September 25, 2016
A Beatles Fantasia:
John Lennon In Leather
R. E. Prindle
Dizzy Dez, a fellow Beatles researcher and internet friend, recently wrote a piece ( https://thenumbernineblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/22/taking-the-world-by-hurricane/ ) about the strange story of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. Rory Storm led the most popular Liverpool band of the period. He was more important in Liverpool and Frankfurt than the Beatles. Yet, as Diz points out, when all the shouting was over and the dust had settled, the Beatles went unto worldwide fame pulling the best of the Liverpool bands after them, Rory Storm was left out in the cold. He never knew other than Liverpool success.
Just an inconsequential odd fact (except to Rory) that I found interesting but also significant. It was good of Diz to dig this story up, but then, Diz left me with a thought: What if the Beatles’ success had nothing to do with their talent; what if the only reason they found success was a fact that had nothing to do with their musical skills; what if their success depended on a queer’s fascination with one John Lennon?
Consider that Liverpool was an English backwater, a tough , gritty town with little sophistication and small hopes. If you have ever been in the Liverpool/Bristol area you really know what depression is. I was never so happy to leave an area since. I had become acquainted with a bottom surpassing Philadelphia and that is saying a lot.
So, in 1960-62 what you had was a city full of louts, what the English call Yobboes, desperately trying to find some distinction for their lives by playing in rock bands. In 1960 that was a desperate hope indeed. The hope was so desperate that the bands ended up playing before a bunch of rowdies and prostitutes, the underbelly of civilization, in Hamburg’s red light district on the Reeperbahn. Not the place for refined cultured manners. More like changing you from a lout or Yobbo into a super Yobbo. The indications are that the Beatles became very rough. What the homosexuals call ‘rough trade.’
In any event the Beatles went to Hamburg where they refined their rock n’ roll skills coming back to Liverpool to take their place in the hierarchy of Liverpool bands where they were a sensation although lower in the hierarchy than Rory Storm and his Hurricanes. Still in their locality and in their age and social set they were prominent.
Now, the local record store, NEMS, was managed for the family firm by a young homosexual Jew, Brian Epstein. At the time it was a punishable offence to public morals to be a homosexual so Brian Epstein was quite repressed. Raised on all the Jewish holocaust nonsense he felt like a powerless oppressed Jew. Therefore as a homosexual Jew he favored the rough trade.
Probably having heard the Beatles talked about along their outrageous leader John Lennon, dressed all in black leather, Brian made it down to the local rock emporium, the Cavern, to have a look.
What he saw made his dick throb. There on stage was God’s own Yobbo, John Lennon resplendent in his leather while projecting confidence and totally outrageous. Rough trade on a stick. Gimme dat ding. So, totally smitten Brian has to figure out a way to realize his dream.
It is clear that Brian wasn’t on the make to find a band to promote; for Christ’s sake he had a city full of rock bands to choose from including Liverpool’s number one, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and he made no effort to sign any. But, suppose he heard of Lennon’s desire to be the toppermost of the poppermost. Perhaps, Brian thought, I’m in the record business, I know execs at the London labels, perhaps if I gave John what he wants he would let me make him mine. Sounded good.
Now, let’s be clear, when Brian approached the London labels there was no interest in the Beatles or any other Liverpool band. There was no reason for any exec to ever even visit Liverpool and perhaps none ever had. Regardless of any talent, that had not yet been demonstrated, the Beatles were not going anywhere. The execs even considered the name stupid; what in the hell does beatle mean? Can’t even spell it right. Brian persisted and if he hadn’t the Beatles would never have had a shot at the bigtime. They would have disappeared the way they came in, unnoticed. The Beatles were going nowhere.
But, and this is the important fact here, Brian had a hard on for John. Bear this in mind, Brian had a tin ear, he could have cared less about the Beatles as a band; he had a hard on for John. And hopefully by making John the toppermost of the poppermost, and this meant only the small market of England, it was inconceivable that any band, let alone an English band, could become a worldwide phenomenon. Whatever happened next was totally serendipitous. Who could have dreamed of worldwide fame and hundreds of millions of dollars.
So Brian signed his Boys, as they say in the managerial parlance, and left for London to put them in a recording contract. Of course NEMS was a major account in the retail record world so Brian got a polite hearing but no real enthusiasm. Probably to get rid of a pest who wouldn’t quit he was allowed an audition. But this was only after making the rounds.
The Beatle’s ended up at EMI’s sub-label Parlophone and had George Martin assigned to them as a producer. While the Beatles had been all the rage on the Reeperbahn of ill fame and the backwater burg of Liverpool, what set the four aflame in those two locations was not so evident in the London recording studio. It was like someone from Poughkeepsie showing up on the Great White Way. George Martin found their musicianship flimsy but something apparently appealed to him about them. Everything about them was off, they still had the aroma of the Reeperbahn, but, the story goes, George was a technical wizard, so somewhat in the way David Seville created Alvin and the Chipmunks George’s wizardry created the Beatles. This is the legend.
The label thought they were hopeless so perhaps as a joke they allowed the Beatles to make ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ as a first record. And as with Alvin and the Chipmunks they probably viewed the disc as a novelty record; something along the lines of Mrs. Miller the off key virtuoso.
They were surprised when the record took off. No less surprised than I was when the record was a success in the US. Why the hell does anyone like that I wondered. But I and we were witnessing several seemingly unrelated things: First the song was the first true teenybopper, bubble gum song that soon inspired groups like the Ohio Express and the Lemon Pipers. ‘Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy.’ Remember that inspired tune? A step up from, I Want To Hold Your Hand.
The social conditions were right for the Beatles innocent, probably tongue in cheek, song. The Fifties had been tense what with the Cold War and the Bomb and things were getting more tense. Nerves were frayed. Perhaps a return to innocent pleasures of the young were in order. At any rate after becoming the rage in England Brian had actually jockeyed the Beatles and John into the toppermost of the poppermost in that small sceptered island but after a terrific promo campaign in the US when their plane landed, they hit exactly the right insouciant note at the exact right psychological moment in time. You can’t plan this. Nobody, nobody, could have forecast that. Brian and the Beatle’s ship had come in.
John Lennon had realized his dream in a Spade Royal Flush. The Beatles, words fail me, were on top of the world. The planet’s first globally successful band. They were bigger than Jesus. Oops, when John said that all hell broke loose. Abashed, John announced they would tour no more. When it came to business sense John was lacking but he and the band were only musicians, a ‘hot little band’ as McCartney recently characterized them.
But what about Brian?’ What about Brians’s reward. He had little business sense too and hadn’t been working for the success that came or was prepared for it. Of course John and the rest knew Brian was a poof. Who didn’t except for those who chose not to see. Brian had always been attentive to John in that peculiar way, certainly that hadn’t escaped he leader of the band. He joked about how Brian and the whole record industry was Jewish and queer.
According to Peter Brown in his ‘The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story Of The Beatles’, Brian did get his reward. Brown says that Brian invited John on a holiday in Spain and there John gave him the reward he wanted.
What if the story of the Beatles success had nothing to do with their musicianship, their songwriting, their personalities or anything else but Brian Epstein getting a hard on for a bit of rough trade: John Lennon in leather.
Wouldn’t that make a fabulous movie? Wouldn’t that be as ironical as all get out? It might not be literally true but it can’t be too far from the truth. Forget about poor old Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, history’s forgotten band. Once again, what a movie.
September 12, 2014
The Rock And Roll Circus Movie
Of The Rolling Stones
In December 1968 Mick Jagger decided to make a film, or rather, he shot the film having decided earlier. Perhaps he was inspired by The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour of the previous year. These years from 1966 to 1968-69 were a tumultuous time for Jagger and his sidekick Keith Richards. Not least significant was that Mick had taken up with the songstress Marianne Faithfull. Then in 1967 there was perhaps the most famous drug bust in history at Keith’s Redlands house.
The boys had been pushing the drug envelope hard more or less inviting a crackdown and it came in 1967 involving Mick, Keith and Marianne with devastating results for all three characters in the drama.
As the authorities wished to make an example of the baddest boys of rock and roll Mick and Keith received prison sentences of which however they only served two or three days. Nevertheless their psyches had been criminalized, changed their views on their role in society.
While the arrest and jail time were merited in society’s eyes, Mick and Keith who were among the legions marching to Altruria on the wings of pot convinced that their elders had irrevocably messed the world up while they were going to set it right under the influence of marijuana, LSD, amphetamines and whatever else was handy, saw the bust and conviction as unjustified interference in their dreams of perfection.
The revolution was on as far as they were concerned hence they began a string of songs along the lines of Street Fighting Man and Sympathy For The Devil, unintended consequences of the bust.
Oh yeah, Mick and Marianne, Keith and his main squeeze Anita Pallenberg had become involved in Satanism which was going around like the flu. Not necessarily dilettantish either like, say, I just read a great book by Satan, but the real kind as fostered by the Great Beast 666 Aleister Crowley himself as interpreted by his epigoni Kenneth Anger and Anton LaVey, not to mention the Process Church Of The Final Judgment. Mick and Marianne disavow any serious interest in Satanism but the Rock and Roll Circus contradicts that.
Combined with these irritants in their lives Mick had just starred in a Satanic movie, Performance, and Marianne had had the misfortune of a miscarriage. To say that they weren’t suffering at the time they made their movie would be a understatement.
In this hazy mental state, compounded by too many drugs, Mick cobbled together his Circus.
What is the meaning of the title Circus? Ostensibly it meant literally a circus, after all it had a fire eater and trapeze artists. However it could also be a double entendre. Just as the title of their 1967 album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, parodied the Queens request on passports so the word Circus also parodied the name the British intelligence agency gave to their gig. The title can be construed as a challenge to the establishment. It would seem clear then that Mick was still seething inside because of Redlands.
His film is negligible as a movie but a good concert film. The symbolism is non stop as the guest audience in dressed in some sort of Munchkin costumes. The cast was bizarre to say the least. While little more than a musical oddity Jethro Tull led by Ian Anderson in his disgusting dirty old man persona opens the show while he was followed by the Who caught in pre-Tommy persona. Never one of my favorite bands, others thought they were a good performance while we are treated to a young Pete Townshend doing a series of his trademark windmills.
The couple circus acts are entertaining enough; the fire eater is pretty spectacular.
John Lennon performing separately from the Beatles was probably the musical highlight of the show for me. While obviously in the throes of a serious depression personally, as a performer once on stage Lennon is charisma spilling out all over the place. The depression does show up in the name he chose for his ad hoc group- The Dirty Mac. The name characterizes the general depression and malaise of the whole show. Lennon’s group brought together some stellar lights of the time. Besides himself he had Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience on drums, Eric Clapton on lead guitar and Keith on rhythm. They are joined a by fiddler, I presume Ivry Gitlis, and the irrepressible Yoko Ono.
Yoko was in her Bagism phase. While the movie is loosely shot during Lennon’s gig, if you watch the lower right corner of the film you can see a black object sort of pulsing. That’s the bag Yoko is in. I suppose as she was a performance artist the bag was Yoko’s joke- that’s the bag I’m in, get it?
After a noisy rendition of Yer Blues Yoko wiggles out of the bag bouncing up with her arms outstretched as in Here I am, aren’t I wonderful? Well, she certainly shocked Ivry when she began to squeal. Yoko is very tiny so Ivry kind of looks down at Yoko with raised eyebrows, looks over at John, backs up a couple steps, stops playing momentarily and has this incredulous am I believing what I’m seeing and hearing look on his face. One might say Yoko stole the show. Really, I had to start laughing.
The real show stopper comes next when the camera shifts to Marianne Faithfull. She was decorously posed in a stunning black designer gown. At her most beautiful with a fine folky voice that entrancingly recalled her As Tears Go By but strong and more focused. I missed the words but caught the mood of this enchanting chanteuse. Marianne definitely trumped Yoko as a showstopper.
Taj Mahal was a special case. Believe it or not Taj is still out there challenging the Interminable Tourist Dylan himself. Taj works, or did, about 170 days a year, every year. While he is not well known he began as a duo with Ry Cooder called the Rising Sons then added a string of records on his own. The guitarist is Jesse Ed Davis, a failed guitar god, who had a couple solo Lps of his own. Taj’s first two records are superb blues Lps, two of my favorites of the period. The third LP, a two record set is also quite good but begins his political period that obviated his musical career. He goes rapidly down hill after that.
For some reason he chose a rather lame piece from his repertoire. If he was making an appeal for a girl or girls to join him backstage his salacious version of Hey, Little School Girl might have served him better.
The Stones rounded out the show at the end. While the Who were supposed to have buried the Stones I didn’t find it so. The tension had been well maintained throughout the show with the comic interlude of Yoko and the Stones maintained it through to the end with a climax of sorts.
It was obvious that Mick, Keith and Marianne were in a world of hurt….and Brian Jones. That tragedy would play out over the next year when Brian drowned and Marianne almost drowned in her own tears and Mick spawned a real live Satan at Altamont.
The movie ended in hurt and Satanism- homage to the Devil.
Mick and Marianne had gone to see Jimi Hendrix a few months earlier. After performing Hendrix had sat at Marianne and Mick’s table where he put the make on Marianne telling her to dump the White dude and go with him. Marianne hesitated a moment too long giving Mick offense so that he commemorated the evening in his song, You Can’t Always Get What You Want. Suddenly I realized the meaning of the line, you and your friend Jimi as Mick shouted it to someone off stage to the right. OK, not my problem.
So Jagger was still wearing his hair as he did in the movie Performance. That soul corrupting film was obviously still influencing him. As Marianne said, it changed his personality.
The show closed with Sympathy For The Devil. There was a little stage extension on which Mick prostrated himself as though doing obeisance as the song played. It looked like he was groveling, then he looked up making a couple goofy grimaces at the camera beginning to pull off his shirt. Not necessary, Mick, not necessary. Then with the shirt off he straightened to a kneeling position to reveal Satanic tattoos a la Kenneth Anger.
Anger had a large LUCIFER tattooed across his chest. Here Mick seemed to be imitating him apparently trying to tell us that the Great Satan had arrived. I hope they were transfers. Interesting, especially as the movie Rosemary’s Baby appeared in 1968 in which Rosemary gives birth to the Son of Satan. Even more interestingly in the 1990’s book sequel Son Of Rosemary Satan’s little lad was named Andy. After Andy Warhol, I presume.
I suppose then that Mick conceived the film as a coming out party for himself as The Great Beast. Apparently he took his Satanism very seriously. It make one wonder, was Altamont a projection of the Great Satan?
