Thinking the Unthinkable About John Lennon - Lester Bangs

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Reading that makes me mourn Bangs' passing moreso than Lennon's...

Edward III (edward iii), Thursday, 8 December 2005 17:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

He'd have said, "Why the fuck are they singing a song by that cunt McCartney?"

haha OTM!

musically (musically), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:21 (8 years ago) Permalink

Its a good article. I have no doubt people are mourning something they never had here. That's pretty normal behaviour, isn't it? The minute something is gone we romanticise it - that isn't unique to John Lennon.
I'm not sure that it was just memories that people were mourning, but futures. While he lived, there was some link to a vague dream of the past - even if it was one he'd long since given up on, there was still some hope that something vaguely realised in the past could become something brighter for the future. Whether he chose to symbolise that or not, he had it chosen for him. Even if, had the Revolution finally come, a lot of those ex-liberals would have run to hide behind their Ronald Reagan bumper stickers.

Weirder still that people like me who never knew him can feel sad about this. Bangs is right - its feeling sad for something I never even experienced... but then the things we never experienced are quite often the things we feel saddest about.

And, yes, he probably would have said that.

hobart paving (hobart paving), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

greil marcus's obit was pretty good too. this last paragraph is ironic for so many reasons:

four days after john lennon was shot, when i woke up to find beatle music off the radio and the story off the front page, that process by which the mind struggles with a fact it will not accept was still working. i scanned the front page again, to see if i'd missed anything; i ran the radio dial across the stations. nothing. does this mean, i thought, that it's over? that he's not dead anymore?

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

You know, listening to a radio tribute now made me remember connecting with them back when this happened. I think Lester was being jaded here.

I don't think McLuhan would have said that there was anything wrong with the Lennon murder as a galvanizing media event. So what if people romanticized the sixties? So what if people never knew John Lennon personally?

And so fucking what if people wanted to go into the streets and sing fucking "Hey Jude?"

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:42 (8 years ago) Permalink

J.O.L. 1940-1980

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

And so fucking what if people wanted to go into the streets and sing fucking "Hey Jude?"

Because it gets annoying.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:48 (8 years ago) Permalink

if ppl had been completely indifferent to lennon's death, lester would've written something about how awful it was that his generation had become so cynical and heartless.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:50 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well I think Lester (and music critics) realize that writing a piece about "how appropriately everyone is acting regarding the situation and gee it's swell!" wouldn't be as interesting.

musically (musically), Thursday, 8 December 2005 18:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

Ned, maybe it gets annoying now, but I don't see why it was annoying in the immediate aftermath of the murder.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 19:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

And so fucking what if people wanted to go into the streets and sing fucking "Hey Jude?"
Because it gets annoying.

-- Ned Raggett (ne...), December 8th, 2005.

I've yet to see anyone do this in Birmingham, but if they did, I don't think it would make me too angry.

hobart paving (hobart paving), Thursday, 8 December 2005 19:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well, seances don't really bring back the spirits of the dead, do they?

Wait – scratch that. I shudder at what evil was unleashed when thousands of people sang "Hey Jude" outside the Dakota. Pipes of Peace and "We All Stand Together," perhaps?

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 8 December 2005 19:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

If anyone's looking for me tonight, I'm going to be standing outside of the Dakota singing "Freedom" at the top of my lungs.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Thursday, 8 December 2005 19:26 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think Lester was being jaded here.
-- Tim Ellison (thefriendlyfriendlybubbl...), December 8th, 2005.

Well, he admits as much in the piece.

Lennon's death was a public event; in that sense, it belongs to everybody. Bangs' reaction is rational, clear-eyed, and refreshing.

So what if people romanticized the sixties?

People should view things with a little objective clarity. The magical thinking that permeates our culture is bad enough as it is.

Edward III (edward iii), Thursday, 8 December 2005 19:59 (8 years ago) Permalink

When people gather as such to sing songs the rule should be that they're each required to sing a different song.

TRG (TRG), Thursday, 8 December 2005 20:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

It would of been a lot cooler if they would have sang "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)".

darin (darin), Thursday, 8 December 2005 20:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

or "My Mummy's Dead"

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 8 December 2005 20:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

Even cooler if they changed the words to "John Lennon's Dead"

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 8 December 2005 20:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

"People should view things with a little objective clarity."

Well, OF COURSE, but you can have a little objecitve clarity on romanticizations without just suggesting that they're all a bunch of crap and people should just GET FUCKING REAL.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 20:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well, seances don't really bring back the spirits of the dead, do they?

