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Lennonism

David Widgery, 21 February 1985

John Winston Lennon. Vol. I: 1940-1966 
by Ray Coleman.
Sidgwick, 288 pp., £9.95, June 1984, 0 283 98942 4
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John Ono Lennon. Vol. II: 1967-1980 
by Ray Coleman.
Sidgwick, 344 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 283 99082 1
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John Lennon, Summer of 1980 
by Yoko Ono.
Chatto, 111 pp., £4.95, June 1984, 0 7011 3931 5
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... John Lennon’s mind. Of those people who should not attempt to write biographies of Lennon, Ray Coleman heads the list. A trade editor who might as well have been writing about agricultural machinery as music, he embodies everything Lennon had to fight: social conservatism, intellectual shallowness, gravestone prose, and the sheer boredom of the ...

Badoompa-doompa-doompa-doom

Graham Coster, 10 January 1991

Stone Alone 
by Bill Wyman and Ray Coleman.
Viking, 594 pp., £15.99, October 1990, 0 670 82894 7
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Blown away: The Rolling Stones and the Death of the Sixties 
by A.E. Hotchner.
Simon and Schuster, 377 pp., £15.95, October 1990, 0 671 69316 6
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Are you experienced? The Inside Story of the Jimi Hendrix Experience 
by Noel Redding and Carol Appleby.
Fourth Estate, 256 pp., £14.99, September 1990, 1 872180 36 1
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I was a teenage Sex Pistol 
by Glen Matlock and Pete Silverton.
Omnibus, 192 pp., £12.95, September 1990, 0 7119 2491 0
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Bare 
by George Michael and Tony Parsons.
Joseph, 242 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3435 4
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... positive recognition of, the danger of the Stones at their peak. This is the band that played ‘Stray Cat Blues’ and ‘Midnight Rambler’. Though Wyman concludes his book after Altamont, he glances forward far enough to note that the early Seventies ‘marked a very tense period to be around the Stones, and were eventually immensely damaging to the band ...

Diary

Adam Shatz: Ornette Coleman, 15 July 2015

... Riverside Church last Saturday, at the funeral of the alto saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman. No one mentioned the atrocity in Charleston explicitly; no one had to. We were in the church where Martin Luther King declared his opposition to the Vietnam War in 1967. We were honouring the life of America’s leading free jazz musician in a dramatic ...

Not a desire to have him, but to be like him

Slavoj Žižek: Highsmith is the One, 21 August 2003

Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith 
by Andrew Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 534 pp., £25, June 2003, 0 7475 6314 4
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... be unearthed by a pseudo-Freudian search of her own experiences for a key to the morbid world portrayed in her fiction. The greatest challenge for a Freudian reading of Highsmith lies elsewhere: to explain how writing for her was literally what Lacan would have called her sinthome, or the ‘knot’ that held her universe together, the artificial symbolic ...

At the Grey Art Gallery

J. Hoberman: Inventing Downtown , 29 March 2017

... with Cecil Taylor, gave Thelonious Monk his first extended gig, and introduced New York to Ornette Coleman.) Many of the pieces in Inventing Downtown are proudly uncommercial. The exhibition includes work by a number of black and women painters, many of whom dropped out or were written out of art-world history. Renée Rubin’s rambunctious collage Coney ...
Djuna Barnes 
by Philip Herring.
Viking, 416 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 670 84969 3
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... included a veiled attack on her father. She met Hemingway, Pound, Joyce, Ford Madox Ford, Man Ray, Brancusi. She and Thelma slotted in neatly with the American expats Stein called the ‘Lost Generation’. Thelma was lost and losing it more and more. Her life with Barnes (or Robin Vote’s life with Nora Flood), as described in Nightwood, involved ...

Who does that for anyone?

Adam Shatz: Jean-Pierre Melville, 20 June 2019

Jean-Pierre Melville: Le Solitaire 
by Bertrand Teissier.
Fayard, 272 pp., €22, October 2017, 978 2 213 70573 6
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Jean-Pierre Melville, une vie 
by Antoine de Baecque.
Seuil, 244 pp., €32, October 2017, 978 2 02 137107 9
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... out of his pyjamas. He could be charming but on set was often a tyrant; he considered it a betrayal when his actors became romantically involved. He was a great talker, with a deep, velvety voice, but he hated cliques and industry schmoozing. One of the fathers of the Nouvelle Vague, he soon fell out with his ‘children’. ‘I desire only one thing in ...

Jungle Joys

Alfred Appel Jr: Wa-Wa-Wa with the Duke, 5 September 2002

... collection, mainly of blacks (including Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Art Tatum, Coleman Hawkins and Cab Calloway). Unlike his friend Léger, who merely adapted ethnological textbook drawings for his ‘primitive’ stage designs, Brancusi had finally internalised it all, had become an African, if you will, at the age of 62 – a tribe of ...

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