Geoffrey Giuliano

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Geoffrey Giuliano
Born (1953-09-11) September 11, 1953 (age 60)
Rochester, New York, United States

Geoffrey Giuliano (born September 11, 1953)[1] is an American author, radio personality and film actor, best known for his biographies of The Beatles members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, and of musician Pete Townshend.

Biography[edit]

Giuliano was born in Rochester, New York[1] and raised in the villages of Albion and Olcott Beach, New York. He was the youngest of five children. He and his mother, Myrna Oneita Juliana, moved to Tampa, Florida when he was twelve. There he first became interested in acting, Vedic philosophy and fine art seriography. Giuliano has stated that "Giuliano" was his birth name.[2] One newspaper, however, has reported that he was born "Jeffrey Juliana", that he adopted "Geoffrey Giuliano" as a pen name, and that in 1997 he changed his legal name to "Jagannatha Dasa". For a brief period the honorific title of "Puripada" was awarded him by several of his Indian yoga students, but Giuliano/Dasa ultimately rejected the title as inappropriate.[3][4]

Giuliano attended Madison Junior High School, H.B Plant High School and Hillsborough Community College (all in Tampa) and, in the mid-1970s, the State University of New York at Brockport.[citation needed]

In mid-2009, Giuliano turned his full attention to launching a museum dedicated to the Beatles and other iconic sixties groups. Called "The Museum Of 60's Music & Culture" (The MMC), the idea was to house his collection of sixties art in his Victorian-style house in Lockport, New York, and open it to the public. Opening was scheduled for the summer of 2010, by which time Giuliano was ready to return to the United States after a nearly ten-year stint abroad in India and Thailand.[citation needed] Giuliano unsuccessfully attempted to open a Beatles museum at the same location in 2006, pulling the plug after receiving a negative reception from Lockport city officials and readers of the Lockport Union Sun & Journal. Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker commented, "The fact that he’s going to pull the plug is fine with me. I never believed in the project to begin with. Maybe if he has a lot of Beatles memorabilia, he should sell some and pay his property taxes." [5]

Literary work[edit]

Giuliano told Eye Weekly that he briefly worked for Pete Townshend, but was fired after stealing a tape from him.[6] A research assistant of Giuliano's subsequently wrote to the newspaper to defend him.[7]

A biography Giuliano authored, Lennon In America (released in 2000), was similarly controversial. Giuliano claimed the book was based in part on transcripts of Lennon's journal given to him by the singer Harry Nilsson, who died on January 16, 1994.[8] The claim was made after Nilsson's death, and several people close to Nilsson do not believe he ever had the transcripts in his possession.[4] Washington Post reporter David Segal quoted Giuliano's response when he was asked to corroborate his claim that Nilsson gave him the diaries. "It's obvious that I'm going to do things in an ethical manner." Segal also reported the view of Steven Gutstein, a former New York assistant district attorney who was asked to read the diaries during an early 1980s larceny lawsuit against former Lennon personal assistant Fred Seaman. After reading some of the more sensational claims in Giuliano's book, Gutstein commented, "This is a Mad magazine version of the diaries." Gutstein described his own memory of the diaries as "a lot of philosophical musings combined with mundane details of everyday life." [9] Newsweek reported in May 2000 that Yoko Ono (John Lennon's widow) served Giuliano with a subpoena asking him to produce source material for his Lennon book, charging that he "grossly misrepresented" the information he used or made it up. The magazine also stated that Giuliano refused to comply with the subpoena.[10]

Both the public and reviewers were torn over the controversial tome. On July 15, 2000, Colin Carlson of the Library Journal commented, "Non-fans will be put off by this image of Lennon as cad, drug addict, and paranoiac; this often sensationalized account is for voyeurs and fans with deconstructive tendencies and is one of the best, most detailed books available on this subject."[11] A Washington Post review of Giuliano's Lennon book said, "In exhaustive detail, using information purportedly gleaned from an unpublished Lennon diary (a text never directly quoted from), Giuliano reveals the not-so-shocking news that Lennon was not an altogether happy man. In other words, we get more of the character assassination that was begun in such high style by Albert Goldman's notorious The Lives of John Lennon."[12] A "Publisher's Weekly" reviewer commented, "If Giuliano's own double-talk isn't enough to diminish this work's credibility, his endless, voyeuristic descriptions of Lennon's sexual encounters are.".[13]