YACHT ROCK, BABY

ZR (teenagequiet), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

In contrast.

The Beatles may still be revered, but is John Lennon's music and message of peace resonating with young people today - 25 years after his death?

YAWN.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:04 (8 years ago) Permalink

Who's singing Hey Jude in their head RIGHT NOW?

moley, Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:05 (8 years ago) Permalink

Every time they cover John Lennon these days, it's always a clip for 'Imagine' or 'Give Peace a Chance' that they play - then of course there is the mildly repellant footage of a hirsuite John and Yoko in bed for peace.

moley, Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

And their still doing it today.

They're.

Learn how to write, asshole.

Fearless Dawg, Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

On BET they use "Woman is the Nigger of the World."

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

Suck it up-I typed it up myself from the book a long time ago since it's nowhere to be found online. I hope that little typo didn't throw the whole thing out of whack.

musically (musically), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:17 (8 years ago) Permalink

I would like to see a group of mourners outside the Dakota with candles singing "Run For Your Life."

A|ex P@reene (Pareene), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

If they're taking requests, I'd like to hear "Mr. Roboto."

n/a (Nick A.), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

Thanks, musically.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:34 (8 years ago) Permalink

Domo Arigato, Dr. Morboto.

k/l (Ken L), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

From that piece Ned linked to:

"If you talk to anybody in a proper band now they will count Lennon as an influence - or at the very least as someone they respect"
Q editor Paul Rees

If you don't like Lennon you ain't proper!

Also:

"When you look at Lennon, especially in the later years of his life, he was as famous for his campaigning as he was for his music.

"This generation of musicians are angry about different issues, but they've carried on that aspect of his personality" sez Julian Marshall, news editor, NME.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

John Lennon: inventor of music and political thought.

musically (musically), Thursday, 8 December 2005 21:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

Well, OF COURSE, but you can have a little objecitve clarity on romanticizations without just suggesting that they're all a bunch of crap and people should just GET FUCKING REAL.

-- Tim Ellison (thefriendlyfriendlybubbl...), December 8th, 2005.

I'd say the Bangs piece is a bit more eloquent and thoughtful than that.

Edward III (edward iii), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

i think the iconizing of Lennon as eternally cynical and sneering is just as dumb as the alternative.

kyle (akmonday), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:02 (8 years ago) Permalink

"I'd say the Bangs piece is a bit more eloquent and thoughtful than that."

I wasn't suggesting that it isn't. I like Lester a lot. But there was a galvanizing moment when Lennon was killed and I don't understand the IMMEDIATE inclination to calling people singing "Hey Jude" in the streets lame.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

And cheap cynicism about cheap sentiment is ironic.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:13 (8 years ago) Permalink

Anyone who stands in a street singing "Hey Jude" is lame though. How stupid would you have to be?

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

and I don't understand the IMMEDIATE inclination to calling people singing "Hey Jude" in the streets lame.

I wish some psycho would have put on a Beach Boys shirt and suicide-bombed the whole thing.

recovering optimist (Royal Bed Bouncer), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:15 (8 years ago) Permalink

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (CNN) -- Tens of thousands of Elvis Presley fans swarmed outside Graceland overnight for a candlelight vigil to mark the 20th anniversary of his death and celebrate the growing legacy of the "king of rock 'n' roll."

After a brief silent prayer, the crowd locked hands and swayed in unison as they sang "Can't Help Falling in Love." A sea of candles lit up the Memphis boulevard named after the singing legend. Impersonators dressed in glittering jumpsuits with slick-backed hair wept, as did countless others.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:22 (8 years ago) Permalink

well, but it is a bit lame, for several already-cited reasons, and that Lennon himself would have thought so is worth pointing out. One does no honor to the dead by canonizing them, since saints are lifeless conduits for others' dreams of themselves.

Banana Nutrament (ghostface), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

And all those people there all thought that John Lennon was, unequivocally, a saint? They were all deluding themselves completely? They were all living vicariously through a lame myth?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

And cheap cynicism about cheap sentiment is ironic

???? does that mean that because i hate 'the scientist' by coldplay i'm being 'ironic'? maybe i'm missing the point i dunno.

john and yoko = chris and gwynnie

that's progress folks. musicians are little more than the sum of their neuroses. it's all dick. all of us, all of you. nothing means nothing. ppl blubbing over some right place/right time mediocrity (sorry, Cultural Icon) is as sick as this ch4 documentary lionizing Mark Chapman. is this jaded enough for you?

