• My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 29, 18:01 Oooh, I think that’s great–both Erin and Karen are old Dullblog commenters and have so many interesting insights about the band. With so much pre-existing Beatle-chat in the world, I’m not interested in a Dullblog podcast–I struggle to think of what we’d do better than say, Erin or Karen. And I would feel required to do a lot of research and reading prep, as well as produce it properly, and I simply don’t have time at the moment. I have thought about doing a podcast about the Sixties, mostly as an excuse to interview people I like. But perhaps Nancy or Devin would be so inclined? I’d support them 100% if they did.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by notorious_g_i_b on Jul 29, 17:37 In before you close the comments… seeing that Erin Thorkelson Weber and Karen Hooper have adapted their blog into a podcast, maaaaaaybe that’s a way to continue the discussion aspect that used to occur in the comments section somehow? Create a podcast for the regulars to comment on new entries and raise holy hell on other subjects?
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 29, 11:26 Love back at you, VH. Your thoughts on White are the kind of thing I’d like to post. Write it up! 🙂 The Beatles are one of the world’s unassailably Great Things, and there is wisdom in the realization that they, too, suffered and struggled with addiction and codependence and the whole absurd roundelay. They were not superhumans; they did not escape; they were like us, like your dad, flawed; and yet, wow, what music! That Lennon was an addict, Ringo is–maybe all of them were (look to Paul and pot, and George and several things) –and yet they made things that we cherish, it helps us understand our own lives. Make better decisions. Addicts are not rare and they are not monsters, even though they can do monstrous things; and the whole fucked-up support systems they create cause such suffering. When we are close to addicts, it’s so important to separate the person from the disease, and see the attendant illnesses. What a thing it would be if The Beatles, the flawed people John/Paul/George/Ringo, could help us gain WISDOM as well as pleasure.
  • Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”: Now Thanksgiving on Disney Plus Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 29, 11:13 @Lama, no apology necessary. John Lennon has been dead 40 years and fans who “defend” him–or any other celebrity, but particularly THAT celebrity–are indulging in a dubious pleasure. John Lennon was a public figure; he said and did stuff in public; the public had a right to have opinions about those things. We all engage in a one-sided conversation with celebrities; that’s what being a celebrity is, consenting to that in exchange for the rights/benefits/license we grant to celebs. Lennon’s determination to blur the lines between public and private invited opinions about him. This is a risky gamble, as he found out. It makes you fascinating, but also endangers. A lot of the showbiz stuff that The Beatles rejected so refreshingly were strategies developed since 1920 or so to make stardom tolerable. Lennon’s death at the hands of a crazy person doesn’t change the fact that he WANTED fans to have opinions about him, that’s why he spent so much time talking to the public (not singing, talking). To be a Lennon fan and not get one of his central tenets — that you shouldn’t think you know celebrities and that showbiz is fake — is troubling to me. If we don’t know him, and he would say that we don’t, what are we defending but a bunch of PR? Lennon genius, McCartney fake, Harrison boring, Starr lucky was a media trope begun by Rolling Stone post-breakup and repeated endlessly after Lennon’s murder. That’s how it became the standard story. McCartney killed it by continuing to live and create, and generations less embedded in the political shorthand of Cool Lennon vs. Square McCartney began to assert their opinion.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 29, 11:01 @Cazz, there will still be posts. Check back. I think the Beatles would’ve surprised us again and again; nobody expected them to make the transition to Rubber Soul; or Revolver; or Pepper; or White; or Abbey Road. The business was so big and their fanbase aging, so they probably wouldn’t have been the dominant force they’d been before 1968, but could they have produced albums of the quality of Abbey Road, reflecting whatever differing styles that attracted them? I feel certain. The breakup was a failure of imagination, particularly on Lennon’s part. (I used to include Harrison in that, but in the last ten years that’s softened based on some new facts.)
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Cazz on Jul 28, 12:16 I’m sorry this is shutting down but I can understand why. I only discovered it recently, and have learnt a lot. In being realistic about what drove the Beatles apart, we should try and stick to facts, difficult though that is because even what people say is filtered through their perspective/agenda/emotional state. I just know for sure that the break-up makes me sad. I do wonder though, if they’d together whether the music would have continued to be great or dropped off in quality. Some people think they were a band in decline. I wouldn’t put Let It Be at the same level as Revolver. Though of course compared with what most bands produce, Let It Be is still a masterpiece.
  • Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”: Now Thanksgiving on Disney Plus Comment by Lama on Jul 27, 12:41 I’d like to make an apology, specifically to Michelle but also to everyone with a love for John Lennon. I didn’t come here intending to trash him or cause offense. I was trying to work out a question in my own mind (specifically, “Why do I even care about this? What’s so interesting?”; and once I got started I think my comments ended up going to places they didn’t need to go. I’m sorry. After having spent some time educating myself, I’m going to say a few more things and then I’ll leave y’all alone. 1. I might not ever get to a place of loving Lennon, or even necessarily liking him all that much, but I do feel compassion for him. He was in a pressure cooker, and there was nothing in his life that could have possibly prepared him for it. The same goes for all four of them, actually. The real wonder is probably that they all didn’t spectacularly self-destruct. 2. Of course a lot of my Beatles and Lennon hate was just—well, you know. I still see people, especially kids, doing this all the time. Something is very popular and people talk a lot about it, and in some folks that’s going to engender a backlash. I try to be understanding when I see other people doing it to something I love, because I do understand. Some of my talk about that, in my head, was more of a “ruefully laughing at my younger self” thing, but I’m sure it didn’t come across that way. 3. (Defending myself). I was a contrarian, I wasn’t a psychopath. I wasn’t *happy* to see Lennon dead, or happy to see people sad about it. When I knew someone, in person, who really was sad about it, I did my best to sympathize. I just didn’t share the sadness, or understand it. And I’d like to posit here that that wasn’t all THAT unreasonable. Can we at least agree that a lot of his public demeanor, in the 70s, wasn’t all that child-friendly? And I was a child. I don’t think my REAL popularity-induced-backlash hatred kicked in until the 80s, anyway, after a few years of hagiography. I realize I compressed that timeline a bit in my previous. 