Hardcore fans may find some elements controversial, particularly the section concerning the "Cheap Trick sessions." Douglas asked band members Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos to play on two songs, "I'm Losing You" and "I'm Moving On." These versions never made the final album, although "I'm Losing You" finally saw the light of day as part of 1998's Anthology box set. Double Fantasy bassist Tony Levin and producer Douglas express regret that the Cheap Trick versions were omitted from the album. Why this occurred remains a mystery, and Sharp's book does not answer any questions with certainty. All parties involved disagree on the reasons, ranging from Ono feeling that Cheap Trick was riding on Lennon's coattails to the belief that the cuts were too rough in contrast to the rest of the album. Fans will probably never know the real story, but Sharp deserves credit for tackling this delicate issue.
Starting Over is an essential addition to any Beatles and John Lennon fan's bookshelf, as it provides a rare, intimate look at the last days of his life. Audiophiles will also appreciate the technical details of recording, as the engineers describe how they achieved certain sound effects. Chances are even the most devoted fans will be surprised by little-known facts about Lennon, provided by friends and family who hold obvious affection for the legend. The book demonstrates how "(Just Like) Starting Over" became a metaphor for Lennon in 1980, as he felt creatively rejuvenated and planned some intriguing projects. Unfortunately, as he famously sang in "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)," "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."?