Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Today in "Entries Written but Never Published"...

I got a book [two Christmases ago] called You Never Give Me Your Money:  The Beatles After the Breakup.  Like any well-written book, it got me thinking about things much deeper than the stated subject matter, and one of those things was the last few years of John Lennon’s life.

John became something of a recluse for the five years preceding his death and the myth surrounding those years looms large. Legend has it that he spent that time as a “house husband,” padding around in a bathrobe, baking bread and raising his infant son, Sean, while his wife focused on her career.  It’s an image that’s easy enough to believe, what with the domesticated bliss that’s slathered all over his last album, Double Fantasy, released shortly before he was killed.  And it’s the image that Yoko Ono has expertly propagated ever since he died.

“I just had to let it go,” John sings in “Watching the Wheels,” referring to life in the spotlight.  He’s so convincing that you actually believe him when he sings it.

But no Beatles fan worth her salt takes Yoko’s (or John’s) version of history as the truth.  It takes practically no effort to find vastly different accounts of those years, and the reality is that John Lennon was a human being, complete with an oversized ego (coupled with an inferiority complex) and a fucking weird marriage.

He was someone who sold one thing while being something infinitely more complicated.  And my question to myself has been:  does it matter?  The image is what lives on, what inspires people, and what sells.  The human being who was real died a long time ago, and he took his sadness, confusion, and bad habits with him when he went.  So does it matter?  Is it the man or the memory of him that counts?  And if that memory is shaped only by those left behind, then how bizarre to think that a person's entire life - entire creative and personal output - is, upon death, instantly reduced to a series of other people's perceptions...


  1. oh how philosophical .... O.O


    1. I know!! I wrote this over a year ago and every time I run across something like this, I think, damn, I used to be such a deep thinker, but not anymore... :)

    2. you still are ... but it needs time to find the way to express them - and when the times has come it will come out ;)


    3. I like that. :) I'll go with you being right on that one! :D