Snodgrass was a beautiful vignette in Sky Arts 1’s impressive Playhouse Presents series of 30-minutes dramas that asked the question: what would have happened to John Lennon if he hadn’t become famous?
It might not be a question you have asked yourself, but if you watched Ian Hart’s portrayal of the 50-year-old John Lennon sitting in a dingy flat and chatting to himself on the top deck of a bus, the answer will now be burned into your brain.
In a bittersweet script, by David Quantick based on a story by Ian R MacLeod, Lennon was on his way for his first day in a boring civil service job. He gave us a running commentary as he went, brilliantly capturing Lennon’s voice (figuratively and metaphorically).
“Semi-detached houses, semi-detached people leading semi-detached lives,” he muttered. “Me auntie used to say ‘Oh guitar’s all right, John, but you’ll never earn a living at it.’ F---ing hell, Mimi, you weren’t wrong… [I’m] nifty 50, with me whole death to look forward to…”
This was an alternative reality in which Lennon had had an argument with Paul McCartney over a song in 1962 and walked out of The Beatles. The band carried on, performing McCartney songs like Mary Had a Little Lamb and Mull of Kintyre, but never breaking through. “We could have been bigger than The Hollies,” reflected Lennon.