Let Love Rule

Image of Let Love Rule
Release Date: 
October 5, 2020
Henry Holt and Co.
Reviewed by: 

By opening the curtains to offer pure vulnerability and relatable authenticity, Lenny Kravitz leaves readers feeling inspired to find our own true voice. And to let love rule.”

Let Love Rule is more than just a book title, it’s become the mantra of Grammy Award-winning musician, Lenny Kravitz, a mega-star who rocked the world into the new millennium with a style all his own.

Sometimes considered a cross between the peace-loving hippie vibe of John Lennon and the funky spin of the one-and-only Prince, Kravitz has long been recognized for breaking norms and inspiring others to be true to themselves. But that walk didn’t always come easy for the man whose life was a dance between two extremes from the start.

Born the son of Sy Kravitz, an NBC news producer of Russian-Jewish descent, and Roxie Roker, a glamorous African-Caribbean actress who made her mark on stage and screen, particularly in her role as Helen Willis in the ’70s sitcom The Jeffersons, Lenny grew up jumping from the soul-driven beats of Bedford-Stuyvesant to the Old-World Jewish corners of Brooklyn, to the glitz and glam of Manhattan where his parents rented an apartment on the Upper East Side.

“I am deeply two-sided,” Lenny writes. “Black and white, Jewish and Christian, Manhattanite and Brooklynite. My young life was all about opposites and extremes. As a kid, you take everything in stride. So, I accepted my Gemini soul. I owned it. In fact, I adored it. Yins and yangs mingled in various parts of my heart and mind, giving me balance and fueling my curiosity, giving me comfort.”

In time, his eclectic journey would take him through the laid-back islands of his mother’s native Bahamas, to the surfs and skateboards of sunny Los Angeles. Along the way, Lenny would battle with his rigidly controlling father and bond deeply with his compassionate mother, eventually moving out of the house at the tender age of 16 when his father wouldn’t allow Lenny and his best friend, Dan Donnelly (now the legendary drummer Zoro), to attend the Buddy Rich concert at Disneyland.

That night, a familiar pattern played out in the Kravitz’ mid-century modern home on the hill. Sy insisted Lenny hadn’t cleaned his room well enough to go out and the stern father drew a line, demanding that if Lenny left for the concert, he’d be leaving for good. Lenny called his bluff, threw his belongings into Dan’s car, and off they went to hear their idol Buddy Rich shred drums with his band.

For Lenny, there was no looking back. Life had given him a choice, and he had chosen music.

His heart has been following the groove ever since, and his poignant memoir takes us through the many ups and downs he’s experienced along the way. But this book is about much more than how Lenny found his sound and all the challenges he overcame to claim it. This story goes deeper, delivering an emotional examination of his cherished relationships by introducing us to the friends and relatives who most influenced his life.

We grow to love them all, from his four grandparents and numerous godparents who watched over him with care, to the gifted kids in the California Boys’ Choir (two of whom were brutally murdered as young teens), to the many artists and musicians who inspired him to go his own way, to the wealthy Beverly Hills students who studied music with Lenny under the talented Mr. Pressman and Mr. Farmer.

Yes, we read about a number of stars between these pages, but after decades of putting on a show, Lenny (with writer David Ritz) peels off the costume and invites readers into his life and into his heart, sharing with us the depths of his faith, his passion for music, his unique creative lens, and his soul-deep love for ex-wife Lisa Bonet and their daughter Zoë.

In the end, we feel as if we know Lenny at his core, and we sense he’s used writing as yet another creative outlet to heal his deepest wounds (particularly those involving his father).

The result is a poignant memoir written for all readers, music fans or not. By opening the curtains to offer pure vulnerability and relatable authenticity, Lenny Kravitz leaves readers feeling inspired to find our own true voice. And to let love rule.