A September 15, 2006 review of Giuliano's book Revolver: The Secret History of the Beatles in Kirkus Reviews[14] said: "The few scraps of new information presented emanate from Giuliano's connection to George Harrison, but he fails to adequately explain his relationship with the former Beatle." George Harrison, interviewed in Los Angeles on December 14, 1992, was asked if he had ever met Giuliano. He replied, "Yeah, I met him briefly. I have no way of recalling what year it was. I met him at the home of "Legs" Larry Smith for possibly thirty minutes. I visited with Mr. Smith and he was in his flat." In the same interview, he stated, "There is a certain trick to the way Giuliano goes about his work. He acts as if he is kind of authorized, and [all] these people, not just him, but all these type of people, have a skill of wheedling their way into places that are going to be some benefit to them in getting their books written."[15] Harrison's wife Olivia wrote a letter to the newspaper The Guardian in 1992 attacking Giuliano. She wrote, "like a starving dog he [Giuliano] scavenges his heroes, picking up bits of gristle and sinew along the way."[16] She specifically objected to a George Harrison quote that Giuliano used on the cover of one of his books, stating: "My husband once made the remark: 'That guy knows more about my life than I do.' Giuliano missed the joke and used it to endorse his book."[17]

Newspapers in Great Britain reported in April 2009 that Giuliano had stated that he was instructing lawyers to file suit against John Lennon's half-sister, Julia Baird. "There's only one reason she did it, and that's to screw me out of my share," Giuliano was quoted as saying. He was referring to Ms. Baird's deal with Miramax to film a screen version of her 2007 book, Imagine This. Giuliano stated that his lawsuit would request the recall and destruction of Ms. Baird's book, as well as a halt to the production of the Miramax film entitled Nowhere Boy. Guiliano contended that Baird based her 2007 book on an earlier book about Lennon which she co-authored with Giuliano. A spokesman connected with the film production issued a statement that "There is no merit to this claim. We are looking forward to the release." [18] The film's producer, Kevin Loader, commenting on the story, was quoted in May, 2009 as saying, "It's nothing to do with us. I haven't heard from anyone's lawyers."[19]

In early 2010 Giuliano set about re-launching his literary career, founding Icon Editions[20] to publish his extensive backlist and several new books authored with his middle daughter Avalon. iTunes picked up his audio works which instigated[clarification needed] the author, redesigning and updating his audio books for download on the site.[21] Another Giuliano endeavor is to get his book, Lennon In America made into a feature film.

Publications[edit]

A complete list of Giuliano's books (sourced from his Facebook pages) follows:

  • The Beatles / A Celebration;
  • John Lennon My Brother (Julia Baird) (Introduction Paul McCartney);
  • Dark Horse / The Life & Art Of George Harrison;
  • Blackbird / The Life & Times Of Paul McCartney;
  • The Beatles Album / Thirty Years Of Music & Memorabilia;
  • The Rolling Stones Album / Thirty Years Of Music And Memorabilia;
  • Paint It Black / The Murder Of Brian Jones;
  • Behind Blue Eyes / A Life Of Pete Townshend;
  • The Illustrated John Lennon;
  • The Illustrated Paul McCartney;
  • The Illustrated George Harrison;
  • The Illustrated Jimi Hendrix;
  • The Illustrated Elvis Presley;
  • The Illustrated Eric Clapton;
  • Vagabond Heart / Rod Stewart The Unauthorized Biography;
  • Two Of Us / John Lennon & Paul McCartney Behind The Myth;
  • The Lost Beatles Interviews (with Vrnda Devi);
  • The John Lennon Interviews (with Vrnda Devi);
  • Things We Said Today / Conversations With The Beatles (with Vrnda Devi);
  • Glass Onion / The Beatles In Their Words (with Vrnda Devi);
  • Gloria / The Authorized Biography Of Gloria Hunniford (with Gloria Hunniford);
  • Lennon In America / Based In Part On The Lost Lennon Diaries 1971-1980;
  • Compassionate Cuisine (with Vrnda Devi);
  • Revolver / A Secret History Of The Beatles (with Avalon Giuliano-Bowden);

Hindu beliefs[edit]

In the March 1991 edition of Hinduism Today,[22] Giuliano was quoted as saying: "I'm very orthodox. The only books I read are religious Indian texts." The article also stated that while still working for McDonald's, Giuliano met a sannyasa Bhaktihirday Mangalniloy Maharaja at a Hare Krishna temple in Toronto and became his disciple. It also mentioned that Geoffrey and his first wife, Vrnda Devi, were raising their four children as vegetarian Hindus.[22]

