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Lennon Was All Right, but His Disciples Were Thick and Ordinary
Pajamas Media ^ | October 24, 2010 | Jeff Durstewitz

Posted on 10/24/2010 8:28:39 AM PDT by Kaslin

The song that unshook the world — and that the Lennon tributes forgot.

(John Lennon) criticized America’s involvement in Vietnam, and, as the Sixties progressed, he became an increasingly important symbol of the burgeoning counterculture.

— Veteran rock music journalist Anthony DeCurtis, on the website JohnLennon.com, 10/8/10.

As a staunch Lennonist, I was tickled to get a letter some years back from a rich lefty friend that included a photo of him sitting with “John” in Havana. Well, he wasn’t really with John himself, since the ex-Beatle was long dead at that point. But he was sitting next to the famous “Imagine” statue of John on a park bench in the Cuban capital. My friend had a wicked grin on his face — he knew I’d hate to see evidence that he was fraternizing in some sense with the old red butcher Castro.

As I considered the picture, I thought: “Cute, but guess what would happen to any Cuban caught singing the lyrics to Lennon’s best song?” We might all differ as to what was his best song, but to me it was “Revolution 1,” usually just called “Revolution.”

When the Beatles’ “White Album” came out in late 1968, the world seemed almost literally to be coming apart at the seams. Against the backdrop of a big, increasingly unpopular war in Southeast Asia, riots, assassinations, and strikes had become commonplace and upheaval was the order of the day. The young, in particular, were on the march, trying to “kick out the jams” as the gritty Detroit band MC5 urged, and to end not only “the” war in Vietnam, but the very idea of war. Many of the young were in the thrall of a potent millennialism as well: In this “Age of Aquarius” there’d be not only no war, but no want, no racism … not even bad vibes. Nothing but bliss — whether of the drug-induced or self-induced variety, no one much cared. But how to achieve this exalted state of consciousness the young seemed to sense was really just around the corner?

For some, the answer was Lenin. The new age wouldn’t just birth itself, so there would have to be some rough stuff — knocking heads before you could cradle them, as the top Bolshevik himself had said — to bring its benefits to mankind.

But then a funny thing happened: Lenin met Lennon at the height of the world-shaking ructions of 1968, and Lennon won. On the first track of the fourth side of the white double album actually named “The Beatles,” he sang:

“You say you want a revolution … well, you know — we all want to save the world.”

John was basically sympathetic to those who sought to rock things — he was, after all, perhaps the quintessential rocker — but he wanted a little more information before signing off on the head-knocking program.

“You say you’ve got a real solution … well, you know — we’d all love to see the plan.”

If the revolutionaries wanted a contribution from him, which many of them undoubtedly did, John reminded them: “We’re all doing what we can.” But he knew that a gentle reproof wasn’t going to be enough, so rather than leave any doubt he put the hammer (and sickle) down:

“But if you want money for people with minds that hate. … All I can tell you is brother you have to wait.” Why? Because ultimately, “it’s gonna be all right.”

The potent words stopped the would-be bomb-throwers in their tracks. Not all of them, of course — late 1968 and the ensuing years would have more than their share of violence. But this song, coming as it did at the height of the Beatles’ almost unimaginable global popularity and influence, certainly exerted a calming influence on many of John’s young adherents — which is to say, a good part of the baby boom generation. If you were 17 then, as I was, and wondering which direction to take (a bright friend of mine in high school was planning to skip college in favor of training among the proles for “the revolution”), you suddenly had a sensible message from John Lennon, of all people, to go by: “Violence isn’t the way to bring about positive change. Don’t let yourself be swept into madness by people with little red books.”

Those words weren’t actually in the song, of course. And, in a typically Lennonesque twist, he also sang “and in” after “ but when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out” in the first verse. But the rest of the song made the real message clear.

Everyone got it, except perhaps my lefty friend on his “Sandalista” pilgrimage to Havana. Did he ever stop to think about what might happen to any Cuban caught singing words like “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow”? Probably not.

Nor did any of the Lennon retrospectives I saw this month in commemoration of what would have been his 70th birthday play or talk about the song that may well have kept some blood from flowing in the streets in 1968 and thereafter. Don’t worry, though. As John himself said: “Don’t you know it’s gonna be … all right.”


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: beatles; johnlennon

1 posted on 10/24/2010 8:28:40 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Drugs, drugs, and more drugs. Delusion - Yoko [Exhibit A, your honor]. Drugs, drugs, Ravi Shankar, Buddah, Hari Krishna hey, hey, hey......finally? More drugs, drugs and drugs......please!