4. The flip side—and this probably also really kicked in in the 80s—was a TINY soft spot for Paul McCartney. I felt sorry for him. Sure, he’d had some success, but everyone knew that no one respected him. It seems a bit weird to me now that while I was perfectly ready to question the idea that Lennon was a genius, it didn’t occur to me to question the related idea that McCartney was a hack who always tried to make himself seem more important. I more or less accepted that as true. It just made me always sort of want to pull for him, kind of like the way you do for that one kid on the soccer team who really can’t play but has a lot of heart and just keeps trying. Sorry, I’m almost done. I know this is probably stupid but I’m just going to finish and then I promise I’ll go away. I finally realized what I’d found so fascinating about the Carpool Karaoke thing. It wasn’t the video itself. It was the way people reacted to it: positively. I mean, as I’m watching it, one part of me’s going, hey, this is cool, and the other one is all, OMG, I bet he got roasted for this. In the 80s he definitely would have been. And then in my internet wanderings, it looks to me like the narrative around this band has really changed since the last time I paid attention to it. I find that absolutely fascinating. The old school story—Lennon was the creative force, McCartney was kind of a hack, Harrison and Starr were… there—it’s still around, but it doesn’t seem to be dominant (although it probably depends on which corners of the internet you go poking into). When did that happen? Has it been that way for a long time, or is it recent? And why did it change? And if that narrative was false, which I am convinced it was, then how the hell did it become so commonly accepted that even someone not really into the Beatles would “know” it to be true? I’m fascinated. If anyone read all that, thanks for your patience. And sorry for any offense.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Velvet Hand on Jul 27, 05:43 Sorry Michael, didn’t mean to misrepresent your previous statements on tWA. (Side note: To me, not liking to listen to a piece of music means that that piece of music is a lesser work, for presumably solipsistic reasons.) I must have been 11 or 12 when I first came across a copy – probably one owned by my parents which I proceeded to “occupy”. I’d only heard the Red & Blue double LPs before (and not, consciously, much other pop/rock music except possibly Nena and a couple of Blondie’s hits) and didn’t know at the time which Beatle was which, what most of the words meant, when the album was made or what role it played in the story of the group. Instead, listening to it made me feel like I was being given illicit glimpses into the weird world of grown-ups, but there was nobody who could have explained these glimpses to me. Why were some of the songs so loud and others so quiet? Why had they included “Helter Skelter”, which made me feel SO scared, and songs like “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Julia” that made me feel all fuzzy and warm inside? Why did one of the songs prominently feature the word “sexy”? (None of the other Beatles songs I knew did!) Why didn’t the poster have any words printed for Revolution 9? (I could clearly hear words being spoken and sung and would have loved to know what they were!) In my case, you’re right about the “John-love”/”addict nearby” thing, by the way. My dad was a heavy drinker – didn’t ever hit us but apart from that was a terrible human being. When he did have money, he would try to atone for that with presents, which is how I got that blue box with all the UK albums in it that was around in the 1980s. That was one of the few of those gifts that was on point though – when I got a record I wasn’t interested in at all for my birthday a few years later, I wanted to exchange it for the “Tripping the Live Fantastic” 3-LP and was made to feel really bad about being so greedy. Also, I love Hey Dullblog and hope you can find the strength to let it continue. I still don’t know anyone in person who has an interest in Beatle Lore which is why this is one of maybe 5 websites I visit regularly. The other “core” reason I visit is, of course, that Hey Dullblog isn’t dumb while the rest of the internet mainly is. Love Velvet Hand
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 25, 21:23 @Michelle, I don’t like listening to the White Album. I think it’s an amazing collection of songs…which I don’t like listening to. The history of the group from May ’68 to April ’70 is fascinating, that’s why we talk about it constantly and not other, harmonious times that produced music I personally like better. I DO believe that John Lennon was intent on breaking up the group after May ’68 (or at least hurting Paul), and while that was a rather outlandish position to take at the beginning of this blog (2008), the work of Mikal Gilmore and others is making it more and more the dreaded Standard Narrative. The old “wedding bells” idea, or “they were bound to break up” idea–neither of them have ever held much water to me. They’d all been married for years, except Paul; similar groups like the Stones were together for decades. There was nothing preordained about a breakup; it was triggered by specific things that happened between May ’68 and April ’70, and fans that are afraid to examine those specific things…well, this is not the site for them. The facts are the facts–the absence of Brian as a lubricant, and the presence of Yoko and Klein as profound irritants, plus John’s heroin addiction, are what broke up the band. And no amount of arguing is going to change that; “it just happened, because things happen” is not a valid counter-argument, and part of the reason I’m shutting comments is we’re getting a lot of that level of wishful thinking. Paul surely does have a dark side, we all do. But he, unlike John, did not spend the last ten years–25% of his life!–giving us raw data on that dark side. Paul, like Yoko, has outlived the profit in muckraking. We discuss John’s “dark side” because John discussed it. And I like that about John; I don’t need him to be perfect or even particularly good to be eternally grateful for his music, and genuinely affectionate towards him as a person. And this is where you and I differ, and will never see eye to eye: it’s precisely *my affection* for him that makes me look at him closely, trying to understand him. After a lot of close study, I suspect that he was an addict, and addicts lie. So particularly as he gets deeper into his illness after India, John’s a puzzle; what is true? What is partly true? What is a lie? I dislike John’s songs when I perceive them to be part of a story he’s selling me, or when they express a kind of narcissism and immaturity that I’m painfully familiar with from the addicts in my own life. Anyway, I’ve been super-clear and consistent on these points, comment after comment. You might consider why you’re defending him so tirelessly? Who is he and his behavior standing in for? Don’t tell me, but do tell yourself. Your fixation on fighting with me on my blog is peculiar. I wanna get a certain viewpoint across, on my blog, and my determination comes from my own suffering at the hands of addicts. You are determined to prove me wrong, on my blog. Why? Why don’t you start your own blog? Why are you determined to push back against my particular take on John Lennon, a person neither of us met? I’ve been very clear why I say what I say, and I just said it, bluntly, again; I studied, found what I found, and say it here, specifically to clue people into how addicts work. I believe that if a person feels a particular affinity for John Lennon, it’s highly likely they are close to an addict. I was! You on the other hand, never speak to why you give a shit. Why is it so important to you that people have certain beliefs about this long-dead celebrity. Stop commenting here and get clear on that. Underneath it all–fandom since age 5, 13 years of writing this blog, plus a whole goddamn novel–is respect for what John Lennon accomplished, and affection for the flesh-and-blood person that was put through the meat grinder of wealth and fame and power, and compassion for the psychological and psychic pain he endured. That’s my baseline “judgment” on John Lennon, and the only one that really matters. I love the guy, not the White Album. My way of showing that is idiosyncratic, but–let it be.