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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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... It cannot be said that the volumes under review offer much aid to understanding what was happening inside John Lennon’s mind. Of those people who should not attempt to write biographies of Lennon, RayColeman 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 ...

Diary

Adam Shatz: Ornette Coleman

15 July 2015
... the four girls murdered in the 1963 Birmingham Church bombing.I thought of Baraka’s words at New York’s 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 ...
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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... Everyone is agreed: it is the drummer who is most important. ‘No group is any better than its drummer,’ the Rolling Stones’ late piano player Ian Stewart tells A.E. Hotchner. ‘Drummers are the heart of a group,’ confirms Noel Redding of the Jimi Hendrix Experience: ‘a good one is worth his weight in gold.’ And here is the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock on drummer Paul Cook: ‘that steady ...

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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... the most narrative genre of all, crime fiction, and imbues it with the inertia of the real, the lack of resolution, the dragging-on of ‘empty time’ characteristic of life itself. In Rome, Ed Coleman makes an unsuccessful attempt to murder his son-in-law, Ray Garrett, a failed painter and gallery-owner in his late twenties, whom he blames for the recent suicide of his only child, Peggy, Ray’s ...

At the Grey Art Gallery

J. Hoberman: Inventing Downtown

29 March 2017
... the downtown scene as well. The Five Spot Café, an artists’ hangout just off the Bowery, opened 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 ...
4 July 1996
Djuna Barnes 
by Philip Herring.
Viking, 416 pp., £20, May 1996, 0 670 84969 3
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... Barnes had two other books published, a collection of stories called A Book and Ryder, a long novel which 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 ...

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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... of his closest colleagues – including Schlöndorff, whom the childless Melville regarded as a son – wondered if his Resistance past was a myth, all part of the same persona as his Stetson and Ray-Bans. Thanks to two recent books – Bertrand Teissier’s biography Jean-Pierre Melville: Le Solitaire and Jean-Pierre Melville, une vie, an unusually illuminating coffee-table book by the film ...

Jungle Joys

Alfred Appel Jr: Wa-Wa-Wa with the Duke

5 September 2002
... consciousness, it seems, quite possibly sculpting to jazz, since he’d built up a first-rate record 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 ...

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