2 posted on 10/24/2010 8:34:57 AM PDT by Gaffer ("Profiling: The only profile I need is a chalk outline around their dead ass!")
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To: Kaslin

Interesting story.

But EVERY liberal has the same fantasy — that THEY get to control everyone else.

Conservatives want to control their lives and their businesses.

Liberals want to control YOUR life and YOUR business.

Period.

Oh, and liberals love to tax, regulate, and destroy in order to transfer wealth to themselves when they can’t do it on their own.


3 posted on 10/24/2010 8:36:27 AM PDT by whitedog57
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To: Kaslin

Lennon was also an avid drug addict which could also explain his strange political thinking.

If he were alive today and on FR, he would be IMO on libertarian threads talking about how great legalizing pot would be for America.


4 posted on 10/24/2010 8:37:51 AM PDT by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Kaslin

Rumor has it that John Lennon was at a NFL MNF game in the early 70’s and was tutored on the finer points of the American game by Ronald Reagan.

Apparently both got along quite well.

One wonders if Lennon had a change of heart on his political leaning once he hit his late 30’s.


5 posted on 10/24/2010 8:47:13 AM PDT by Le Chien Rouge
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Comment #6 Removed by Moderator

To: Le Chien Rouge
Lennon was becoming less leftist before his death. His thoughts on how poverty was being dealt with a few month before his death showed he didn't believe liberal ideas to solve it he used to believe in were working.
7 posted on 10/24/2010 8:54:39 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: Kaslin

Heh.. I got the “White Album” at Christmastime in 1968. Played it a zillion times and still have it. I always liked the rocking single version of Revolution (which had come out prior to, and wasn’t on the white album) much better than the slow, album version.


8 posted on 10/24/2010 8:56:23 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Kaslin

“The young, in particular, were on the march, trying to ‘kick out the jams’ as the gritty Detroit band MC5 urged, and to end not only ‘the’ war in Vietnam, but the very idea of war.”

Those who won’t fight for their freedom - including war - will live as slaves. Sadly, a huge number of leftist useful idiots choose the latter.


9 posted on 10/24/2010 8:58:14 AM PDT by piytar (There is evil. There is no such thing as moderate evil. Never forget.)
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To: Le Chien Rouge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds82Id_GMe8


10 posted on 10/24/2010 9:00:16 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Kaslin

It’s hard to take seriously someone who sings about having no possessions yet moved into a $10 million dollar penthouse overlooking Central Park to avoid paying taxes in his home country


11 posted on 10/24/2010 9:11:32 AM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Gaffer

Exactly. Lennon was a jerk.


12 posted on 10/24/2010 9:17:42 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin/Hunter 2012 -- Bolton their Secretary of State)
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To: qam1

Good point!


13 posted on 10/24/2010 9:19:29 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin/Hunter 2012 -- Bolton their Secretary of State)
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To: qam1
It’s hard to take seriously someone who sings about having no possessions yet moved into a $10 million dollar penthouse overlooking Central Park to avoid paying taxes in his home country

Commune dormitories for thee, a penthouse for me.

The usual left wing elitist assumption.
14 posted on 10/24/2010 9:34:40 AM PDT by Nepeta
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To: qam1
I may be wrong about this, but I believe it was that blatant hypocrisy that drove Mark David Chapman to hate him so much.

One of the DJs on a New York City classic rock station once noted how he used to see Lennon driving around Manhattan in his $200,000+ Bentley.

15 posted on 10/24/2010 9:38:54 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark.")
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To: Kaslin

John Lennon never should have been born.


16 posted on 10/24/2010 9:46:56 AM PDT by macquire
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To: Kaslin

I was never impressed by lennon or his no talent wife.


17 posted on 10/24/2010 9:52:44 AM PDT by Americanexpat
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To: Le Chien Rouge

I’ve heard that Lennon was an admirer of Ronald Reagan. I don’t know if it’s true.

This article is wrong. In an alternate version of Revolution on the same album, Lennon sings “when you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out - in”.

Lennon spend the last years of his life doped up in the Dakota.


18 posted on 10/24/2010 9:59:04 AM PDT by ReluctantDragon
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To: Kaslin

*Bump*


19 posted on 10/24/2010 10:00:16 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Kaslin
Photobucket
20 posted on 10/24/2010 10:55:10 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Lancey Howard

Interesting. Lennon seems so much different in that clip with Cosell then the way the he has always been portrayed.


21 posted on 10/24/2010 12:10:33 PM PDT by BBell
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To: Kaslin

Does this mean I have to change my tagline?


22 posted on 10/24/2010 3:19:21 PM PDT by AZLiberty (Yes, Mr. Lennon, I do want a revolution.)
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