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Author Topic: John Lennon...who?  (Read 2337 times)

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Runforyourlife

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John Lennon...who?
« on: February 21, 2005, 05:59:00 AM »

 Does anyone ever feel that John's talent and all his musical contributions are sometimes diminished by his mythical status? For example, it's easy to see him at the top of lists and polls, but often I read the reasoning and it maddens me. It's like they look far beyond the music and focus on the most pithy things, like only his persona, which had a lot to do with who he was but not totally. I think a lot of people are undermining just what he was about. I think part of it has to do with his death. No matter who you are, when you die (especially the way John did), you take on a whole new status. My feeling is, John was already a countercultural musical legend before his death, and then afterward there were people proclaiming he had become a martyr.

 My own opinion is that he wasn't totally martyr-ized, because there was so much negativity directed towards him and the personal situations that occurred in the last few years of his life...that bastard's book made him sound like a complete a-hole, and none of it was true. So people got these two very different images of John, and it seems now it's either one way of thinking or another.

 But I think John will always be somewhere in the middle, always misunderstood and misrepresented- because all the most amazing and most fascinating people are. I really wish all these people would see him for all he made, all that beautiful music, his rhythm guitar playing, that voice, his incredibly witty and extremely enigmatic personality, his charm and charisma, the poetry, the books, the drawings, the humor he injected into everything, his campaigns for peace which seemed so ridiculous but really impacted society in the long-run...I mean, you can't simply focus on one thing and look at only one side of the man.

 I don't know, maybe it's just me. What do you think? Do you think that John's being looked at fairly? And if not, what do you wish people would focus more on?

 Sorry its long. I've been wanting to say this for awhile.
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strawb3rryfi3ldsfor3ver

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2005, 04:47:57 PM »

Quote
What do you think? Do you think that John's being looked at fairly? And if not, what do you wish people would focus more on?

No, not really. Generally, there's only two perceptions I see from "non-fans" [I dunno how to put it. That works for me.] -- "1964!Beatle!John" and "Dead!John". Or they think he's Paul.

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I really wish all these people would see him for all he made, all that beautiful music, his rhythm guitar playing, that voice, his incredibly witty and extremely enigmatic personality, his charm and charisma, the poetry, the books, the drawings, the humor he injected into everything, his campaigns for peace which seemed so ridiculous but really impacted society in the long-run...

^ You nailed it. That's what I wish everyone would see about John Lennon.
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tkitna

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2005, 05:09:49 PM »

I think you have to take the good with the bad. I feel the majority of the people/public look at John through the positive eyes and focus on him this way -

I really wish all these people would see him for all he made, all that beautiful music, his rhythm guitar playing, that voice, his incredibly witty and extremely enigmatic personality, his charm and charisma, the poetry, the books, the drawings, the humor he injected into everything, his campaigns for peace which seemed so ridiculous but really impacted society in the long-run...

I think its fortunate that the worlds majority looks at John in this light (as I do most of the time). There is another side though that nobody seems to erect when talking about John. What about his cheating on his wife, his less than adequate fathering skills to Julian, his drug use, his fling with May Pang, his negativity in his early music? John could be a downright bastard at times (as could everybody else though). Honestly, I think John more than gets his fair share of accolades. I cant think of another musical artist that sits higher on the pedistole than John. Just something to think about.

strawb3rryfi3ldsfor3ver

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2005, 05:23:13 PM »

Quote
There is another side though that nobody seems to erect when talking about John. What about his cheating on his wife, his less than adequate fathering skills to Julian, his drug use, his fling with May Pang, his negativity in his early music? John could be a downright bastard at times (as could everybody else though).

Good point. You do have to take the good with the bad; that's all part of him. But it wasn't exactly John's big impact on the world. A lot of those things are more like, occurences in his personal life, not his work.
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An Apple Beatle

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2005, 06:03:23 PM »

Well....We only will ever know whats been published at the end of the day. Regards his cheating with May PAng, I was lead to believe that this was encouraged by Yoko....Bob Marley was at it, Nat King Cole...I mean...it normally tends to happen in show-business.

The mark he left on the world is'nt about all that anyway. Some non-Beatle fans I know have suggested that 'How can a guy with so much money sing about 'No Posessions?' That is their perception.

