Saturday, September 19, 2009


I still love John Lennon and the Beatles. Call me an unrepentant hippie, call me a geezer and a baby boomer (though I'm on the young side of that bulge), call me a damn peace freak and a lefty liberal (and proud of it) call me anything you want, but I'm still a fan of the Fab Four. Not that you asked, but my favorite Beatle was always John. When I discovered this film of him recording the "Imagine" album I flipped.

"Imagine" was the first--and only--number one pop song to ask people to imagine a world without religion and countries and possessions. "Nothing to kill or die for, above us only sky." In spite of the beautiful melody, Lennon remained the rabble rouser. No wonder Richard Nixon and his coven of Republican warmongers tried to have him deported. (Check out the documentary, The U.S. vs. John Lennon). If some deranged nut hadn't killed him, I'm sure John would still be fighting for peace and justice, and not like some dull peacenik but with all the wise-cracking wit and talent at his command--and he'd still be making great music. Imagine a world without hand guns. It's easy if you try.

"Gimme Some Truth" by John Lennon

I'm sick and tired of hearing things

From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, son of Tricky Dicky
Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocketful of hope
Money for dope
Money for rope

I'm sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, mama's little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now

Lennon didn't pull any punches. He didn't candy-coat his message. From the moment he first stepped into the Ed Sullivan studio, through the touring Beatle years and the studio Beatle years, through the solo albums, and the times he was hounded by the FBI for being an anti-war protester, to the moment he was killed outside the Dakota Hotel, John Lennon represented truth. Raw, un-processed, un-auto-tuned truth. People might want to strip him of his crankiness, his lefty politics, his fierce honesty, and make him into a simple hitmaker, but that's missing the point.

"Isolation" by John Lennon

No comments: