I can`t resist re-printing those articles featuring one of the most important songwriters and musicians of the last hundred years. Even if the articles are a bit confusing as this one. Read it and you`ll know what I mean. But still, a lot of good stuff too. Enjoy!
Lennon: I won`t sell out
Bore, fool or saint?
By Alan Smith
THEY say John Lennon is insane, a fool, and a bore. They call him an embarrassment, a joke, and a man too interested in his own publicity. They talk about white bags, long hair, posing nude, pirate ships, recording in a hotel room, staying in bed for a week, more money than sense, insulting the Queen, hurting his Aunt Mimi and being dead by 40.
Very few talk about stomachs swollen with hunger, Vietnamese villagers burned alive, men crippled for life, a year to talk about peace delegates around a table, Biafra, or the Bomb.
If John Lennon ever pricks a conscience, he lets the guilt fly out, deflates his cause and gives the outlet. Never mind Vietnam. What about Aunt Mimi? Never mind Biafra. Did you see those nutters in the bag?
These are the knocks, this is the criticism, and if it`s all true then the chances are that in the fullness of time John Lennon will end up as the most expensively bankrupt ex-Beatle of all. And still the world will be without peace.
My own view is a belief in his absolute sincerity, tempered with a near-screaming hope that one day soon he’ll come in just a little from the world of the bizarre. I want him to win.
Always a Beatle
Talking about the furore which followed when he returned his MBE and the reasons he gave in his letter John said:
“What a drag that thing was about, it doesn’t matter if I’ve given the MBE back, technically I’ll always be an MBE. That’s like I’ll always be a Beatle!
“Just say I hadn’t put that line on my letter about ‘Cold Turkey’ dropping down the charts. What would they have attacked? And they’re going to attack, man — whatever.
“If it hadn’t have been Cold Turkey,’ the whole concentration would have been on insulting Her Majesty. Instead, they printed what I had to say in the letter, and whether my Auntie is going to be hurt.
“And anyway, it’s not that serious. Our whole game is to say to people that WAR ITSELF is a game that’s gone too far. The problem with the revolutionaries is that they get so serious — so involved — that they’re now playing the politician and the Establishment’s game.
“You don’t win like that. We think that was the mistake that Ghandi and Martin Luther King made . . . by becoming The Leader and The Saint and The Holy Man who Does no Wrong. Nobody likes saints alive. They like ’em dead. And we don’t intend to be dead saints. We’d rather be living freaks.”
“Yoko and I keep fighting for what we believe by rebounding mentally against each other. This thing we have together is telepathic. We’ve been together almost 24 hours a day for almost two years.
“Couples pick up on us, of course. There was a guy interviewing us the other day, and he was saying that he and his wife were listening to `Wedding Album’ at home, and his wife was saying `What the hell is it?’ and all that. And then they sat together, and halfway through it she came over and kissed him. And he said to her: ‘That’s what it’s about.’ That was so rewarding, man.
“There’s never been a couple to really identify with before. That’s our gimmick. Our gimmick is that we’re a living Romeo and Juliet.
“And you know, the great thing about us influencing in this way, is that everybody’s a couple. We’re all living in pairs. And if all the couples in the world who are in love identify with us . . . and our ideas go through them . . . what per cent of the population is that?! And then let’s all turn on the one that’s complaining about the image, and why did you get it out, and all that!
“Let’s get with the lovers first. They’re going to produce all the children.”
Yoko: “He’s right. If you can’t work on being a couple, how can you work on the world?”
We talked about FEAR.
Said John: “Fear comes and goes. I have the same fears and paranoias that anybody else has, and I have a real fear of dying, or Yoko dying before me when we`re 60, and all the other insane fears. Any fear you’ve got, I’ve got. People think Yoko and I must be in an immune state of glorious luxury.
“They think Money Saves You, but we’re very insecure. You tell me any fear you’ve got and I can tick it off.
We talked about REGRETS.
“I regret that Yoko wasn’t my child. I don’t like the idea of her being born in somebody else’s womb. That’s one of my great jealousies. It’s a drag that she was in somebody else’s womb, but I can’t do anything about it.
“I have day-to-day regrets, but they don’t affect my future attitudes. I like to play the future blind. I like to play conceptual chess, rather than have the chess on the board.”
We talked some more about the BEATLES:
“The way we all feel in the Beatles today is a bit of a residue of all the meetings we had at the time of the ATV-Northern Songs thing. We were together every day for these terrible, terrible meetings which made us uptight. It’s all that, that’s still in the air between us. It’s nothing that serious. It was just so hard for us.
“We had to listen to all this jazz about business, and hear about banking, and try and think about the technicalities.”
We talked about MONEY:
“We got to hear how much we’d wasted, and that was a real bring-down. It put all of us in the Beatles into the wrong situation.
” God, I don’t like to think about the money we wasted. The John Lennon of ten years ago would have sworn his head off. I mean . . I still did. It was such a waste. I’d sooner have given it away to some deserving gypsy.”
We talked about YOKO’S MISCARRIAGES:
“We’re both a bit choked about babies, with two miscarriages. Both of us feel like laying off, but we don’t know how to, how you do it! It’s a terrible bringdown at the time, but like anything, you carry on.
“Now we think maybe it was because we didn’t want one. Maybe a baby would interfere. How much time would we have for it? I don’t regard the whole thing as fate, though. I don’t believe in the Will of Allah and let ’em — on you.”
We talked of the “GET BACK” film, to be premiered in the New Year:
“No, George doesn’t have a row with me in it. I think he had a bit of a barney with Paul, but you don’t see it. He’s just there one day, and not the next.
“George said: ‘I’m leaving,’ and we carried on, and then he came back.”
BEING HATED: “When I do things I do, I don’t want people to dislike me.
“I prefer to be loved, obviously. That’s the whole ball game. They’ve got to love me even if I’m a Jewish transvestite Negro with a hunchback and one leg. But I want to be loved for myself, not some kind of image.
“I’m not going to paint myself white to be loved. I’m not going to sell out. I’m not going to play that ball game, prejudice and fear.”
STAGE FRIGHT: “I get nervous and physically sick. I’ve been away from stage appearances for a long time.”