Dr. Jekyl and Mrs. Brown | John Lennon | Fab forum

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Dr. Jekyl and Mrs. Brown
24 February 2014
St Peters Church
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
31 October 2013

John and Paul's trip to New York in May 1968 feels like an immensely important moment to me, for a few reasons, one of which is that--just look at the timeline--it was just after they returned that John had his idea that he was Jesus Christ reborn, and just after *that* that he truly began an affair with Yoko.

There's a great account of that trip, by the way: Lillian Roxon's "101 Hours with John Lennon & Paul McCartney."

Anyway, one of the things that has always puzzled me is John's line in the interview with Larry Kane.

Kane asked:

"Do you ever envision a time of just ceasing being the Beatles and going off on your or, or even working together…” He didn’t finish his question before John and Paul jumped in. They talked over each other for just a moment. Then:

John: “We do work on our own anyway now.”

Paul: “We are the Beatles. That’s what we are.”

John: “We’re also Apple as well you see and Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Brown. They’re meant to be nice, you see.”

So the question is, what's up with the "Mrs. Brown" reference? I've seen it suggested that John is alluding to the Virginia Woolf essay, "Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown" which makes sense as a mash-up with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and it does help explain the sentence as John saying, "Look, we're people you see in one way, but we're actually much more complicated underneath the surface. You think we're nice, and you want to put us in some kind of box, but we've got a lot more going on than you realize." But I'm out on such a limb here, especially not even knowing if he meant to point to Woolf's essay. Any thoughts or intel on this?

24 February 2014
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2175
Member Since:
14 December 2009

Would John have been familiar with the Virginia Woolf essay? I suspect that the "Mrs. Brown" of the Herman's Hermits hit would be more likely to be on John's mind, as far as "actual" Mrs. Browns are concerned.

I wasn't familiar with the quote (entertaining interview btw, thanx for posting it!) , but in context, I would just guess that "Mrs. Brown" is the name that John comes up with to represent somebody "nice", some nice English granny sort. As opposed to Dr. Jekyll, that is. Although "Mrs. Brown and Mr. Hyde" would be the even greater contrasting pair (but it isn't as much fun to say.)

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
28 February 2014
Los Angeles
The Top Ten Club
Forum Posts: 59
Member Since:
24 April 2013

Von Bontee said 
Would John have been familiar with the Virginia Woolf essay? 

John was very well-read, let's not forget, and I'd imagine that was the Mrs. Brown he was referring to. It seems to make sense because Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Brown are both literary references and both are the "nicer" half of a pair. It's like he was saying, "We're Apple, the kinder, gentler side of the recording industry." I'm not going to say that's definitely what he meant or that's definitely the Mrs. Brown he was referring to, but that's the way I hear it.

What I love in that interview is that Paul is supposedly totally stoned and he looks like all he wants is to have a larf. He looks like he's in a giggly mood, and if he were off camera, I'd bet he'd be having a good ol' time. I also love their relationship, they are totally comfortable with each other… and they like Larry, unlike most of their interviewers.

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