Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lennon

I wasn't actually planning to write about John Lennon today—this is a movie blog and while he and his compadres made the finest musical comedy films of the 1960s, he wasn't even a gleam in his randy no-good louse of a father's eye in 1933, the time we're currently covering here at the Monkey.

But then my good pal, Mister Muleboy, wrote at length on the subject (here) and now I feel like saying just this, that Lennon made music and writing and painting cool for me at a time and in a place when no one otherwise approved of such things or even gave them a second thought. Aside from the apparently endless pleasure I derive from listening to his music, that sense that life might promise something other than soul-crushing conformity is what I am most grateful for when I think of John Lennon.

Anyway, this is my favorite Lennon number.



And because I love you, here's his home demo of the same song, which I find fascinating—you can practically hear the moment inspiration hits.

19 comments:

thingy said...

It is so unlike you, when I clicked on this blog, I thought I was going to Mister Muleboy's place.

My memory is... I was dating some guy and we heard the news and my eyes filled with tears and my date did a shrug.

That was the last date and my eyes still fill with tears for John.

Mythical Monkey said...

Yeah, I usually play this sort of thing close to the vest, but in the end I couldn't not say anything ...

mister muleboy said...

I usually play this sort of thing close to the vest

I did that too, for about six years o' blog, but today I thought I'd have to write something.

The stuff I'd been reading suddenly didn't smack of "here's what I should write" but was instead "here's what I have to write " and I was struck by the same need.

And, in my inimitable style, I just threw it up and watched it drip. . .

thingy said...

I forgot to mention... I was very young.

Mythical Monkey said...

I forgot to mention... I was very young.

Yeah, I just assumed you must have been in elementary school, maybe sharing a juice box with the kid who ate paste.

Actually, I remember a Saturday Night Live skit about a show called "Where Were You When You Heard Kennedy Had Been Shot" and one of the participants says, "What?! John Kennedy was shot!?"

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

Inspiration for that song is kind of funny - the Beatles were tripping at a Laurel Canyon party and Peter Fonda kept bugging John with an anecdote about how he had died and been resuscitated as a child. Needless to say, this did not improve John's trip. He got a great song out of it, though.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

"I know what it is to be sad." And John said it's OK for you & Mr. Mule & Me & thingy to say so.

Mythical Monkey said...

"I know what it is to be sad." And John said it's OK for you & Mr. Mule & Me & thingy to say so.

That's it exactly.

Mythical Monkey said...

He got a great song out of it, though.

I suspect the gap between the mundane moment that inspired it and the greatness of the final product is a measure of Lennon's genius. Sort of like how the Strawberry Field orphanage, in and of itself, was a fairly ordinary place, but he was able to convey what it meant to him in terms that are now classic.

You know, Bev, the part of the song I find most curious (while also thinking it's very inspired) is the line "When I was a boy everything was right." Because Lennon's childhood was famously awful. Maybe he was thinking of those moments when he climbed over the wall at Strawberry Field to crash their garden parties. Or maybe it was just wishful thinking. But it's a great bit.

mister muleboy said...

Because Lennon's childhood was famously awful.

I think that the song reveals more than John Lennon might have wanted it to.

I think he had a particularly dreamy, wonderfully-[overly]-loved childhood for post-war England -- right up until he hit the full bridle of English schools/society/system, and the rigidity and expectations of conformity that didn't match what a lazy, clever, artistic, overly-loved-whilst-still-abandoned teenage rebel sought.


Then it became famously awful.


Oh, yeah -- and you can add in the dead mother thing.


I think that when he was a boy, everything was right.

mister muleboy said...

As you know, I have played this song in every band I've ever been in, including even pickup bands, and it is deep in my DNA. I have sung the fucking thing thousands of times, never once without feeling it. While not my fave, it's in my top ten.

Maybe top five.


Revolver is the greatest album OF ALL TIMES.

You can quote me [on this very original thought]

John Lennon said...

You won't see me

Mythical Monkey said...

a lazy, clever, artistic, overly-loved-whilst-still-abandoned teenage rebel

Hey, no wonder we like Lennon so much ...

mister muleboy said...

a lazy, clever, artistic, overly-loved-whilst-still-abandoned teenage rebel

Hey, no wonder we like Lennon so much ...



I see you tracked closely


of course we love Lennon.

He also explained in Lennon Remembers that he was a genius, and that he could play any instrument you gave him.

I ebelieve that of me, despite all evidence to the contrary. And I could immediately perform surgery or fly the Space Shuttle if I just set my mind to it.


Jesus, Lennon and the Mule = cracked



a crappy magazine, btw. . . .

La Petite Gallery said...

Just came home from NYC wedding, That was the subject lots of people were talking about, He is not forgotten.
I want to wish you LOVE, HEALTH,
and HAPPINESS for the Holiday Season.

yvonne

Douglas Fairbanks said...

I am so misunderstood.

I wasn't trying to "regain a waistline" -- I just wanted to prove to that mouthy Lon Chaney, Jr. [talentless sonuvabitch, if you must know] that I was neither inferior to his dead Pops, nor out of shape.

And if it hadn't been for an inadvertent heart attack, he would've eaten crow and never been heard from again.

He used my death to spring to success






oaky -- truth be told, he was an ass and bet me that his upcoming release Of Mice and men would outsell all of my pictures combined. While I knew he was full o' malarkey, I also knew that I had to re-enter the fray and make some more pictures.

Douglas Fairbanks said...

The "regain a waistline" poppycock is still being foisted on folks.

Mythical Monkey said...

I want to wish you LOVE, HEALTH,
and HAPPINESS for the Holiday Season.


Thanks, yvonne, and the same to you!

Mythical Monkey said...

The "regain a waistline" poppycock is still being foisted on folks.

December 12th was the 71st anniversary of Douglas Fairbanks' passing, in case you were wondering. Although as we here at the Monkey well know, Doug never really left us.