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Lennon author seeking legendary photographer

Jude Southerland Kessler, whose 800-page researched historical novel on the early life of John Lennon, Shoulda Been There, was released in 2008, is poised to release the second book in her Lennon series. The new work, which will focus on John's life from December 1961 through mid-April of 1963 (and the birth of his son, Julian) is entitled Shivering Inside and will be released on John's 70th birthday this year. But right now the author is working diligently to locate renowned London Observer photographer, Jane Brown.

"Ms. Brown's amazing work was brought to my attention by the artist/photographer who is designing the cover for Shivering Inside, Vincent Vigil of San Diego," Kessler said. "Mr. Vigil wrote to me and said that he had discovered the perfect cover shot for my book face. And he had!"

The photo depicts John as the popular Beatle of the early 1960's in his suit and tie loosened a bit at the collar, of course but instead of smiling blithely, John is slouching and grimacing in a rare moment of public honesty. "John generally maintained the Epstein image of a happy-go-lucky, quirky Beatle," Kessler said, "but all the while he was truly 'shivering inside.' He was anything but cheery and confidant. He was cynical, unsure, and often unhappy. Ms. Brown's photo captures that inner John."

Jude Kessler with her first book

Kessler has written to Ms. Brown both through her website and via the London Observer without success. "It was just this difficult getting in touch with Astrid Kirchherr to obtain permission to feature her famous photo of John on the cover of Shoulda Been There, but with help from many people, that contact was made. Perhaps someone can help me locate Ms. Brown and obtain her blessings for Mr. Vigil's superb Shivering Inside cover."

Vigil, who has an extensive collection of rare Beatle photos which he exhibits throughout the West Coast, is also a devoted fan and Beatles aficionado. "His sepia-toned rendering of Ms. Brown's portrait of John is so striking. It takes your breath away!" Kessler says. "I am very excited about the project and about the new research that Shivering Inside provides in Lennon studies."

If you can supply any information about Ms. Brown or her licensing agent, please contact Jude Kessler at rjkess@comcast.net.

Published March 24, 2010

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