“The John Lennon Letters” by John Lennon and Hunter Davies (Little, Brown and Company, $29.99)
LONDON — John Lennon never minced his words.
Paul McCartney should “get off his gold disc,” he once wrote. On another occasion, he was irked by producer George Martin’s boasts about being the brains behind the Beatles: “For the cameraman to take credit from the director is a bit too much.”
To one critic, Lennon wrote: “People like you still exist, of course, in small towns across the world.” To another, he messaged, “Yoko’s been an artist before you were even a groupie.”
Lennon was bitter about some admirers too: “I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it,” he replied to correspondence from McCartney.
These waspish barbs come in “The John Lennon Letters,” the first compilation of his postcards, notes and telegrams, some with “JohnandYoko” doodles. Heaven knows how big the volume would be had Lennon lived long enough to use email. He’d have just turned 72: The first Beatles single came out 50 years ago.
The detective work in sourcing the material was carried out by Beatles biographer Hunter Davies. As Yoko Ono writes in a foreword, he has done well. When Lennon had a brainwave, or felt happy or sad, he tended to jot it down and often enough shared it with others, Davies writes.
Fans will lap it up. Everyone else will go, “Too much information.”
The holiest plant of the Christmas season may be a raggedy shrub with peeling bark that seems to grow best in a dusty backyard in Tempe, Ariz. This is Boswellia sacra, better known as the frankincense tree. The shrub’s gum resin is one of the three biblical gifts that the wise men bestowed on the infant Jesus. Until recently, Americans who wished to cultivate their…
FRESNO, Calif. — Federal law now allows visitors to carry guns in national parks, but you can’t just slip a loaded pistol into your backpack and take a hike. Pay attention, because this is a little complicated. You will need a concealed weapons permit to carry the loaded gun in the backpack. But you don’t need any kind of permit if you just want to…
A barred owl that drew crowds of onlookers while swooping around at Farewell Bend Park earlier this year may well be dead. The owl was seen from mid-January into last month, regularly hunting for mice and voles along the Deschutes River just upstream of the Old Mill District. It then disappeared about a month ago. Two photographers found a dead owl March 3 about 10…
COOS BAY — The state of Oregon has withdrawn more than 900 acres of planned timber sales in Elliott State Forest, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by environmentalists. The Oregon Department of Forestry plans instead to open 465 acres of alternative logging sites that were not named in the lawsuit, The (Coos Bay) World reported. “It’s certainly nowhere near what was proposed in…
Q: The daylight/nighttime sensor system of my 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 is locked on the nighttime setting, which keeps the headlights on during daylight and also keeps instruments and digital clock/radio lights dim. Would this most likely be a defective sensor? Can the sensor be replaced without dismantling the dashboard? I tried cleaning the sensor but that didn’t change anything. — Stan BurnettA: Stan, it…