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Hold On World: The Lasting Impact of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band, Fifty Years On

Hold On World: The Lasting Impact of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band, Fifty Years On

by John Kruth


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Hold On World revisits Lennon and Ono's love affair and startling collaborations. John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band was arguably the most emotionally honest album ever made. It wasn't merely another record but more like a sonic exorcism, a spiritual, public bloodletting. Lennon's album drove a stake through the heart of the Beatles' myth while confronting everything else in John's life, from Dylan to God to his glorified status as a "Working Class Hero."

Determined to rid himself of past traumas—abandonment by his father and the death of his mother, Julia—Lennon wrote the most powerful song cycle of his career, confronting fear, disappointment, and illusion, all the while espousing his love for Yoko Ono. Released simultaneously, Ono's album Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is emotionally raw and challenging. It inspired bands like the B-52s and Yo La Tengo to employ pure sound, whether shrieking vocals or guitar feedback, to express their deepest feelings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493052356
Publisher: Backbeat
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,124,893
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

John Kruth is the author of three musical biographies, including To Live’s to Fly: The Ballad of the Late, Great Townes Van Zandt (recipient of the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award; DaCapo Press, 2007) and Rhapsody in Black: The Life and Music of Roy Orbison (Backbeat Books, 2013). In 2015, Backbeat published Kruth's fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Beatles' Rubber Soul, This Bird Has Flown. His latest book, A Friend of the Devil: The Glorification of the Outlaw in Song, from Robin Hood to Rap, was published in September 2017 by Backbeat. Kruth's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, Wire (UK), the Observer (NYC), No Depression, Rave (India), Wax Poetics, and Folk Roots (UK).

Table of Contents

Introduction Bill Frisell ix

Chapter 1 Shock 1

Chapter 2 You Become Naked 19

Chapter 3 Year 1 AP (After Peace) 23

Chapter 4 The Rommel of the Couch 53

Chapter 5 Plastic Ono Band (or "Johns Soul") 61

Chapter 6 Mother 63

Chapter 7 Hold On 73

Chapter 8 I Found Out 81

Chapter 9 Working Class Hero 91

Chapter 10 Isolation 101

Chapter 11 Remember 105

Chapter 12 Love 113

Chapter 13 Well, Well Well 115

Chapter 14 Look at Me 119

Chapter 15 God 123

Chapter 16 My Mummy's Dead 149

Chapter 17 Long Lost John 151

Chapter 18 Of Madness and Grapefruit 153


Chapter 20 Why? 167

Chapter 21 Why Not? 181

Chapter 22 Greenfield Morning I Pushed an Empty Baby Carriage All Over the City 183

Chapter 23 AOS 185

Chapter 24 Touch Me 193

Chapter 25 Paper Shoes 195

Chapter 26 Open Your Box 197

Chapter 27 The South Wind 199

Chapter 28 Aftershock: Lennon Remembers … and Regrets 201

Chapter 29 1971 and Beyond: Unfinished Art, Unfinished Music, and an Unfinished Life 207

Bibliography 221

Acknowledgments 227

Index 229

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