November 15, 2012
Marianne Faithfull, The Faerie Queene Of The Sixties
Chapters I and II
She’s one of those girls
Who come with the Spring
One look in her eyes
Makes you forget everything.
Younger Girl- John Sebastian
The sixties came walking in slowly, hands in pockets shuffling along barely recognized going down the road. Few recognized that it was a period of god formation. All the icons of later years came from those days. John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger. The comptetion for goddesses was less crowded, Janis Joplin carried too much baggage, Grace Slick had her shortcomings and the rest were wannabes- except for Marianne Faithfull. She floated through, became entangled with his Satanic majesty, Mick Jagger, crashed and disappeared from sight to reemerge damaged but triumphant. When she resurfaced it was in another guise bearing little resemblance to the Faerie Queene of he sixties.
Perhaps only in retrospect does she appear as the angel of the sixties. Only looking back does she stand head and shoulders above the women of the decade. In her day she aspired to be Guenivere to Mick Jagger’s Lancelot. High expectations doomed to disappointment. Buth then the high, even ridiculous, expectations of the sixties couldn’t hope to be more than failed and fail they did.
The sixties were born in the despair of the World War II, the Korean War and the Atom Bomb. The decade was shaped by the children born from 1934-38 to 1945 most heavily represented by the years of ‘42 and ‘43. The years had their effect on those nborn in the United States but devastated those of England who formed the backbone of the sixties in both the US and England. Stunted by ill nutrition the English boys and girls entered childhood in a world of deprivation, millions of bomb craters, square miles of devastation, limited amounts of food that were rationed until they reached their teens. Nutrition triumphed over genes leaving perhaps a majority stunted almost to the height of midgets. Then in the mid-fifties they came off rations as the country rebuilt and a degree of prosperity returned. Thus the favored members of a generation with low or no expectations burst into an energized prosperity, as the flower of the sixties grew and blown in a trice.
Marianne herself was born in 1946, a baby boomer, in one of those ill-starred marriages of the post-war world. Thousands of young English girls married American servicemen and left the lad of their birth forever. Perhaps more wisely than they knew as the hundred of thousands of English men who never returned live would have left them spinsters all their lives. As it was Marianne’s father, Glynn Faithfull met her mother in occupied Austria returning with her to England where Marianne was born. As might be expected of a marriage made under Third Man circumstances the marriage proved ill matched each partner going their own way. Thus by 1953 when Marianne was seven and rationing was lifted she divided her time between her two parents.
One ponders the effect this had on the psychological development of the girl. Her father was one of those strange utopianists who believed the Holy Grail of personal redemption could be found in fucking so he founded some Jim Jones type of sex retreat where all the inmates were encouraged to copulated indiscriminately and freely.
One doesn’t know Glynn Faithfull’s background. There may have been a couple reasons for this faith in fucking. A significant underground current was Aleister Crowley and his faith in sex magic. Crowley and his disciples with figure in
Marianne’s life in the sixties. His influence would continue to grow during the forties, fifties and sixties. Perhaps more significant was the sex therapy of the one of the centuries most eminent madmen, Sigmund Freud. While generally unaccredited for his sexual influence, his sex theories combined with his bizarre vision of the unconscious did terrific damage to the world’s psyche, especially during the fifties and sixties when his notion dominated psychology.
As a young girl Marianne was encouraged to observe the inmates copulate. They apparently did so in front of open windows in a series of rooms fronted by a ledge or sort of long balcony. As a young girl her father encouraged Marianne to use this ledge to view the couples at play. In the innocence of youth she little knew what to make of this although what effect the flickering memories played in her development she either does not say or doesn’t know.
Her mother removed her from this environment placing her in a Catholic convent school until she was sixteen. The transition from open sex practices to a chastity minded Catholic education must have provided an unusual contrast in the growing memory bank of her mind. At least Marrianne was out of harm’s way for a few years.
Marrianne’s mother, Mrs. Faithfull, was an Austrian. She had witnessed the years of the Anschluss and the Nazi administration of the war years. Necessarily as the Soviet troops moved in she suffered the horrors of the rape of the German women by the Communist troops. This event made the Rape of the Sabine women look like a pleasure romp. History records that when things had settled that there were long lines of pregnant German women before the hospitals waiting their turn for an abortion of a hateful pregnancy.
It was in this environment that Eva met her future husband Glynn Faithfull. It was possibly love among the ruins in which Marianne was conceived. Born out of the ashes so to speak. ;Marianne’s mother Eva was of the Sacher Masoc line; he who gave masochism its name and wrote the Venus In Furs that Lou Reed purloined for the title of his song. Hard core rock and rollers have been in awe of Marianne’s ancestry as though she had a hand in masochism’s naming. Sins of one’s distant relatives and all that.
When Marianne escaped or was released from the nunnery she was ill prepared to deal with life on the streets, but then aren’t we all. So as the sixties dawned this attractive girl with no prospects began to wend her way through life. The Catholics gave her some vocal training of some sort, perhaps Gregorian chant, so Marianne took up folk singing. Rather than the subdued tones of A Years Go By she was more of the bellowing Joan Baez variety. Thus when Andrew Oldham asked John Dunbar if she could sing and John answered yes he was stating a fact.
In John Dunbar Marianne fell into one of the hippest young crowds London had to offer. Dunbar himself was of a Bohemian mentality and he associated with the future historian of the musical and artistic scene of the sixties, Barry Miles. Miles has never gotten the recognition he deserves. To begin with he co-founded the very avant garde Indica Art Gallery with Dunbar. The Indica lasted only a couple seasons but those were two memorable seasons.
The two entrepreneurs were discovered by Paul McCartney who, I don’t know if active is the right word, took at least an active inte3rest in the gallery which led to John Lennon’s eureka moment with the scourge of rock and roll, Yoko Ono.
In the course of time this led to Dunbar’s being invited to the famous party in which Andrew Oldham is said to have gallantly remarked: Who’s the broad with the big tits? Or words very close to that.
It was at that point that Oldham asked the musical question: Can she sing? To which Dunbar unwisely responded yes. Marianne, given that she was already a folksinger, sagely pretended to be at sea so that Oldham was afforded the pleasure of coaching her along. Whether he made it inside the Magic Circle or not he had to come up with a song for Marianne to record. More at sea over this matter the legend has it that Andrew locked Mick and Keith of the Rolling Stones into a closet, toilet or kitchen and said he wouldn’t let them out until they wrote him a song. Thus Marianne indirectly is responsible for the Richards-Jagger song writing team with its ill fated effect on popular culture.
With Marianne Oldham struck gold the first time out. The song Richards-Jagger wrote was a languid ditty titles As Tears Go By sung in a lisping fainting manner by the newly nominated Faerie Queene. Songs are pretty much ephemeral to the time but within the ephemera of the time both Marianne and As Tears Go By were a very major hit. In her way Marianne and her song was the sunrise 1964 was waiting for.
…I trusted you and did my best
To make you happy.
Is this what I get for loving you?
Spector, King, Goffin
Marianne was some kind of folksinger cum chanteuse. She had a high virginal voice. She came from a Catholic convent school that signified purity to the English public. In her early interviews she appears shy, modest, and if I may say, virginal. The very antithesis of the increasing vulgarity of the times. They set Marianne on a pedestal.
In the early sixties rock and roll had not yet driven every other rorm of music off the field as it would by 1970. From 1960 to 1964-65 folk music was the dominant musical form although not of the New York purist variety; more along the commercial lines of Harry Belafonte, the Brothers Four, the Kingston Trio and Randy Sparks’ New Christy Minstrels. Peter Paul and Mary were at their peak not year claiming to ‘love your rock and roll music’ until 1968. In 1966 the Christies spin off The Association was a big hit.
Apart from sappy team acts he Beatles sparked the rock and roll revival although their wasn’t too much difference between them and the sappy teen acts. I never did understand what the public revered in them. Listening to the early Stones recently reminded me why I didn’t like them the first time around either; they sound quite a bit like a bad garage band. Jagger isn’t much better a singer than Dylan, he couldn’t have been much worse. But fate is fate and a hit is a hit. Can’t argue with it.
Marianne then entered the lists with a number nine hit in the UK and a number twenty-two in the US. Her second song Blowin’ In The Wind, didn’t chart while her third, Come And Stay With Me was number four UK and twenty-six US.
She released four LPs in 1965 which is at an exploitative rate. No one at the time realized that the next wave of pop acts would be extremely long lived. No one thought that the Beatles, even though they broke up, would go on dominating popular music for fifty years. No one would have believed that the Stone would be projected a tour fifty years on. No one could have believed that Marianne would still have a career fifty years on. So they were trying to gut the goose that laid the golden eggs as soon as they could. How could anyone at the time have believed that Jagger would become a pop god and Marianne a goddess? Icons for a generation. Unthinkable.
The first two UK albums charted at twelve and fifteen while in he US Marianne Faithful charted at twelve. Her US sales then were somewhere between seventy-five and a hundred thousand copies. She didn’t make the charts with a new title until 1974s Broken English weakly settling on the US charts at eighty-two.
Prior to 1964 most British bands had little presence outside their native England. With the arrival of the Boeing 707 in 1959 the US became readily accessible while the vista for global band was opened. First through the breach, of course, were the Beatles, soon to be followed by Bob Dylan and The Stone and even Donovan. Most people don’t understand how big Donovan was in the sixties; almost an equal to the Beatles and Stones. Thus the era of global popularity was inaugurated changing the face of popular music and group economics. Oddly enough the field was limited to English and American bands for a very long time.
An astute manager with his eye on the future might easily have turned Marianne into a global attraction. However Marianne after jettisoning Andrew Loog Oldham after her first two single signed with some small minded English putzes who were both incompetents and only interested in exploiting her. Somewhat like Edie Sedgwick in New York it was all there waiting to be picked up but no one saw it.
It does seem that they saw the image ready for use but ignored it. Where was that eagle eyed Allen Klein I wonder. Marianne herself was into Queen Quenivere, King Arthur, the Holy Grail and the faerie aspects of the epic. The record people got it. For instance the liner notes on the back of the US Faithfull Forever US release quote from Keats’ La Belle Dame San Merci:
I met a lady in the meads
Full beautiful- a fairy’s child.
Her hair was long, her foot was light
And her eyes were wild.
I made a garland for her head
And bracelets too, and fragrance zone
She looked at me as she did love
And made sweet moan.
I set her on my pacing steed
And nothing else saw all day long
For sidelong she would bend and sing
A fairy’s song.
She found me roots of relish sweet
And honey wild and manna dew
As sure in language strange she said
“I love thee true.”
So there it was. Everything was in place but the management wasn’t there.
It really couldn’t be seen in 1964 that this was the year of myth making in popular culture, actually ‘64, to ‘66. Marianne had all the elements to make her as big and long lasting as, say, Bob Dylan. She already was a myth.
Perhaps Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones surveying the horizon saw this. Ever envious he may have said to himself ‘This woman is a threat to my supremacy; I must destroy her.’ I can’t say but he did sidle up to her, pour some wine down between her breasts and with that introduction proceed to seduce her whispering ‘Come stay with me.’ A couple years later he threw the remains aside.
And Marianne plunged into a deep depression.
Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones And The Yobbo Revolution
Mick And Keith Come Face To Face With Nemesis
The sixties were very critical years for the various revolutions that made up The Revolution. Yet their activities were very disguised to prevent detection. At no time could they admit who they were or what they were doing. For Instance the takeover of the university system of the US that began at UC Berkeley in 1964 was disguised as some sort of ‘student protest’ over some supposed lack of or suppression of free speech, hence its name, The Free Speech Movement. While it appeared spontaneous it must have been a planned maneuver. I was at Cal State Hayward a couple of miles down the road. We had library privileges at UC that had one of the spectacular libraries of the world that I used so I was on campus when this noise was going down. It was quite professional, extremely well organized and no student revolt per se. The leaders were well instructed in the psychology of crowds. Something the ordinary person would never recognize. From UC it spread throughout the US intensifying in the years 1968-72.
Nineteen sixty-eight, of course, kicked off the worldwide Cultural Revolution orchestrated by Chairman Mao’s China. It was all organized from China. The Paris fiasco, everything even into remote corners such as the University of Oregon in Eugene was run from China. By 1968 I was a grad student at UOregon and in the poster and record business. Some crazed Chinese styled Communists from out on the rural route opened this Communist book store right next to my store. Needless to say police surveillance increased drastically as I was already under suspicion for selling posters and rock and roll music, literally the devil’s music in fundamentalist Eugene. As the whole world knew anyone in the record business was also dealing drugs whether they were or not and I wasn’t. And then the nutty SDS Jews from New York City flooded into town in their hip denims and abetted the Maoists. This increased the fun.
Wait a minute now, there’s more. Eldridge Cleaver and the loony revolutionaries in the Bay Area were conducting open
warfare, guns and bombs you know, with the Feds and local police that naturally enough led to the arrest of such Negro revolutionists. But then, quite naturally, Eldridge escaped from maximum custody or something just like it and disappeared. No one knew where he was and they really wanted to. He didn’t surface for a few weeks so in the interim where did they look for him?
I hesitate to say this because I know you’re not going to believe it. They asked me if I had him hidden in my four hundred square foot record store. You see the logical progression, revolution= rock and roll= dope, Marxist store next door- where else is Eldridge going to hide, right? The store was an open square with a two by four enclosure for a toilet in the right corner. I pointed out to the cop that he was already looking at the entire store and he could see that there was no Eldridge Cleaver. But he wanted to check the 2×4 enclosure. I knew better than to laugh but I could barely contain myself. The cop opened the door to find himself staring into a toilet bowl. Eldridge cabled from Algeria shortly after.
I certainly was not aware of revolutionary activity per se or else I couldn’t take their stuff seriously but looking back things remained on red alert until at least ‘72. For the election of the second Nixon term, which I now see as serious potential danger, I saw them move several truckloads of Army troops out beyond Spencer’s Butte. One might say Mick Jagger and John Lennon, and I say this modestly in a local way, myself, had them worried.
I’ve always respected the intelligence agencies but placing me in the same category with Mick and John makes me have some doubts. I had no revolutionary or drug connections. It wasn’t that they couldn’t find them, as they thought, they didn’t exist.
There you have it, ‘68 was the crucial year. The authorities in both Europe and America were aware that something was going down. They were not taken by surprise. The Stones were.
