“How can I deny paying lip service to a person that pointed me in the direction of my life's path? Some how, some way there must come out of me a story, an essay some sort of prose to pay homage to the man who started all this upheaval in my life... I hope I've put together something really tasteful, intellectual, creative, loving and just nearly brushing the fringes of controversy here to give him the honor he deserves on a personal level... I only seek to share, to give my due to this amazing person John Lennon.”
DROP FORGED LENNON is a fan's reflection on the effect of John Lennon and how he inspired creativity to the level of intense passion for the author. I've got to admit that when I first heard about this book, I had my doubts. A large majority of Beatles fans border on the sycophantic, with no rhyme nor reason to their views. But Sharon Richards book is an entertaining glimpse into the mind of a Beatles fan. And she displays a talent for descriptive true stories, poetry and fiction. Some reflective, some passionate, some erotic (the mention of John's answer to "do you have any hobbies?" from the A HARD DAY'S NIGHT film), but always entertaining.
Being a second-generation fan myself (born the same week the boys played Ed Sullivan the first time!), I find a sort of kindred spirit with Sharon's true fan stories. Although I'm no great poetry fan, I did quite enjoy some of the poems. One of my faves is "Get Real, Love!" which is a word play on various Beatles lyrics. The fictional story, "A Very Untrue Story" is a twist on the "Norwegian Wood" story, which I found very accurate in it's description of John and his mannerisms. The constant underlying theme to the book is Lennon's message of "love".
Like Lennon's own book, "In His Own Write", DROP FORGED LENNON is a concise little book that alternates stories with poetry. But, unlike John's book, there are no strange Lennon doodles. I'm guessing that this format is a sort of tribute to Lennon's books. My only complaint is its shortness, clocking in at about 70 pages. It left me wanting more! But, I hear that Sharon is working on a second book...
Would I recommend the book? Well, if you are a Beatles fanatic (like myself) I would say YES, wholeheartedly. However, I understand totally where Sharon Richards is coming from and I also understand that the non-Beatle person usually cannot comprehend the many depths that the Beatles inspire their fans. With the wild success of the Beatles CD "1", there is a whole new generation of fans. For those new to the phenomenon that is the Beatles, DROP FORGED LENNON might be a good place to start if you want to get into the head of a hardcore Beatles-fan.
I know one thing...it inspired me, and that's something I wasn't ready for! Now I want to get my thoughts down on paper (or computer data should I say) about the influence of the Beatles on MY life. No, I won't be searching out any publisher soon; it will just be for my own personal reflection. But hats off to Sharon for inspiring me! Or should I say thanks to John Lennon for the dream?