Last month a book visually and textually depicting Lennon's New York City years came out, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of his death and the 65th anniversary of his birth. We've been meaning to mention this book, but we're still trying to watch the rest of Dylan's No Direction Home and got a little sidetracked.
Most photographs in the book were never before published, and all of them were taken by the world's best rock & roll photographer, as well as Lennon's friend, Bob Gruen. John Lennon: The New York Years brings both Lennon and Gruen's lives in New York more into focus (pun totally intended) for the reader. Today Paper Magazine's David Hershkovits interviewed Gruen on his blog to get even more insight.
How did he relate to living in New York City. You said he didn’t want to run around but…
Bob Gruen: Well, he did at the beginning. He wanted to everywhere all at once. He enjoyed New York very much. He said if he lived in the time of Rome he would want to be in Rome. He said New York was similar in the sense that it was the center of the world, certainly the center of the creative world. That’s where he wanted to be in the center. The reason I picked the [John wearing a] New York City t-shirt picture when there was a memorial in Central Park after John died was because John enjoyed living in New York and he was proud to be a New Yorker and that’s why I took the picture in the first place. I think of New York as the place where John lived, not really as the place where John died.
Gruen's work is always on display for viewing and for purchase at the Morrisson Hotel Gallery at 124 Spring Street.