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 25, 20:13 @Michelle, I of course deplore sex trafficking and any kind of coerced sex, regardless of age. But I also do not think it is particularly rare, and given our knowledge of people like Jeffery Epstein and Weinstein, it seems regrettably common among the very wealthy and powerful. And we know about Thai sex tourism because people engage in it. We do not know if John Lennon did that; we can guess, but it’s only a guess. We do not know why Goldman wrote that; we can guess, but it’s only a guess. I certainly hope John did not do that, because (as my wife just said) “he was too smart not to see the harm it would cause.” But as I’ve said so many times on this blog, I simply find it difficult to judge any of these men on their sexual behavior, whether known or suspected. Their lives were just too singular, too strange in this particular regard. And I think most people are exactly as moral as circumstances allow them to be, especially in the case of physical appetites like sex or drugs. When I was 20, I was dating the nice, intelligent young women of Smith College; when John Lennon was 20, he was dating the surely equally nice, intelligent young ladies who worked on the Reeperbahn. The mores of Smith and of the Reeperbahn could not be more different; as would be the experiences doled out by each. I just can’t judge fairly; my life has been too different. Goldman seeks to titillate, to outrage, and to destroy an idol. For me he succeeds in none of these goals. I do not take Goldman 100% literally. I consider his portrait of Lennon to be somewhat impressionistic, as was his portrait of Lenny Bruce (a book which Lennon supposedly read and liked). Goldman’s methods were to research and interview extensively, then use the novelist’s tools to tell the story; standard New Journalism techniques, if cartoonish in result. A lot of the same people who bitch about Goldman’s scalding portrait of Lennon have no problem with Hunter S. Thompson’s equally demonic portrait of Richard Nixon, which was based on much much less research, and was published by (of all places) Rolling Stone. Could it be that what we are willing to know about someone is determined not by the truth, but by whether they are a hero or a villain? With this thought in mind, I simply hold “The Lives of John Lennon” very lightly, and would encourage every reader to do the same–read it, but don’t necessarily believe it. Clearly that statement was meant to shock and, in your case, it did. Was it true? Who knows? Was the one about Korean brothels in New York true? Who knows? (I can tell you that in 2019, I went to the wrong address for a lunch date on 57th Street, and stumbled into a Korean brothel. Being Midwestern, I blushed and beat a hasty retreat. I considered calling…some authority. But who? And tell them to do what? Would those girls be harmed if I blew their cover? It was not clear.) Goldman’s Thai surmise makes me think more deeply about how little I *really know* about Lennon’s private activities, and ponder how the unfolding of his life might’ve impacted his sexuality. John Lennon’s sexuality was formed on the Reeperbahn, and was finished on tour with The Beatles. Given the very excessive environments he was in, it would take an uncommonly abstemious man to maintain a sex life anything like that of the average fan. And Lennon was not uncommonly abstemious; he was in fact the opposite. He was a rockstar in the middle of the Sexual Revolution, an era where anything could be cured with a shot of pencillin. So did he sleep with women? Yes. Hordes, likely. Men? In my view, probably. Underage people? Likely–bodies do not come with a time stamp. Groups? Likely. Every race creed color and persuasion? Sure. Did he at least TRY outre sexual practices (ie, kink)? Very likely. A have a friend who is a dominatrix, and she told me it’s like this: “Kink is simply spicy food. Normal sex is like comfort food. Always enjoyable, but sometimes you want something a bit more exotic or out of the ordinary–spicy–especially if all you’ve eaten is comfort food.” I do not think John Lennon’s sexuality–or his drug use–or his tax bracket–was anything like that of an average Beatles fan. I don’t know if he had sex with Thai boys. I do know this is what he said to Jann Wenner: “What about the tours? The Beatles’ tours were like Fellini’s Satyricon. If you could get on our tours, you were in. Wherever we went there was a whole scene going. When we hit town, we hit it, we were not pissing about. You know, there’s photographs of me groveling about, crawling about in Amsterdam on my knees, coming out of whore-houses and things like that, and people saying, “Good morning, John,” and all of that. And the police escorted me to the places because they never wanted a big scandal. I don’t really want to talk about it because it will hurt Yoko, and it’s not fair. Suffice it to say, just put it like they were Satyricon on tour and that’s it, because I don’t want to hurt the other people’s girls, either, it’s just not fair. YOKO: How did you manage to keep that clean image? It’s amazing. Because everybody wants the image to carry on. The press around with you want you to carry on because they want the free drinks and the free whores and the fun. Everybody wants to keep on the bandwagon. It’s Satyricon. We were the Caesars…” I know a fair bit about Caesars, and that passage in Lennon Remembers always makes me think of the following from Suetonius’ Lives of the Twelve Caesars: “[43.1] On retiring to Capri Tiberius devised a pleasance for his secret orgies: teams of wantons of both sexes, selected as experts in deviant intercourse and dubbed analists, copulated before him in triple unions to excite his flagging passions. [43.2] Its bedrooms were furnished with the most salacious paintings and sculptures, as well as with an erotic library, in case a performer should need an illustration of what was required. Then in Capri’s woods and groves he arranged a number of nooks of venery where boys and girls got up as Pans and nymphs solicited outside bowers and grottoes: people openly called this “the old goat’s garden,” punning on the island’s name. [44.1] He acquired a reputation for still grosser depravities that one can hardly bear to tell or be told, let alone believe. For example, he trained little boys (whom he termed “little fishes”) to crawl between his thighs when he went swimming and tease him with their licks and nibbles. Unweaned babies he would put to his organ as though to the breast, being by both nature and age rather fond of this form of satisfaction.” I think one should read Goldman in much the same spirit as one reads Twelve Caesars. There is truth in it, sometimes a lot; but all of it is not the truth, and sometimes none of it is. It is a fable, a morality tale. And I simply don’t see much meaningful difference between what Goldman spun and Lennon admitted, in this particular case. To believe that Lennon, as he crawled out, had much thought for the legal status of the prostitutes he’d just visited is…a man who thinks of such things does not go to whorehouses in the first place. He realizes he’s in the wrong place, stammers, blushes, and walks back down the stairs.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 25, 18:51 Thank you, Neal! I may start a blog on the history of the 60s and 70s. I do expect to be able to pay to keep the old articles available.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 25, 18:30 Paul also used the song’s three distinct parts transitioning in one song for Band on the Run as well.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Neal Schier on Jul 25, 18:17 @Michael Sorry to read that you are shutting down your blog though I can understand why from your explanation. I do hope you keep it archived and available however, as many of the articles are absolutely first rate. It would be a shame to have the Beatles interested public not be able to read such good writing. Let us know if you set up a funding effort to keep those articles on a public site. Fair winds I your future efforts!
