This is old news now, but some may not know it. John Lennon’s incredible 1971 interview with Rolling Stone magazine is available as a free podcast download from the Apple iStore. Over three hours in length, John speaks candidly (and shockingly) about his relationship with Paul, the life and death of Brian Epstein, his experiences with drugs, his feelings about music, his feelings about Yoko and his plans for the future, which were sadly to go unrealised. Occurring only shortly after the release of his greatest album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, John was still employing the psychological techniques that he had learned with Dr Arthur Janov, the net result of which was a brutal, scathing honesty. Declaring Paul’s music to be pathetic and the Beatles in general to be utter garbage, John proceeds to alienate everybody who might have counted themselves amongst his former friends. Uncomfortable at times, and nothing short of genius at others, I encourage anybody who is interested in John Lennon to have a listen.
In the meantime, the following is an amateur recording by the fourteen-year old Jerry Levitan, who gained access into John’s hotel room in 1969. With artwork by James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina, the short film produced is as entertaining as it is provocative:
And as for the lesser Beatles, the upcoming third wedding of Sir Paul McCartney inspired me to look through the interwebs, and I was most shocked to discover a disclosure of his, when speaking with Uncut Magazine back in 2004. Are you ready for it? “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was about LSD! While I couldn’t find the interview in question, BBC News commented upon it here. There’s a whole lot of the usual nonsense (cannabis, heroin, cocaine … smoking tea?), but you’ll find the relevant information in the fifth paragraph. And to think: all these years, I have been completely defending their continued insistence that it had nothing to do with LSD at all, like an absolute idiot.
I mean, they made no excuses for the fact that “Yellow Subarine” was about smoking cannabis, nor that “Doctor Robert” was about the man from whom they had obtained acid in the first place, so it seemed reasonable to assume that if they were going to insist that a particular song was not about drugs, then surely it was not. And now it turns out that they were lying all along. I feel scandalised.