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history of violence??
9 March 2013
6.25am
parlance
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unknown said

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.

I don't think it's daft at all. I feel for Julian.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

10 March 2013
9.02am
fabfouremily
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Funny Paper said
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…)

 

Not something I've ever thought about before. Did he? Nah, I don't think so.

If he did, we'll never find out, unless Sean remembers anything and lets slip.

 

''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.''

10 March 2013
11.02am
Gerell
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fabfouremily said

Funny Paper said
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…)

 

Not something I've ever thought about before. Did he? Nah, I don't think so.

If he did, we'll never find out, unless Sean remembers anything and lets slip.

I doubt it, Sean was 5 years old tops.

"And in the End the Love you take is equal to the Love you make"
"When I was a robber *Piano Chord* in Boston Place"
"Let's hope this turns out pretty darn good huh"
"Pete may be the best, but Ringo is the star"
Paul:"Don't be nervous John"
John:"I 'm not"
10 March 2013
2.53pm
thewordislove94
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According to The Love You Make, by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines (page 362), John was violent towards Yoko in 1969 on a Greek vacation they took with Magic Alex. To quote the book, "More than a few times John hauled off and gave Yoko a good walloping-just as he had done to Cynthia years before."

I haven't read about any other incidents like this one, and I don't know if he ever hit her again.

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison
10 March 2013
5.15pm
fabfouremily
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^^ That's only one person that has said it though, I'd need more than that to think that maybe he did hit her. Although, why would he make it up?

And yes, it is highly unlikely that Sean remembers anything.

''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.''

10 March 2013
5.32pm
DrBeatle
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Sean does remember John shouting in his ear in anger so loudly as a kid that it damaged his hearing. It's in the afterword to Philip Norman's bio of John that Sean wrote, I believe. 

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

 

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10 March 2013
5.41pm
parlance
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Peter Brown tended to elaborate on incidents for which he wasn't present (eg John's trip to Spain with Brian), so I don't think he's the most reliable source.

Edit: The vacation with John and Yoko is mentioned in pp. 333-334 of the 2002 edition I borrowed, and it doesn't look like Brown was present for that either.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

10 March 2013
5.55pm
unknown
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If John was hitting Yoko in front of Sean, he probably would remember that. You guys have no memories from five or earlier? But I would hope that if John was hitting Yoko, he wasn't doing it in front of their little kid anyways. 

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19 April 2013
1.15am
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I was just thinking about this topic today, as I'm almost halfway through Philip Norman's biography.  I just agreed to forgive John in advance for all the horrible things I was going to read, and to forgive the author if he was making things up.

I do have to say I have paused a few times to digest such things as John Lennon mugging a drunken sailor or beating someone almost to death.  It seems that his sense of humor and his cruelty are interrelated and form a strange dichotomy, much like his acts of violence and his campaigns for peace do.  He is a contradictory character, with a very strong dark side.

It seems to me that various authors are interested in maligning John's name, whether or not what they write is true.  I think after reading about John we are supposed to say, "Wow, what a hypocrite, he wasn't peaceful at all."  But I have actually grown to appreciate him more, I think, after having a look at his imperfections.  You can't really separate the good from the bad in a person, and I'm not sure I would like him as much if he were any less rebellious or anarchic.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

19 April 2013
1.28am
Ron Nasty
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There was a quote from John, late 60s-early 70s, can't remember just where, where he said something like, "We are all Jesus and we are all Hitler, we just want Jesus to win." It's all about the inner struggle.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
19 April 2013
1.36am
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mja6758 said
There was a quote from John, late 60s-early 70s, can't remember just where, where he said something like, "We are all Jesus and we are all Hitler, we just want Jesus to win." It's all about the inner struggle.

That's very true. And John freely admitted that he was a violent person and that's why he sought peace.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

19 April 2013
3.27am
Von Bontee
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Well, realistically, he only spent like two-three years out of his whole life evangelizing for peace. (Or "peace") That whole thing was really more of a bizarre media campaign than anything else. But I have no doubt that he was being at least partly sincere during those two years, before he moved on to primal therapy, and radical politics after that.

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
19 April 2013
3.51pm
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I can definitely sympathize both with John's search for peace and his later need for political revolution, to shake up the status quo and make the world a better place.

The Beatles, and especially the love between John and Yoko, have created in my imagination a kind of utopia, a mental space which Ono refers to in Grapefruit as the weltinnenraum (translated roughly as "inner world").  I feel that I have benefitted greatly from what John and Yoko created.  That is why when I read about John's violence I have an inner struggle to come to terms with it--I ask such questions as did it really happen, did it happen that way, and if so, does this mean I should stop liking him?  Did he feel remorse?  I think a lot of people today want us to stop liking John Lennon.

