David Gray LP & Live 2019

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  My Best Albums 2018

  Brexit - Now We Know

  Download 2019 First Bands

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  Spear Of Destiny Live

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Let The People Decide

  The Secrets of Piano Solo-III

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  John Lennon Interview

  Anna Burch Live

  My 100 Greatest Albums

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John Lennon Interview

imagine-1

JW. How would you describe the Beatles music?

JL. Well it means a lot of things to me. There’s not one thing that’s Beatle’s music. How can I, I’m part of it… What is Beatles music, ‘Walrus’ or ‘Penny Lane’? It’s that diverse… ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ or ‘Revolution #9’?

JW. What do you think is your best song?

JL. Ever?

JW. Ever.

JL. The one best song? I always liked ‘Walrus,’ ‘Strawberry Fields,’ ‘Help,’ ‘In My Life’ – those are some of my favourites you know.

JW. Why ‘Help’?

JL. Because I meant it, it’s real. The lyric is as good now as it was then, it’s no different you know. And it makes me feel secure that I was that sensible or whatever, you know. Well, not sensible but aware of myself then. That’s with no laughing, no nothing, nothing about pop. It was just me singing about help, and I meant it. There are many times like that I forget what I do like… I like ‘Across The Universe’ too.

JW. Why?

JL. ‘Cos it’s one of the best lyrics I’ve written. In fact it could be best… I don’t know. It’s one of the best. It’s good poetry you know or whatever you call it. Without tune it stands.

The ones I like are the ones that stand as words without melody. They don’t have to have any melody. They’re just poems, you could read ‘em.

JW. The intensity and the breadth of the popularity of the Beatles is so overwhelming and that’s what was weighing on the shoulders. There wasn’t just the myth making, it wasn’t just the fab four fans, it wasn’t the hippy fans, it was the whole thing; it was too much. When he said, ‘we’re more famous than Jesus’ it was true.

JW. Why do you think the Beatles much bigger in America now?

JL. The grass is greener and we really were professional by the time we got here. We learnt the whole game you know. When we arrived here we knew how to handle press – the British press are the toughest in the world – we could handle anything. When we got here a lot of you were walking round in Bermuda shorts with Boston crew cuts and stuff on your teeth. And the chicks looked like 1940’s horses, you know. I mean there was no conception of dress or any of that jazz. We just thought, ‘what an ugly race’ it looked just disgusting. And we thought how hip we were. You tend to get nationalistic, we used to really laugh at America except for its music. And it was the black music we dug. We thought we were coming to the land of its origin.

j-33

JW. What was it like in the early days in London when you came down from Liverpool?

JL. We were treated like provincials, like Cockneys. Later, we were like king of the jungle, just at our prime. We always used to go out around London in our cars, and meet and talk about our music with the Animals (Eric and all that). It was really a good time. That was really the best period fame-wise you know. We didn’t get mobbed so much, it was like a men’s smoking club, just a very good scene.

JW. What do you think of The Stones today?

JL. I think Mick’s a joke, with all that fag dancing. I always very respectful of Mick of The Stones but he said a lot of sort of tarty things about the Beatles which I’m hurt by. I can knock the Beatles but don’t let Mick Jagger knock them because I would like to just list what we did and what The Stones did two months after on every fuckin’ album. Everything we did Mick does exactly the same. He imitates us and I’d like one of you people to point it out you know, let it bleed… ‘Satanic Majesties’ is ‘Pepper,’ ‘We Love You’ is ‘All You Need Is Love.’ I resent the implication that The Stones are like revolutionaries and that the Beatles weren’t. If The Stones were or are, the Beatles really were. They’re not in the same class music-wise or power-wise, never were, and Mick always resented it. He is obviously so upset by how big the Beatles are compared with him he never got over it. Now, in his old age, he’s beginning to knock us and he keeps knockin’ because everybody’s getting on the bandwagon to knock the Beatles when we split.

JW. John’s opinions of Paul were multiple, they were ambiguous, they’re clear, they were contradictory, there are all levels of them. And he expresses them in all different ways, pulling in a whole range from love and admiration to anger and hatred and bitterness. And the depth of the relationship we can only imagine.

JL. I can’t speak for George but I pretty damn well know. We got fed up of being

sidemen for Paul. After Brian died that’s what happened to us.

JW. How would you trace the break-up of the Beatles?

JL. After Brian died we collapsed. Paul took over and supposedly led us, but what is leading us when we went round in circles? We broke up then. That was the disintegration you know.

JW. Where were you when Brian died?

JL. We were in Wales with Maharishu. We had just gone down after seeing his first lecture the first night. And we went down to Wales and we heard it then you know. And I knew we were in trouble then. I really didn’t have any misconceptions on our ability to do anything other than play music. And I was scared you know, I thought we’d fuckin’ had it now.

j-72

JW. So Brian died and what then happened when Paul started to take over?

JL. I don’t know how much of this I want to put I tell you. I think Paul had an impression (he has it now) that we should be thankful for what he did; for keeping the Beatles going. But when you look at it objectively, he kept it going for his own sake. It was not for my sake did Paul struggle, but Paul made an attempt to carry on as if Brian hadn’t died. Like saying, ‘now, now come on boys, we’re now going to make a record’ you know, and being the kind of person I am I thought well you know we’re gonna make a record, alright so I went along and went and made a record. I think Paul had a tendency to come along and say well he’d written his ten songs let’s record now. And I said give us a few days and I’ll knock a few off.

JW. The writing partnership with Paul…

JL. I don’t know. 1962 or something, I don’t know. If you give me the albums I can tell exactly who wrote what, you know. And which line. I mean sometimes we wrote together and sometimes we wrote our best work, apart from the early days like ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ we wrote together, and things like that. We wrote apart always but we wrote together because we enjoyed it a lot sometimes and also because they’d say well you’re going to make an album and we’d get together and knock off a few songs. Just like a job.

JW. You said Sgt Peppers was the one; that was the album…

JL. Well it was our peak you know. And Paul and I definitely working together especially on ‘Day In The Life’… The way we wrote a lot of the time was you’d write a good bit which was easy, and when you got stuck instead of carrying on, whenever it got hard we’d just drop it. We’d meet each other and I’d sing half and he’d be inspired to write the next bit, and vice versa.

YO. Paul possessed elements that John would have wanted to have as well. In other words, Paul was extremely charming to the world and because of his diplomacy and charm I think that the band flourished in a way. But John’s role was to really bring the spiritually nourishing energy to the band and that really helped the band to survive and to expand, and to be successful. They were taking two different roles, they were complementing each other.

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