  • Prince Plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 25, 13:16 Absolutely agree. I think that’s why enjoyed the doc so much because musically speaking I’m not super savvy when it comes to hearing the technicality in a song. I know if a like a song because it’s a good song. But when they went into the technical aspects of the music it was like okay I get it now.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Kristy on Jul 25, 12:14 HD crew, I begin to see your issue. This kind of quibbling over specifics when your point was about the generalities would frustrate me, too. Because when John has admitted visiting whorehouses, then the finer points of “but WHICH kind of whorehouses are they saying he visited?” is just … bizarre, but okay. (Here’s a thing from my point of view: underage prostitution is going on RIGHT NOW and pervy Joe Schmoes, without even Beatle-levels of access, are partaking; that’s the tragedy, not that some dude in 1988 insinuated that John Lennon, who could buy an ancient Egyptian mummy and install it in his house, might have also partaken.) And yet, as you say, that’s not the REAL point. Ultimately, what made Goldman’s book painful for me was not the scurrilous gossip (engendering the kind that of plebian outrage I can only imagine John Lennon would feel bemused over; I’m reminded of Yoko’s SHOCK over someone saying that John MASTURBATED omg) but the casual cruelty and lies he ascribed to John when John was supposed to be the one with the big heart, and the reliance upon the occult and shady characters like the Greens and buying antiquities for Special Powers and all that nuttiness, and his depressions and addictions and what they ultimately meant for his life. That’s where Goldman failed to account for the people who DID love John Lennon personally and professionally. . Anyway, I’ve learned a lot from this blog, even if I don’t always agree 100%, and I’ll be sorry for the loss of intelligent conversation, and further insight and information. 😀
  • Fool’s Goldman: Reliving “The Lives of John Lennon” Comment by Laura on Jul 25, 11:22 Sneaking in perhaps one last comment – actually a question I hope gets answered in time: How do we know ”mocker” originated with John? I know it’s in AHDN… . Also: a big thank you to Hey Dullblog. I hope you keep posting and that it’s possible to be notified when you do.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michelle on Jul 25, 08:48 @Michael wrote: To say, “I wouldn’t visit a Thai whorehouse” is of course entirely appropriate; but to feel it’s a scurrilous attack on a guy who admitted frequenting whorehouses? Can you direct me to where John admitted frequenting male prostitutes? I googled Goldman/Thai whorehouses and found this line in the book: “John might have indulged himself with a Thai boy.” You don’t see the problem with that?
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michelle on Jul 25, 08:34 By the way, I find it interesting when you say you don’t like the White Album because of the bickering that was going on behind the scenes and the splintering relationships, yet you’re quick to point out that delving into the dark side of the Beatles makes them far more interesting (I agree, despite John’s dark side being the only one discussed – maybe Paul doesn’t have a dark side; I doubt it – he’s just good at hiding it) and their achievements more worthy of admiration. Isn’t the White Album even more amazing for the fact it was made, with successful results, despite the band falling apart? You let the context cloud your judgment, and dislike John’s songs in particular because he was the reason the band was breaking up.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michelle on Jul 25, 08:15 @Michael: Paul is more specific about his mother in songs like Yesterday and Let it Be. Julia contains imagery that could be about anyone. I don’t need to know the backstory of Dear Prudence to enjoy it.
  • Prince Plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps Comment by Michelle on Jul 25, 07:31 *get
  • Prince Plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps Comment by Michelle on Jul 25, 07:29 @LeighAnn wrote: ‘Overall I really enjoyed the doc. I thought it might be the first documentary where Paul didn’t say the exact same thing hes said before in terms of stories and was sadly mistaken…’ There has to be many who interview Paul that are fans and know these stories by heart. What I do with people who retell the same stories often is I blurt out the punchline as soon as they begin the story. When Paul mentions that he and John complemented each other, I would say, “Right, it can’t no worse!” Or instead of asking him how he wrote Yesterday, I would say, “So Paul, how did you dream Yesterday?”
  • Prince Plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps Comment by Hologram Sam on Jul 25, 07:24 They also play the guitar parts isolated and it’s crazy how when you isolate the bass from the acoustic guitar how it sounds like two totally different songs. Definitely. That’s something I always loved about Paul’s and George Martin’s contributions. I’d find myself humming along with Paul’s bass parts and Martin’s orchestrations because of the catchy melodic counterpoints they created. And George Harrison, being a composer himself, often made his guitar solos for Lennon/McCartney compositions into little songs in their own right. It really was the perfect team.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 25, 02:16 Also I would add if we are not going to give 100% credit to John for Come Together because of Paul bass playing on the track. Then that’s the same as not giving 100% credit to George for Something since Paul also played great bass on that song – in fact he probably had a better bass line in that song then CT- and Paul and John helped George with the early writing/formation of the song. I wouldn’t deny George full credit for Something.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 25, 01:17 Out of 9 tracks (if you count the medley as one track) he wrote three songs Come Together, Shes so heavy and Because and contributed pieces to one other with the medley including Sun King and also it was both his and Paul’s idea to have the guitar battle in The End. So that’s 4 songs out of 9. Your right not precisely 50% percent but 44-45%. If you count the medley as individual tracks then yes his contributions look like less. But the three songs he did contribute are quality contributions that are highly regarded and even outright loved contributions so it hardly suggests he was creatively deficient. Also if John was on a creative decline from 69 how does he go straight into two very well regard solo albums, one of which is regarded as influential on later music genres like grunge, metal and even punk. I personally feel that what’s great about the Abbey Road is that all of the Beatles pulled their weight on that album and that the music sounds like it was made by a band that wanted to make a great album.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 25, 01:02 Except the problems in the band weren’t all caused by John and Yoko of John Heroin. The Beatles didn’t want to tour after 1966. Brian committed suicide. Paul has spoken – I think during anthology- about how he pushed Magical Mystery tour because he was worried if they didn’t get back in to the studio they would fall apart. John said they felt they were [email protected] after Brian died. They created Apple which was a financial chaotic nightmare that none of the Beatles were really equipped to run successfully. They lost the rights to NEMS and Northern Songs. Paul pushed for Linda’s dad to be their new manager which caused tension with the other Beatles who felt he was already asserting to much control over the band. John, with support from George and Ringo, Pushed for Allen Klein which caused tension with Paul who didn’t trust him and because he wanted Eastman. Creatively they weren’t collaborating as a band and it was very much whoever’s song it was would tell the others how to play. They all had personal resentments with one another. George was losing interest and was increasingly seeking out other musicians and was embracing his Eastern philosophy beliefs. Ringo was losing interest as he felt they weren’t really playing as a band on records anymore but instead recording in fragments and that he was often left to sit around uselessly in the studio as a result. John has said that after they stopped touring it made him think about what life is like after the Beatles and is what sparked him to start pursuing interests outside the Beatles. Paul was constantly made to feel like he was the bossy leader by having to keep cajoling the rest of the Beatles who didn’t want to be there making him depressed as a result. Yoko and Heroin are a factor in the Beatles breakup but they weren’t the only factor. As all four Beatles have suggested at one point or another. None of the Beatles from what I have seen ever went on the record and seriously indicated or expressed support for getting back together full time. And myself personally I don’t see the point in trying to blame or vilify specific Beatles for the breakup because I honestly don’t think they were poorer for breaking up. They achieved in 8 years what very few bands or performers/musicians have achieved even today, if any at all. Even if they had managed to put aside their bitterness, clashing egos and Johns heroin and Yoko, would they have produce anything that eclipsed what they already managed to achieve? Or instead of finishing on top would they have made a whole bunch of sub par albums, struggled to keep up with the changing music landscape and petered off in popularity and influence? If John and George had lived and they stayed a performing band into their 80s like the Stones would that really have made them a more significant band then they already are? I’m just happy that on a personal friendship level they got back together, and musically we’re still contributing and helping one another. If John and George had lived longer maybe they would have reunited for one off significant occasions like Live Aid or the London Olympics or something like Glastonbury or Coachella. But my love and appreciation of the Beatles isn’t dependent on them staying together.
