All you need is love. And maybe some talent.
Add to that a sense of whether what one has to say is worth committing to print or pixels, and then puzzle over this agglomeration of Lennon-iana, which lives up to its title. Absent a clearly stated editorial plan, it appears to be a hastily gathered assemblage of whatever happened to fall over the transom, a poem here, a ditty there, a piece of art somewhere else. What is distinguished in the collection, such as Sir Paul McCartney’s recollections of first meeting and playing with John Lennon, is external—that is, a link is provided to its outside source, which, in this case, is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website. (Even then, the link is to the home page, whereupon a search is required to find the “Letter to Lennon.”) As for the rest, well, there are a couple of entertaining games, some photographs (one suite of them prefaced by the hoary cliché “It’s been a long winding road,” which of course is a McCartney and not Lennon line), as well as some cartoons and sketches. (The ones by the Australian “emerging visual communicator” Kaliopy have a weirdly Ralph Steadman–esque vibe that might have suited Lennon in his exile-from-Yoko period.) There are also some truly awful poems (“He bullied my feelings / with thoughts so reeling”) and some songs (the best of them not Lennon-esque in the least)—not a one by anyone you’ve ever heard of, and not a one memorable.
“How?” So Lennon asked in a searching song, all those years ago. This enhanced e-book begs a different question: “Why?”