They might have asked why are they busting us in ‘67 when they had plenty of cause for at least three years. Undoubtedly in an attempt to defuse the ‘68 show as much as possible. The direct action of the revolution failed so whatever counter revolutionary action the authorities took voided that while the revolutionaries themselves misgauged their popular support by a little more than somewhat. There were only a few fanatics backing them. The ‘kids’ were just not that dissatisfied. We were getting plenty of satisfaction.
According to Tony Sanchez/John Blake in their Up And Down With The Rolling Stones Mick fumed thusly after the ‘67 bust, p. 62:
I see a great deal of danger in the air. Teenagers are not screaming over pop music anymore, they’re screaming for much
deeper reasons. Pop music is just the superficial issue….When I’m on that stage I sense that the teenagers are trying to communicate with me, like by telepathy, a message of some urgency. Not about me or our music, but about the world and the way they live. I interpret it as their demonstration against society and its sick attitude. Teenagers the world over are weary of being pushed around by half-assed politicians who attempt to dominate their way of thinking and set a code for their living…..This is a protest against the system. And I see a lot of trouble coming in the dawn.
I don’t know about Mick’s mental telecommunications but the message he was getting was maybe being scrambled by some alien force. Apart from some experts at crowd control and excitation there wasn’t that much interest in fighting in the streets.
Mick remained pugnacious personally, according to Sanchez/Blake:
They think they can break us, man, but no way. We’ll take everything that they can throw at us, and we’ll still win. We’re in a position to tell the kids about all the shit that’s going down, and that’s just what we’re going to do.
Mick was smoking some powerful stuff while taking the teaching of the London School Of Economics a little too seriously. He should have said ‘some kids’, by no means all the kids were concerned with the Stones while as the events in Chicago during the worldwide insurrection of ‘68 showed that concentrating on sex and drugs was not conducive to direct political action. ‘The kids’ made a poor showing. Besides which teenagers were only a part of the rock audience; most of us were at least over twenty.
Nor in ‘72 in Miami after much hoopla and the expenditure of large sums of John and Yoko’s money was there much of an insurrection. Keith in his auto of 2010 speaking of 1985 and 1972 had this to say about that on page one no less.
Every copper wanted to bust us by any means available, to get promoted and potentially rid America of these little fairy Englishmen. It was 1975, a time of brutality and confrontation. Open season on the Stones had been declared on our last tour [that of the inflatable penis], the tour of ‘72, known as the STP. The Department had noted riots (true), civil disobedience (also true), illicit sex, (whatever that is) and violence across the United States. All the fault of us, mere minstrels. We had been inciting youth to rebellion, we were corrupting America, and they ruled never to let us travel in the United States again. It had become, in the time of Nixon, a serious political matter. He had personally deployed his dogs and dirty tricks against John Lennon, who he thought might cost him an election. We…they told our lawyer officially, where the most dangerous rock-and-roll band in the world.
Kind of tells it like it was. I was in the record business, considered an arch liberal, and I thought the Stones were attempting to corrupt the US if not succeeding. I mean, you have only to look at the original picture inside their Black And Blue album to confirm that. The Stones, Lennon-Ono, Dylan, the outlaw groups like the Baader-Meinhoff gang, the Weathermen, the Red Brigades and their ilk saw the world through some drug induced mental haze in which the finest, most just, most democratic and widest opportunity society the world had ever seen and will see was just the opposite of repressive and undemocratic.
I mean, I had been pushed down hard in life, I come from the orphanage, and I still made a major success in the record business and that was against the wishes, not of the system, but the people, the shitheads, I had to deal with. Good god, you have to bully the bullies, elude their repression. It will never be any other way.
Whence came such a bizarre interpretation of reality. As the German politician in the movie, The Baader Meinhoff Complex thought, the insurrectionists were motivated by a myth. The Robin Hood Complex.
Yes, by a sense of materialistic frustration which they justified by the myth of Robin Hood. The problem was the same as the Negro insurrectionists in Watts. The range and quality of material goods increased on a daily basis continually out of reach. Yobbos like the Stones with no discernible abilities other than to write trite lines of lyrics and play hashed over music taken from nearly musically illiterate street corner Negro bands were realizing their material fantasies. What did they do in their rebellion in Watts? Break into stores and steal Tvs and stuff. Mere economic frustration. The Beatles were buying Rollers then desecrating them with psychedelic mockery. Richards himself driving without a legitimate license bought Rollers and smashed them up with glee laughing as he skipped away to avoid arrest. Keith was living the Yobbos dream. Baader-Meinhoff tried to replicate the dream by stealing Mercedes to go joy riding through the night. Same thing the Negroes were doing. That was what the revolution was about. To revel in cash money as the Stones, Beatles and other rockers did they robbed banks to ease their frustration. A leading hatred of the revolutionists was Consumerism. In other words there were more goods than they could come up with money to buy.
Then, as that would garner no sympathy from hardworking people who looked on the cynosure of their eye- the Mercedes and Rolls Royces being destroyed- with horror the gang claimed to be expropriating the expropriators a la Robin Hood and many another criminal but they bought no Thanksgiving dinner for the starving a la Pretty Boy Floyd.
Did the Stones believe the authorities so stupid that they didn’t know what was going on? Apparently so. Didn’t the Stones realize that they were merely taking advantage of the system the claimed to despise? Apparently not. The intelligence agencies infiltrated even the one man organizations of a nincompoop without a chance of success. I was invited to join one by agents in which the ‘mastermind’ was the only non-agency member. What are you supposed to think?
Who was this cocaine supplier to Keith, Freddie Sessler, if not a government agent? I’ll go into him later. Ask yourself, who can obtain unlimited quantities of sealed Merck cocaine containers if not government agents. Some believe that during the sixties the availability of LSD was provided by the CIA/FBI. There was so much LSD coming out of UC/Berkeley and Stanford programs that the whole Bay Area could have been supplied. Who was Owsley? Ask yourself.
The Agencies were funding programs by importing Indo-Chinese heroin also plentiful at that time. What was the result of plentiful Acid, Cocaine and Heroin? Incompetent malcontents. Work it over in your mind. Think about it. Electro-shock therapy? There’s a good one; scrambles your brain forever. Then add Acid and Heroin. Whoo-ee baby.
Anyway, the authorities knew what the Stones, Warhol, Lennon-Ono and the revolutionary crowd were up to. If the West had been the Soviet Union the whole lot would have been shivering the winter through out in the gulag instead of making millions riding giant inflated penises. Hello Mick, are you listening?
But, back to 1967 and the Redlands bust.
It is difficult to know exactly when Oldham and the Stones appeared on the authorities radar. A reasonable assumption would be perhaps sometime in late ‘64 or early ‘65. On the other hand Mick associated himself with David Bailey who probably was politically active since the late fifties who then drew Mick into a revolutionary circle including Andy Warhol in New York. Perhaps some sort of notice was taken at that time but probably of a cursory sort.
Why the Stones would have gotten a shot on the Ed Sullivan show isn’t all that clear to me; they had no reputation in the States at all. Or, for that matter why the Beatles got a shot. Nor why Dave Clark and all the early Invasion groups were hooplaed and accepted so readily as the next big thing by the Sullivan show. Obviously something was going on behind the scenes that we aren’t aware of.
At any rate the Stones got their shot making a not overly favorable impression; definitely inferior to the Beatles although, as we were informed, top competitors of the Beatles over in England. Well, bully. Somebody must have figured out a money angle and it wasn’t in records. In ‘64 a top selling record was 250,000 copies or a million dollars retail. That was the definition of a million seller. And there weren’t a lot of those.
Even drugs were not yet that prominent although the use of grass had been spreading since the fifties. An elite clique in my high school in Michigan was covertly smoking it in 1956 imitating the kids in Scarsdale New York who were apparently leading the curve.
Pharmaceuticals and psychedelics were in use while I was in the Navy ‘56-’59 but not that widespread. Then in the ‘60s psychedelics came into fairly widespread use. I had no idea that amphetamines were practically universal in NY during the early and mid-sixties. LSD became a phenomenon early in the sixties with Leary given the most attention at his post at Harvard becoming the spokesman for turning on, tuning in and dropping out. One way streets were becoming ubiquitous at the time too. That phrase may have sounded the alarm for the authorities as multitudes actually did drop out becoming rather a useless burden on society. I can tell you, Haight-Ashbury wasn’t all that cool.
That ought to have been about ‘65-’66 when the revolution itself was gathering steam.
Mick, of course, was a political revolutionary committed to the cause while his lyrics are a negative portrayal of society if not a put down. Richards was soured on society at age 13 or so when his voice changed. He had been a boy soprano at his school where he and two others were so excellent that they won many prizes. In the process they were excused from certain classes. Then their voices changed and naturally enough they were given their walking papers.
At this point their award winning efforts were thrown back in their faces as they were demoted in grade to make up the classes from which they had been excused. The trio might have tutored to bring them up to speed but Keith felt that had been discarded like so much refuse. Society made itself an enemy who as time would prove would be able to wreak his vengeance with effect.
Keith accepted adoption by the revolutionaries as one being shown the inner sanctum of the Red Brigades of Italy and other revolutionary groups. So he and Mick were more or less of one mind.
Actually by even playing rock music in the fifties and sixties would be to know that he was infuriating the teacher class that had wronged him. Rock was the devil’s music. The notion that rock was part of the Communist conspiracy to corrupt youth was fairly widely believed, speaking of the US. Folk Music was held to be subversive and there is a fair amount of truth in both assertions.
Certainly the Reds didn’t invent Rock but they quickly took advantage of it to inculcate their doctrines.
After the assault on youth in the late fifties when even Dion of the Belmonts was toned down by Mitch Miller and Columbia, the ‘sweet Jewish rock ‘n’ roll of Carole King and Bob Crewe’ and the promotion of a series of bland ballad singers rock seemed to have been contained by the reaction. In Britain the pop scene had been managed so that only bright, pretty faces and perky personas were universal.
The Stones in a very rebellious revolutionary manner broke that mold. On their entry to the United States they struck people as somehow dirty, compared to the Beatles I suppose. They were actually more repulsive, although that might have been Oldham’s hype, although not so much so as The Animals who absolutely horrified the old guard so that it seemed like the scruffy and scruffier were seizing the youth. And of course even on their first Sullivan appearance you could easily see that Brian Jones was under the influence of something. So the Stones may have come under suspicion by the authorities sometime in 1964.
Before 1965 pot and drugs were still somewhat clandestine among youth but by 1965 and after especially with the surfacing of Haight-Ashbury at least pot and LSD were endemic. In very early ‘64 I used to know a guy who kept a bowl of LSD tabs on his living room table. Of course that was Berkeley. In those days acid was considered a sacrament or some kind of transcendental experience. While not that common the experienced walked around like they had been transformed from ordinary mortals into demi-gods. They wouldn’t talk to anyone who hadn’t dropped. It was quite a sight to see although I never indulged myself.
There was one golden moment of, oh, perhaps a half a second in 1966 when the essence of the ‘60s came and went. It was short and quick and even if you got it it was gone before you could grasp it, little golden shimmers filtered through your fingers and that was that. Sic transit gloria and away we went to Altamont. But I anticipate myself.
You’ve heard of the Generation Gap and that was real. Nineteen thirty-eight when I was born was the year of the lowest number of recorded births in some time. We weren’t as rare as hens teeth but even the war babies out numbered us and when they were born half the male population was overseas, so you figure it. Somebody was having a good time. Then in 1946, of course, when the men who survived began to return the population really began to boom, hence baby boomers. So, there was this gap between a huge youth and an older population. The old folks didn’t like us and, well, the relationship was difficult, kind of like between Martians and Earthmen.
The Stones had that jungle beat the old folks couldn’t tolerate. Shucks, the Stones hadn’t even heard real Negro music. All they knew was Motown and that Chicago shit blues music that no one in the US would even listen to. I owned a record store beginning in ‘67 and, let me tell ya, you couldn’t even give that stuff away and that includes Robert Johnson. Oh sure, some stumblebum blues aficionado would shuffle in to ask for Lightning Hopkins, Little Walter or something like that but when you stocked it they would only fondle it say something like I like knowing it’s here. To hell with those guys.
This was a university town and these fanatics would actually bring Lightning Hopkins, for instance, to town for a concert before twenty people in somebody’s living room. Those guys couldn’t play guitar and they couldn’t sing. Leadbelly! Spare me. Memorized Carl Sandburg’s American Song Bag. I never could figure it out.
Shoot! The Stones missed out on the real thing. They should have been in Oakland in ‘60 to ‘66 where I was. Boy, we had the real thing. The most godawful stuff you’d ever want to hear came blasting out of KDIA. White disc jockeys though. The Stones could have learned a lot.
The jungle beat might have garnered them some real attention.
But then, under Andrew’s urging the Stones began to write and compose their own songs. These were often cruel sexual songs expressing the desire to oppress and hurt women or else mocking the older generation. Very strange, unsettling stuff at the time. Now everyone has been unsettled, can’t move them now. As Jagger and Richards, who wrote the songs, found their way in songwriting, the songs became ever more revolutionary while they meshed with a slew of revolutionary movies released during the mid-sixties on. These were often coded plans of action that an agitator provided with the key could decode for other revolutionaries and direct action. Such a key movie that was very influential for the Baader-Meinhoff gang and among German revolutionaries in general was Louis Malle’s Viva Maria. While on the surface a nonsensical even stupid movie when one has the key the movie becomes coherent indeed. Part of the Matriarchal Revolution for starters, but watch it.
Jean Luc Godard, another Nouvelle Vaguer also filmed the very propagandistic film One + One (reissued as Sympathy For The Devil) built around the Stones song of the same title. There was also a slew of satanic movies such Roman
Polansky’s Rosemary’s Baby that aimed at undermining Christian Beliefs. I Am Curious: Yellow that aimed at destroying female chastity. But more of that in the appropriate place.
So, by ‘67 the time of the bust the Stones were building up a dangerous reputation. Always remember that all of these outfits were infiltrated by espionage agents. And those guys were the ones bringing in the dope so how couldn’t the authorities know what drugs the Stones were using and in what quantities. Nice calling card, isn’t it: an unopened ounce of Merck cocaine?
At any rate they decided in 1967 to rein the Stones in a little bit. Shoot the old warning shot across the bow. Also remember that as much as the authorities wanted to suppress the Stones there were just as many Communists or revolutionaries in just as high places to thwart their efforts and actually place the Stones above the law. Their credo: To revolutionaries all things are permitted. Now, you figure it out.