  • Fool’s Goldman: Reliving “The Lives of John Lennon” Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 24, 18:51 This is generally true–all four Beatles were super-smart and super-funny, and we know this because those people tend to clump–but the interesting thing is that Harrison, and not Lennon, was closest to professional comedy people. Lennon was close to Peter Cook in ’65 and ’66 (amazing!), but by ’68, it’s Ringo hanging out with Peter Sellers, not John. And in the 70s, Harrison was practically the seventh Python, where Lennon’s old humor comes out only occasionally and–interestingly–mostly during the Lost Weekend (in the WNEW tapes, for example).
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 24, 18:44 @LeighAnn, an important point of fact: Lennon did not write about 50% of Abbey Road. Come Together — 75% John (25% to Paul and Ringo for that killer rhythm, which wasn’t John) Something — 100% George Maxwell’s Silver Hammer — 100% Paul Oh! Darling — 100% Paul Octopus’ Garden — 100% Ringo (with an assist from George) I Want You (She’s So Heavy) — 100% John Here Comes the Sun — 100% George Because — 100% John Medley — 80% Paul, 20% John (and John HATED it). Here’s an example of John’s commitment level at this time: “(Sun King) was just half a song I had that I never finished so it was just a way of getting rid of it without ever finishing it.” A Hard Day’s Night is John Lennon going full-blast; that simply wasn’t the case in 1969, and to believe otherwise is to ignore basically ALL his statements about the later Beatle years. His feelings about the LP are very clear, not super-positive, and here.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 24, 18:17 @Velvet — just going through comments one last time before we shut ‘er down. I absolutely DO NOT feel the White Album is a lesser work! I just don’t like it, because I feel the bad vibes growing in the band, and what I adore the most about the Beatles is the very Sixties type of harmony I feel from their music. While I don’t feel White was “John and a backing group, Paul and a backing group, etc”, I do sense them growing apart as people and musicians, and also (this is a HUGE part of it), I feel 1968 seeping into the sessions. 1968 was a bad, bad year. Like 2020 bad. I can’t listen to “Revolution #9” without hearing the tumult in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in the moments after RFK was shot. Interestingly, the track was first recorded five days before, and then was finished two weeks after. (Started 5.30.68; RFK shot 6.5.68; ended 6.20.68) “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” has its partisans, Devin included, but to me, 1968 is when Lennon really stops matching McCartney. Instead of being great songs, Lennon songs become good songs made more interesting by their place in his story–“Julia” for example, or “Dear Prudence” are lovely songs, but they’re helped by the biographical information we all know. Compare this to “Blackbird,” which may or may not be about civil rights but is simply kickass. Or “Hey Jude”–simply one of the greatest pop songs ever recorded–and “Revolution,” which is musically pretty dull–a simple, heavy shuffle–but gathers import from its times. If you want a song like that, “Street Fighting Man” simply blows it away, and that pains me to type because I think the Stones are retarded. (I’m using this clinically–dumb; posing; self-stunting.) The songs I think Lennon will be remembered for–“Help!” “Tomorrow Never Knows” “Strawberry Fields Forever” “All You Need is Love” “I Am the Walrus”–were over by ’68 with the possible exception of “Come Together,” which owes a lot of its heft to Paul’s bassline. Stuff like “Across the Universe” was considered minor by the band itself, and even tracks that I love like “Hey Bulldog” are unquestionably minor (dismissed by Lennon as “a good-sounding track that doesn’t mean anything”). Whereas McCartney is still ascending in ’68 and ’69 — hugely productive, varied, and still totally committed to being a pop musician, and making popular art–Lennon is dealing with a serious drug addiction, martial troubles, moving away from his genius (pop) into really dated notions of the avant-garde, and actively looking for what’s next. To me, all this shows in his music; how could it not? A lot of Lennon’s late-Beatles output is helped by the fact that it sounds much more modern than the earlier stuff; sonically, “She’s So Heavy” is much closer to what we listen to now than “She Loves You”–but that doesn’t make it a great song. It has all of Lennon’s flaws–a certain ponderousness from insufficient melodic ideas, sung with his beautiful voice, covered over with studio tricks and given importance by his own biography. Not bad, still Beatles, but not “Tomorrow Never Knows,” which is an example of how Lennon takes these same flaws, and turns them into gold. After February ’68, Paul’s still making primo Beatles music, and still knows what that is. John’s increasingly looking around at other groups–the Stones, Clapton–and trying to make their kind of music: “Yer Blues” “Revolution” and so forth. It’s still great–it’s Lennon–but to me it’s not primo Beatles music. If I wanna hear revolution in ’68, I listen to “Street Fighting Man” or “Sympathy for the Devil” or “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” not Lennon’s weirdly uncertain, Beatlized version of same.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 24, 17:35 @Michelle, I’m going to approve this comment but openly combative things like “Does John have any redeeming characteristics…” are going to get you trashed from now on. Please try to restrain yourself.