Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vital Viewing (Ships That Pass Through the Night Edition)

John Lennon was born on this day in 1940. He gave many, many interviews over the years, but here's one in 1974 by a man you normally don't associate with rock music:


Six years later:



9 comments:

  1. I wonder what John would have thought of the state of the world now. More than that, I wonder how much more amazing music we would have enjoyed, if not for our OK corral, insane guns, guns, guns mentality, that allowed a crazy man to get hold of one, and shoot him in the back.

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    1. Gun laws have become somewhat less strict since 1979, Patricia.

      Musically, I've never been a Yoko Ono fan, but a few years ago when Mark David Chapman came up for parole, she wrote a letter arguing against it. Most of her reasons had to do with the pain from the loss of her husband, of course, but toward the end she expressed concern toward Chapman himself, that some vengeful Lennon fan might plug a few holes in him were he released. Imagine that! Expressing concern over her husband's assassan. Whatever you're feeling about Chapman and whether justice was properly meted out, you have to admit Ono is one person who can see outside herself.

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    2. I should add that were someone close to me murdered, I doubt I could show the same concern for the person who carried out the misdeed.

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  2. Thanks for posting this, Kirk. I don't remember ever seeing an interview with Cosell. Amazing stuff.

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    1. Two things jump out at me in that interview. Lennon's sense of humor as he echoes Howard Cosell at the end about "returning to the Giffer!". Lennon's become such a martyed musical saint over the years (probably to his chagrin if his consciousness still exist in some other dimension, as was pretty much against that sort of thing) that it's easy to forgot he was a pretty funny guy. Look at his song lyrics sometimes. He was the Lewis Carrol of rock.

      The other thing that jumps out at me is his plugging of Ringo Starr's and his own upcoming albums. The Beatles revolutionized pop music, possibly culture as a whole, yet once they broke up, John and Ringo were just another couple of rock stars looking to promote their latest releases wherever and whenever they could

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    2. I forgot to acknowledge that its Postino's comment I'm responding to. No slight intended.

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  3. Kirk, I believe also that by being on Monday Night Football with Cosell — an American cultural icon if ever there was one — Lennon was trying to look more American. Was this during the period that Immigration was threatening to throw him out of the US?

    In retrospect maybe deportation would have been for the best. He would have hated America for the rest of his life, but he would have had a “rest of his life” in which to do it.

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  4. You're right, Postino. I just looked it up, and deportation battle (instigated by the Nixon administration) lasted from 1972 until 1975 (by which time Nixon had resigned.) Lennon got his green card in 1976, and he and Yoko danced at one of Jimmy Carter's inagural balls the following year.

    Now that I got you here, Postino, I have to ask, as a comic art aficianado, have you ever seen that film of Al Capp visiting John and Yoko at their famous bed-in? This was about the time Capp was moving politically from the left to the right, and I wonder if he wasn't a bit dismayed that upstart rock and rollers like Lennon had created something even more outrageous than his own comic strip.

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    1. Oh, one other thing, according to a biography of Howard Cosell (whom I find a rather fascinating figure), the MNF producers gave him a choice between interviewing Lennon or then-California governor Ronald Reagan. Cosell chose "the Beatle". Cosell saw himself as being to sports broadcasting what the Beatles were to pop music, and in fact wanted to be associated with the youth culture of the day, even if he was in his 50s by that time.

      About a year after the MNF interview, the two ships crossed a second time. You might recall Cosell had a short-lived Ed Sullivan-type variety show. Cosell invited Lennon to lunch to talk about him appearing on it. Lennon was at first enthusiastic until Cosell started pressing him for a Beatles reunion. Lennon ended up leaving before dessert was even served.

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