In point of fact the older generation just couldn’t understand the youthful attitude. Everything was going along swimmingly as far as they were concerned. The war recovery was proceeding nicely while the economy seemed stabilized, no return of the Depression. That’s what really scared them and now the little creeps benefiting from this wanted to destroy it. Go figure. That high point of Western Civilization has been subverted today.
As far as the bust at Redlands the authorities were just giving the Stones a good razzing, a taste of what could happen if they were serious. In all likelihood they probably had no intention of making Jagger and Richards serve their sentences. Robert Fraser, the art dealer, arrested with them, was a different situation. He was a member of the establishment having held high military responsibility in Kenya possibly during the Mau Mau insurrection. Therefore he had no excuse whatsoever.
The Stones are quite right that it was a setup. The supposed dope dealer, the American Jew Schneiderman was quite obviously a CIA plant, hence his unlimited supply of pharmaceutical Acid.
Rees-Mogg’s editorial ‘Who Breaks A Butterfly On The Wheel’ was obviously an inside joke as well as well as an insult to the effeminate Jagger. One doesn’t take butterflies seriously hence they were calling Mick a little twit. Why bother with someone so inconsequential? Mick and Keith don’t seem to have understood this. Indeed, Mick, according to Tony Sanchez blubbered:
They think they can break us, man but no way. We’ll take everything they can throw at us, and we’ll still win. We’re in a position to tell the kids about all the shit that’s going down, and that’s just what we are going to do.
Well, bravo, Mick. But you might have been speaking from jail, a rather poor pulpit, had they chosen to put you there while you were not speaking for ‘the kids’ just the yobbos who weren’t going to do anything.
Then according to Sanchez/Blake Mick launches into a clairvoyant séance:
I see a great of danger in the air. Teenagers are not screaming over pop music anymore. We’re only serving as a means of giving them an outlet. Pop music is just a superficial issue…When I’m on that stage I sense that the teenagers are trying to communicate to me, like by telepathy, a message of some urgency. Not about me or our music but about the world and the way they live. I interpret it as their demonstration against society and its sick attitude…This is a protest against the system. And I see a lot of trouble coming in the dawn.
So did the authorities and they were taking measures if not to avert it at least to minimize it. I fail to see how the Paris imbroglio of 1968 took anyone by surprise. I mean, there was no organization not infiltrated by the intelligence agencies. The Chinese Cultural Revolution of which Paris and the rest was part, was directed from Beijing so the West’s intelligence agencies had to be well informed. But as the enemy was their own children they had to be sparing in the use of force. Even Chicago that would have been a great excuse to eliminate the proven troublemakers wasn’t used. Instead we ended up with the farce of the Chicago Eight trial.
They should have just dumped on them. No one was going to riot; those creeps didn’t have that much sympathy.
And then just to show Mick how little they thought of him they sent a helicopter to bring him to them for a little mocking chat. A helicopter: give me a break. Keith does have this to say about that in his autobiography Life of 2010:
The same day we were released the strangest TV discussion ever took place between Mick- flown in by helicopter to some English lawn- and representatives of the ruling establishment. They were like figures from Alice, chessmen: a bishop, a Jesuit, an attorney general and Rees-Mogg. They’d been sent out as a scouting party, waving a white flag, to discuss whether the new youth culture was a threat to the established order. Trying to bridge the unbridgeable gap between the generations. They were earnest and awkward, and it was ludicrous. Their questions amounted to: what do you want?….They were trying to make peace with us, like Chamberlin. Little bit of paper…Yet you know they’re carrying weight, they can bring down some heavy duty shit, so there was this underlying aggressiveness. In a way they were begging Mick for answers. I thought Mick came off pretty well. He didn’t attempt to answer them; he just said, you’re living in the past.
They flew Mick in a helicopter. It was a mocking importance and it came off that way. I saw the bit at the time and came to some different conclusions than Keith. Mick staggered out of the chopper and had to walk across a broad expanse of lawn as though a suppliant to the haughty waiting establishment, sort of like going to see the school principal. They awaited on the patio of a huge house. It was the back door and Mick wasn’t even invited into the kitchen: he was treated like a servant or better yet, a beggar. Butterfly indeed.
They were condescending enough to make your bones ache, Rees-Mogg, one of the establishment, included. They asked the spokesperson of the generation: What do the kids want? Mick flopped. He just stuttered. Keith may have thought he came off well but at my end of the tube I burst out laughing. As far as I was concerned Mick humiliated himself, but then, it was planned that way. All the power was on their side; Mick could really only stand like some penitent school boy and that’s pretty much what he did. Mick wasn’t and couldn’t have been prepared. The deck was stacked against him. But then he, in his turn, shouldn’t have blustered in the aftermath. I wonder if he had to walk home as the heli lifted off without him. That would have been the usual part of the trick; to leave the victim stranded.
In their own way the establishment succeeded in that they knocked the Jagger-Richards writing team off center. Or possibly the duo had exhausted their first momentum, much as Dylan had done and had to regroup as Dylan did. Keith acknowledged that they were dry after the bust. As he says the duo was able to find a new center that was just as successful, perhaps moreso, than the first.
The revolutions were still on and about to reach their first climax.
Next: Leading to Altamont
The Last Days Of John Lennon
Review by R.E. Prindle
Green, John: Dakota Days: The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years, 1983, St. Martin’s
Haden-Guest, Anthony: The Last Party, Studio 54, Disco, And The Culture Of The Night,1997, William Morrow
Seaman, Frederic: The Last Days Of John Lennon: A Personal Memoir. 1991, Birch Lane
You know, someone once said
That the world’s a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playin’ in love,
You as my sweetheart.
Act one was when we met,
I loved you at first glance,
You read your lines so cleverly
And never missed a cue.
Then came act two.
You seemed to change and acted strange,
And why, I’ll never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me,
Now the stage is bare
And I’m standing here
With emptiness all around.
And if you don’t come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
As Recited By Elvis Presley
The question here is what was Yoko’s attitude toward her conquest at the beginning of Act Two. Did she really fall in love with a relatively unsophisticated rube like John Lennon or were her motives more calculated. Yoko was a Japanese aristocrat which she never let John forget who could trace her ancestry back to the emperors of Japan. She came from major financial families on both sides. Her father had an illustrious diplomatic career while having artistic pretensions. She considered herself as one of the leading lights of the NYC avant garde. Although I haven’t seen it mentioned she acknowledged the authority of the reigning avant garde doyen, Marcel Du Champ who actually founded the NYC avant garde at the 1913 Armory Show. His greatest artistic feat was the display of an actual pissoir as an original work of art. Yoko followed his example of outre suggestions in her small volume Grapefruit. Andy Warhol to whom she was attracted can be considered a disciple of Du Champ. So, in one sense, she was in with the ultimate artistic in group. She then, had delusions of grandeur while probably looking down on and humouring, John Lennon.
She used this background to baffle the mind of Lennon. At the least Lennon was a very unsophisticated young man from what in America would be considered the boondocks. Bad enough that he grew up in a cultural but vital backwater but barely out of high school he and his band were immersed in the criminal underworld of Hamburg. They were at one point under the protection of the master criminal of Europe. This in some of your most impressionable years.
So, in comparison with Yoko Lennon felt insignificant. As he said Yoko had all these attributes while what did he have- nothing. Lennon had actually achieved the impossible but he had very low self-esteem. Like many musicians he longed for recognition but was terrified of actual success. Unlike some bands who can’t get beyond the rehearsal stage Lennon had the drive and ability to realize his stated goal, to be ‘the toppermost of the poppemost.’ He probably didn’t believe he’d ever make it but when that goal had been reached, in spades, he began to falter not believing his success was deserved. The first step in rejecting his role was the abandonment of touring. He then sank into a fairly severe depression not unlike that between 1975 and 1980. Whether he might then have scotched his role, his intent was aborted by the drive and ambition of partner Paul McCartney who having reached the toppermost of the poppermost intended to stay there, make a career of being no. 1 if possible. Any conflicts are secondary to Lennon’s feeling of unworthiness. That was the rock on which the Beatles broke.
It would have taken Yoko two seconds to analyze Lennon’s psychological state. That she exploited it is clear from Lennon’s abject servility that she cultivated and most likely induced.
In point of fact Lennon was everything while Yoko was nothing. Quite against his will he had made himself more of a spokesman for his generation than his cross-ocean rival, Bob Dylan. His social capital was enormous while his fortune, even being grossly mismanaged, was gigantic. He and the Beatles had created intellectual properties that extended 0ut over fifty years were worth billions. Yoko managed to finesse this enormous legacy of money and prestige.
How did she do it?
Quite simply she hypnotized Lennon. As Lennon complained to the Tarot reader, John Green, Yoko wanted to play the Count To Ten Game. Lennon lay his head in her lap while she stroked his hair and counted slowly back from ten to one. Classic hypnotism. The essence of hypnotism is the suggestion, more especially the post-hypnotic suggestion. This means that, while hypnotized it is suggested to the subject that he will perform certain acts at a later date after he has been awakened. Once the suggestion is in the subject’s mind he will act on the suggestion. Hypnotism would then explain the seemingly irrational acts of Lennon at the very least from 1973 to 1980 and probably before. May Pang describes how Yoko hypnotized her to take up with John while in all probability she hypnotized John to run off with May. Thus John’s reputation was compromised to some extent.
While Lennon was in LA Yoko was on the phone to him many times a day. Anyone who has seen the movie, The Manchurian Candidate, realizes the importance of post-hynotic trigger words. Thus Lennon’s peculiarly destructive and bizarre behavior in LA was probably programmed by Yoko to make him appear weird in comparison to her ‘stability.’
Thus when he and May Pang returned to New York Yoko made a phone call, John put down the phone, walked out of his and May’s apartment and returned to Yoko. According to May John said he was essentially made captive while being put through some horrible hypnotic indoctrination for a couple of days by ‘them.’ We don’t know who ‘they’ were except for Yoko but I’m guessing probably she and John Green or perhaps some other occult accomplices of which she had several.
This brings up another important side of Yoko. She was a devotee of black magic, or, perhaps, magick. She even recorded a song titled: Yes, I’m A Witch. Yoko had an extensive library of magical texts that she apparantly studied plus she was into all the great conspiracy theories as is evidenced on one of the multitude of Ono and Lennon sites on the web today. Imagine Peace for instance is a remarkable site.
At the basis of her magic was a return to the most primitive form of magical shamanism. She combined this magical shamanism with her Feminism to found an organization named One On One which is designed to aid female shamans of the Pacific Islands. Certainly a specialized foundation, one would think.
In 1974 just prior to John’s return Yoko hired John Green as her Tarot reader cum curioso. Green was an accomplished magician affiliated with the Santeria religion of the African Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. He was also familiar with the Caribbean magicians known as curanderas if female and curiosos if male.
When Yoko and John Green traveled to Colombia SA to barter with Satan for her soul it was necessary for Green to offer his curioso credentials to the curandera which he successfully did. Thus, to obtain her heart’s desire in 1977 Yoko sold her soul to the Devil, or believed she did which is the same thing.
The point is that Yoko was thoroughly immersed in hypnotism and magical practices. Put into practice we have the remarkable incident in John’s immigration hearings. To ensure success Yoko contacted a Black witch to provide assisstance. This witch was apparently well versed in the techniques of aromatherapy. She gave John a package folded in a recondite way that he was to unfold in court in a specified way. John concealing the folded paper in his lap did so. He said the courtroom filled with an unpleasant aroma. the judge asked what that smell was and ordered the windows opened. John repeated the act the next day after which, he says, the judge’s attitude softened toward him.
Thus, we have a pattern of Yoko resorting to magical means to gain her ends.
Now, let’s consider Lennon’s attachment to this rather eccentric woman. Contrary to Yoko’s assertion that she was just so darn cute John had to fall head over heels in love with her, the evidence is that he required a great deal of active persuasion. Yoko showed up unannounced at his door completely violating the sanctity of Cynthia’s home. At one point as John and Cynthia were leaving an event Yoko appeared and got into the car with John and Cynthia. At the time it was reported that Yoko sat between them but in her memoir, John, Cynthia says that Yoko entered first sitting on her left side. Yoko sat silently, mysteriously, exiting the car without a word. A hypnotic technique.
Yoko bombarded Lennon with cards and letters through the mails including one with the suggestion: Look at the sky, see a cloud, that cloud is me. In other words- Je suis partout. I surround you.
Thus when Cynthia was gone on vacation Yoko spent the night with John in Cynthia’s house once again violating the sanctity of her private space, displacing her as it were. Drugs were involved which would have made John more susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. The fact that the duo recorded ‘Two Virgins’ at this session and John wasn’t revolted at her so-called singing proves he must have been hypnotized to me.
The fact that he was depressed, overwhelmed by his success, and unhappy in his marriage to Cynthia merely means that he was very susceptible. Perhaps the turning point in their relationship came with the death of the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein just the Beatles were leaving for a Transcendental Meditation retreat in India.
Up to Epstein’s death the Beatles had had no responsibilities; Epstein had managed all business and monetary matters for them. Now, bereft of their management the Beatles were cast adrift on their own with disastrous or near disastrous consequences. In his personal desperation Lennon undoubtedly clung to Yoko Ono as his security blanket and surrogate mother. Yoko had obtained her goal, she had captured a Beatle and the Beatle’s reputation was nearly that of a secular saint; he was held in religious awe by the Beatles’ fans.
Yoko exploited her opportunity with brilliance. As I think, through hypnosis she had John make the attempt to insinuate her into the group as the Fifth Beatle. Not content with Two Virgins she intended to screech her way through a few Beatles’ side thus attributing their success to herself. Because of her friendship with the experimental composer, John Cage, she considered herself a better musician than the combined Beatles. She failed in her attempt to join the boys breaking up the band instead.
Nothing daunted she decided to exploit John with her astouonding avant garde performance art. Thus she organized the Bed-In events which were actually successes of sorts. From there she persuaded John to form the Plastic Ono Band to gain some musical credentials. Despite sensational packaging the record flopped.
At this point Yoko decided to return to New York City and reestablish her art connections. By this time, in my estimation, the avant garde was dead, killed by Andy Warhol and perhaps by diffusion into the general culture by groups like the Beatles.
At this point, I believe, John became a liability. Still Yoko was nothing without him. She wanted to connect up with Andy Warhol but her intro to Warhol was Lennon. Nevertheless John, Andy and Yoko did become fairly intimate.
Two years after her return she sent John away with May Pang. Act Two was well under way. Then eighteen months later she called him back again. I have to believe that from ’66 to ’75 John was under hypnotic influence. That’s about the only thing that explains his bizarre behavior then and certainly is the only thing that can explain his even more bizarre behavior in the five years leading up to his death.
