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The Weekly Blague

The Never Ending "Nowhere Man" Controversy

The other day on Tumblr somebody posted an excerpt from my John Lennon biography, Nowhere Man. The passage, from a chapter titled "Lennon's Complaint," was a description of a scene backstage just before a Beatles concert in 1963, when John had sex with a groupie. The posting went viral; dozens of people reblogged it and at last count, 144 people posted comments. Though most of these comments were positive, there was the usual amount of negativity and skepticism.

“Robert Rosen never knew or even met John Lennon,” somebody who calls themselves mclennon-forever wrote. “This quote is dubious.”

I’m going to respond to this comment because it’s so typical of the type of negativity I’ve been hearing about Nowhere Man since it was published in 2000.

First of all, the suggestion that it’s wrong to write a biography of somebody I never met is absurd on its face. Should contemporary biographers not write books about Mozart or George Washington, for example, because they never met them?

And the source of this “dubious” quote, I might add, is the late Neil Aspinall himself. In 1963, Aspinall was the Beatles’ road manager, and he was the one who procured the groupie for John. When I met Aspinall, in London, in September 1981, he was managing director of Apple. Fred Seaman, my writing partner at the time and Lennon’s former personal assistant, introduced me to him. The three of us went out to a pub near Apple, and over many pints of beer Aspinall told me the story.

The revelation of the source, of course, will not end the controversy engulfing Nowhere Man. But as always, I welcome the opportunity to answer any questions about the book. You know where to find me.

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