He just seemed to speak up about what he believed in. That is a great virtue he inspired in people. In a short time, he travelled so far. Spiritually, physically and mentally. Gotta hold on to the good things! Top fella!!! :)
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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2005, 06:34:47 PM »

Quote from: tkitna
I think you have to take the good with the bad.
I think its fortunate that the worlds majority looks at John in this light (as I do most of the time). There is another side though that nobody seems to erect when talking about John. What about his cheating on his wife, his less than adequate fathering skills to Julian, his drug use, his fling with May Pang, his negativity in his early music? John could be a downright bastard at times (as could everybody else though). Honestly, I think John more than gets his fair share of accolades. I cant think of another musical artist that sits higher on the pedistole than John. Just something to think about.


Amen. We seem to lose sight of the fact that he was a Man. Flesh, bone, blood, and sinew, just like the rest of us.  He just happened to be incredibly talented and although he didn't set out to do it, just happened to change the world in the '60s. Sometimes you have to strip all the other stuff down and look at him as a person, not on a pedestal, martyr, etc. He was an angry young man and had a right to be, he'd been through so much, and alot of that never left him. He never could understand how he, just being human, could evoke such a response, and people looking to him as a guiding force, and ironically enough, it was this love/hate adulation that cost him his life. I think he was well-intentioned and a bastard. Like you said we all have our sides. I feel especially bad for Julian, especially because whereas Sean got all the love and attention and was 'planned' John said on more than one occasion, even in the Playboy interview, that Julian was born over a bottle of booze. Babble babble.
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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2005, 10:15:49 PM »

I don't think John would really give a flying fock what anyone thought of him.
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lennonlemon

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2005, 10:17:20 PM »

Quote from: An_Apple_Beatle
Regards his cheating with May PAng, I was lead to believe that this was encouraged by Yoko....

yeah, it was
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Runforyourlife

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2005, 12:31:46 AM »

Quote from: tkitna

I think its fortunate that the worlds majority looks at John in this light (as I do most of the time). There is another side though that nobody seems to erect when talking about John. What about his cheating on his wife, his less than adequate fathering skills to Julian, his drug use, his fling with May Pang, his negativity in his early music? John could be a downright bastard at times (as could everybody else though). Honestly, I think John more than gets his fair share of accolades. I cant think of another musical artist that sits higher on the pedistole than John. Just something to think about.

 But see, all this stuff you are mentioning was made public knowledge in the mid-80s to 90s. I mean, many people do know about this stuff, and it's somehow formulated their own opinion of John. The bad thing about it is he isn't here to explain himself. He screwed up with Julian, but I don't think anyone has a right to cast stones at him. I mean, wasn't he trying to strainghten things out in the end? Had John not been killed, I am sure he and Julian would have mended all that stuff that should have been kept private in the first place. But being a celebtrity makes private matters extremely difficult, so that's another factor.

  I appreciate taking the good with the bad, but I sometimes think both sides are *sort of* poorly represented with reagrds to John, which was the poing of my post. I think people can place John too high, and I think they can disregard why he is the legend that he is. For example, you called him a bastard...but my gawd how many people in this world (and especially the famous side of it) aren't?

  The May Pang thing was another personal matter, and certainly nothing to commend. I'm aware of John's faults. I certainly think he could be a jerk and made tons of mistakes, but it saddens me when some people will focus too much on those things. It's like, you HAVE to look at the full picture. You have to see John in his entirety and what he was about to really "get" him.

 I'm not saying hs mistakes are to be taken lightly, but understand that he was human- as was mentioned above- and not blow everything up to him just being an a**hole. He was so much more and so much better than that, in my opinion.

 I'm tired so my explanation isn't working too well. I'll try later.
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tkitna

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2005, 01:08:33 AM »

Quote from: Runforyourlife

 But see, all this stuff you are mentioning was made public knowledge in the mid-80s to 90s.

Everything I mentioned was public knowledge in the 60's except for the May Pang ordeal.

Quote
He screwed up with Julian, but I don't think anyone has a right to cast stones at him. I mean, wasn't he trying to strainghten things out in the end? Had John not been killed, I am sure he and Julian would have mended all that stuff that should have been kept private in the first place. But being a celebtrity makes private matters extremely difficult, so that's another factor.