It seems certain that at least upon Lennon’s return he was being regularly hypnotized by Yoko. As I mention with my ‘Look at the sky’ reference it is clear to me that Yoko was using hypnotic techniques and suggestion from ’66. Even the story of John climbing the ladder at the Indica Gallery to look through a magnifying glass to decipher the word ‘Yes’ can be construed as a technique of hypnosis or suggestion. Climbing the ladder is well know sexual symbolism.
Unless hypnotized it is difficult for me to understand how a man could emasculate himself so far as to turn his identity over to a woman of whom John Green, himself, advised Lennon to be suspicious. And Green who read Yoko’s Tarot hundreds of times over those five years would have been able to figure out what Yoko was thinking. She was unguarded.
Yoko’s first step in emasculating Lennon was to tell the media that he was withdrawing from the world to become a house husband. There were few men in the world who didn’t understand that to mean that Lennon had been deballed. This was also a Feminist revolutionary move to turn the Patriarchy back to the Matriarchy.
Having made Lennon ex-communicado the story of his withdrawal from life during this period into clinical depression was also released. From a careful reading of John Green and Fred Seaman this notion can be disrgarded. He may have been entering a period of what Dynamic Psychologists call a ‘creative illness’ but he wasn’t just brooding. He had to have a period to sort out the crowded years from 1958 to 1974 and deal with what must have been some very painful memories. Keeping the channel button on his remote depressed to let the channels flip thorugh continuously could be construe as an attempt to deal with multitudinous memories flashing through his mind.
While supposedly in this inert state, Warhol records in his diaries that Lennon while eating lunch at another table in a fashionable eatery came over to Warhol’s table surprising him by laying on the floor by his chair on his back with arms and legs simulating a puppy and panting with his tongue lolling out. Now, that is lack of self-esteem.
So his so-called depression was more an attempt to understand the past more than just depressive brooding. In fact he did get his life organized. While he claimed he was incapable of writing during this period as his muse had left him, which is to say he had writer’s block, by 1980 he had resolved his problems and was ready to go back to work. Personally I have to admire the guy for achieving this regeneration. He had a lot of fortune and misfortune to sort through while coming to terms with being a success he had never hoped to be.
Now, what was Yoko doing during these five years?
First, let’s keep track of the various revolutions subsumed under the Warhol umbrella. Andy was shot by Valerie Solonas in 1969 which effectively shut down Factory #1 although #2 was already in existence. The seventies were a dull period for Warhol as he recovered his lustre after actually having been declared dead. The homosexual nightlife was burgeoning however, while reaching a dfinitive point in 1977 when the nightclub Studio 54 was created by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. It was the serendipitous moment for the Homo Revos and Rubell and Schrager hit the groove as sharp as a knife. The criminal/revolutionary elements working out of Andy’s old Factory had found a new home. Andy had found a new home; he apparently haunted the place nearly every night of its existence. A real fixture.
There’s a very interesting book that was issued in 1997 by Anthony Haden-Guest titled: The Last Party, Studio 54, Disco And the Culture Of The Night. The book sank but left traces. A remainder copy, first edition, can be picked up new for a couple dollars on the internet. If you’re interested in this topic you should do it.
As an example of how vile these revolutionaries were conducting, say the sexual revolution, Haden-Guest tells an alarming story. Now, Studio 54 was in existence only eighteen months before the Feds loaded them into the vans. I’m sure Rubell and Schrader were not involved directly in this escapade but while Warhol at the Factory was using the Undermen as his foils in ’77 and ’78 some unnamed revolutionaries, perhaps Warhol among them, set out to corrupt the WASP students at prep schools. This must have been on the drawing boards for some time waiting for the opportunity because there wasn’t much time to act. The students were fourteen, fifteen and sixteen year olds. Lists of students were compiled and approached. Haden-Guest says likely subjects were pointed out by ‘moles’ in the schools. We all know what moles are from spy novels so already having moles in the schools shows some advanced planning. What they were doing while waiting for opportunity is a question worth pursuing.
Now, these decidedly underage kids were enticed to the come to Studio 54, bussed to it, where they were given free admittance as bait to entice other underage children. At Studio 54 they were systematically debauched with free drinks and free drugs. The perves then were delivered young boys and girls drunk or on drugs to seduce which was done.
Many if not most of these kids beca,e drunks and debased drug addicts, heroin and what all. Haden-Guest draws an astonishing picture. While Haden-Guest doesn’t say Warhol was one behind this plan to debauch the most priviliged of Young America he leaves room for conjecture. So, things were getting rough in this toughest of American cities.
Yoko had set her cap for Warhol. She cultivated his acquaintance with Lennon as celebrity bait. She befriended his associate Sam Green who was an art dealer and procurer of desirable legal or illegal items for those with the money. In 1977, for instance, he was able to procure tickets to the Carter inauguration for himself, John and Yoko. Sam Green’s associate Bart Gorin also delivered Yoko’s heroin to her. This is interesting.
Anthony Haden-Guest in his The Last Party says in his coded way that a major heroin dealer lived in a gothic apartment house on Central Park West, that would be the Dakota. He calls the dealer The Elfin Queen, that’s a small eccentric woman. I don’t know how many small eccentric women lived at the Dakota but the specifics do describe Yoko Ono. The Elfin Queen was also a denizen of Nightworld which would seem to narrow things further.
Yoko in the late seventies was a heroin addict which is an additional point. She had her paper delivered daily by Sam Green’s assistant Bart Gorin. That means that Sam Green was holding. It is also clear that Yoko only held her daily dose so she was smart enough to have no evidence around. If this is true there had to be contact with an underworld wholesaler. Whether that was Sam Green or another buffer to distance themselves or not isn’t known. It is beyond dispute however that Sam Green was the supplier for Yoko.
I find little evidence that Yoko was a financial genius who went from John’s current income to 25 million in three years with the usual figure of 150 million being mentioned. There might have been some sub-rosa dealing.
It is also true that Sam Green was active as an agent obtaining items for Yoko’s various art collection. He was undoubtedly her gigilo, there being hope for him to replace Lennon after he was shot in 1980.
Sam Green and John Green were both known to each other while there is some speculation that the Greens collaborated to overcharge Yoko for items. It may be true but whatever she overpaid was insignficant as in the seventies the prices of all collectibles just sky rocketed. The 70s was the decade of the collector.
In ’77 Yoko met Sam Havadtoy while on one of her shopping expeditions who became a fast friend while actually replacing Lennon on the day of his death.
Now, during John’s absence in ’74 Yoko had tested the waters for her solo screeching and found the temperature tepid. She still needed John for his reputation as well as his money. John had her on the short leash of 300 K during his absence which Yoko found irksome. She now set out to gain control of John’s entire fortune and income. She secured a Power of Attorney and the legal assumption of his entire identity so that she acted not only in his name but as himself. I can’t believe Lennon would agree to this, which isn’t to say he didn’t, but I find it more likely he was following a post-hypnotic suggestion. Now in control of his money and having assumed his identity as well as her own Yoko had little use for him. As Seaman records during ’79 and ’80 she sent him out to Long Island for long stretches of time and then on a dangerous sea voyage to the Bahamas that almost claimed his life which would have been very fortuitous for Yoko. John stayed in the Bahamas several months.
It was there his writer’s block unblocked or, as he might express it, his muse returned and he was able to begin writing again. Thus, perhaps to Yoko’s surprise, he returned to NYC with a packet of new songs ready to go back into the studio. Here the plot thickens.
Yoko had John out of the Dakota for much of 1980. During that time her relations with both Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy intensified, so there was a reason John was sent away. That he was so complaisant to her wishes is truly amazing unless he was controlled through post-hypnotic suggestion. When John came back from the Bahamas he went into the studio. At this point Yoko and he were inseparable. She insisted on alternating songs on the LP- one of his, one of hers. There was a giveaway there. One of John’s songs was I’m Losing You followed by Yoko’s I’m Moving On.
A reading of Seaman’s memoir shows a Yoko who was inconsiderately entertaining both Sams in a closed room at the studio not only in front of John but the whole band. It seems clear that that the two song titles were more than relevant.
Now, by this time Yoko had all the money in her control and possibly in her name and this was legally irrevocable although John could revoke future use of his identity and cancel the POA and possibly regain control of his royalties unless Yoko had also assigned those to herself. So the day she ‘moved on’ John would be effectively penniless. If you thought Colonel Parker was the manager from hell Yoko was the topper. She literally was from hell as she had sold her soul to Satan.
There remained the matter of popularity. It seems clear that Yoko thought she had created a mega chart buster, not John. She sincerely thought that the success of the record would depend on her contributions, but the record sold well on the basis of Lennon’s reputation alone. This was a setback for Yoko necessitating a change in procedures.
In any event Lennon was assassinated by a ‘lone nut’ on December 8, 1980. John lost Yoko and she moved on.
The case against Mark Chapman, the man who shot Lennon, would seem to have been open and shut. Several witnesses saw him shoot Lennon while he quietly laid the gun down and quietly assumed responsibility, never denying it. Attorney’s wanted to plead insanity but Chapman refused. As often happens in ‘lone nut’ assassinations many found the fact inconclusive. And, indeed, there are reasons to believe that Mark Chapman was just a tool, a pawn in someone’s game. The question has been, who? Many people believe Chapman was a Manchurian Candidate hypnotized to commit the murder. The Manchurian Candidate is a book and movie in which a former American soldier ws given a post-hypnotic code word that activated certain instructions. The question once again was, who? Some suggested the government. There is no clear solution so one can’t rule a Fed hit out but the Ono-Lennon’s quarrel was with the Nixon White House. The Carter administration was then in office while John and Yoko had wrangled tickets to Carter’s inauguration. I don’t think the Carter administration probable.
There is also a sizeable group who believe Yoko herself was involved. The idea involves more of a how than the government accusation. What seems clear to doubters is that Chapman seemed to act programmed rather then autonomous. Before I tackle a probable how let’s review Yoko’s situation before and after the assassination. There seems to be an incongruous continuity.
Lennon had been away from the Dakota for much of 1980 returning from the Bahamas mid-year to go into the recording studio. We know that a close associate of Yoko, Sam Green, was at the very least a conduit for Yoko’s heroin. Heroin may account for his presence in the Studio and Yoko’s need for a private room.
She also became close to Sam Havadtoy, another art dealer, who has the appearance of an enforcer. Indeed, he moved into the Dakota the day John died where he remained for twenty years. Shortly after John’s death Havadtoy sent for two Hungarian ‘cooks’ from then Soviet ruled Hungary. Why Yoko would need two cooks isn’t clear so let us assume that the two were bodyguards or assistant enforcers.
The peaceable Yoko turned violent after John’s death. As Fred Seaman records she had a couple of thugs beat him in the attempt to force him to give up John’s diaries. I would think that peaceable attempts to recover the diaries would have worked just as well on Seaman.
Yoko had wanted to connect up with Andy Warhol since about 1965. On her return to NYC in 1971 she cultivated Warhol assiduously but John was in the way and for various reasons she couldn’t just divorce him. I am convinced her only iinterest in him had been for monetary and publicity reasons.
Three months after John’s death she offered herself to Andy Warhol. Warhol’s diary entry for Friday, March 20, 1981, three months after the murder reads:
We had to do our Rex Smith interview, Bob (Colacello) and I, so I decided it was easier to stay uptown because it was going to be at Quo Vadis. We fell in love with him. He had the curly Vitas Gerulaitis look but better looking.
And then we heard a voice say, “Andy!” It was Yoko Ono. We were so stunned. She looked so elegant, like the Duchess of Windsor with her hair back and dark wraparound glasses, and beautiful makeup and Fendi furs and jewelry- an emerald ring with a big ruby in it and Elso Peritte diamond earrings. So I said that I wanted to call her for lunch and so she gave me her phone number. It was really strange, a whole new Yoko.
And all Andy had to do to unify the whole avant garde was to climb that ladder, take the magnifying glass and read out loud one little word- YES. Some little time later when he thought he might need a woman who could accompany him to parties he did think of Yoko but then nixed the idea. He’d already been shot once.
So, not only was there no period of mourning for Yoko but three months after she in effect proposed to the man who she thought of as her dream husband.
So that is Yoko’s situation in the period on both sides of John’s death. His was a convenient murder releasing Yoko to attempt to gratify her secret ambitions.
Let us assume that Yoko programmed or had Chapman programmed. Yoko was connected to a number of magical networks that could have located Chapman as a perpetrator. John Green was a Santeria priest and curioso. Santeria was functioning all up and down the East Coast and especially in Atlanta where Chapman was from and which he visited before the shooting. Plus the religion is dispersed around.
‘Magic’ had been employed to help John’s immigration problem, apparently provided by a Black witch from Chicago. Chapman stopped over in Chicago on one of his trips to NYC to dispose of a painting. Yoko was Japanese, her numerologist was Japanese and Gloria Abe, Chapman’s new wife was Japanese. Yoko’s One On One Foundation was involved with female Shamanistic magicians from the Pacific Islands that might have included Hawaii so, shall we say, he was mentally unstable which is an aid in hypnotism?
Thus there are ways Chapman could have been recruited and having been recruited and brought under mind control so that a telephone call from anywhere in the world could have been used to utter the trigger word. And then there is the question of where the money came from for Chapman’s frequent air flights especially his flight around the world with several layovers. He had in excess of two thousand dollars on him at the time of his arrest.
None of this is conclusive, of course, there is always the chance that Chapman was a ‘lone nut.’ These things do happen. On the other hand someone who had provided for herself so well and was so prepared to weather the shock must be equally rare. Those things happen too.
As Seaman notes, he was more grief stricken than Yoko. And at the same time Yoko had sold her soul to Satan to obtain desires that were never revealed. The astonishing coincidence is the Satanic stuff took place not only in the Dakota of Rosemary’s Baby but on the same floor and in some of the same rooms. An early candidate for the mother of Satan’s baby threw herself from the seventh floor window landing on nearly the spot where Lennon was shot. Very eerie, almost Rosemary’s Baby II.
The Last Days Of John Lennon
Review by R.E. Prindle
How The Fifties Became The Sixties
The sixties seem to have erupted by some process of autogenesis. They seem to be a decade unrelated to the fifties but nothing could be further from the truth. The sixties were very carefully structured in the fifties, that supposedly somnolent decade. The fifties themselves evolved from the fantasy notion of The United States Of America- the American Dream. In truth there had never been a united America and an American Dream only in the mind of certain immigrants who believed they had reached the Promised Land of their dreams. The country has always been one of conflict with conflicting peoples. There was no mythological age as in distant times so no mythopoeic era preceded the scientific one. America was born in science.
