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history of violence??
6 March 2013
5.54am
exarctly
Chicagoland
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Curious what is the known facts, or leading theories regarding John and violent behavior? I read the article here about the beating he gave Bob Wooler on Paul's 21st. The article also quoted him as saying the event seemed to scare him in to giving up acting out in violence, and that he had to reform his old pattern. 

Is it known if he actually did or did not refrain from further violent incidents after this one? Or how he progressed or recovered? 

I thought I had read of another incident involving him badly berating (and or attacking somewhat physically ??) a waitress at some club after this? 

Are the lines about 'being cruel to my woman and beat her' from getting better, in any way autobiographical? Or just lines in a song? Did he ever hit women? 

And I do not ask this to deflate John. I like his songs the best out of any Beatle, but I know that he had serious issues and I just would prefer to know what is actually true about him good and bad. 

 

6 March 2013
10.13am
Funny Paper
America
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I welcome any deflation of over-inflated Pacifists.

Richard Grenier did a good job in his 1983 article published in Commentary, demolishing Gandhi.

Lennon was a great musician; a piss-poor and reckless politician.

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
6 March 2013
3.30pm
LongHairedLady
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John is made out to be a saint, which he most certainly was not.  He was a brilliant man with a troubled soul.  a-hard-days-night-john-3 Saint or not, his views have still made a difference in the world. a-hard-days-night-john-1

I will probably add to this later but I have to go to work. paul-mccartney

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

6 March 2013
4.01pm
Ben Ramon
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The waitress attacking incident didn't involve physical violence as far as I'm aware - it was during the Lost Weekend. John went to a club or bar with Harry Nilsson, got roaring drunk, stuck a tampon on his forehead and heckled somebody. The story goes he said "do you know who I am?" to an irate waitress and she said "a guy with a Kotex on his head" or something along those lines, but I don't know how based in truth that exchange is.

As for the lines from Getting Better, they are certainly based in truth; he was reportedly physically violent towards Cynthia many times.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
6 March 2013
4.15pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
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I've read that he took a swing at Linda during the rancor of '69.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
6 March 2013
4.28pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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Well, he smacked Thelma Pickles and Cynthia around a bit. And as you mentioned, he thrashed Bob Wooler. I did read that he most likely smacked Cyn more during their marriage (can't remember where I read it, it was years ago). Haven't heard anything beyond that, but he backed very violent leftist radicals during his 1969-1974 political phase.

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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6 March 2013
4.29pm
exarctly
Chicagoland
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Some around the internet are saying that Cynthia's book claims that he only hit her one time? Anyone else read that? Not that it is a good thing for it to have even happened once. Still, there is a difference between a recurring matter and a one time horrific incident. 

6 March 2013
4.49pm
DrBeatle
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exarctly said
Some around the internet are saying that Cynthia's book claims that he only hit her one time? Anyone else read that? Not that it is a good thing for it to have even happened once. Still, there is a difference between a recurring matter and a one time horrific incident. 

I read her book a couple of months ago...she only describes one incident, when they were in college. But IIRC there is some hinting that it may have happened again, unless I took it wrong. John was incredibly cruel to Julian, though, to the day he died. They had repaired their relationship a LOT between 1968 and 1980, but I certainly wouldn't say it was good. Screaming things like "I HATE YOUR LAUGH! DON'T EVER FUCKING LAUGH LIKE THAT IN FRONT OF ME AGAIN!" to a teenage boy (this happened to Julian around the mid-to-late 1970s, according to him and Cyn), is just as violent and damaging as a punch.

 

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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6 March 2013
5.50pm
parlance
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Yeah, if you look at the thread on Cynthia's book John, you'll see a bit of discussion on this topic there.

parlance

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7 March 2013
2.45am
LongHairedLady
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DrBeatle said

exarctly said
Some around the internet are saying that Cynthia's book claims that he only hit her one time? Anyone else read that? Not that it is a good thing for it to have even happened once. Still, there is a difference between a recurring matter and a one time horrific incident. 

I read her book a couple of months ago...she only describes one incident, when they were in college. But IIRC there is some hinting that it may have happened again, unless I took it wrong. John was incredibly cruel to Julian, though, to the day he died. They had repaired their relationship a LOT between 1968 and 1980, but I certainly wouldn't say it was good. Screaming things like "I HATE YOUR LAUGH! DON'T EVER FUCKING LAUGH LIKE THAT IN FRONT OF ME AGAIN!" to a teenage boy (this happened to Julian around the mid-to-late 1970s, according to him and Cyn), is just as violent and damaging as a punch.

 

I read a quote of Julian's one time where he said that Paul was more of a father to him that John was.  Ouch, but appears to be true.  He did write "Hey Jude" for the kid, after all.  John had said that at first he thought that song was about him and Yoko, which truly shows how disconnected he was to his son.  a-hard-days-night-john-7

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

7 March 2013
5.16am
exarctly
Chicagoland
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That does bother me, how John thought that song was somewhat about him and Yoko. Though I do wonder about the the lines about letting her in to your heart. But it makes no sense for it to be about both, as those lines are in the same section of the song as the lines clearly addressing "Jude"

Plus it seems less comforting to right a song to an estranged son celebrating the fact that his father is finding a new love to make things better.  

 

I am comforted to read that John made some effort to hang out with Paul and Julian during his lost weekend phase. Though does it seem that Julian still reveals some bitterness? 

