by Francis Kenny

Marking John Lennon’s 80th birthday & the 40th Anniversary of his death.

Paperback 320 pages RRP: £17.95 October 2020 Shepheard-Walwyn Publishers Available through bookshops & internet booksellers (Also available as an ebook)

Francis Kenny’s controversial appraisal of Lennon’s early life offers some disconcerting revelations about the man and his music, including: Lennon’s hidden feelings about working-class culture; the personal insecurities that fuelled the rifts within The Beatles; the relationship with Yoko Ono – plus, at last, the truth about the song “Strawberry Fields”.

Meticulously researched over many years, Understanding John Lennon takes us back to where it all began. While other writers have only touched on the source of John’s genius, Francis Kenny reveals its roots lay in the post-war nature of Liverpool, the complex history of the Lennon family, and the hurt John himself suffered during his childhood. The resulting book reveals how Lennon’s early life experiences and his conflicted nature shaped his brilliance as a songwriter and musician – but, ultimately, led to the fall of The Beatles.

Of all the books on The Beatles, this is the only one by an author who was spent his whole life in Liverpool – born and raised in the same environment as the band, in the heart of the city. From the maritime nature of the Liverpool to its blue-collar background and the Irish heritage of its people, this book provides an extraordinary insight into post-war Merseyside.

Covering Lennon’s life from Liverpool to New York, Kenny writes with sympathetic understanding of the confusion, pain and corrosiveness that can accompany the demands and expectations of the creative process at the very highest level. With new material revealing the real source of inspiration of ‘Strawberry Fields’, Francis Kenny offers us a thought-provoking insight into a complex mind and a genius in the making.

Whilst most books regurgitate the same stories about John’s childhood and his time with The Beatles, this book presents an original insight into the founder of a band that was at the forefront of a social and cultural revolution. It is the only work to reveal the true sources of the John Lennon genius which continues to leave an enduring imprint on our everyday life and imagination.

An extraordinary must-have book for any fan of John Lennon and The Beatles; a revelation for music- lovers, cultural historians and all those interested The Mersey Beat and Liverpool in the 1960s.

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