelves for so long rent-free. In the text, there were many inaccuracies, with names spelled incorrectly and math errors involving dates:
“When John was five he was sent to the Dovedale Primary School near Penny Lane, a street the Beatles would immortalize twenty-six years later.”
John turned five in 1945 and twenty-six years later would be 1971. “Penny Lane” came out in 1967. Another glaring factual error was Martin’s attribution of the song “Back in the U.S.S.R.” to John. It’s a Paul song.
It’s not worth getting worked up over such fluffy sloppiness. John Lennon and Julian Lennon fans have other books to worry about.