By Hans Ebert
It’s stating the obvious to say that the Beatles were special. But to someone who decided to drop a tab of acid in his early teens for the first time not knowing what to expect, they took me on a Magical Mystery Tour.
It was a twelve hour trip to Camelot, the Wild West, where I was shot in the back during a poker game while holding a “dead man’s hand” and developed what’s known as a Wild Bill Hickock Complex. Even today, I cannot sit anywhere without my back to the wall. Hey, Bungalow Bill, indeed.
Stopping off to be Wild Bill Hickock was before going into my mother’s womb while “She’s Leaving Home” from “Sergeant Pepper’s” played on Repeat in the background for at least three hours of the journey. John’s aside came through loud and clear: “What did we do that was wrong?”
When four more eighths of your brain are suddenly opened up, prepare for the unexpected. Some never return to home base.
It was that trip which elevated the band and their music into something approaching a miracle. Their songs, especially those of John, became the soundtrack to this life. The diary. The inspiration. The direction. Getting from A to B and beyond by turning off and floating downstream.
When married to someone who came from a very strong Christian background with her own religious beliefs, mentioning that the Beatles were a miracle of life and that the songs of John were messages to the world, were kept in check. It was not something discussed over dinner. Or over anything. Not even over eggs over easy.
It was bad enough mentioning during one eventful Thanksgiving Day lunch that as far as I was concerned the disciples were probably the world’s first advertising copywriters who had created Brand Jesus in that medium known as the bible.
This didn’t go down well. Neither did mentioning that I believed Jesus, King Arthur and Julius Caesar to be the same person.
Why? All three had twelve followers. Each were betrayed by their favourite.
They had a strong woman behind them and different shaped tables -round, horizontal and vertical- played a pivotal role in so many stories about them. They weren’t King Arthur and the Knights of the Horizontal Table, okay. And the Last Supper was not held around a round table. The pursuit to be with Guinevere continues. The need to return to Camelot. To find the girl with kaleidoscope eyes.
Many years later this theory of All Is One and how they had returned to this world and fight for control of the online world was going to be made into a television mini series. But for one reason or another, this never took wings and flew. Maybe it was a daft idea.
The musical messages of John Lennon and the Beatles was something I started talking about the other day with a friend. It came about while sharing our earliest experiences taking walks on the wild side. And all we have lived through, managed to survive and accomplished. And now? And now it’s probably why we find so much of everything and so many strays we find along the way to be so damn boring. And travelling on another frequency.
We really have seen and done it all. And been with the best. What else is there to do? Send a tweet? Regress to Facebook? The way things are going…
When first hearing “Help”, it sounded like another catchy Beatles song. But then really listen to the lyrics. Imagine the song as a ballad. Like something Roy Orbison might have recorded. Was this a cry for, well, help? John’s cry for help and needing not just anybody? Was he killing time knowing that someone so completely different to his wife was going to walk into his life?
He never really was a Beatle, was he? John, that is. He always seemed detached. A stranger in a strange land. Like Bowie. Maybe that’s why they got together to write and record “Fame”. The Fame Game. It could get out of hand. It probably did.
John Lennon seemed to be waiting for something or someone to happen. Waiting to get away from Nowhere Land. Hoping like hell not to become another Nowhere Man making all their nowhere plans for nobody. Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Who was that Nowhere Man? You? Me? John? All of us? Did he see the onslaught of social media coming on stream and creating this parallel nowhere world for a generation of new nowhere people? Was he trying to free himself from it all? Everything. But when trapped inside his own self made prison called Fame? And labelled Beatlemania?
Imagine. An anthem for Peace or a sardonic look at a world that had lost its way? You decide. For me, “Imagine” has taken on an entirely new meaning over the years. It works on two levels. It’s what you want to believe. No one except John Lennon should sing this song. It belongs to him.
It’s incredible to think that four pretty average musicians would come together to do and create everything they did in seven short years. The singles. The albums. Movies. Going on tours. It was a long long way from playing strip clubs in Hamburg. How did everything change and keep evolving at such a rapid pace? Helter Skelter. When you get to the bottom, you go back to the top. Or something like that.
There was John telling the world that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. And being crucified for this. He was forced to repent. It must have killed him to do that.
They were producing experimental films before video killed the radio star.
They formed Apple and made a pact with the devil. It was Garden of Eden stuff. Think about it.
Paul left longtime girlfriend Actress Jane Asher and settled into country life with Linda.
George started embracing Eastern philosophy.
John met Yoko. John grew into being Yoko.
Always there being the paternal figure and guiding hand of (Producer) George Martin. Was he Merlin?
Meeting and then losing (manager) Brian Epstein. What would have happened if he hadn’t decided to check out? Was it because of John? I read the news today, oh, boy…Was Brian their John the Baptist?
There was the Maharishi. The music for the White Album that came from the time in India. Sexy Sadie. Dear Prudence. Glass Onion. Savoy Truffle.
That small circle of confidantes. Derek Taylor. Mal Evans. Neil Aspinall. Especially Derek Taylor.
All this in seven years. Or was it much less than that? Were they and others just keeping the Dream alive? And then suddenly John was gone. His last hit single: “Starting Over”.
But this time, starting again has been very different. One dream is over and the new one isn’t much good. John Lennon saw the end of Richard Nixon. Nixon was Mordred and Pontius Pilate. He was also Milhouse.
Today, there’s a madman in the White House. He’s not going anywhere no matter what anyone says. We wait THREE YEARS for some mediocre music that we try to tell ourselves is good. It’s mostly crap.
We reminisce way too much. We start believing our own bullshit. This “social media” caravan of gypsies has taken the world backwards. We’ve landed in some bottomless pit of clutter and ignorance. Heroes have gone. Forever. There’s everybody and nowhere out there.
The Dream may not be over. But it’s hard to believe that it’s still alive.
#Beatles #Lennon #music #life