*runs for cover*

john clarkson, Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

x-post -- I wouldn't be surprised.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

Ned - In Vino Veritas indeed - the phantom thread killer strikes again lol...

john clarkson, Thursday, 8 December 2005 22:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

"does that mean that because i hate 'the scientist' by coldplay i'm being 'ironic'?"

No. The equation was: cheap cynicism decrying what is perceived to be cheap sentiment = ironic.

People, I agree that the stuff gets tiring. But when John Lennon is murdered somewhere across town I understand the impetus to run there - as though you could somehow change it.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 23:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

I don't understand that impetus. I think that to go there and sing "Hey Jude" makes you a twat.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 8 December 2005 23:19 (8 years ago) Permalink

They didn't really sing "Hey Jude", did they? Even most non-fans would know he didn't write that song.

darin (darin), Thursday, 8 December 2005 23:27 (8 years ago) Permalink

TWAT = Totally Wiggy About TheBeatles!

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 8 December 2005 23:28 (8 years ago) Permalink

Hey, if you enjoy it, who gives a duck's dick what anyone else thinks. Twatness is relative. And you all might as well be related. Know what I mean?

Fearless Dawg (The New Troll In Town), Thursday, 8 December 2005 23:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

Nudge nudge.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 8 December 2005 23:29 (8 years ago) Permalink

TWAT = Totally Wiggy About TheBeatles!

ha ha!

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 8 December 2005 23:46 (8 years ago) Permalink

ILM: Where people get upset over other people getting upset over someone else's loss.

darin (darin), Friday, 9 December 2005 00:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

People who went to CBGB when they thought it was about to close, even though they didn't like the bands playing that night, C/D?

nickn (nickn), Friday, 9 December 2005 00:57 (8 years ago) Permalink

I appreciate you typing this up for us. This was always one of my favorite Bangs pieces.

I was 14 when Lennon was shot, and pretty extremely bummed out. But even though I had a lot of Beatles albums at the time, I still hadn't figured out that different guys wrote different songs. So go easy on the "Hey Jude" singers, music geeks. I doubt many of them were the types to read songwriting credits.

sleeve (sleeve), Friday, 9 December 2005 01:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

One does no honor to the dead by canonizing them, since saints are lifeless conduits for others' dreams of themselves.

take that, catholicism!

i'm pretty much with tim on this whole thread.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 9 December 2005 04:41 (8 years ago) Permalink

I'm surprised that none of this didn't come up late in the third quarter of last Monday night's Seattle/Philly game.

Pleasant Plains /// (Pleasant Plains ///), Friday, 9 December 2005 05:07 (8 years ago) Permalink

I think it's at least arguable that Lennon cultdom is worse than just silly because it tends to convince people who are smoking a lot of pot and spouting platitudes that they are contributing meaningfully to political change. Give peace a chance - the peace of material comfort and self-satisfaction. But then I guess it's also arguable that most of those people wouldn't otherwise be contributing much to political change anyway.

*Jazz Douchebag* Berman (Hurting), Friday, 9 December 2005 05:08 (8 years ago) Permalink

No, I wish I didn't even put that last part in, because it does bother me. It's part of a pervasive cheapening of political thought and oversimplification of political action - the same kind of magical thinking that convinces people that Rosa Parks started a revolution because her legs sho' were tired!

*Jazz Douchebag* Berman (Hurting), Friday, 9 December 2005 05:09 (8 years ago) Permalink

Maybe it's just me, but I think we all ought to be a little bit sad when anyone is fucking gunned down in cold blood, Lennon or not. Say what you will about the man, but give those that feel something here the chance to remember, that's really all.

jim wentworth (wench), Friday, 9 December 2005 06:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

say what you will...but paul and george wrote WAY better songs during the beatles and none of john's solo shit even touches "ram" or "all things must pass" or "walking on thin ice" for that matter...stay dead fucker

pauldaywillcome, Friday, 9 December 2005 07:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

whoa, easy there hard charger.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Friday, 9 December 2005 07:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

i was so bummed when i read this and realized it wasn't about lester bangs and john lennon "getting it on"

corey c (shock of daylight), Friday, 9 December 2005 07:49 (8 years ago) Permalink

"ram" may be the worst album even remotely related to any beatle i have ever heard.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Friday, 9 December 2005 08:25 (8 years ago) Permalink

No, I wish I didn't even put that last part in, because it does bother me. It's part of a pervasive cheapening of political thought and oversimplification of political action - the same kind of magical thinking that convinces people that Rosa Parks started a revolution because her legs sho' were tired!
-- *Jazz Douchebag* Berman (Hurtingchie...), December 9th, 2005.

