Norwegian Wood Babe
In a new biography on John Lennon, Philip Norman seems to have cracked the riddle presented in the song Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown): Who was the woman John Lennon had an affair with? Paul Du Noyer reports in his review of the book:
“This song was always read as a coded admission of adultery – but with whom? The journalist Maureen Cleave is often suggested – she was pretty and clever and Lennon adored her – but Norman’s evidence points elsewhere. When John moved to London with his wife Cynthia and their child Julian, they took a flat in South Kensington. It had been found for them by The Beatles’ photographer Robert Freeman, who lived downstairs with his beautiful wife, Sonny. Now, she was German but preferred to say she was Norwegian. The Freemans’ pad was fashionably wood-panelled. When Robert was out and Cynthia upstairs, John slipped down to see Sonny Freeman and they did, indeed, have an affair.”
The book will be published October 1st.
Sonny Freeman-Drane from the 1964 Pirelli Calendar. Photographer: Robert Freeman
I am currently reading Philip Norman's biography about John.
Thought I knew everything worth knowing about the Beatles — Not so. This revelation – along with many more – make this a facinating read. I highly recommend it to all Beatlemaniacs.
Philip Norman can't see the (norwegian) wood for the trees.
The song is about a rebuffed advance.
'..and crawled off to sleep in the bath'.
So, if Lennon and Freeman fell out over this, it derives from the former's advances on the latter's wife, not from an affair as such.
Actually, I think the story is typical Norman dirt-creation.
He should stick to novels as his books on beatledom are certainly fiction.