Thursday, May 21, 2009

Keep On Playing those MIND GAMES forever...
...it would be safe to say this post mentions John Lennon...
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After the Beatles broke up in 1970, I didn't really miss them all that much. How can I say that? Simple...I had all of their records by then. I remember getting psyched up for the school day by playing "The Early Beatles", the Capitol album that featured "Twist And Shout", and I found that to be as real and compelling as much of the other, newer stuff I'd play. I still have that Very Same Record today, and I didn't really care if it was recorded in 'Duophonic' or 'Real Stereo' or 'Simulated Stereo'; all I knew was, it sounded good to me. After the Beatles broke up, John Lennon had a hit with a song titled "Mind Games", which I thought was 'okaay' at the time; it wasn't my favorite tune, but these days, the song Really Impresses Me. It's even more direct than "Imagine"; it encourages us all to Lift Up the Barriers, to find peace within ourselves, as well as with our fellow human beings.
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Today, I read an online article which mentioned Yoko Ono, 'Keeper of the flame', as far as John Lennon's memory is concerned. Or is she concerned for herself, 'cos she wants to continue to make 'appearances' which are 'provocative' in nature, since she is still a sort of confrontational-conceptual artiste (or something like that)? But even I, who thot I'd seen everything and knew everything about The Beatles, was SHOCKED to learn that Yoko Ono actually put a Paper Sack on exhibit recently. Not just any Paper Sack, though...this was the bloody sack in which she'd received John Lennon's clothing from the NYPD, containing the blood-soaked clothing he was wearing the night he got shot. And she put it on EXHIBITION. That's when my jaw fell open in a most stupefying manner. I couldn't believe what I'd just read. Before she met Lennon, Yoko was a sort-of 'event artist' who sought to inflame, provoke and outrage people, something she continued to do after she'd met Lennon, something she's still doing now.
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(Insert Old Joke Here:)
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Q: What Does Yoko Ono have in common with an Anteater?
A: They both make a living off of Dead Beatles.
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This isn't the first time she's done something like this. Back in 1981, and maybe it seemed justified back then; after all, she was a New Widow...she released an album titled "Season Of Glass", and on the front cover were Lennon's Bloody Glasses next to a half-empty (or half-full, if you're thinking about joining the Peace Corps) glass of water. And when she ran out of Lennon items she could safely put on album covers, she resorted to old images of Lennon. For instance, a picture of his "Ghost" is seen alongside Yoko and Sean, John's son, as they cavort in Central Park. Is this "huckstering", or does she have good reason to do Stuff Like This? And even if 90% of her believes that somehow by keeping John's memory alive, that she is doing a good and noble thing, I wonder if the other 10% of her thinks, "the more I associate myself with John's Memory, the more important people will think I am, so I've gotta do stuff like this now and then." Well, I don't have a picture of the bloody sack full of bloody clothing, but here's a couple of examples of Yoko's work. Would you want someone to remember you like this?
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Above left, the photo of John's bloody glasses, pictured on the cover of Yoko's 1981 album, "Season of Glass". At the time, I thought, "maybe it's justified; she needs to let her grief come through." It's not the easiest album to hear. In one song, "I Don't Know Why", she rants and raves, calling the forces that took John away, "bastards"...and that's after the song begins with GUNSHOTS. I wouldn't exactly refer to this as easy-listening music, unless you're INSANE. If it was her intent to shock and provoke, she did accomplish that. Maybe she wanted the entire world to feel as horrible as she must have felt back then, not long after Lennon's murder. And that was a time where All of us felt horrible. I remember feeling shock and DOOM...
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But, in 1983, on the back cover of her "It's Alright" album (above right), there's Yoko and Sean, next to Lennon's Ghost. And that's where I began thinking that She Needs Lennon's Image and Legacy so people will give her High Regard. Or Some Regard. And she continues to travel 'round the globe, making pronouncements of peace everywhere, and I don't know what to think about all of that. Except, she's got money, she's got fame (well, notoreity, actually), but I'm wondering if anyone, anyone at all, Sees Yoko As Some Kind Of Positive Beacon Of Light Blessing Us All With Her Visions Of Peace. I don't think I see her like that. Nowadays, when I see an article featuring Yoko, I just kinda think, "oh, no". And the memory of John Lennon recedes further and further away all the time, slipping, slipping into the far reaches of the distant past...
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Anyone who was alive when Lennon's murder went down has seen the picture in which he is actually Signing a copy of the "Double Fantasy" album for the guy that later shot him. The photo just above, from what I can tell, is John as he continued on toward his limousine after signing the album, and if so, this is the last-ever picture taken of him alive. Later on, the New York Post actually published a photo of Lennon in the MORGUE. That was horrible! What kind of creatures are we? But in the end, maybe I'm no better than Yoko or anyone else who's used Lennon's image to make a point, because I did Just That Here. And what's the point? Somehow we all need to look past his senseless murder, and remember him alive, vital, and as THE founding member of the most influential musical group, EVER. In the end, though, Time becomes the great equalizer. In another hundred years, will anyone think of him at all? Perhaps as a footnote in some cyber-textbook? The fact remains that he was taken from us all. And that's sad. And every time I hear a Beatles/Lennon song, I think about what happened to him. That doesn't change. But as the music plays, the feeling recedes, so that's good...
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Well, THIS post got heavy all of a sudden, didn't it? All right, I'll try to end things here on a more positive note. This next little thing coming up brings back a whole lotsa memories...
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I found something really cool on Ebay, recently...a photograph of the Same Exact Model of Record Player that I had, back in 1968, when I got a copy of "Sgt. Pepper" for my birthday. Here it is, folks, the ultimate in Stereo Technology back in the late '60s; may I introduce the General Electric "Mustang 200" Stereo Phonograph...
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What was really neat about this little unit, is that you could flip the turntable up and lock it in place, and the speakers attached to each side, so that you could carry it like a suitcase. The Gizmo above the turntable held a short-stack of albums in place, which would drop down one by one when the preceding side was done. Ah, memories...

2 Comments:

Blogger MarmiteToasty said...

I never did and still dont like yoko...... I think she has been for years...... maybe its cos really she is just a 'no body' without John around...

I remember those record players, well, I didnt have one of course but me sister did :).....

x

3:40 PM  
Blogger some guy who blogs said...

Hiya, Marmee! You are my most Dedicated Reader. I am actually trying to buy one of those record players on Ebay. Those old phono's actually sounded pretty good, considering how it's old technology.

Yoko always 'exploited' things; and she's exploited Lennon for the past however-many years. Yoko has always wanted to appear important. I think she could have been much more subtle, and perhaps she'd be more respected. Thing is, John really loved her. And I believe she dominated him. Sad, really...

11:58 PM  

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