Ok, fairly controversial, but I’m dying to hear what you guys think about the Fred Seaman memoirs. I just finished it and… wow. And it’s almost impossible to research the situation due to the legal gag order. Seaman doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. I figured since you guys have read so many books, you might be able to shed some light. Thanks for this great podcast and all the interesting essays on tumblr!
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I enjoyed it. I mean, Fred isn’t the sharpest or most insightful person of all time, but I appreciated his recollections.
I totally understand (and support) Yoko’s hatred of him- he violated his non-disclosure which besides being illegal would surely be a personal betrayal. And then he literally stole personal items of John’s (most notably his diaries!).
OTOH, I’m infinitely grateful for his accounts because without Fred (and May Pang) we would have no idea what John’s post-Beatles life was really like. The PR version of the Dakota Years issued and maintained by The Estate and Rolling Stone (and oddly perpetuated by people like Ken Womack, etc) is obviously complete bullshit. It’s a semi-fictional alternate storyline that is happier and more palatable to fans/media. I suppose it’s Yoko prerogative to invent and tell whatever story she wants. Obviously we feel no obligation to preserve her narratives.
I understand that it’s hard to suss out the motives of various players in this game (Who is trying to protect John? Who’s trying to tell John’s story honestly? Who is trying to cover their own ass? Who’s out to make a buck? grind an ax? etc) But IMO John didn’t come off too badly in Fred’s book! He was often anxious/neurotic, emotionally frail, bitter, paranoid, superstitious, etc. But he also came off as funny, creative, interesting, insightful and charismatic also. I think this portrayal is pretty consistent and realistic.
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