The Penguin John Lennon – Plus a Couple of Other Things

Had a trip to Canberra, Australia’s national capital, this weekend and a chance to browse some second-hand book and record stores.

The trip turned up a couple of unexpected items – but that’s always the way with these things, isn’t it?

While in Canberra itself I found a CD/DVD store in the downtown “Civic” area advertising “20% OFF ALL STOCK”. That is just too good an invitation to walk past. Didn’t find a lot of interest to the Beatles collector in me – except for a heavily discounted, brand-new copy of  “All You Need Is Cash”, a film by Eric Idle’s Beatles parody group The Rutles. I’d never seen the film, and for A$6.40 it was a bargain. More on this soon in a separate post….

Also, strolling past a newsagent shop in the Canberra suburb of Kingston, I saw a table outside with old magazines that they were just throwing out – for free. Buried under the pile was a copy of “Q” magazine from July 2007, with a feature article for the fortieth anniversary of the release of the Sgt Pepper called “It Was Forty Years Ago Today….Sgt Pepper Celebrated”:

In it the likes of Bono, Brian Wilson, George Martin, Dhani Harrison, Jeff Lynne and others take one track from the album and write about why they love it, when they first heard it, or what it means to them. The magazine was still in its plastic outer wrap – and so in absolutely perfect condition. Not bad for free! Also with “Q” in the pile was a March, 2007 copy of a magazine called “Sound On Sound”, which on the front cover describes itself as “the UK’s biggest selling music recording magazine”. I’d not seen this title previously, but the front cover carried the photo below and an extensive article on the making of the Beatles “Love” album:

That’s George Martin and his son Giles, and they take the magazine through the detail of producing the Beatles‘ 2007 release “Love” (see this post, and this post for more details). If you’d like to read the article, “Sound on Sound” have now published it here in full online. The magazine is also in perfect condition. Not bad for free!

And finally, on the way home we stopped in the town of Berrima, just outside of which is a legendary second-hand book store called Berkelouw. They call it the Berkelouw Book Barn, and thats just what it is – a huge barn of a place absolutely filled to the rafters with shelf after shelf of pre-loved books. In the music section, I found (on hand and knee – it was of the very bottom shelf!) this little book to add to the collection:

The Penguin John Lennon

It is “The Penguin John Lennon”, a paperback (or soft cover) which gathers together in one volume John Lennon‘s two humorous prose works “John Lennon In His Own Write” (from 1964), and “A Spaniard in the Works” (from 1965), plus some great original line drawings by John. I believe this edition above (with this cover by David Nutter) came out in 1973, but “The Penguin John Lennon” has been out since about 1966. You may have seen it with this cover:

The book has an Introduction written by Paul McCartney, who says at the bottom of the page: “P.S. I like the drawings too”.  He must have, because one of the first drawings in the book was used for the cover of the Beatles “Free As A Bird” CD single – thirty years later in 1995:

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One thought on “The Penguin John Lennon – Plus a Couple of Other Things

  1. Pingback: The Rutles DVD – and Lunch « Beatles Blog

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