Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Korean Restaurant

Best Korean Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Day Trips: 10 ways to have fun outside near San Antonio

Day Trips: 10 ways to have fun outside near San Antonio

Outdoor Issue 2014: Who wouldn’t love to take a long trip to the Rocky Mountains or the Adirondacks, but let’s get real: not all of us have time (or the... By Mark Reagan 9/24/2014
Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Music

Review, 'Days That I'll Remember: Spending time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono'

Photo: , License: N/A


Days That I'll Remember: Spending time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono

By Jonathan Cott
242 pages, hardbound
(Doubleday)
$25.95

In the world of that ancient thing called "journalism," you were not supposed to hang out too much with the people you wrote about.

"You cannot … make friends … with the rock stars," Lester Bangs (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) admonished a young William Miller (Patrick Fugit) in Almost Famous, based on the life of writer-director Cameron Crowe. But, as Bangs knew too well, keeping your distance is not always easy; sometimes, chemistry between two people happens and things get personal.

Los Angeles Times' legendary pop music critic Robert Hilburn (my editor for five years in the '90s, and the man Bono rightly put in the same league with Greil Marcus and Lester Bangs) was the symbol of the puritan, uncompromising ethical approach of old-time journalism. But even he admitted he couldn't resist considering Lennon a friend (which didn't stop him from writing that Walls & Bridges was "forgettable"). He used to tell me of his fondness for the ex-Beatle and, as he explained in his amazing book Corn Flakes with John Lennon and Other Tales from a Rock 'N' Roll Life, Lennon used to call him the night before an important business meeting in order to avoid a hangover (Hilburn never drank anything stronger than Diet Coke).

"I've experienced hundreds of memorable concerts and interview moments, so it's hard to rank them in any particular order," Hilburn said in his book. "But my final hours with John in New York are certainly on the short list. Of the hundreds of musicians I've met, John was among the most down-to-earth."

Something similar happened to Jonathan Cott (Rolling Stone, The New York Times, The New Yorker), who first interviewed Lennon in 1968. His last conversation with him was on December 5, 1980, three days before his murder. It was Lennon's last major interview.

All conversations are published in complete form for the first time ever in Days That I'll Remember, a jewel of a book that confirms the description given by Hilburn and others of late-era Lennon — a man as happy as ever, with his creative juices flowing, and always unafraid to change.

"I used to think that the world was doing it to me and the world owed me something, and that either the conservatives or the socialists or the fascists or the communists or the Christians or the Jews were doing something to me," Lennon told Cott in December 1980. "When you're a teenybopper, that's what you think. But I'm 40 now, and I don't think that anymore, 'cause I found out it doesn't fucking work! The thing goes on anyway, and all you're doing is jacking off, screaming what your mommy or daddy did … but one has to go through all that."

Recently in Music
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus