A N I N T R O D U C T I O N
Eight Arms To Hold You was completed at 4:00 a.m. on October 9th, 2000, and was out of date a few hours later with the release of revamped CD editions of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Double Fantasy. After reintroducing myself to my family, I began to outline what I would like to see in an updated version. I never got past John.
I came to realize that Mark Easter and I had only analyzed the proverbial "tip of the iceberg," and that there was a wealth of artistic accomplishments beyond the musical output we had covered. I also came to the realization that we had not acknowledged the influence of Yoko Ono on John's art, and how intertwined their artistic endeavors actually were. LENNONOLOGY will not be a history of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, but a study of johnandyoko.
When I first began work on this project, I was unaware just how much hearsay, misinterpretation, and general lack of factual evidence had permeated the Lennons' written history. It was at this point that I knew if I were going to continue, it would have to be done from scratch. The ground rule was set; for a fact to be established, it had to come from a contemporary written or recorded account or document. Fortunately, John and Yoko made for good press, so there was a wealth of information to start with*. On the other hand, this window in time occurred forty years ago, and many resources no longer exist. I've interviewed scores of the participants, but they are seemingly an inexhaustible resource, as many suggest other individuals who were not on my original list. Knowing that memories are a tricky thing, these conversations have been conducted solely to obtain color, and hopefully ferret out a diary or photographs.
*I've not only learned about my subject, but how their written history has developed. It's been interesting to see who had done original research, who had cut and pasted, and who threw in a little fiction when the facts proved too hard to find.
The format of the books has been in flux from day one, and I suppose it still is, but to a much lesser extent. At this point in time, LENNONOLOGY will consist of four volumes. The first, Strange Days Indeed, was co-authored with Scott Raile, and is a diarized account of John and Yoko's time together from 1968 through 1980. Its publication has been mooted for a number of years, and has consistently been delayed without fail so that it may properly serve as the keystone of the series. Scott has been patient beyond belief, and has faithfully responded to innumerable requests for web searches and trips to the library. The remaining three volumes will cover the creation process, production and promotion of John and Yoko's art. These surely seem to be broad descriptions, but will come into focus over time. At the moment, the series is approaching 2,500 pages and nearing 1.5 million words. I intend to make parts of the book available electronically in hopes of minimizing the consistently escalating shipping charges that will unfortunately be so excessive that some may not be able to afford a copy.
This website has been created as a storefront for placing orders (a dwindling pile of Eight Arms to Hold You remains), but it will also serve as the access point for the electronic documents, and as a place to detail subjects that did not fit within the format of the book. There will also be a copy of my want list - resources that I have not been able to obtain (or afford) that are required to provide a few elusive details. Please have a look.
Rather than involving someone to administrate a forum on the website, a Facebook page has been established for LENNONOLOGY, and I will drop in from time to time to let you know how the book is progressing, or to share a particularly interesting fact or new discovery. Like Beta v. VHS, or HD v. Blu-Ray, I'm going to limit things to a single format and will be forsaking the Myspace account. And although I don't know what it is, or what to do with it, a Twitter account has been opened at lennonology_, the underscore being necessitated because a young man named Lennon had already appropriated the name. If you're not using it anymore Lennon V., please get in touch…
Your patience is appreciated. I will be self-publishing once again so that I may retain editorial control, and work without the pressure of a publisher's deadline. Believe me, I'm as anxious to read these books as I hope all of you are.