7 March 2013
6.22am
LongHairedLady
coming in through the bathroom window
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I can relate to Julian, my father was somewhat estranged.  He and my mom split up when I was 5 and I didn't see him more than a few times over the next 3 years (moved across the county..  for a woman).  He passed away when I was 12, but I did get to see him a lot before then.  Like John he was a musician, and would not have had kids if it had not just happened (like with Julian).  Despite that, he was a very very loving father, so I remember him for that.  I guess what I am saying is that nobody is perfect.  I have been a big fan of John's for many years, much longer than Paul.  I have gone so far down the rabbit hole with John that I just had to stop, because it was ruining my opinion of him too much.  He wasn't perfect, but then again, who is?  I sure as hell am not, and neither was my dad.  Sometimes I need to remember people the whey I knew them (or in John's case, what I know of him).  a-hard-days-night-john-1

The reason I compare John and my dad is that because I lost my dad young, I feel like I look for that 'father figure' for guidance.  John is kinda like that for me, along with other men over the years, whether people I knew/know or just admire. heart 

Rambling again, sorry.paul-mccartney

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

7 March 2013
6.47am
Ron Nasty
"Where have you been?" "I'm not telling you..."
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Your rambling is always worthwhile, and sorry to hear those things. I can relate, though my relationship with my father was much darker and more destructive, so wasn't able to come out of with anything more than hatred.

Off topic, I don't think your sig is post-it notes. I think he licks a couple of stamps and sticks them on his eyelids. Still distracting.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
7 March 2013
6.59am
LongHairedLady
coming in through the bathroom window
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mja6758 said

Off topic, I don't think your sig is post-it notes. I think he licks a couple of stamps and sticks them on his eyelids. Still distracting.

Still adorable. a-hard-days-night-paul-11

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

7 March 2013
7.00am
LongHairedLady
coming in through the bathroom window
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mja6758 said
Your rambling is always worthwhile, and sorry to hear those things. 

Thank you. It might sound cliche, but it moulded the person I am.  a-hard-days-night-john-1

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

7 March 2013
5.28pm
fabfouremily
Sitting in an English garden
Apple rooftop
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DrBeatle said

exarctly said
Some around the internet are saying that Cynthia's book claims that he only hit her one time? Anyone else read that? Not that it is a good thing for it to have even happened once. Still, there is a difference between a recurring matter and a one time horrific incident. 

I read her book a couple of months ago...she only describes one incident, when they were in college. But IIRC there is some hinting that it may have happened again, unless I took it wrong. John was incredibly cruel to Julian, though, to the day he died. They had repaired their relationship a LOT between 1968 and 1980, but I certainly wouldn't say it was good. Screaming things like "I HATE YOUR LAUGH! DON'T EVER FUCKING LAUGH LIKE THAT IN FRONT OF ME AGAIN!" to a teenage boy (this happened to Julian around the mid-to-late 1970s, according to him and Cyn), is just as violent and damaging as a punch. 

 

 Agree with you on that, John may or may not have been violent all his life (I also got the impression that she wasn't telling the full truth), but he was always verbally agressive. Quite the contrary to the whole peace message that he put out all thru the 70s.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

7 March 2013
5.59pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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^indeed. Having recently read or re-read the Philip Norman bio of John and Cynthia's book, as well as Doggett's book (where multiple events like this with Julian are corroborated by all three, and sources cited), it paints a very different picture. I believe Sean even wrote in am afterword (in Norman's book, I believe) that John was mean to him sometimes, and actually damaged his hearing slightly by shouting at him right up into his ear when he as angry with something Sean had done...and obviously Sean had to have been 5 years old or less when this happened, which is crazy to think about!

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

Please Visit My Website, The Rock and Roll Chemist

Twitter: @blackbookblur

 

7 March 2013
10.48pm
Funny Paper
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Hm, this raises the question I never thought of before.  Did John abuse Yoko?

Knowing Yoko, one would not necessarily be able to rely on her word for it (i.e., she'd likely be hip-deep in that River in Egypt...)

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
9 March 2013
12.01am
unknown
Nowhere Land
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DrBeatle said 
I read her book a couple of months ago...she only describes one incident, when they were in college. But IIRC there is some hinting that it may have happened again, unless I took it wrong. John was incredibly cruel to Julian, though, to the day he died. They had repaired their relationship a LOT between 1968 and 1980, but I certainly wouldn't say it was good. Screaming things like "I HATE YOUR LAUGH! DON'T EVER FUCKING LAUGH LIKE THAT IN FRONT OF ME AGAIN!" to a teenage boy (this happened to Julian around the mid-to-late 1970s, according to him and Cyn), is just as violent and damaging as a punch.

Nah, Cyn says straight up that John was never physically violent toward her again after that, though he was mentally abusive.

I know this sounds daft, since I never knew John, or Julian, but how he treated Julian kind of makes me like him a little less. I still love his music and find him just as talented as I always have, but it makes his whole peace and love façade kind of pathetic.

 

LongHairedLady said 
I read a quote of Julian's one time where he said that Paul was more of a father to him that John was.  Ouch, but appears to be true.  He did write "Hey Jude" for the kid, after all.  John had said that at first he thought that song was about him and Yoko, which truly shows how disconnected he was to his son.  a-hard-days-night-john-7

Paul wrote Hey Jude for Julian, but it's really about him and Linda, so John thinking it's about him and Yoko isn't too crazy.

 

 

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9 March 2013
12.41am
Gerard
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I've also heard that John Lennon never actually threw a punch at Paul McCartney, unlike in the film: Nowhere Boy.

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