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history of violence??
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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
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
24 December 2013
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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 Vimeo or YouTube.

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