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Linda S. got in touch with the ol’ Dullblog this morning with a thought too interesting not to share.
“I was startled the first time I viewed the video piece for “Hello Goodbye,” Linda wrote. “John seemed strangely subdued. I wasn’t sure what I was sensing, only that it made me feel very uneasy. Still does. There is the coda, of course, the jokey dancing, where John seems more himself. Was it all in my head? Has anyone else ever been given pause by that video?”
Actually, I’ve felt the same thing, but always assumed it was caused by John’s many disparaging comments towards the song. “That’s another McCartney. Smells a mile away, doesn’t it? An attempt to write a single. It wasn’t a great piece…”
Well, John, I like “Walrus” better too, but c’mon.
Here’s the video:
Was the song really all that bad? Surely not — but “Hello Goodbye” was recorded in the heaviest of times for Lennon, a bare six weeks after Brian’s sudden death. Worse still, the film was recorded at the Savile Theater, until recently owned by Epstein and the locus of many of his post-Beatles dreams. It’s perfectly in character that Lennon would do that film, fighting the sense of his friend and mentor all around; while Paul, dealing with death in his way, pushed through another million-seller.
I’ve long believed that the sessions for “Lady Madonna/Hey Bulldog” (hey! The Beatles read our blog!) was the end of the Beatles’ unity as a group. But it could be that Linda is onto something, and that the split can be seen earlier in the film for “Hello Goodbye.”