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 24, 17:18 @Neal, well said. But we must remember that it was this reflecting pool quality which, in some small part, made The Beatles the special thing they were, and are. John talked about them being in the crow’s nest of the ship of the Sixties; they didn’t discover things like LSD. Much more interestingly, they had an unerring sense of what to amplify and what to avoid, as well as being progenitors. After 1980, however, they’ve changed from a definable ongoing phenomenon in conversation with their era into a kind of raw material. Mew generations form this matter into what they desire it to be–witness the turn towards George in recent decades. We’re about to shut this blog down, and part of the reason is that I feel this process happening more and more, and want to preserve a kind of integrity; I know Devin and I were very particular about respecting the Beatles as historical source material–addressing them in their own time, their own context–and I feel Nancy has done that too. But there’s simply not a lot of interest here or anywhere for that, and hasn’t been for years. One could write a fascinating post on (for example) the impact of The Beatles on the Weathermen/SDS, for example–but the discussion would devolve quickly, and I’m simply too old to referee John vs. Paul or Yoko vs. the World. It’s just not important, useful or interesting. Even topics like Lennon assassination theories haven’t been allowed here simply for titillation. One, I wanted to air them because at that time, the culture was full of them–and that said so much that was interesting about the period 1963-80. Two, there was a definite “rush to judgment” in the case, in part because it was so, so painful for anyone who had a strong interest in the Beatles or the utopian dreams of the 60s. And three, I felt that given who John Lennon was particularly in regards to conspiracy culture (he loved it), he not only wouldn’t have minded the discussion, but relished it. If it had happened to Paul, he would’ve been the leading proponent of it. So there’s been a definite editorial bent to Dullblog since the beginning, but all the posts are being endlessly encrusted with the wrong kind of fan-talk. So we’re either going to run it without comments or go on indefinite hiatus. The tendency of fans to put their own beliefs into Beatle mouths is also because we have so much raw data. You can find a quote for almost any belief, especially in John’s statements. Feminist OR wife-beater; murderer or pacifist; ascetic or brute capitalist–it’s all in the historical record, there if you want to create a Custom Lennon. With John particularly, it comes down to judgment after wide reading and thinking, and most fans–heck, most people–simply don’t want that. They like what they like, and feel the rest tends to tarnish–something I’ve never understood. The things that other fans eschew, I feel make J/P/G/R much more fascinating and human, and their accomplishments more impressive. That’s why I’ve never really minded Goldman, nor really understood the uproar about him. To squawk over the possibility of Lennon visiting Thai whorehouses–that’s a fan’s morality, not a late 70s rock star’s. To say, “I wouldn’t visit a Thai whorehouse” is of course entirely appropriate; but to feel it’s a scurrilous attack on a guy who admitted frequenting whorehouses? I don’t get it. To say, “Well, he was married, so it’s an attack on his marriage”–once again, that’s applying a conventional morality to a guy whose life, and surely marriage, was resolutely unconventional. And to not see that at this late date is…these people were not like us. That’s why we’re writing about them. If John Lennon were all the things in Goldman’s book, every single one, he would’ve still made all that great music. So maybe I wouldn’t have liked him, or he me; but that’s a fan’s fantasy anyway.
  • Fool’s Goldman: Reliving “The Lives of John Lennon” Comment by Michelle on Jul 23, 20:20 Makes sense. It sounds like Lennon wordplay. If Ringo said something funny it was usually by accident, or if he was relating something John said to him. E.g., regarding John and Yoko posing nude for the Two Virgins album: Ringo – “Why John? If you put that out there you know we’ll have to answer for you.” John: “Oh, Ring. You only have to answer the phone.” The only other Beatle who came close to rivaling John’s quick wittedness was George.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Neal Schier on Jul 23, 20:17 @Michael Gerber. You raise points that are meat and mead to thinking about how we approach the Beatles as history. Apart from the usual traps that might ensnare even the best of historians and writers/researchers, I had not, until you described it, realized just how widespread it is within Fandom to use the Beatles as mirrors to seemingly, and perhaps even solely in many cases, reflect the observer’s likes, dislikes, and purported morals/principles/standards. Certainly we all enjoy projecting our likes and dislikes outward at times, and not to sound too school-marmish about it, there is a time and a place for it and that time is not when one should be sifting the facts in a dispassionate and disinterested manner. The pitfall, as you so aptly describe, is that the Beatles are reduced into becoming that reflecting pool onto which each generation pours its cultural zeitgeist and norms. Tempting to be sure, but that is not proper history. Not that we should advocate for a dry and dusty “just the facts ma’am” wet blanket approach for the Beatles are fun to each of us for different reasons, but imbuing them with motives and thoughts that were not theirs to start with is a hiding to nowhere. It is dawning on me that it is actually much more rewarding to approach this history without that encumbrance of larding it up with pre-conceived notions and biases. While there might be a sugar rush of doing it the Fandom way, it leaves one still hungry. A bit of a mea culpa here however. You mention how the Beatles were world-changing and that is why I advocate that Paul sit before a panel of qualified writers, researchers, historians, and commentators for as long as it is required to try to tease out some of the remaining questions. Three problems with that of course. The first is that it would be his memory alone and cross-checking questions of motives and feelings is impossible even if he were to do this–which he will not. The second, as you touched on elsewhere, is that it still takes four to decide anything that comes out as representing the Beatles. Would he have to vet such a project with the other three parties? Perhaps. The last reason is the cause of my mea culpa. Maybe I fall into exactly what I just criticized Fandom for doing and that is projecting my idea onto Paul that there are still things out there that he needs to discuss. My wish for more. My idea that what we know is somehow akilter to what was fact. He obviously has not felt the need to discuss much other than the top layer and so it will remain. So in leveling my ire at Fandom I realize that I, errantly, wish there were a way around how history really “works.” But alas!
