I acquired the biography Julian Lennon! by Mark Bego when it was published in the summer of 1986. I have two copies: one that included the advertised eight pages of photos inside, and one without any photos whatsoever, despite what it says on the front cover. The book remained on my bookshelves unread until now. Bego is a prolific entertainment biographer, and I was impressed by the level of professionalism in this account of Julian Lennon’s life (in spite of the immature exclamation mark in the title, typical of Bego’s works at the time). The trouble with a biography of Julian Lennon from 1986 is that the subject was only 23 years old, which is hardly a long enough life experience to fill 166 pages. Thus the majority of the book was devoted to the history of the Beatles and a biography of his father John. Not that an establishment of a background to Julian’s life wasn’t warranted, but the reader must wait till page 113 to read about Julian’s last time with his father, when he visited John in New York to celebrate his seventeenth birthday. And the next 37 pages were spent on Julian’s life as he established a musical career. (The remainder of the book is a useless discography, videography and chronology.) Nonetheless, the whole package read well, as Bego is an established writer and can tell a story while not making it sound as if I had read it somewhere before.
I had a few moments of flip-flopping as I encountered inconsistencies. One comical example occurred in the book’s introduction, where Bego wrote that Julian stood to inherit from his father’s estate when he turned 26. Yet much further on, over halfway through the book, he wrote that Julian was to be paid out when he reached the age of 25. I wondered okay, which one was it, 25 or 26 years old, when I had a laugh at the end of the book as I read a quote from Julian himself who said “I will inherit money which my father set aside for me as soon as I’m twenty-five or twenty-six years old.”. I can pardon Bego the inconsistency when Julian himself wasn’t even sure. Another poignant gaffe occurred when Bego wrote that John and May Pang flew to Los Angeles in October of 1983. Um, no…John didn’t make it till 1983. In spite of this, Bego’s biography is the best one I have read about Julian Lennon as a young man.