Saturday, December 10, 2005

Working Class Hero

I was born in 1956 and the music of the Beatles, produced between 1963 and 1970, was something I was very aware of as I was growing up. My sister (who is 9 years older than me) had several of their albums, but the only one I actually bought was "Let It Be".

I never really took to Paul McCartney. He always seemed a bit smug to me. Clearly someone who is as wealthy as he is must have done something right, but I think the music he has produced since the Beatles broke up speaks volumes for where the talent really lay in the Lennon-McCartney collaboration.

John Lennon I found a bit enigmatic. Yoko Ono seemed a strange woman to me and their antics, including their "bed-in" for Peace in 1969, rather put me off. I didn't really follow Lennon's solo career, and when he was murdered on 8th December 1980 the event didn't really register with me in the way that it obviously did with thousands around the World.

The recent publicity about John Lennon clearly stems from the anniversary of his death and on 3rd December Radio 4 broadcast an interview with Lennon and his wife recorded in 1970, just after the Beatles had split up. I had heard that Lennon described himself as a genius in the interview, and I thought I might consider him more of a prat on hearing the full thing. It's an amazingly honest account, and well worth listening to. I came away from it feeling a lot more affection and respect for John Lennon. I would hesitate to call him a genius, but there's not doubt he was a remarkable man who died far too young.