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Matt on Jul 23, 16:32 Given how self-consciously messianic John would become in 1969 -both in his appearance and public (but unfortunately, perhaps, not private) behaviour -I am inclined to think not only was his announcement that he was JC not a joke, nor a fleeting delusion that dissipated with a single acid trip, but a prolonged conviction that probably did not begin to abate until his breakdown in early 1970.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Elizabeth on Jul 23, 14:16 @LeighAnn – I said that the problems in the band which led to its break up were caused by John and Yoko, and specifically, by John’s heroin addiction. I’m not sure why you have interpreted that as a statement that John was not a ‘capable’ musician or that Paul did not hold him in high regard. It’s indisputable that The Beatles was John and Paul’s band and that together they wrote the songbook of the 20th Century. However, it is absolutely true that (1) John was being carried by Paul during the Let It Be sessions and (2) the statement that John was ‘a joy to work with’ during those sessions is absurd. Of course, the truth is neither here nor there if it’s that important to you to believe that John and Yoko weren’t to blame or that John’s life wasn’t devastated by his heroin addiction. People will generally believe what they want to believe, right? As for Plastic Ono Band, I don’t really have an opinion, except to say that I am not surprised at all that it had an impact on Bono and Kurt Cobain.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michelle on Jul 22, 16:24 Why is what LeighAnn said about Paul playing “Happiness is a Warm Gun” to people so hard to believe? According to Wikipedia (The Beatles on Apple Records – 2003), both Paul and George named it their favorite song on the album. Does John have any redeeming characteristics in your opinion? I’m curious.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 22, 12:28 Will Paul’s own words help? PAUL: “I’d like to talk about it ‘cuz I like it, you know. It’s a favorite of mine. Umm, the idea of the ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ thing is from an advert in an American paper. It said, Happiness is a warm gun, sort of thing, and it was ‘Get ready for the long hot summer with a rifle,’ you know, ‘Come and buy them now!’ It was an advert in a gun magazine. And it was so sick, you know, the idea of ‘Come and buy your killing weapons,’ and ‘Come and get it.’ But it’s just such a great line, ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ that John sort of took that and used that as a chorus. And the rest of the words… I think they’re great words, you know. It’s a poem. And he finishes off, ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun, yes it is.'” I mean you only have to listen to the music and the vocals to see how happy and energised the Beatles sounded in that song. Forgive me if I’m wrong but I can’t help but think your implying that John was being carried by Paul and the other Beatles making him somehow less worthy of acclaim for his own contributions. But The Plastic Ono band is a well regarded album that critics in contemporary takes have written about how influential it was in the eventual grunge rock genre. Musicians like Bono Lenny Kravitz and Kurt Cobain have mentioned in interviews how impactful that album or songs on that album were for them. Paul didn’t help John “finish that off”. The Imagine album again well regarded and the song Imagine will probably still be an anthem for the next 50 years. Paul didn’t help John “finish that off”. John is a more then capable musician in his own right. Just like George and Ringo were more then capable musicians in their own right and found success in their own right. I highly recommend you watch Pauls documentary on Hulu because 50-60 years on you can see how highly he regards all his bandmates and what they achieved together. All four of them made magic together AND all four of them imploded together.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Elizabeth on Jul 22, 03:28 @LeighAnn – I don’t know what your source is for the Paul/Happiness is a Warm Gun story, but I would be very interested to find out. Much like your claim that you had ‘heard’ that John’s IQ was 160, I have never read that anywhere, and I also think it is nonsense. Have you ever been the business partner of a heroin addict? Quite clearly not because if you had you would understand that being the business partner of a heroin addict is about as far from being joyous as it is possible to be. The problems in that band were caused by John and Yoko. If the others behaved badly, they did so because of the pressures his heroin addiction put on them and their joint business. John brought song fragments into the Let It Be sessions, and Paul turned them into songs. What choice did he have? Someone had to take responsibility and none of the others were capable. I am quite sure that Paul wasn’t a joy to work with. Nor would anyone be under those circumstances. Most people would down tools and walk out – which he did, as soon as he was able to do so with his reputation (at least partly) intact. The amazing thing is that he didn’t do it sooner, and that is a testament to how much he loved John – though I can’t quite decide whether John deserved it.
  • Fool’s Goldman: Reliving “The Lives of John Lennon” Comment by Martin Rynds on Jul 21, 13:23 “I’m a mocker was a Lennon idea which was fed to Ringo!” So he wasn’t wrong in that respect.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michelle on Jul 21, 11:46 I love John’s work on the White Album, Abbey Road and “Across the Universe”. I don’t think its a step down at all. But I’m a Beatles fan so what do I know.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Velvet Hand on Jul 21, 09:38 @MichaelG — When referencing “the hits”, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about single A-sides (only). John didn’t get a lot of those after “All You Need Is Love”, but was that really because his songwriting and -performing skills declined? I’m aware that you consider the White Album a lesser work, and that YMMV, but as LeighAnn has pointed out in another thread, many of John’s songs from “the long, slow afternoon of the Beatles’ career” (mmmhhh) are well-loved, many of them because they are quite remarkable. Fact: My parents loved tWA so much, they named me after it. Could have been worse, could have been Bungalow Bill. Huh huh huh.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 20, 23:30 John did write about 50% of the White Album and Abbey Road and outside of Come Together and The Ballad of John and Yoko, songs like Julia, She’s So Heavy, Because, Happiness is a warm gun, Dear Prudence are well regarded musically and lyrically. Paul reportedly would go around playing Happiness is a warm gun to anyone who would listen to ask their opinion so regardless of any personal or substance issues the Beatles themselves still valued John’s creative input. Contemporary takes on Plastic Ono Band call it one of the precursors to grunge and metal music. Imagine will probably still be an anthem in another 50 years because of the timelessness of its message. As for whether he was a joy to work with I think the point of the break up was they all weren’t a joy to work with. Ringo quit because of Paul, George quit because of both Paul and John, George was becoming more interested in playing and writing with other people then his band and wasn’t he trying to push for new members, George Martin got fed up of all their drama and quit. John’s heroin use and Yoko was a definite impact but I think there was unpleasantness shared around. But then as Giles Martin and Peter Jackson have said when going through the archives it’s taught them the Beatles were more often then they are given credit for capable to put that aside for the sake of music.