Giuliano explained his relationship to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in an editorial in the September 10, 1999 edition of Vaishnava News,[23] stating that he had been "vaguely" critical of ISKCON over the years, but adding, "Can I ever repay the personal debt to ISKCON that I've had? Absolutely not, nor can now my children, in the second generation." According to the official website of SRI ([5]), Giuliano founded the umbrella charity, SRI (the Spiritual Realization Institute), which was a free vegetarian food pantry (Dasa Food For All) in Lockport, New York; an animal sanctuary; a Devotional Yoga center; a spiritual retreat; and a not-for-profit publishing house. The Internal Revenue Service issued a determination letter in January 1997 granting the organization exemption from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The organization is not a private foundation within the meaning of section 509(a), because it is classified under sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi). An article in the Buffalo News reported that Giuliano unsuccessfully attempted to use the organization's tax-free status to buy himself a pair of shoes at a PayLess shoe store.[24] In September 1998, Giuliano/Jagannatha Dasa offered "any qualified, responsible devotee of Sri Sri Radha Krishna who is presently dissatisfied with their current membership, association or seva with ISKCON" a "position of authority at least equal to their current service (and in many cases, greater) within SRI's international organization."[25] By 2010, Giuliano had backed off somewhat from his long-held Hindu-based views, however—"taking", as he put it on his Facebook page, "a sabbatical from all religious forms."[citation needed]

Films and other media[edit]

Giuliano co-directed the DVD The Beatles: A Celebration.[26] A review on Beatles Collectors.com stated that "the production itself is very unprofessional," and that its content consists of "a tabloid style account covering only the negative publicity that cropped up during the Beatles career."[27] Giuliano went on to play a supporting role as pirate Captain Li in a made-for-television movie that aired on the Hallmark Channel cable network called Mysterious Island.[28] Since that time he has co-starred in the soon-to-be-released film The Lost Men, and is also starring in the action thriller Bangkok Adrenaline and the satirical drama Monks & Mamasans.[29] with cult director Lab Ky Mo (of "9 Dead Gay Guys" fame). In August 2010, Guiliano was quoted by CNNGO.com as stating: "In Thailand, there are no more than perhaps five real professional (foreign) film actors, in a sea of aging psychotic steroid-junkie gym rats, towering old queens in love with Judy Garland, out-of-work English teachers who acted a bit in high school and other assorted human oddities." .[30]

On November 19, 2005, a film, Stoned: The Wild & Wicked World of Brian Jones, premiered in London. The movie was directed by Stephen Woolley and co-produced by Nik Powell, the producing team behind Mona Lisa, Interview with the Vampire and The Crying Game. The film was "based on and inspired by" Guiliano's book Paint It Black: The Murder of Brian Jones, as well as Terry Rawlings' Who Killed Christopher Robin and Anna Wohlin's The Murder of Brian Jones.[31] Producer/director Stephen Wooley has said that he saw Giuliano's book in a bookstore and brought it to the attention of his screenwriters. The screenwriters responded by asking if he had seen Rawlings' book, which Wooley then read and found to be much more detailed than Giuliano's. Wooley also interviewed Anna Wohlin, Brian Jones' last girlfriend; she wrote her own book after the interview, causing Wooley to buy the rights to her book as well as the others. Commenting on the relative importance of the diverse source material for the movie, Wooley said, "In the end it wasn't so much the books, it was talking to both Anna about the state of Brian's mind that night, and Janet (a nurse who was present at Brian Jones' home on the day he died), about Frank's (the alleged murderer of Jones) state of mind that night - his instability and the fact he just been fired that day without being properly paid - that confirmed in my mind there was a movie here." [32]

As a singer/songwriter Giuliano, has released two CDs—Chocolate Wings (2001) and the Indo-fusion work, God Dwells Within (2006).[citation needed] Giuliano's website includes a song called "Food For All/Homes For All" which he co-wrote with former Moody Blues and Wings guitarist, Denny Laine. According to the website, the song was recorded at Mark Recording Studios in Clarence, New York by Laine, Richie Havens, Ginger Baker and Ben E. King.

In late 2005 Giuliano was hired by an American radio syndicator, KGB, to host a series of two-hour radio shows, "Geoffrey Giuliano's Roots Of Rock", which aired on more than 60 stations in the United States and Canada. The shows produced so far have highlighted such classic rock acts as the Beatles, U2, and Jimi Hendrix.[33]

Ronald McDonald and animal rights[edit]