Okay first off, fuckface, should Rosa have stood up and taken a seat in the back to appease your idea of what political action is cuz you go to college with guys who have Bob Marley posters on their wall and it totally pisses you off that they think they know what "standing up for your rights" is all about but you're smarter than them because you read a Neitzche book once?

You don't really care about politics, you just care that other people say they do. Oh, and the last part you said was outright racist.

In conclusion, you make me tired.

Oh my ogd?, Friday, 9 December 2005 08:41 (8 years ago) Permalink

Um, no.

Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus because she was part of a massive well organized civil rights campaign. Maybe you should read a book once.

*Jazz Douchebag* Berman (Hurting), Friday, 9 December 2005 08:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

I understand that you misunderstood my post. Try harder before you fly off the handle. Dipshit.

*Jazz Douchebag* Berman (Hurting), Friday, 9 December 2005 08:47 (8 years ago) Permalink

lester's original thing reads charmingly dated like mailer on JFK or something equally anachronistic. "lived on the existential edge"

yesterday on WNYC a news report about the lennon anniversary said that "dozens" of tribute-payers had gathered in central park. sorta sad in a way but fitting too. time passes despite our best efforts.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Friday, 9 December 2005 11:10 (8 years ago) Permalink

This appeared accompanied by a Lowry illustration after the ‘Twist And Shout’ EP cover. Balloon above a leaping George Harrison’s head: “Have you heard all that hippy bullshit about rock being the method of communication with the masses of young people who revolutionary consciousness is going to change the world? It’s a load of bollocks.” Balloon above a jumping Lennon’s head: “No, but whistle the tune and I’ll see if I can remember it!”

New Musical Express, 5 December, 1981

So how do you commemorate the anniversary of Lennon’s death?

TWIST! AND SHOUT!

John Lennon anniversary tribute: Dig out your yellowing copies of the Liverpool Echo, Tuesday December 9, 1980 (JOHN LENNON SHOT DEAD), Manchester Evening News (BEATLE LENNON SHOT DEAD) or local evening paper of your choice, Daily Mirror dated December 10 (DEATH OF A HERO), your souvenir commemorative tie, badge, bust and ashtray, your copies of ‘Double Fantasy’, ‘Imagine’, ‘Plastic Ono Band’, etc.; even your John Lennon, the Life and Death of a Legend and John Lennon, the Life and Legend, Sunday Times special tribute, and situate all these in appropriately reverential position around your room. Place copy of ‘Beatles for Sale’, on turntable, turn volume control to the highest level you can get away with and lower stylus onto track four, side one: ‘Rock And Roll Music’. Forget that “rock” is “dead”. Listen.

Der-dang-a-dang!

“JUST LET ME HEAR SOME OF THAT ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC,
ANY OLD WAY YOU CHOOSE IT,
IT’S GOT A BACK BEAT YOU CAN’T BLUES IT
ANY OLD TIME YOU USE IT,
GOTTA BE ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC
IF YOU WANNA DANCE WITH ME!
IF YOU WANNA DANCE WITH ME!”

If you are not totally convinced, this far into the track, that this is the most exciting, the greatest recorded performance you have ever heard in your life, then I would venture to suggest that your aesthetic criteria are sadly in need of a good kick in the ass. Of course, there are plenty other Greatest Recorded Performances, but we’re considering John Lennon here tonight, y’hear?

Play the track again. If you’re not feeling good by now, go and see a doctor. Play it one more time. If you’re not grinning stupidly by now and walking into walls, it’s too late for the doctor to help you; go and see an undertaker. Wash your hands and face while considering the following:

“I GOT NO KICK AGAINST MODERN JAZZ,
UNLESS THEY TRY TO PLAY IT TOO DARN FAST,
AND LOST THE BEAUTY OF THE MELODY,
UNTIL IT SOUNDS JUST LIKE A SYMPHONY,
THAT’S WHY I GO FOR THAT ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC!”

