See Hear Yoko
Bob Gruen and Jody Denberg
Publisher: Harper Collins/ Infinitum Nihil
Review Date: April 19, 2015
Few names of couples come more easily to mind or rolls off the tongue so fluidly as John and Yoko. Iconic. Popular. Yes, even controversial. People either loved them or hated her and usually only because of what they thought they knew about Yoko and the dynamics of the relationship with John or the Beatles.
This writer has this opinion: It’s none of our business. John obviously loved Yoko dearly and passionately and it appears that it was mutual between them. The remaining Beatles have come out in defense of Yoko and, aside from Julian and Sean, they’re the only other opinions that matter and those aren’t even any of our business.
But I digress.
This is a review about the new book by Bob Guren and Jody Denberg entitled, “See Hear Yoko. ” Originally compiled as a personal gift to Yoko for her 80th birthday two years ago, the tome is now commercially available to fans and rock historians. With a little over 200 Gruen snapped photos that are accompanied by insight and input from Yoko interviewer, Jody Denberg (rock radio’s Voice of Austin), “See Hear Yoko” is a touching look into her life from the time that Gruen first started snapping images of her and John in 1971 until closer to her 80th birthday.
Bob shares tremendous insight into the book and photos in the Boomerocity interview with him (here). But we’ll just say that the excellent choices of photos and commentary in this book will endear fans of John and Yoko that much more closer to her and, I think, will win over many of her critics and detractors.
As stated in the interview with Gruen, the most jarring, startling, heart wrenching photo of the book is the behind the scenes photo of the staging of Yoko’s photograph of John’s glasses worn by him the night of his tragic death and stained with his blood. Controversial and sobering, it was Yoko’s way of sharing her pained heart with the world. The behind the scenes photo shows the loss and loneliness in the room that they shared and symbolizes (to me, anyway), the happy past and the painful presesent.
Photos from walks in Central Park back in the day to her work for many charities, this book gives us new glimpses via heretofore unseen (by us, anyway) photos into Yoko’s life with John as well as since his passing.
Buy the book. It’s interesting, nostalgic, informative and historic.