• Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer

  • The Untold Story
  • By: Jay Bergen
  • Narrated by: Scott R. McKinley
  • Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Before John Lennon retreated peacefully into private life in 1975, he fought a major legal battle that went under the public radar.

Just as his rock 'n' roll oldies album hit the market, Morris Levy, the Mob-connected owner of Roulette Records, released Roots, an unauthorized version of the same record. Levy had used rough mixes of John's unfinished rock 'n' roll recordings—and claimed the former Beatle had verbally agreed to the arrangement. The clash led to a lawsuit and countersuit between Levy and Lennon.

Attorney Jay Bergen, a partner in a prestigious New York City law firm, represented John in this epic battle over the rights to his own recordings. Millions of dollars were at stake. 

Jay tells the intimate story of how he worked closely with John to rebut Levy's outrageous claims. He also recounts how John explained his recording process in poetic, exacting terms before a judge who knew little about the Beatles and John's solo career. 

Lennon, the Mobster & the Lawyer catches the high drama of the courtroom skirmishes in this previously untold story. It also paints a detailed personal picture of John and his world in 1975-76, when he was soon to have a new son and went into happy seclusion to be a husband and father.

©2022 Jay Bergen (P)2022 Jay Bergen

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Great look at Lennon’s creative process.

I found this book fascinating. For me, it was clear from the beginning that Lennon should prevail on the legal case. However, the great fascination for me was walking through John Lennon‘s mind and seeing how he creates music and then finally placing it gently and carefully within the vinyl that we all hear. Scott McKinley did a magnificent job narrating. Each character has a distinct voice and when listening to his Sean Lennon, I actually thought I was listening to Mr. Lennon. Bravo to Mr. McKinley!

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  • Diamondsfan
  • 08-19-22

Intriguing story nicely narrated.

This isn't normally the kind of story that I would choose to read (or listen to). Yet it was interesting because it revealed the kind of commercial pressures that artists, who just want to live in their creative world, are sometimes forced to face and it shows what effect it can have on them. The author Jay Bergen (the actual lawyer in the title) writes a good structured account of the legal processes involved, although at times that (for me) was a little heavy-going.

Scott R, McKinley's narration was clear and well-paced. He didn't try to overshadow the story, but delivered it with calm respect. He has a soft American accent which will be comfortable for British listeners and his impression of John Lennon's voice and accent was spot on. He obviously worked hard getting that right and he deserves full praise for that.