Comb your hair, or spray with tangerine-flake and oven cleaner or fix with Araldite and fuse wire should you desire – whenever you do to make yourself (un)presentable to the outside world. Get inside of the nearest public house stocking bottled Carlsberg beverages. Drink a lot of these in rapid succession until you start listing floorwards. Rush home before oblivion intrudes. Fumble ‘Beatles for Sale’, track four, side one, back onto turntable and play continuously until the neighbours cut up rough, the fire brigade calls, or sleep descends – having trashed all newspapers, tributes, souvenir tie, badges, ashtrays, pipes and slippers immediately on your return home. Notice that a great distance away, someone is singing:

“I TOOK MY LOVED ONE OVER CROSS THE TRACKS,
SO SHE COULD HEAR MY MAN A WAILING SAX,
I MUST ADMIT THEY HAD A ROCKIN’ BAND,
MAN, THEY WERE BLOWIN’ LIKE A HURRICANE!”

In this enormous, young voice that sounds like it knows everything it will ever need to know. Exuberantly and enthusiastically throw ‘Double Fantasy’, ‘Imagine’, small items of furniture and animal life around the room. Kick in television screen. Fall catatonic to the floor.

Wake at 4am to harsh electric light and the muffled sound of your stylus thudding monotonously into the spinout groove of ‘Beatles for Sale’. Crawl upstairs to bed with nauseous headache. Wake again, much later the following afternoon, feeling hideous. Take ‘Beatles for Sale’ out of sleeve once again and drop stylus onto track four, side one:

“JUST LET ME HEAR SOME OF THAT ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC!”

John Lennon lives.

-- ‘MAD’ RAY LOWRY


Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Friday, 9 December 2005 11:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

As banal as stars doing peace n' politics is to us, the reason it resonates more coming from Lennon than eg, Casey Kasem, is that his art actually helped ordinary people figure shit out. And he (could) (occasionally) put politics into words more stylishly than Chomsky, Derrida etc. A working-class hero is something to be.

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 9 December 2005 14:53 (8 years ago) Permalink

"ram" may be the worst album even remotely related to any beatle i have ever heard.

Haven't heard most of George Harrison's work, have you?

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Friday, 9 December 2005 14:55 (8 years ago) Permalink

"Ram" certainly isn't the "worst album even remotely related to any beatle". It's better than most of McCartney's other albums for a start.

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 9 December 2005 14:58 (8 years ago) Permalink

Lennon wasn't just a cynic. He was also something of an idealist. Bangs wrote that piece because Lennon the cynic meant more to him than Lennon the idealist. But for most of the folks outside the Dakota that night, it was Lennon the idealist that mattered. Both Bangs and that crowd are tuning in completely different aspects of Lennon's personality, and both only know a part of the story. Who can claim to know who the "real" Lennon was and how he would have responded to a vigil?

When I was in college, a few friends and I cynically sneered at all the kids mourning Cobain's death during candlelight vigils. I thought they were deluded sheep. I look back, and realize we were a bunch of fucking assholes saying some pretty hurtful things. We were/are sheep, too. Sure mass media allows people to think they "know" people they never met, but at the same time, that bond is "real". The tears are "real". The pain is "real". Those sad faces are "real". No?

If those folks particpating in that vigil are really mourning themselves then those sneering at those folks are really just sneering at their own insensitivty and inability to participate and to feel loss. Sorry to sound goofy and overly dramatic, but I feel torn because I don't think I could ever stand among a bunch of strangers and mourn anything, but sometimes I really want to. I shun crowds and mass demonstrations but that doesn't mean these things are cheap and invalid. Maybe, I'm the one who is invalid? Maybe, Bangs is the one who is invalid? Maybe we have defects that we cover up by sneering at those who are capable of participating?

I was 5 in '80. I was headed into the family basement, into the laundry room, and all I could hear was my mom crying, crying, and crying. There was a little red radio on the dryer, and the DJ was broadcasting the news of Lennon's death.

I think it's ironic that Bangs said he couldn't mourn Lennon because he didn't know the guy, but he felt perfectly comfortable telling his readers that he knew what all those folks were really mourning for even thought he didn't know them, either. All he did was sit on his couch, watch television, and judge a bunch of strangers.

Okay, everyone roast me...

QuantumNoise (Justin Farrar), Friday, 9 December 2005 17:52 (8 years ago) Permalink

A cynic is just a disappointed idealist

We Buy a Hammer For Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 9 December 2005 18:16 (8 years ago) Permalink

really mourning themselves

I am he as you are he as you are me...

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 9 December 2005 18:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

I can't mourn John Lennon. I didn't know the guy. But I do know that when all is said and done, that's all he was--a guy.

