John Lennon versus the pirate

Published 11:07 am Monday, January 1, 2024

At the next Live@Lanier, set to take place Thursday, January 18 at Lanier Library, author Jay Bergen, friend and lawyer of John Lennon, tells the untold story of the Beatles’ battle with a music pirate.

In 1975, the Mafia-connected owner of Roulette Records, Morris Levy, released “Roots,” a pirated version of oldies Lennon had been producing. Lennon would not back down and this led to a multi-million dollar court battle where Bergen represented Lennon to protect the rights of the musician.

This is the true story told in Bergen’s book “Lennon, the Mobster, and the Lawyer.” With the background of the 70s rock and roll world, Bergen enlivens a story of a legal battle while entertaining readers with fresh insights into Yoko Ono, Phil Spector, Elton John, Mick Jagger and other music notables.

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Beatles expert Kenneth Womack wrote of the book in Salon Magazine, calling it “A page-turner of a book about, of all things, a lawsuit.” 

Mat Snow, in the U.K.’s leading music magazine, wrote, “A window into the seldom-seen Lennon: lucid, pragmatic, knowledgeable, and unflappable.”

The program begins at 1 p.m. and is free to Lanier Library members and non-members. The library is located at 72 Chestnut Street in Tryon. For more information call 828-859-9535 or visit



Submitted by Vince Verrecchio