  • Prince Plays While My Guitar Gently Weeps Comment by LeighAnn on Jul 20, 21:55 I couldn’t help feeling like the response “he never told me that but I’m glad he told someone” carried some weight. Overall I really enjoyed the doc. I thought it might be the first documentary where Paul didn’t say the exact same thing hes said before in terms of stories and was sadly mistaken, but I really enjoyed where they went into the actual technical aspects of the music the most. Mostly I just appreciated the whole vibe of seeing two people so jazzed by music and the Beatles and how charming Paul was. Also I saw someone say that Paul saying “you can control the band with a bass” as being the most Paul McCartney thing ever and having a chuckle at how true that is lol.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Gerber on Jul 20, 12:40 Spot on, @Neal — I have always felt that, since The Beatles were a world-shifting event, I believe they deserve the same level of forensic discussion as conventional history–while at the same time, attempting to avoid the obvious blind spots of the historian’s art. Namely, if something didn’t leave a written trace, it didn’t happen. My hope is that we use the historical record to get to some closer vision of the truth, and then a deep knowledge of the principles as people to surmise appropriately. But that impulse, which you see on this site and some others is more than counterbalanced by the internet’s culture of conflict, and reflection of every topic through the speaker. If the speaker is wise and thoughtful, the opinion can be useful (or not); but if the speaker is mired in a distorting personal issue, the opinion can move the discourse away from the truth. And on the internet, the past doesn’t exist, not as an equivalent to the present. The past is a cartoon, an imperfect, rather dumb version of what’s happening to me, right now. This makes discussions of pop culture particularly challenging. JohnandYoko, for example, is never discussed in terms of 1969, only the present. A seldom-discussed but interesting aspect to “JohnandYoko” is simply how appealing it was to some at the time–how snugly it fit into that wave of feminism–and how much of our current discussion isn’t really about John or Yoko or even JohnandYoko, but a shadow-discussion about patriarchy now on the one hand, and contemporary messaging on the other. Far from being reviled, Yoko’s domineering, business-first persona is unquestionably lauded, because it fits with a certain contemporary vision of feminism and empowerment. And because those things are good (and they ARE good), discussion of her life is called GOOD! and then shut down. Lennon wrote a whole song about his isolation from Yoko–“I’m Losing You”–the better version of which (with Cheap Trick) was vetoed by his wife. Those are facts, and they paint an unflattering picture. But because they suggest that Yoko wasn’t a very nurturing partner to John, a certain kind of fan airbrushes those facts. The idea of the nurturer-yet-CEO is a feminist fantasy; just as CEO-but-Christian is a masculinist fantasy. We will never see Yoko Ono clearly until we cop to the comforting lies a certain kind of messaging feeds. JohnandYoko is pure wish-fulfillment; it was for certain people in 1969, and it is for a different kind of people in 2021. But what was it then? How did it function in the lives of John and Yoko and the people around them? Was it wise, in the end? Or not? A certain kind of honesty and detachment needs to be applied here, and people just don’t do it. Not yet, anyway.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Neal Schier on Jul 20, 08:58 Well stated @Michael Bleicher. One of the aspects that I am finding distasteful in my post mid-life sudden interest in the Beatles is the automatic reaction that is expected by many to strike a seraphim like pose in reverence when it comes to discussing John and the JohnandYoko combo. This is nothing less than a wilful refusal to approach the facts as they are and to do so without adornment and/or embellishments. Most history requires fifty years to pass before the best analyses can be made. Even well trod terrain such as The Cuban Missile Crisis is even now getting fresh insights from scholarship. We are at that fifty year point now post Beatles and one would hope and expect that we could, collectively, set hagiography to the side in return for cool and crisp scholarship. I think it has gotten much better, but there is still a great ways to go. Fortunately sites like this are helping the cause of rational viewing of the events and personalities of the Beatles before, during, and after.
  • Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”: Now Thanksgiving on Disney Plus Comment by Kristy on Jul 20, 06:43 @Michelle, I know I’m definitely talking about being an actual CHILD when the 70s were going on, and therefore I’m assuming also @Lama. Other people’s distress obviously affected me and MY life more than the death of some famous guy, though I had very odd reactions to death in general as a kid. As an adult, yes, I can say “wow, that must have been traumatic for everyone who loved him.” I think it’s rather pointless to be surprised at how children react to extreme emotion on the part of other people.
  • Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”: Now Thanksgiving on Disney Plus Comment by Michelle on Jul 19, 21:09 I would have thought a dose of empathy, rather than social pressure, would cause a person to recognize the tragedy of a man getting shot outside his home after work for no reason. How did people try to make you feel sad, because they were crying?
  • Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”: Now Thanksgiving on Disney Plus Comment by Michelle on Jul 19, 18:19 I get the same feeling when I see the McCartney mullets.
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Michael Bleicher on Jul 19, 17:33 My reply feature isn’t working, but the idea that John was a “joy” to work with is, like the idea that John was “just joking” when he announced he was Jesus Christ, one of these notions that deserves pushback not because this is the Internet, but because if we’re not going to be honest about the evidence, there’s no point in discussing the Beatles 50+ years after they’ve broken up. There is no evidence that John was “a joy” to work with in 1968-69. I can think of various specific examples, but the main point is that installing an outsider who did not like the Beatles, did not respect their creative process, and *did not keep her disdain for those things to herself* was not joyful for any of the other Beatles or George Martin. Neither was showing up to sessions stoned on heroin, and there’s definitely quotes about how that addiction was hard for the other Beatles because they never know in what state John was going to show up. Neither shitting all over McCartney’s and Harrison’s songs during the Get Back sessions — which is *on tape* — or bringing a double bed into Abbey Road for the portion of the sessions to which he actually was present. It’s one thing to have differing interpretations of what something in the historical record means, but pointing to something and simply declaring that it’s something else troubles me, not least because it’s something we struggle with as a society in general right now, and if we can’t be honest when discussing a defunct rock group, how are we going to confront climate change, pandemics, and a slide toward facism?
  • Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”: Now Thanksgiving on Disney Plus Comment by Lama on Jul 19, 14:09 There’s no reply button. This is @Kristy. I’m just happy to hear that I wasn’t completely alone in this. John was the angry mean one: yes! Exactly. And the bed-in, with all the hair and beards and stuff. I was very seriously creeped out by the pair of them. That’s still one of the first images that pops into my head when I hear their names. Them lying in that bed, being creepy. I do realize that not everyone saw it that way, and that it was only a small part of their lives anyway, so I should get over it. In fact I’ll have to, or else give up on this whole little Beatles thing I’ve got going. And I don’t want to do that, at least not yet. There’s so much else about the whole thing that’s so interesting. It’s so interesting too, how differently people can react to the same kind of social pressure. I wasn’t sad when he died. I didn’t see why I should be more sad about him than about anyone else, and I felt like everyone was trying to MAKE me be sad about him. And then like he was being pushed on me as some kind of hero, like “You MUST worship this man.” Really put my back up. I was such a little contrarian. 🙂 I think my best move now is to try and immerse myself in some early footage of them from when they were touring. He really was very charismatic at that point, I can see that. Any suggestions from anyone about the best way to go about that? Is that what Ron Howard’s thing was, or am I thinking of something else?
  • My Yoko Problem… and yours? Comment by Elizabeth on Jul 19, 09:56 ‘A joy to work with’ during the Let It Be sessions? Michelle, John (or JohnandYoko at least) was a nightmare during those sessions and the Get Back tapes are filled with conversations between everyone around John about how best to deal with him. I realise that history is now being rewritten to ‘prove’ that the sessions were actually filled with joy, but the tapes speak for themselves.