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Miscellaneous questions about John Lennon
19 August 2018
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WeepingAtlasCedars
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Wow, thanks much for the info @Ron Nasty. I legitimately had no idea that John had any half-brothers. I'm kind of shocked.

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12 September 2018
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How did John influence, or inspire, Yoko's creativity? I mean, Yoko came from a very artistic ambient. Fluxus and all that. I guess pretty much everything John and Yoko did (bagism, bed peace, their performances with john making noise with his guitar..., planting seeds and those things) were motivated by Yoko. I might be wrong, though.
What inspiration she found in John?

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14 September 2018
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Timothy
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That’s a very good question. I remember John encouraging her to use swear words more in some recording I listened to way back. I’d have to give this some more thought.

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14 September 2018
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Ron Nasty
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The most obvious answer, though not one that many appreciate as they should, is her whole song-based musical career, along with much of the driving force behind using the fame you have to spread messages.

It is far too simplistic to suggest, "I guess pretty much everything John and Yoko did (bagism, bed peace, their performances with john making noise with his guitar..., planting seeds and those things) were motivated by Yoko." This falls into the trap, quite possibly unintentionally, of suggesting John fell under her spell and that it wasn't a relationship of equals.

While it is true aspects of Yoko's work were musical before meeting John, they were confined to largely to avant garde, electronic, experimental or jazz structures. When looking at Yoko's musical career, you can see this shift happen in her work, from the early purely experimental and avant garde, to starting to create vocal pieces that fitted musical ideas she had largely ignored before John, the period during which you see John stretching himself artistically with things like Cambridge 1969, Yoko was doing the same thing by starting to create things, like Remember Love, which fitted what he was familiar with.

That turned into an extremely interesting and influential musical career through the '70s and onwards that, despite derision, was hugely influential on a lot of cutting-edge artists.

There are those who think the world would be better without Yoko's musical contributions, but I'm not one of them, and I do not believe she would ever have pursued the musical career she did without being influenced by John.

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14 September 2018
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"[...]This falls into the trap, quite possibly unintentionally, of suggesting John fell under her spell[...]" Well i wouldn't call it spell but inspiration. I think Yoko was to John's art like LSD was to George's spirituality. She opened his mind and changed the approach he had to art until they met.
"[...] (bagism, bed peace, their performances with john making noise with his guitar..., planting seeds and those things) were motivated by Yoko." I said those things were motivated, not imposted, by her because she really was into performances and events, that was her main form of art and expression through art and it is very likely that John found it exciting and decided to give it a try.

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16 October 2018
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glazball
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I have some random questions about John's interview in Playboy magazine in 1980.

1. I see the article referenced here, there and just about everywhere when reading about whether John or Paul wrote a particular song.  Did the interviewer go down the list of every Lennon-McCartney song (because it certainly seems that way)??

2. Does anyone have a link to the full article, preferably on a website that is suitable for work? two-virgins

16 October 2018
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Ron Nasty
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Yes, @glazball, David Sheff (who conducted the interview), during the roughly 20 hours he spent interviewing John in September 1980, did - pretty much - go through the whole Lennon/McCartney catalogue. The John quotes @Joe uses in his song entries that are credited to David Sheff's book All We Are Saying are taken from a fuller version of their conversations that was published in wake of John's murder.

The original article based on the conversations was published in January 1981 and can be found on Beatles Interviews but you'd need to get the book to get John's thoughts on the Lennon/McCartney catalogue in full.

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18 October 2018
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Wonderful, thank you for the reply @Ron Nasty!  I found it amazing that every song I would read about brings up that interview (along with Barry Miles' bio on Paul).  20 hours... wow!  In retrospect, we are lucky that interview took place, considering John's death must have come soon after.  I'll seek out All We Are Saying as it sounds like a fascinating read.  I admit I've never read any books about the Beatles, but I've been meaning to.  With so many books out (and conflicting opinions on which books are better or more accurate), it's hard to know where to start.

18 October 2018
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Read what you can, but don't necessarily believe all that you read. It depends on what kind of information you're after really. I'm currently reading Peter Brown's The Love You Make. It's well written, but it does have its flaws - for example he claims the band recorded the albums for the Please Please Me LP in March 1963 "the week after the title track reached number one"; and he insists Cynthia and John were married later than 1962. There are a many more errors in there, but I take them with a pinch of salt.