This is one of the most profound sentences in rock critic history. It's something I've always tried to keep in mind on those occasions I dabble in the form.

mike a, Friday, 9 December 2005 18:36 (8 years ago) Permalink

It's always a little shocking to remember again how only 20 to 25 years after rock n' roll was "invented" some people were already prepared to move on and into the future. And it's always a little depressing to realize 25 years after that how little we actually have in so many ways.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 9 December 2005 21:54 (8 years ago) Permalink

Haven't heard most of George Harrison's work, have you?

i've heard a lot of it. most of it is bad but innocuous. i think what bugs me so much about "ram" is the fact that mccartney feels the need to keep throwing in these random little "do-do-do-do-do-dos" on every fucking song! horrible.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Saturday, 10 December 2005 01:04 (8 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...
They sang 'Hey Jude'? Why? Paul wrote that for John's son Julian after he abandoned him to go live with Yoko.

Laurie, Tuesday, 4 April 2006 15:43 (8 years ago) Permalink

Wow, great thread, I'm glad it came up.

"It is for that moment--not for John Lennon the man---that you are mourning, if you are mourning. Ultimately you are mourning for yourself."

My problem comes in that I don't think any of this is special about Lennon's case. Whenever you mourn ANYONE, you mourn the passing of someone who affected you personally and profoundly, that's how you're going to mourn them. Mourning is a selfish process; it's the way we heal with wounds. So, yes, of course you're going to be mourning for yourself. I don't think that there was a difference between the people mourning Lennon and the people that mourn the deaths of friends and loved ones every day. In each case, you're mourning the passing of another human being that made you feel happy, optimistic, perhaps loved. And in each case, it's utterly selfish and all about the hole missing in your life that the other person used to fill. And that's perfectly fine.

I agree with Tim Ellison on his points. People needed to mourn Lennon. Bangs was just living up his persona of Bangs. But I think that, down somewhere inside of him, he was just as sad as anyone around him was. Maybe that was his way of dealing with it.

Harrison Barr (Petar), Tuesday, 4 April 2006 18:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

Compare/contrast with Lester's 1976 remember-how-good-it-felt-to-be-alive essay on the British Invasion, in the first Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Tuesday, 4 April 2006 18:04 (8 years ago) Permalink

is that in one of the books?

Real Goths Don't Wear Black (Enrique), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 07:35 (8 years ago) Permalink

It's in the old, oversized Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock. Good shit. It basically made me buy a Zombies album when I was 15.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 07:37 (8 years ago) Permalink

probably not in my college library...

Real Goths Don't Wear Black (Enrique), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 07:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

it's great tho! it has nik cohn's phil spector essay, one of the very best pieces ever written about pop (and about 186,000 times better than that tom wolfe piece which only gets remembered because he came up with "first tycoon of teen" - and spector was like 24! dork!), plus greil marcus' original punk essay (which got expanded into the first part of lipstick traces) and peter guralnick's original take on elvis, which is a far cry from that of his books - "his biggest talent turned out to be for making money."

also a hilariously smug dave marsh piece on neil young which sadly got kicked out of the most recent edition.

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 09:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

i have forwarded your post to the librarian.

Real Goths Don't Wear Black (Enrique), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 09:06 (8 years ago) Permalink

i wish you'd told me you were gonna do that, i would've used the shift key

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 09:14 (8 years ago) Permalink

Here's the unthinkable: can we let both these fuckers rest in peace?

m coleman (lovebug starski), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 09:24 (8 years ago) Permalink

nah it's ok, the britzor library will have it, i'll summon it up there.

need a library of ROCK here in london we really do.

Real Goths Don't Wear Black (Enrique), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 09:31 (8 years ago) Permalink

"Compare/contrast with Lester's 1976 remember-how-good-it-felt-to-be-alive essay on the British Invasion, in the first Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll."

That piece actually made it into later editions (maybe because it's referenced in Marcus' terrific Beatles essay.)

J.D. OTM about the old Stone book. I also dig the Marcus "Rock Film" essay and Janet Maslin's piece on Dylan (both of which got dropped from later editions).

Chairman Doinel (Charles McCain), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 15:38 (8 years ago) Permalink

Here's the unthinkable: can we let both these fuckers rest in peace?

NOOOOOOOOOOOO we must live in an endless 1975.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 15:44 (8 years ago) Permalink

about 186,000 times better than that tom wolfe piece which only gets remembered because he came up with "first tycoon of teen" - and spector was like 24! dork!

agreed the RS piece is better but the "teen" of the title isn't about Spector's age, it's about his constituency

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Wednesday, 5 April 2006 16:28 (8 years ago) Permalink


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