The warfare against the aboriginal peoples to clear the land for the European invaders created the first layer of conflict. The second layer of conflict was the importation of Africans as slave labor. This created a second irreconcilable conflict that erupted in 1954 when the Black revolution began in earnest and began to accelerate in the sixties. This was what Eric Foner described as America’s unfinished revolution in his writings.
Each succeeding group of immigrants created its own friction but assimilation did go on with most peoples. In the fifties the sort of ethnic identities in song and humor that makes the talkies of the thirties now seem quaint was coun
teracted. While visibly subdued ethnicism simmered below the surface until the sixties when it burst out again in a new form and triumphed.
I am unable to tell the education received in schools of the twenties and thirties but by the time I was in high school from 1953-56 the whole concept of revolutiuon was romanticized and this continued through my college years in the sixties. It was iterated over and over again that revolution was an absolute virtue. To be revolutionary was to be a person in full. Kids in the walls ran around saying are you revolutionary, I’m revolutionary. Thus they embraced any idea that was the opposite of the status quo. This notion of revolution was combined with the notion of the absolute virtue of being an American. This would result in Kennedy’s idiotic Peace Corps begun in the sixties. Raw American youths were supposed to be able to tell the less favored peoples how to run their lives. The war in Europe was treated as a crusade against Germans, a war of absolute black and white, no shades of grey. I truly believed that no American in either the European or Pacific war ever committed an act of wanton brutality no matter what the provocation. I would have dismissed out of hand that as a matter of policy millions of Germans were exposed to Winter weather in the years following the war unprotected while being denied any kind of nourishment and, yet, it was so. In subsequent years this would have been described as ‘American’ brutality while in fact it was instigated by revolutionary American Jews seeking vengeance. Americanism was not involved.
At the same time the new medium of television exposed us to unprecedented doses of propaganda disguised as the truth, doses far in excess of anything the hated Nazis devised. Chief among those TV shows was a cartoon called Crusader Rabbit. Now, Crusader Rabbit in reality is a vigilante dispensing vigilante justice. He acted on his own ‘righting’ what he perceived as wrongs. Of course those of us who read comic books in the late forties had already been exposed to vigilantism in the form of comic book heroes like the Blackhawks. Or, for that matter Batman and Robin and Superman among many others, Plastic Man. I sort of thought of myself as Plastic Man.
So this whole age cadre was stoked up on revolution and vigilantism with no venues to express it. The sixties then was a god send as the existing revolutions- the Undermen, the Jews, the Blacks, the Homosexuals, the Feminists, the Communists had merely to whisper the word REVOLUTION to get a positive response for their ideologies. The generation was primed for revolution of any sort- a revolution in bubble gum for instance.
Thus at Berkeley in ’64’s so-called Free Speech Movement you had the spectacle of the most advantaged members of the generation participating in what was a part of the Jewish Revolution in the guise of voluntary Undermen.
Thus as the sixties dawned the way was cleared of any resistance to revolutionary schemes as hordes of self-righteous vigilantes confident that their perception and judgment was received from god himself began to act on their assumptions taken from their misguided elders.
The center of this maelstrom in the sixties was New York City. The Bohemian life style stewing in Lower Manhattan since the Armory Show of 1913 was about to conquer the mind of the country. Perhaps the leader of the sixties Bohos was Andy Warhol. Certainly with a kind of genius he made himself the center of the storm.
This most influential Bohemian attitude toward life was both stratified and diverse. The first out of the box were the uptown Beats. These men seized the attention of the country in the mid-fifties when Allen Ginsberg, a leader of the Jewish, Homosexual and Underman revolutions, gained prominence with his so-called poem, Howl. He then dragged Jack Kerouac through with his On The Road and William S. Burroughs with his Naked Lunch. All three works have been incredibly influential in creating a new Underclass of Undermen, in thought if not in fact.
The Beats hung out in upper Manhattan around Kerouac’s alma mater, Columbia, although Ginsberg gravitated downtown in an effort to pair up with the Beat musical epigone, Bob Dylan. As Ginsberg represented four revolutions it could be said of him- Il est partout, a very important if disgusting figure. Burroughs also gravitated to lower Manhattan before departing for the corn fields of Kansas.
The well-to-do or rich Bohos, to which John and Yoko would belong, sometimes known as Cafe Society, were the upper crust of Bohemia. And then there was the middle Bohemia and it Lower Depths.
Running through all was the old avant garde which excluded the Beats who were not avant garde.
Warhol, John Cage, La Monte Young and a host of artists and writers including Yoko Ono were part of the old garde. Yoko dragged Lennon in but he was not constitutionally avant garde and probably not even a real Boho. Fred Seaman seems to have had no affinity for Bohemia or revolution.
As the sixties dawned Lennon coming from then obscure Liverpool was of the lower middle class but of the English art school background. He spent a couple years in the German underworld before skyrocketing to super world fame with the Beatles so that while he and the Beatles were instrumental in forming the sixties and subsuming the avant garde they were not actually of it. Thus when Lennon came to earth around 1970 he was virtually a Rip Van Winkle who had slept through the decade. The new reolutionary world he and Yoko entered in New York could have been barely understood by them. It wasn’t even really understood by those in the thick of it. Dylan’s ‘Something’s happening here but you don’t know what it is do you Mr. Jones’ could have applied to himself and everyone else.
Yoko Ono was a committed Feminist and key member of that revolution. In a world of eccentric and unusual characters she was a standout. Her career as an avant gardist began as a ‘performance artist’. Essentially a stunt man. Back in the twenties and thirties would be celebrities used their bodies to gain fame performing stunts. One going by the name of The Mighty Atom attached ropes to his hair holding back an airplane. This is essentially what Yoko was doing as a ‘performance artist.’ Her ‘Cut Piece’ urged viewers to come up on stage and cut away a piece of her clothing. She and Tony Cox crawling into a black bag? Whew!
But she was thereby connected to the avant garde. She knew John Cage, Andy Warhol, Sam Green and the lot as early as 1960. The friendships remained enduring as she maintained them throughout the seventies and eighties.
As a performing artist Yoko was a sort of chameleon forming her art to suit the circumstances. Having once captured John Lennon she first became a peacenik as peace was the prevailing notion- love and peace- returning to New York amid the wreckage of the peace, love and happiness bit she got up from her bed of peace and strapped a fully loaded bandolier of bullets around her hips and became a sullen revolutionary a la Bernardine Dorhn. It all art and art is holy, isn’t it?
The Ono-Lennon’s very serious looking revolutionary activities quite naturally brought the Heat down on them. It should be clear that these were not lightweight posturings but she and John were financing the disruption of the Republican National Convention forcing a move of the site from San Diego to Miami. There is small wonder the elected Nixon administration sought to deport them. Neither John nor Yoko were American citizens but essentially part of an international conspiracy, she being a Japanese and he an English national. Thus in addition to being a leader in the Feminist and Sexual revolutions she lent herself to the Judaeo-Communist revolution. Nearly all her revolutionary associates were of the Jewish revolution. Plus John essentially represented the Undermen. Thus Fred Seaman was employed by not only a celebrity household but a notorious one. Nor was Fred an American but a German national. No Americans involved.
Warhol And Bob Dylan
Down below the subway’s screamin’
As I lay here halfway dreamin’
And face the long evenin’
Layin’ close beside my radio
Imaginin’ the kisses of the girl who sings the song
Lookin’ at the ceiling
Wonderin’ where the dream went wrong.
Last Morning- Shel Silverstein
As sung by Ray Sawyer and Dr. Hook.
New York City was indeed a tough cold city. It was enough to make you crazy as you ‘fought the crowds, avoided the traffic and watched the world turn grey.’ Coming from Pittsburgh Andy Warhol had no trouble with the skies turning grey, he was used to much worse. For Dylan coming from Hibbing, Minnesota way, way out on the edge of civilization the change must have been traumatic. Both men, however, were uniquely equipped to succeed in such a tough environment although it turned both crazy, cruel and mean. Both became paragons of the revolutions.
Warhol, the older of the two, forged the revolution of the Undermen and the Homosexuals while acquiring great wealth. Dylan, too, made his appeal to the undermen (the confused, abused, strung out ones and worse) basing his career on the misfits and malcontents. At the same time he was a key player in fundamental Jewish revolution. Both men affected innocent harmless personas so as to deflect attention from what they were really up to. As both had complementary strategies it is quite possible that each saw through the other. Warhol certainly saw through Dylan but I’m not sure if the reverse was true. Both were heavily into drugs which altered their perceptions.
Warhol preceded Dylan on the scene by a decade arriving in NYC in 1950. His homosexual agenda was clear to him from the start even if its implementation wasn’t. He was immediately successful upon his arrival easily gaining entry into the commerical art field. Dylan too would have no trouble gaining both entry and prominence within a year, phenomenal success in two and preeminence in three.
Warhol commanded a large perhaps even great income within a matter of four or five years. He spent madly but invested wisely.
He was always interested in mass production techniques where the original was merely a prototype like a car model. His original drawings were mass replicated by the newspaper ads. Amazingly, new in New York, he sent a letter to CBS asking if he could design record covers and received assignments by return mail. While his record covers are not among his best known works he did design at least fifty while perhaps more remain to be discovered. While his designs were for very low selling jazz and classical records they are obviously the work of a homosexual or, as they are described- fey.
Thus they advance the Homosexual revolution. True, they are tiny drops but by the time he designed the Sticky Fingers cover for the Rolling Stones his design, it can be confidently asserted, was seen by every single member of two generations while selling in the millions. The title and cover are an ode to masturbation, one of the favorite thems of both the Homosexual and Sexual revolutions. The illustration was of a male crotch clothed in blue jeans with a workable zipper. It was a retailing nightmare but effective in sexually conditioning the minds of his audience. The zipper was irresistible to record fans who broke the plastic on every single cover making them nearly unsaleable. Success actually unimaginable to Warhol in 1950.
In addition Warhol designed ‘fey’ book covers, frequently for homosexually oriented titles thus adding a few additional drops, pushing toward 9cc. Andy had his sticky fingers in everywhere- stationery, wrapping paper…all with his fey designs.
While he gained great success as a commercial artist he had his eye on the fine arts; about 1960 he made his move into ‘serious’ art- painting. He called his style Pop Art. Pop Art had its antecedents in the fifties of which Warhol would have been aware. Here are a couple examples by Ray Johnson from the mid-fifties. Johnson is described as proto-Pop.
Having made his splash in Pop Art, becoming a major celebrity, Warhol was ready to move into his next phase in the subversion of art and society. In 1964 he established his famous atelier known as the Factory. There he continued his paintings while beginning an influential if unremunerative secondary career as a film auteur.
There seem to be revolutionary motives in the founding of the Factory. Warhol gathered about him a collection of the Undermen. These were all Homosexuals, druggies, hustlers and prostitutes.
There is an interesting passage in the Weathermen founder’s autobiography Fugitive Days where the author, Bill Ayers, says:
…the most interesting alliance to me was struck in the first months underground, and it was with a kind of eccentric shadowy group that would become fast and reliable friends for decades to come.
The group was without a name, contained hundreds of members in half a dozen cities, and was organized by a charismatic leader and psychologist who called himself Kaz. They were all former heroin addicts, former beatniks, former hustlers, and prostitutes, five, ten, twenty years older than us, now living in luxury and working downtown but thinking of themselves primarily as deep, deep underground, a kind of fifth column waiting patiently for the revolution.
What Ayers appears to be describing is the Haut Boheme Cafe Society of New York. Now, Warhol with the Factory created a place where all Bohemia, high and low, could gather under the reasonable pretext of partying which is what happened. Many attendees would be innocents of course providing even better cover for the revos. To get some idea of what the scene was like review the lyrics to Shel Silverstein’s Freakin’ At The Freakers Ball appended. Silverstein seems to be describing the Factory exactly.
The police had the Factory under surveillance as well as one supposes, the FBI. The deep underground wasn’t deep enough to conceal these characters. The Factory would be forced out by ’68 giving it a four year run. Bereft of a gathering place Bohemia would have to wait until 1977 for another when Rubell and Schrager put together Studio 54. 54 was better than the Factory because attendance could be monitored allowing only the Haut Boheme and other chosen in; the undesirables could be left out. 54 was run in contempt of all existing laws and moral codes. Suspicious from the beginning it took the Feds only eighteen months to shut it down. Like The Factory however Studio 54 had its revolutionary effect especially along sexual lines- unisex toilets for instance.
The multi-talented Warhol, a perfect Prince of Bohemia added authorship to his achievements with his novel ‘a’ while moving into publishing in the seventies when he established the successful magazine Interview.
He added several notable record covers, while forming in ’66 the immensely influential Exploding Plastic Inevitable centered around ‘his’ rock band The Velvet Underground.
So, in promoting several different revolutions- the Undermen, the drug culture, the so-called sexual revolution and undoubtedly many others Warhol was one of the most successful and important revolutionary figures of the decade.
Along the way he formed a close relationship with the Feminist revolutionary, the Japanese citizen, Yoko Ono. As a bona fide member of the avant garde she tried to enter Warhol’s entourage before she left for England in ’66. However at the time she was outspokenly antipathetic to homosexuality which probably necessitated her retreating to London to think things over before returning in 1971.
She returned in grand style leading the founder of the Beatles, John Lennon, as though by a rope around the neck. She and Lennon immediately threw themselves into the revolutionary movement associating themselves with various members of the Jewish revolution. they apparently gave large sums of money while lending their personas and prestige to raise much larger sums. It was the fear of their popularity being used to rouse young Americans in this first election in which eighteen year olds could participate that put him under surveillance, quite justifiably so, by the FBI and the Nixon White House. Thus for the next several years they were harassed by deportation threats as undesirable aliens.
Having achieved her goal of reentry into New York avant garde society even becoming an intimate of Andy Warhol Yoko lost interest in Lennon. The two split up for eighteen months or so from 1973 to 1975 then reuniting. Yoko had employed her Tarot reader John Green in 1974 while Fred Seaman was added to the entourage as Lennon’s personal assistant in 1979.
While the memoirs of Green and Seaman have been disparaged by the faithful I see little reason to do so on an objective basis although Yoko Ono may find them offensive for personal reasons.
Part III follows
Freakin’ At The Freaker’s Ball
As Performed By Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
Well, there’s gonna be a freaker’s ball
Tonight at the Freaker’s Hall
And you know you’re invited one and all.
