Ah! Girl.

DEVIN McKINNEY  •  No reason.

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  1. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    The song Girl …later John admitted in an interview they had sung “tit tit tit” in the background vocals, just as a sly joke among themselves and to see if anyone noticed. I never noticed until John revealed the joke.

    The photo of these lovely mop tops reminds me of when the Go-Go’s first appeared. One of the major magazines, I think it was Newsweek, gave them a breathless, glowing review, comparing them to a “female beatles.” Amazing bit of hype, possibly the kiss of death to compare any new band to the Beatles. Just like every new folk singer who came up would be alarmed and appalled if any critic called him the “new Dylan.”

    Anyway, after Newsweek’s pronouncement, we always thought of Belinda Carlisle as Paul, Jane Wiedlin as John, etc.

    Speaking of Newsweek, I remember when Ringo first came out, and Newsweek devoted a short blurb to it. A few weeks later, in the letters to the editor, there appeared a hilarious response by John. He basically rewrote the Newsweek blurb, adding a layer of whimsical wordplay. Do any of you remember it? (I don’t know if it was ever reproduced in any biographies.)

    – Hologram Sam

  2. I knew nothing about John’s rejoinder to the Newsweek review, but what you’ve reminded me of, Hologram, is the open letter John wrote to Todd Rundgren in ’74, when the two were feudin’.

    It was felt by many at the time that Todd’s song “Rock and Roll Pussy” (from the more-brilliant-than-good 1973 glitter extravaganza A Wizard, A True Star) was a swipe at John–a conclusion tough to counter, given specific lyrical refs. (And more than relevant, actually, to the discussion of John’s [non-]politics still ongoing in the adjacent post.)

    Soon after, Rundgren gave an interview to Melody Maker full of anti-Lennon, anti-Beatle revisionist spew. John, well out of his Lost Weekend by then and still in that playful, clear-thinking Walls and Bridges frame, shot back an “opened lettuce” to Todd, containing some of his best and wittiest and wickedest wordplay ever. I first read the letter in Ray Coleman’s Lennon biography, thought it was amazingly funny, forgiving, and right-on, and have never forgotten it.

    Following the story out, Rundgren in 2009 went around performing A Wizard onstage in toto, awakening memories of the “Pussy” spat. On someone’s authority, it is believed that John’s killer took the song’s apparent critique of the ex-Beatle’s hypocrisy to heart, and interpreted it Manson-style as the first of many direct messages from Todd to himself.

    Here, from the honest johns at The Todd Rundgren Connection, is both the MM interview that lit John’s fuse, and JL’s response:


    The pun-job applied to Todd’s name throughout the letter just slays me–as does John’s beautiful sign-off line. Balancing somewhat all the talk here lately of John at his most egotistical-obnoxious, this is John, even on the attack, at his wittiest-warmest.

    Speaking of Walls and Bridges: there’s been a welter of Ram-talk here, how about a reappraisal of what just might be John’s best album beyond JL/POB?

  3. Avatar Ed wrote:

    7) Which gets me to the Beatles, “who had no other style than being the Beatles”!! That covers a lot of style man, including your own, TO DATE…..

    Sam and Dev, wonderful stuff…

  4. Speaking of Mr. Runtlestuntle, here’s his neat bossa nova version of a great Marvin Gaye song, “I Want You”:

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