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Who was John Lennon? Interview with biographer Tim Riley

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But that just put it in an entirely new light for me. And it also put that miscarriage in a totally new light. [John and Yoko] always tried to pass that miscarriage off as a product of the press hounding him and his being arrested. But the reason she had a miscarriage is that they were abusing drugs. All the way through to the end they were very purposefully giving these interviews about what a great marriage they had and it’s very interesting and there’s a lot that you can’t verify. But it was not a bowl of cherries. But it was very important to them that that be their story.

What Beatles book remains to be written?
I think the great unwritten Beatles book is the biography of [Beatles producer] George Martin. He had a really fascinating life and I hint at some of it in the book but a lot of the work that he did at EMI in the 50s before he even met the Beatles was revolutionary. I’ve seen some very good scholarship that indicates that his story, his professional story, is really, really profound for everything that comes after for rock and roll.

Will Paul McCartney ever tell his story? Do you think he will write a memoir?
I think he’s going to take it all with him. [Paul] is a giant puzzle because he really doesn’t care too much about scholarship and history. It doesn’t matter to him the way that it matters to a critic. Because he keeps telling stories that people have demonstrated to him repeatedly are not true. But they’re such great stories that you can tell that he kind of believes they are true. For him it is a kind of form of vivid truth. So he just doesn’t really have a critical vantage on his own life the way we very much wish he did.

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