Come on Babys grease your lips
And don’t forget to bring your whips
We’re goin’ to the Freaker’s Ball.
Blow your whistle and bang your gong
Roll up something to take along
It feels so good it must be wrong
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
Well, all the fags and dykes they’re boogie’n together
The leather freaks dressed in all kinds of leather
The greatest of the sadists and the masochists too
Screamin’ please hit me and I’ll hit you
The FBI dancin’ with the junkies
All the straights swingin’ with the funkies
Across the floor and up the wall
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball y’all
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
Everybody’s kissing each other
Brother with sister, son with mother
Smear my body up with butter
And take me to the freaker’s ball.
Pass that roach please and pour the wine
I’ll kiss yours if you kiss mine
I’m gonna boogie ’til I’m cold blind
Freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
White ones, black ones, yellow ones, red ones
Necrophiliacs lookin’ for dead ones
The greatest of the sadists and the masochists too
Screamin’ please hit me and I’ll hit you.
Everybody ballin’ in batches
Pyromaniacs strikin’ matches
Freakin’ at the freaker’s ball, y’all
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
May 18, 2010
The Last Days Of John Lennon
Review by R.E. Prindle
Seaman Fred: The Last Days Of John Lennon, A Personal Memoir. Citadel Press, 1991.
The Ghost Of Elvis Presley
In order to understand the zeitgeist of the sixties one has to go back to the fifties. The central event of the fifties was the annunciation of Elvis Presley. The post-war world was a grey world of fear. The country and the world had emerged from the greatest of all catastrophes, the Second World War. WWII itself was fought in the shadow of the Great War of 1914-18, afterwards known as WWI.
Most of the older generation had lived through both wars which was a terrifically horrifying experience. In 1950 those who were seventy or older had memories of the Indian Wars of the late nineteenth century also. In addition perhaps the most terrifying memory of the pre-WWII generations was that of the Great Depression of the thirties. From 1945 to 1960 they lived in terror that the Depression would return. There was thus a great generational divide between them and those of us who had no memory of the Depression and only vague memories of the second world cataclysm.
The older generations were struggling to restore the normalcy of the period between the wars as they wished it might have been. Technology had made this impossible. Not only had the Atomic Bomb come into existence but almost immediately after the war the sky was filled with the most extraordinary of phenomena- the faster than the speed of sound jet plane. The pilots of this wondrous piece of technology delighted in flying low over cities breaking the sound barrier as they did and sending a sonic boom shimmering down. If you’ve never experienced a sonic boom you have yet to be there.
The miracle of the age however was television. (Some people call it the boring fifties but they obviously weren’t there.) Television made the greatest threat to civilization yet known to man possible. That threat was Elvis Presley. Elvis simple announced by his presence that the pre-war world would not be returning- ever. The younger generation would fashion the world in his image.
More than that Presley wasn’t an image of the upper class college youth like Pat Boone but the avatar of the downtrodden and suppressed not unlike Jesus the Christ himself. They took one look at Elvis and realized that he was the Atomic Bomb that would blow up their world. And he did.
Every move Elvis made was an insult to them. Things that had no relevance to them they took as a personal insult. One such was the innocuous anthem by the songwriters Leiber and Stoller originally written as a Negro ghetto sex anthem, Hound Dog. When Elvis sang You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, for some reason they projected it as a reference to themselves and they deeply resented it.
Of course every attempt to suppress Elvis deepened the generational divide. Not only did Elvis himself exist but it seemed as though every upcoming rock n’ roll singer wanted to be Elvis. Before the Presley clones of Vegas there were the Elvis imitators in every family’s living room like Gene Vincent, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran and nearly the whole roster of Sun Records, plus, plus, plus….
For most of the old folks rock n’ roll itself was a mystery. They thought it was a Communist plot, might have been I don’t rule it out, but if so we were not conspirators but dupes. We just reveled in it. They almost succeeded in destroying it. Elvis got drafted, in his absence the great rock n’ rollers were driven out, discredited and in some cases killed. When Presley returned in 1960 he was different from when he went in. He had been contained.
John Lennon famously said in 1977 after Elvis died that he died the day he went into the army. While a relevant statement it was not quite true. The first stage in Elvis long immolation was when he fell under the control of his manager Col. Tom Parker, the second stage in his demise was when Parker delivered him to RCA Records, the third stage in his death was when RCA assigned Steve Sholes as his producer.
For those of us who were there the real Elvis Presley ceased to exist when he left the Sun record label. RCA was in no position to understand rock n’ roll values. It wasn’t that they willfully sabotaged Elvis it was just that they didn’t know how to rock. Their idea of rock was Neil Sedaka. Sholes himself was antipathetic to rock ‘n roll no less than his crosstown rival Mitch Miller over at Columbia Records. Both men hated the concept. This was made evident in Sholes arrangement of Gene Austin’s Are You Lonesome Tonight with its plodding guitar riff and Elvis’ imitation of the thirties crooner. Sholes failed to ruin Elvis’ career but it took Mitch Miller one LP to trash the career of the great Dion of the Belmonts.
Very few if any of the great rock records were produced by the majors. Nearly everything of value was produced by independent labels, many of them one shot efforts. Gene Vincent and his Be-Bop-A-Lula was a notable exception although his label, Capitol, soon had him singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
After the first run of actual imitators Elvis and rock worked their way into the subconscious of the next wave that included Lennon and the Beatles to produce an extension of rock.
Upon Presley’s return from the army his manager, Parker, removed him from recording and put Elvis into the movies almost exclusively. The movie Elvis was an extension of the personality of Tom Parker. Elvis was Elvis and his appearance was always galvanic. His charisma could be diminished but it couldn’t be destroyed. I was as disappointed by his movies as much as anyone dropping in only occasionally over the sixties to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t.
Thus as we all moved into the sixties while Presley still lived it was only as the ghost of the Sun Records innovator.
The Ghost of Elvis Presley was captured by the artist Andy Warhol in a number of renderings.
He presented Elvis in various single screens or multiples of two, three and up to the eight as in the image above. He ignored the musical Elvis in favor of an image taken from a Western movie. As Warhol was a homosexual he rendered Elvis as a gay cowboy. In truth Elvis had an ambiguous persona. Many people thought he was queer. Any male fan felt himself under the accusation. Elements of his persona indicate a severely emasculated personality that lend credence to at least a latent feeling of homosexuality. Elvis’ fellow students called him ‘squirrel.’ Indeed, the use of eye shadow, pants with a stripe down the leg and pink shirts in 1951-52 and ’53 would have led to open accusations of homosexuality. And yet, even though I identified with his obvious emasculation when I was only sixteen and seventeen it never occurred to me that he might have been one. I don’t think he ever was. Had he been his more than macho entourage would have had nothing to do with him. Nevertheless his portraitist Warhol perfectly captured his ambivalence and androgyny.
The number of portraits by the artist clearly betrays Warhol’s own hero worship. Perhaps his own gay cowboy movie owed some reverence to his idol. Oddly enough Warhol never designed a record cover for Presley even though he designed over fifty during a career from 1949 to 1987.
Andy had always been a pop music fan. This was very unusual for a man born in 1928. This would have made him 26 if one assumes ’54 as the birth of rock and 28 in ’56 when Presley exploded onto the scene. Anyone older than 18 in ’56 rejected rock. It is true that Warhol was dualistic, capabhle of listening to opera and rock at the same time, I mean simultaneously, so he may have had his personality split by the times. At any rate Warhol who apparently wished to excel in all the arts attempted to enter the music field by managing a band, while establishing a rock venue. In 1965 he took The Velvet Underground in as his house band while setting up a venue called The Dom. Not stopping there he also created an ambient experience, or light show, he called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The combination of music and light was innovative and widely imitated. Unfortunately Warhol didn’t have a secure lease and the venue got away from him. Perhaps realzing he was spreading himself too thin he never followed up letting the Velvets go their own way.
Warhol nevertheless established close bonds with other musicians. His attempted connection to Bob Dylan failed. Whether sour grapes or not he comitted this thought to his diary in July of 1985:
Watched the Live-Aid thing on TV. Bobby Zaren’s office had been calling, wanting me to go down there, but with that many big celebrities you never get any publicity. Later on that night Jack Nicholson introduced Bob Dylan and called him “transcendental.” But to me, Dylan was never really real- he was just mimicking real people and the amphetamine made it come out magic. With amphetamine he could copy words and make it all sound right. But that boy never felt a thing- (laughs) I just never bought it.
Warhol did succeed with Mick and Bianca Jagger and the Rolling Stones. While his cover for the first Velvet Underground album was considered innovative (read: weird) his cover for the Stones’ Sticky Fingers album with its functional zipper was as the term of the time went, mindblowing.
While Warhol never established contact with the Beatles, when his fellow artist Yoko Ono led her trophy husband, John Lennon, from London to New York in 1970 another firm connection to musicians and the inheritor of Elvis Presley’s mantle as the Savior was formed. Over all floated the Ghost of Elvis Presley.
Part II: John & Yoko In New York follows.
Yoko Ono And The Men Who Influenced Her
Review by R.E. Prindle
Clayson, Alan: Woman: The Incredible Life Of Yoko Ono, Chrome Dreams, 2004.
Yoko Ono involved herself with several of the most influential men in the arts during the sixties, seventies and eighties of the twentieth century. She drew her inspiration from them patterning her own efforts after them. At the same time she was one of the leading feminists of the day having her share in shaping and furthering the movement. The mantra was female liberation, equality between men and women. In fact women were equal to men in the West but only by acknowledging the biological differences between men and women. The fact is the differences are real and not social constructs as women would have us believe. The fact is women are women and men are men. So, in seeking ‘female liberation’ feminists were seeking much more than ‘equality’ however the term may be defined.
The fact is that in the Ages old war between the sexes feminists are seeking to restore the Matriarchy and destroy the Patriarchy. That is why many men favor feminism, they prefer the Matriarchy. Thus the feminists are atavistic. Yoko and her cohorts wished, in her words, to restore ‘heart’ as she viewed the Matriarchy and eliminate ‘reason’ as she viewed quite rightly the basis of Patriarchalism. Nevermind that bilogical science has invalidated the concepts of Matriarachy and Patriarchy. This is a post Matriarchy and Patriarchy world.
Circa -2000 in the West men revolted against the mind stifling Matriarchy and the vaginal swamp of the ‘heart’ seeking to establish
the authority of the infinite power of the mind of Zeus on ethereal Olympus. This is the story of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and the Greek myths in general recording the struggle.
The Western male was able to impose the ascendency of reason over the heart for 3000 years until the disestablishment of the old order by science about mid-nineteenth century. The center could not hold during this period of extreme change as W.B. Yeats put it as the rearrangement of the intellectual order moved into the twentieth century.
Yoko Ono sought with her feminist fellows to return to the biological innocence of 2000 BC. She herself had no talent. Filled with audacity she pitted her ‘heart’ against the reason of John Cage, Andy Warhol and John Lennon. I’m sure she had a mentor for her so-called performance art but I am as yet unaware of who he may be. Perhaps Maciunas and the Fluxus group.
Thus her first manifestation as an artist was based on the musical ideas of John Cage while her artistic efforts were at least based in the avant garde ideas of the Fluxus group. Her first assault on the NYC art world failed so in 1961 she returned in defeat to Japan. When she returned to NYC in 1964 she found an entirely different art scene. On the musical side the focus was on Bobby Dylan and the Beatles while on the artistic side Andy Warhol and his Factory had destroyed the Abstract Expressionists and the old avant garde. Dylan, the Beatles and Warhol had in fact usurped the avant garde which now had little meaning. From my point of view held at the time the avant garde had ceased to exist. Of course I didn’t understand exactly why or how.
From 1964 when Yoko returned to NYC until 1966 when she left for London I’m sure Yoko was at a loss. She developed her silly
notion of Bagism at this time even having a black bag on a stand in Max’s Kansas City that some one or ones were supposed to slide into. This seems to have been thought a lame idea at the time as it seems now.
At this time while retaining allegiance to John Cage’s musical ideas she was falling under the influence of Andy Warhol’s artistic notions. Warhol’s intent had been to destroy the idea of ‘fine art’. In this he pretty well succeeded. As Yoko expressed it you didn’t need any talent to be an artist. She seems to demonstrate this notion in her own artistic efforts. Warhol had also redefined the notion of film with his static studies. He then sought to combine his film ideas with live music, probably in competition with Bob Dylan who was also attempting to move in that direction. Warhol adopted Lou Reed and his band the Velvet Underground as the Factory house band while creating a multi-media show called the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, innovative for its time. Thus a concert at his hall, the Dom, was an ‘experience.’
While Yoko makes no mention about how this, actually, incredible development affected her there can be no doubt that she was well aware of Dylan, the Beatles and the Warhol Experience and was affected by it. Indeed, the first manifestation was the making of her Warhol style films such as Bottoms.
The second manifestation was her removal to London to seduce either Lennon or McCartney of the Beatles, thus in the manner of Warhol’s adoption of the Velvet Underground she sought to co-opt the Beatles, the premier rock group in the world. Real chutzpah and more than one upping Warhol. I think it would be nonsense to think she had any other goal in mind.
She undoubteldy learned that Paul McCartney was actively involved with John Dunbar and his Indica Gallery that opened in 1965.
Some say she first set her sights on McCartney but the more vulnerable Lennon showed up and the Spider Woman spread her web.
She was still married to her second husband, Tony Cox, but, regardless of what she says she very aggressively pursued, or attacked, Lennon. Lennon was emotionally under water unable to handle his success while drugging himself out of his mind. He was unwillingly married to his wife Cynthia. It appears that he married Cynthia out of duty when she became pregnant. He doesn’t seem to have been happy in his virtue. Yoko had no difficulty in capturing his affections.
Now, just as Warhol had adopted the Velvets and imposed his female singer, Nico, on the band Yoko sought to imp[ose herself on the Beatles through Lennon. At this time she was still musically completely in thrall to John Cage understanding nothing about Rock music. She and Lennon had made a ridiculous LP called Two Virgins in 1968. She combined her cagian screechings while using an avant garde ‘performance’ notion of the couple posing nude on the cover; full frontal on the obverse, full posterior on the reverse. As no store would carry the cover the couple reverted to Yoko’s idea of Bagism placing the cover inside a plain manila envelope or bag. While it didn’t sell the record this form of Bagism was actually a successful artistic statement. The nude cover given an outer garment so to speak.
