Wednesday, July 13, 2005

John and Yoko

When John Lennon was alive, I confess I was one of those who despised his wife, Yoko Ono. For myself, I think it must have been because her image was so wildly contrary to John, the Beatles, the counterculture, and the My Generation thing. Of course, after John was assassinated, I had nothing but compassion for her and her children.

One of my favorite sayings is, "Mother never told me there'd be days like this," which comes from the song, "Nobody Told Me." However, the published lyrics read, "Nobody told me there'd be days like this." I'm not sure why it is imprinted in my memory with "Mother" instead of "Nobody." There must be something Freudian there.

Yesterday, while driving home from work I heard the song "Instant Karma," on the radio, which, in fact, triggered this whole blog entry! I especially love exhuberently sung the refrain:

"We all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun"

If we look at a sample of John Lennon's songs, post-Beatles--the above two, plus Imagine, Give Peace a Chance--they all have a joyfull, hopefull, exuberent feel. They embrace life. Even his complaining songs have more of the feel of a happy blues than of depressed angst.

I think it can be said that Yoko made John happy, and who can complain about a person or a marriage like that?

3 Comments:

Blogger kabloona said...

What also triggered this blog entry was that my cousin Evelyn died last week. She was the same age as I, 50. Too young to die. Her older brother Greg died years ago at the age 33. Greg had lived the Beatles. I loved Greg and Evelyn both.

"We all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun"

Life is to too short for hate.

9:38 PM  
Blogger osgood perkins said...

I think that ultimately we as fans exercise a certain ownership over our favorite artists, whether it's "appropriate" or not to do so, because their version of the world as manifested in their art reflects and enhances our own in ways we had never previously imagined. And when dealing with someone like Lennon who really did revolutionize some aspects of the collective consciousness in a way that few individuals rarely do, we have to accept that we are not alone in our unconscious need to "own" some part of them. I think what riled so many people up about Yoko was how John seemed to sign himself over to her, neglecting his first marriage and family and then of course neglecting his Beatle family. The Beatles weren't driven apart by Yoko Ono any more than they were driven apart by Paul McCartney. The Beatles, in that rare and special confluence of right place right time, became entities in and of themselves that were bigger than the continents. They held the coded keys to consciousness and sexual expansion and in the storm of all of that simply couldn't all stay lashed to the same mast. John's surrender to Yoko coincided with this shakedown and at the same time gave all of his fans reason to think that we never could have owned him at all in the first place. And we do all shine on, in our own exclusive starburst universes and sometimes being thrown off of the star that we want to ride all the way to the end can be a sad thing.

3:07 PM  
Blogger osgood perkins said...

I think that ultimately we as fans exercise a certain ownership over our favorite artists, whether it's "appropriate" or not to do so, because their version of the world as manifested in their art reflects and enhances our own in ways we had never previously imagined. And when dealing with someone like Lennon who really did revolutionize some aspects of the collective consciousness in a way that few individuals rarely do, we have to accept that we are not alone in our unconscious need to "own" some part of them. I think what riled so many people up about Yoko was how John seemed to sign himself over to her, neglecting his first marriage and family and then of course neglecting his Beatle family. The Beatles weren't driven apart by Yoko Ono any more than they were driven apart by Paul McCartney. The Beatles, in that rare and special confluence of right place right time, became entities in and of themselves that were bigger than the continents. They held the coded keys to consciousness and sexual expansion and in the storm of all of that simply couldn't all stay lashed to the same mast. John's surrender to Yoko coincided with this shakedown and at the same time gave all of his fans reason to think that we never could have owned him at all in the first place. And we do all shine on, in our own exclusive starburst universes and sometimes being thrown off of the star that we want to ride all the way to the end can be a sad thing.

3:07 PM  

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