19 October 2018
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glazball
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That's just it - I don't know what kind of info I'm after!  I've read Joe's writeups on pretty much every Beatles and John song, and from what I can gather, he has teased out just about every nugget of information available on every track.  I suppose I'm more interested in reading what John and Paul have to say about their songs, than gossip from Yoko's gardener (or whatever).  David Sheff's book sounds like a good starting point for me and then perhaps Barry Miles' book as a counterpoint.

I know there is/was some contention about Many Years From Now, but I trust Paul, more than any other Beatle, to give the fullest and most accurate info about their music.  One thing I've certainly picked up about John is that he wasn't always honest about his songs.  It seems he wanted to obfuscate the meaning about certain songs, but perhaps that was to prevent his creations from being labeled.  For instance, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds not being about LSD is simply untrue.  As someone who did quite a bit of that drug in college, I find it simply impossible that Lucy is *only* about a drawing.  I think he would rather that be the song's "story", rather than have everyone just label it as a "drug song".

Similarly, reading his quote about How Do You Sleep? - he says something like (from my memory, sorry!) "Someone said it's not about Paul, it's about me..."  Oh is that right, John?  Someone *else*, a nebulous, random someone, said something about your song and you're repeating it as true?  Of course it was about Paul, and from the info I gleaned from Joe's write-up of the song, it could have been even worse if not perhaps for Ringo.

That said, when John was honest about the Beatles' music (which I believe was most of the time), he was brutally honest and I admire that a lot.

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21 October 2018
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glazball said I suppose I'm more interested in reading what John and Paul have to say about their songs, than gossip from Yoko's gardener (or whatever).  

Sounds like something I’d expect to see in the Beatles Trivia (Even Easier!) thread. XD

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8 December 2018
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This question just came to me and I don't have an answer for it but hopefully one of you will.

When Mimi died in '91 where did all of her possessions go? She had a load of John's schoolwork, and little knick-knacks that he sent to her over the years. Who got them? 

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8 January 2019
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Was there something that Stu and Yoko had in common that made John Lennon think so highly of them?

8 January 2019
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Shamrock Womlbs
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For what i know , and we all know, they both are/were artists and creative people. And probably had a similar sense of humour...? (similar to John's i mean)

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9 January 2019
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Ahhh Girl said
Was there something that Stu and Yoko had in common that made John Lennon think so highly of them?  

Not sure? Stu was highly talented.......

I always thought Yoko tapped into John's fear of abandonment .............And was John's way out. Paul and George were starting to outshine him.....Partly because he was losing interest. Yoko was a new path......and a subordinate creative partner.

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9 January 2019
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I don't think Yoko was subordinate.

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10 January 2019
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AppleScruffJunior said
This question just came to me and I don't have an answer for it but hopefully one of you will.

When Mimi died in '91 where did all of her possessions go? She had a load of John's schoolwork, and little knick-knacks that he sent to her over the years. Who got them?   

Good question. I have no idea. This will be something I’ll investigate in search of an answer.

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11 January 2019
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AppleScruffJunior said
This question just came to me and I don't have an answer for it but hopefully one of you will.

When Mimi died in '91 where did all of her possessions go? She had a load of John's schoolwork, and little knick-knacks that he sent to her over the years. Who got them? 

  

I'd guess Julian and he could keep what he wanted but have no idea.

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12 January 2019
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@Timothy @meanmistermustard 

Oh I forgot to say I found details of Mimi's will regarding her finances but not the actual contents itself*. It says her total wealth was "not exceeding £125,000". She wasn't featured in John's will so that explains her not having masses of money.

Her probate was in Liverpool the 23rd of December 1991, and there's a code next to it 9151710870G, I imagine that's her will's "identification number". For the nice sum of £10 we'd be able to purchase a copy of Mimi's will, and put this question to rest. Anyone want to volunteer a UK postal address that it can be sent to and we can all donate £2 each to satisfy our curiosity. 

 

*See 'Mary Elizabeth Smith, died 6th December'

 

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12 January 2019
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@Ron Nasty might be willing to receive the document. I can pay for it.

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