Giuliano worked for an advertising agency in Toronto, Canada, portraying McDonald's advertising figurehead Ronald McDonald for "basically a year and a half," traveling to personal appearances for "The Ronald McDonald Safety Show."[34] A statement, dated "Fall/Summer 1990," in which Giuliano decried "concerns who make their millions off the murder of countless animals and the exploitation of children for their own ends" was submitted on behalf of the plaintiffs in the 1991 London McLibel case.[35] In an interview he gave in London some years later, Geoffrey summed up his bad behavior playing Ronald north of the border. "There's no question that I was manipulating these children. I was a highly paid, highly trained, highly polished actor. Every show was a performance and I had a mandate to get that message out there, and yeah, it was not too hard - anybody can manipulate a child. I just went home one night, and I said, 'I cannot do this, I can't live with myself if I continue to do this." Giuliano also played the Marvelous Magical Burger King for the Burger King Corporation, doing shows and other appearances throughout New England. The author/actor has spoken widely regarding his turbulent term as the McDonald's clown and the shadowy ethical implications of factory farming and animal rights for such groups as PETA. Giuliano has been an ardent vegetarian, abstaining from meat, fish and eggs since 1970.[36][37] In 2001, Giuliano published Compassionate Cuisine, authored by his then-wife, Vrnda Devi.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b tell Tell Me What You See - Biography - A Brief Life Sketch of Geoffrey Giuliano/Jagannatha Dasa, downloaded from internet on May 13, 2011
  2. ^ G2 Timeline
  3. ^ Lockport's prolific rock biographer reincarnates as leader of Hindu temple Buffalo News, April 25, 1999
  4. ^ a b Lennon, imagined Buffalo News, May 28, 2000
  5. ^ [1] BEATLES MUSEUM: Giuliano pulls plug on Lockport venture by Anne Carlos. LOCKPORT UNION SUN & JOURNAL, August 11, 2006
  6. ^ News article: "Infamous Beatles hack remains unrepentant" Eye Weekly, May 11, 2000.
  7. ^ "Letter to the Editor, The Mother Teresa of Rock Journalism" - Eye Weekly, June 29, 2000
  8. ^ Harry Nilsson Obituary alt.obituaries usenet group,posted January 15, 2006
  9. ^ Lennon's Disputed Days in the Life: Yoko Ono Spokesman Rejects as 'Fiction' Bio Allegedly Based on Ex-Beatle's Lost Diaries The Washington Post, Style Section, April 18, 2000
  10. ^ McCartney On The Move Newsweek, May 22, 2000
  11. ^ Book Review, Lennon in America, Library Journal, May 1, 2000
  12. ^ Love Them Do The Washington Post, Book World Section, October 8, 2000
  13. ^ Book Review, Lennon in America, Publisher's Weekly, May 1, 2000
  14. ^ Review of Revolver: The Secret History of the Beatles - Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006
  15. ^ Glass Onion: The Beatles in Their Own Words by Geoffrey Giuliano and Vrnda Devi, Da Capo Press, published 1999, pp. 179-180.
  16. ^ News article: "'Mrs. George' shares husbands interests"The Guardian, December 31, 1999.
  17. ^ rec.music.beatles usenet post of Olivia Harrison October 8, 1992 letter to The Guardian, posted July 24, 2001
  18. ^ John Lennon film sparks 'plagiarism' lawsuit Richard Eden, The Telegraph, April 4, 2009
  19. ^ News article: "The mixed-up boy who would join Sgt. Pepper's band The Globe and Mail, May 9, 2009.
  20. ^ [2]
  21. ^ "Geoffrey Giuliano On iTunes"
  22. ^ a b "Former Ronald McDonald Turns Vegetarian Activist". Hinduism Today. March 1991. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  23. ^ Poison CD Hoax by Jagannatha Dasa, Vaishnava News, September 10, 1999
  24. ^ Renowned rock biographer reincarnates as Hindu leader. Buffalo News, August 30, 1999
  25. ^ SRI/GBC Resolves, letter written by Jagannatha Dasa, Vaishnava News, September 5, 1998
  26. ^ ""The Beatles: Celebration" at imdb.". Internet Movie Database. 
  27. ^ "Beatles Celebration - Geoffrey Giuliano, Review by Sooz". Sumaree Promotions. 
  28. ^ ""Mysterious Island" at imdb.". Internet Movie Database. 
  29. ^ monksandmamasans.com
  30. ^ Wanted: Bangkok actor. Must be patient, modest, and willing to work for peanuts | CNNGo.com [3]
  31. ^ Stoned (movie review) March 24, 2006]
  32. ^ Stephen Wooley on Stoned by Chris Payne, Channel4.com
  33. ^ "Geoffrey Giuliano's Roots of Rock". geoffreygiuliano.com. 
  34. ^ [4] "Confessions Of a Corporate Clown," McSpotlight.org website]
  35. ^ "CONFESSIONS OF A CORPORATE CLOWN McSpotlight.org website
  36. ^ "Interview," One-Off Productions, 1997
  37. ^ "Clowns - Ronald McDonald". Tv Acres. Retrieved 2007-02-08. 

External links[edit]