I totally agree with you that John and Julian would have cleared the air (without Yoko's intervention). I'm almost positive, but its the way that it all went down that still leaves me sour. Cynthia and Julian walking in on John and Yoko while they were in bed. Come on man. It could have definately been a little more subtle than that. (this is and has always been my biggest pet peeve with John for some reason)

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Sondra

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2005, 05:26:00 AM »

I think non-Beatles fans know almost as much about JOhn as Beatles fans. I mean, he was more than a rock star. As all the other Beatles are. They were a phenomonon so they're part of history. I mean, universities have classes about them, John's life is studied. I can't tell you how many kids all under the age of 12 at the school where I work know all about him and the rest of the guys. They pick JOhn for projects when they have to pick a hero, they use his quotes etc. When he died, the whole WORLD was shocked. Beatles fan or not. His death was treated with the same shock and sorrow that's usually reserved for world leaders. So I think he is remembered for many things, and with most people who pass you usually focus on the positives and forget the negatives.
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Mairi

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2005, 11:59:43 PM »

Because John died when he was still cutting edge (well, not exactly cutting-edge, but somewhat at least), and also because of they way he died, in a tragic slaying- not a drug overdose or suicide, which is common with so many rock stars, people tend to think of him as either a sort of god, or "that dude who sang Imagine and got shot" or at least those are my experiences.
When you read about John in books or magazines, it's either a highly praising gush-fest talking about how he had a beautiful soul (he did, I think) or someone ruthlessly ripping apart his godlike status with a bunch of negative crap.

So yes, you're right. We need to find a happy medium, but it doesn't seem like that is going to be happening any time soon.
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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2005, 12:13:22 AM »

He was man and myth. It happens to many. No offense to Bruno, but Kurt Cobain will always be regarded as something way bigger than what he was. 'In Utero' was falling down the charts pretty quickly, he beefed it, now he is the "John Lennon of that generation", I can't tell you how many times I've heard that, and in my opinion, its bunk. Was he a catalyst for Grunge and a huge change in music for the time?  No doubt, but by now his fifteen minutes would have been way up.  The myth that John and Yoko had this esoteric, perfect love is another bunch of bull, but she will always be the long-suffering widow, someone to pity. Listen to some of his final demos and released songs and tell me that they had this perfect love. Its all BS. All of this is strictly my opinion, and I don't want feathers to be ruffled. If you believe that she made him happy and his life complete, fine with me. John was a human being.
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andyec

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2005, 03:03:07 AM »

There were a million different sides of John,that's what fascinates alot of people. People know as much about him or as little about him as they want to-but it's all out there for anyone who wants to find out. It seems that there's been a book or a movie about almost every minute of his life. Every writer and every director brings their own slant to the story. Some people see only the good,some see only the bad,some try to see everything. I don't think anybody gets it exactly right,but you can watch and listen and read it all and come to your own conclusions.  He did alot of good things and alot of bad things,but the thing I will always love him for was his music. It will live with me,and many others,forever.
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sexy sadie

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2005, 12:36:27 AM »

Quote from: Mairi
Because John died when he was still cutting edge (well, not exactly cutting-edge, but somewhat at least), and also because of they way he died, in a tragic slaying- not a drug overdose or suicide, which is common with so many rock stars, people tend to think of him as either a sort of god, or "that dude who sang Imagine and got shot" or at least those are my experiences.
When you read about John in books or magazines, it's either a highly praising gush-fest talking about how he had a beautiful soul (he did, I think) or someone ruthlessly ripping apart his godlike status with a bunch of negative crap.

So yes, you're right. We need to find a happy medium, but it doesn't seem like that is going to be happening any time soon.

EXACTLY! i agree with what u said, i know just what u mean.
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Wayne L.

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2005, 03:55:36 PM »

I think some of my fellow Beatles fans have tried to turn John into a holier than thou figure after his death instead of the rock & roll rebel that he was which is sad.  
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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2005, 04:10:02 PM »

Quote from: Wayne_L.
I think some of my fellow Beatles fans have tried to turn John into a holier than thou figure after his death instead of the rock & roll rebel that he was which is sad.
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Runforyourlife

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2005, 01:50:17 AM »

Quote from: Wayne_L.
I think some of my fellow Beatles fans have tried to turn John into a holier than thou figure after his death instead of the rock & roll rebel that he was which is sad.
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Mairi

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Re: John Lennon...who?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2005, 06:03:54 AM »

^ I find that's true with everyone. Some people would label me as a moody obsessive chick who flies off the handle too easily, and some people would label me as a hyper, friendly, cheery songbird.

I don't believe in labels. Humans are too complex and can't be simplified like that.
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