It's interesting the way his more radical pursuits are glossed over.  I think big brother doesn't want us to know that good people once talked about revolution…I didn't know anything about how the FBI targeted him until I began to research more about him.  "The U.S. Versus John Lennon" was a good documentary.  I also read "Who Killed John Lennon?" which ventures a little too much into hypothesis and conspiracy theory, but it does show that the government had sufficient motive to want him dead.  In one documentary, at the end, Yoko says "they finally got him." This seems to show that she too (and I think Sean has made comments as well) has her suspicions about who was really responsible for his murder.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

20 April 2013
9.04am
fabfouremily
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^ This something I've thought about a lot. How can one man be so different at different points in his life (though there's nothing to say that he wasn't like that up until he died, even just a bit). He was an angry, rebellious young man who evolved into a grown man who looked back on his youth and regretted parts of it, and tried to stop other people being like that.

I am against violence of any kind, in any way, but I've learnt to accept that the 18 year old John is a very different man to the 30 year old John. And I think he knew this, too.

Von Bontee, although I know that a lot of what John and Yoko were doing at that time was driven by the media, I truly believe that they wanted peace at a time when it was in short supply, and the only way to achieve that was through the media. I don't think it was all made up in order to sell more albums, which is the impression I got from reading your comment.

''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.''

20 April 2013
4.12pm
Monkey Finger
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I've always thought of John as a seeker. I think George was like that too, but Krishna helped fill that void for him and brought him some inner peace. From what I've learned, John was an extremely intelligent and sensitive child, and the fact that he never really knew his father and his mother being a nebulous figure floating in and out of his life until her early death really did a number on him.

I think he sought answers through his art, music, drugs, sex, and at least for a while in India, religion. I think back to what he said to Maharishi when they were alone: "So slip it to me…what's the answer?" He was looking for the "quick fix" to the secret of life and existence, and of course there isn't any. He was a man with a massive ego (as most geniuses exhibit) living inside a bubble of fame/isolation/drugs, and although some of he and Yoko's proselytizing seemed naive to the point of sometimes even foolish, I believe he was sincere because I believe he was pleading for peace within himself as much as for peace within the world.

He could be a bully, but as Paul has said, he also had a very tender side. He was a complicated human being. For all of his faults, I believe the world is a better place for him having been here.

21 April 2013
12.11pm
fabfouremily
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Yes, I agree with that. I think you've summed him up quite well. When you think about certain songs, or even things that he did/said, you can tell that he was in pain sometimes and was crying out for someone or something to help him. That all goes back to his childhood, which shaped him as a man, mainly for the worse rather than the better.

''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.''

24 December 2013
6.25am
parlance
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Just because I can't think of anywhere else to put this, I follow the Mersey Beat Facebook and Bill Harry posted these bits today:

Was sitting in the Scotch of St James one night talking to Cynthia when she confided in me that John had forbidden her to do any drawing or painting. She then asked me if there was any kind of art she could get involved in which wouldn't irritate John. I must admit I was surprised. I suggested she could try stencilling. I'd been involved in stencilling artwork onto wax sheets when I illustrated sci-fi fanzines and it was an interesting form of artwork.

That's the first time I'd heard that John actively kept Cynthia from pursuing her art, and I always wondered why she let it go. But after I mentioned this bit to someone, I was told another story – possibly from Cynthia – about how once she "broke the rules" and did some decorative painting (on the side of a wardrobe or something). When John saw it he painted over it. Anyone know of a source? I don't think it was in John.

 

Also, in the same thread, he later commented:

Here is an entry from my Mersey Beat Encyclopedia: JOHNNY BYRNE. Born in Dublin on 27 November 1935, Johnny arrived in Liverpool in the 50s. He settled in a flat in Gambier Terrace with artist Sam Walsh, directly below the flat where John, Stuart and Rod Murray rented. Johnny was to say, “I hated Lennon.’ Oh yes, Lennon’s no hero of mine. I cannot separate people and what they do from what they are. Lennon was unmitigated evil so far as I was concerned.” He later left for London and had success with a novel ‘Groupie’ and then became a scriptwriter launching ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ and ‘Heartbeat’, also penning three ‘Dr Who’ episodes. Johnny agreed to write the scripts to a proposed ‘Mersey Beat’ TV series with Bill Harry which the BBC were interested in, but the BBC stalled for three years and then they took the title and used it for a cop series. Sadly, Johnny passed away on April 2 2008.

For those who don't know, this is Johnny Byrne.

 

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

24 December 2013
10.32am
fabfouremily
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The thing about John painting over a wardrobe (I think it was a stand for the tv or something like that) was mentioned in the John book, by the way. I remember reading it and how it shocked me how he could be so cruel.

''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.''

24 December 2013
2.55pm
parlance
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fabfouremily said
The thing about John painting over a wardrobe (I think it was a stand for the tv or something like that) was mentioned in the John book, by the way. I remember reading it and how it shocked me how he could be so cruel.

Thanks for the correction. I'll have to re-read that book. It's really too bad, and she has so much talent, judging by her early drawings.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

24 December 2013
3.20pm
Linde
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Wow, that is really mean. 

 

I agree with the bit about his childhood. It was very confusing and hard for him, and it certainly didn't do much good to his personality.

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