Well, the public was prepared to forgive the Beatles anything but the other three Beatles weren’t prepared to forgive Yoko for forcing herself on them thus she broke up the most successful act of the sixties. Still, she had succeeded according to her wildest dream. Lennon and his wonderful reputation and fortune were hers. She had gone from a neglected, nondescript ‘performance’ artist to center stage, not on her own womanly talents but by attaching herself to a talented man. Yoko’s ‘heart’ was useless without the male intellect. Yoko was now the most influencial feminist in the world. She knew what to do with that.
After several ‘performance’ acts such as the ‘Bed In For Peace’ the couple left England to return to the place Yoko wished to subjugate artistically, New York City. She had raised herself to a par with Andy Warhol. She now had to meld her musical and artistic goals through Lennon and Warhol.
On the musical side she began to develop her rock n’ roll skills under the tutelage of Lennon. While not abandoning the avant garde notions of John Cage she now emasculated her husband. Always semi-delusional or perhaps completely so, she fantasized that she was not only equal to Lennon in skill and popularity but superior to him. She imagined herself more popular than Lennon. Thus one has such travesties as the LP Double Fantasy. It was only after Lennon’s death that she was forced to recognize than Lennon’s fans did not appreciate her efforts. So she failed as a musician.
She quickly tired of being Mrs. Lennon. Thus she and Lennon separated for eighteen months or so during the years 1973-75. She then realized that her financial well being and musical acceptance depended on Lennon. In 1975 she called him back resuming their relationship until his death in 1980. But, things had changed.
She began to adopt Warhol’s life style on her return to NYC. While she propagated the notion that she was some sort of business whiz Iam having difficulties discovering any such skills. It appears that with the enormous income of Lennon she emulated Warhol in
spending her way to prosperity.
She was in a position to not only match Warhol’s spending but exceeding it by many times. Through the seventies and eighties Warhol came into his own as an artist while reaping a fortune doing portraits. There appears to have been no effort on his part to invest in income producing vehicles. Rather he bought stuff. He purchased buildings in NYC and elsewhere while acquring undeveloped acreage in places like Aspen. He shopped nearly every day buying antiques from furniture to objets d’ art by the bushel almost as though he were trying to excel the incredible W.R. Hearst.
He usually didn’t even look at the stuff once he bought it merely filling rooms with his shopping bags. At his death all this junk was auctioned off for 25 million dollars, a nice appreciation in value.
Yoko followed the exact pattern buying apartments and houses as well as an extensive dairy farm with a herd of prize cows. She not only had but has five apartments in her principal dwelling, the Dakota apartment building and many other houses scattered around.
Like Warhol the Dakota apartments are stuffed with junk. Valuable, but, you know, stuff. She bought at good prices. Her extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities was mostly purchased before a steep rise in value.
Like the Rothschilds of old Yoko didn’t do all her own shopping but employed agents to search things out. Chief among these was an associate of Warhol’s, Sam Green, and an Hungarian immigrant by the name of Sam Havadtoy.
There should be no surprise then that she now has an extensive collection of Warhol’s artwork as well as his portraits of Lennon. The Warhols would have been purchased for form 25 to 50K while now being listed on her assets at tens of millions. She also has been said to have a good collection of Magrittes as well as one assumes other artists. So, much of her net worth is tied up in artwork purchased through Sam Green.
Sam Havadtoy was an antiques dealer as well as an interior designer. He appears to have been a somewhat shady character. It is very difficult to find much about him, however there is a sharp portrait available from the notorious A.J. Weberman ( http://www.acid-trip.org/lennon/ )
…(the Lennons) hired a sleazy Eastern European bisexual to renovate the pad. (Dakota) I had heard of this dude, whose name escapes me, from an asswipe named BRUCE KIRSH, who worked for him. KIRSH told me that the dude, who worked for the King of Morocco, would form a dummy renovation company, hire employees like Kirsch who were willing to work under false names, then, when it came time to pay taxes, everyone would disappear. I learned of him long before he was hired by John and Yoko, and I was taken aback when Yoko took up with him after John’s death.
I know that Weberman is not particularly well thought of by fandom but this is because of his harassment of Dylan who did, after all, misrepresent himself to the revolutionaries like Weberman. A.J. himself is an intelligent observer who was wading through it when it was deep. I do believe he knows what he’s talking about although his interpretations of Dylan’s lyrics seem absurd.
I would have to question Yoko’s judgment in taking him in. Both he and Sam Green were candidates as successors to Lennon with
whom she consorted in front of Lennon before he died while Yoko chose Havadtoy as his successor the day he died.
Perhaps she selected Havadtoy over Green because he was more rough trade. With Lennon while managing to reconcile revolution with peace and love with Havadtoy she discarded peace and love in favor of strong arm methods against her former employee Fred Seaman when it was totally unnecessary.
Havadtoy was living in a homosexual arrangement with his business partner when Yoko beckoned him to switch to her. Apparently an able switch hitter he was lured by the money to this much older woman. The arrangement did last for twenty years before Havadtoy removed to his native Hungary taking a nice cash settlement and several of the Warhols.
Thus, just as Warhol had his live-in homosexual arrangement so after Lennon’s death Yoko adopted the exact arrrangement. Today she apparently lives alone, a seventy-eight year old woman.
After Lennon’s death there was an accession of from 30 million to a possible 100 million dollars as their last album, Double Fantasy, sold into the millions while the rest of Lennon’s catalog and one assumes the Beatles’ catalog was reinvigorated while all things Lennon sold. This is, of course, no reflection on Yoko but the inevitable result with intellectual properties when the maker dies.
Post-Lennon, then, Yoko realized that her recording and art careers were nil. Heart without intellect is worthless. She then became the caretaker of the Lennon legacy. His recordings, of course, continued to sell, but even his artwork eclipsed that of Yoko. So she suffered the humiliation of being a mere appendage to a man. The feminine dismal swamp was eclipsed by the Olympian heights of the male intellect. As in ancient times the God had trumped the Goddess. And yet as with Hera and Zeus the Goddess gets her way. Yoko came up with the money and goods while Lennon’s spirit was wafted into the stratosphere.
As any reader of mythology knows Hera ruled the Lernean swamps of Argolis while Zeus ruled the gods on ethereal Olympus. Thus one has the symbolism of the biological difference between the male and female.
In ancient times the female had her share in magic. She knew herbs and plants, was familiar with poisons and cures as with the arch witch of the ancient world, Medea. The reputation of the female witch even as a consort of Satan persisted down through medieval and post-medieval times, indeed, even up to the dawn of the scientific enlightenment. One would have thought that magic and witchery were a thing of the past in the 1960s and yet Yoko embodied the whole female swamp mentality.
She established something called the Spirit Foundation attributing the direction to Lennon who in fact knew nothing of these matters but followed her lead. The Spirit Foundation celebrated the ancient art of the Shaman or witch doctor. Shamanism itself even preceded the Matriarchal swamps of Argolis. It was a rich repository of magical tradition. Further the Foundation was feminist in that it was dedicated to preserving the magical traditions of the women of the Pacific islands still living in such archaic societies. The wealth generated by the male intellect was appropriated by the female vagina or ‘heart.’
In her own life and that of Lennon’s Yoko was addicted to a variety of magical practices- astrology, numerology, Tarot readings, and indeed she traveled to the Caribbean to sell her soul to Satan through the offices of a female curandera. Her Tarot reader, John Green, was a priest in the shamanistic, magical, Yoruban African cult of Santeria.
Her feminism was more a magical effort to restory Matriarchal supremacy over the Patriarchy thus reversing the Patriarchal victory of three thousand years previously. Indeed, what has been called the movement for female equality is nothing more than a covert campaign to restore the Matriarchy.
Thus while Yoko o9riginatd nothing she usurped the abilities of the reason of men- Cage, Warhol, Lennon and male magicians such as John Green. Indeed the Trojan War itself was a war of men in service of women.
In her associations with men she preferrred to deal with emasculated types such as homosexuals like Cage, Warhol, Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy. Lennon claimed to have always been dependent of women for comfort and guidance while Yoko caught him at his most confused and vulnerable.
While she received direction from Cage and Warhol she was able to manipulate Lennon out of his talent somewhat as Vivian did that of Merlin of the Arthurian saga. When Vivian had usurped Merlin’s magical knowledge she buried him deep much as Lennon was put out of the way. Yoko then appropriated his wealth and residual income after his death. It was this constant inflow of cash that allowed her to propagate the notion that she was a financial genius.
Then as the female of the ‘heart’ or vaginal swamp she managed and appropriated the reason of Olympus through Cage, Warhol and Lennon. What she got from Havadtoy other than brute strength is not clear to me.
As such Yoko is Woman. In her case a seeming reversion to the archetypal Shaman of the most ancient times.
April 3, 2010
Mourning Becomes Yoko Ono
The Passing Of John Lennon Part III
When John Lennon met Yoko Ono he knew very little of art and nothing of the New York art scene. His high school years had been spent in open and futile rebellion; the next few years had been spent only in the German underworld with no time for cultivation. From there he went into the whirl of the Beatles years so one might say he had been in cultural suspended animation for all his adult life.
Yoko Ono since 1960 had been engaged in the New York avant garde art scene. She was au courant when she left for London in 1966. Hooking up with Lennon she began to educate him according to her understanding of art. By the time the Ono-Lennons arrived in New York in the late sixties that scene was dominated by the POP art of Andy Warhol while the world both she and Lennon knew in 1960 was unrecognizable. Yoko wasted no time in ingratiating herself with Andy but not the factory. After he was shot in 1969 the old Factory disappeared and after his recovery Warhol began a new life. It is possible that she tried to establish
contact with him between ’64 and ’66. She did know warhol’s associate, Sam Green, from her first days in the Village in 1960.
By the time of her return to NYC Yoko had achieved world wide fame by using Lennon and his fame in their charades for ‘Peace.’ Now she had the perfect entree to enter Warhol’s circle. Warhol was a sucker for celebrities, he did Lennon’s portrait, so he was flattered when Yoko asked him to introduce she and John into society. If Warhol could pester, Yoko was unstoppable. While Andy wasn’t exactly persona gratis at that time he was thick with Sam Adams Green who did have entree to society. Between the the two of them they set up a party to introduce the Ono-Lennons.
John was, of course, no Mick Jagger. While Mick adapted himself quickly to the demands of his fame and moved easily in society, John was awkward being out of the element of his self-styled working class hero. Yoko, too, was no mixer so at the party Yoko and John sat silently in a corner as though in one of Yoko’s bags watching the party goers.
It might be apropos to point out that Jagger and Warhol were fairly close. Jagger was one of the few people attending Warhol’s funeral in Pittsburgh while Bianca was in Warhol’s entourage in the eighties. Warhol also painted a portfolio of Jagger pictures that today command healthy prices.
Yoko still persisted with Warhol but Andy having been disappointed once was not up for it twice. He distanced himself from the pair describing them to Sam Green as boring. An ultimate putdown.
Initially the Lennons lived in the Bohemian scene downtown. Mickey Ruskin, the owner of Max’s Kansas City, described the Bohemian scene thusly: the well-to-do Bohos, the middle and the lower class. Those associated with the Kettle of Fish and its environs of which Dylan was a member were of the lower class while the Kettle of Fish itself was owned by the Mafia. He believed Max’s was in the middle. John and Yoko first lived in New York in the West Village at 105 Bank Street next door to Yoko’s her, John Cage. They took over Joe Butler’s apartment, he formerly the drummer of Lovin’ Spoonful so Ruskin would have classed John and Yoko as haut ton beatniks.
At any rate they soon left those environs to migrate to the Upper West Side where they secured apartments in the famous, or soon to be famous, Dakota. It was then that their NYC life took its definitive form.
I have been to NYC a few times so that I know the general layout and have some feel for the place but I have by no means an intimate knowledge so essentially I’m working from maps. I know where MOMA and some few prominent art landmarks are from experience but not that many.
At any rate the Dakota is a famous landmark.. Acceptance as a tenant is by committee approval. John and Yoko were strenuously vetted but finally admitted. They took over actor Robert Ryan’s apartment #72. If you have seen the movie Rosemary’s Baby the camera pans past apartments 71 and 72. No filming was allowed inside the Dakota so while the exterior shots are authentic the interiors were shot on sets. Thus the apartment of the Satanists is a fictional 7E. The apartment next to it in which the young couple resided may have been number 72. The man of the couple who was an actor sold his wife’s body to Satan as the carrier of his child for success in the theatre which he was granted. Thus the Ono-Lennons moved into an apartment closely associated with devil worship, the occult and witchcraft.. This will become more important as Yoko associated herself with all three. In fact, Yoko through John Green would have been familiar with the Yoruban Santeria religion that she in all likelihood would have reverenced. The Spirit Foundation that she established is concerned with the preservation of just such tribal institutions.
These are magnificent apartments that I presume Rosemary’s Baby duplicates. Huge fifty foot long living rooms as part of a ten room apartment. The Ono-Lennons would soon own both 71 and 72 lacking only the fictional 7E while having a Studio apartment as well.
Being now permanently settled Yoko having access to John’s superb income began to spend it. Of course, she virtually cleaned out department stores on her buying binges, any girl’s dream. But, she also began to buy heavily into art and antiques as investments. This brought Warhol’s friend Sam Adams Green into a close association with her. Rich society women were Sam’s forte. He has an interesting story. He was actually descended from the second president of the United States, Samuel Adams. He arrived in New york in 1960 about the same time Andy Warhol was trying to establish himself as a fine artist and Yoko the same. Warhol of course began as a commercial artist doing shoe ads but in 1960 he changed the emphasis of his career.
In the fine arts field one of the first gallery people Andy met was Sam Green of the Green Gallery. Different Green, Sam only
worked there and shared the name. He and Andy hit it off. By 1965 Green was associated with the art department of UPennsylvania where he staged a Warhol exhibition in the same year. From there he gravitated bck to NYC where he began a career as art consultant to rich women on both continents. They liked him. Through the socialite Cecile Rothschild he was introduced to Greta Garbo with whom he was sort of a trusted companion for 15 years.
He was very knowledgeable about art as an investment traveling between Euorpe and the US advising socialites on the most investment worthy art. He apparently derived a more than comfortable income from his efforts. He was a trusted advisor of Yoko. Some say that he and Yoko’s Tarot reader, John Green, who would enter John and Yoko’s life at about this time, combined to bilk Yoko for overpriced objects. This presumes that both men were dishonest and that Yoko was a fool. As Yoko’s investments have prospered I think we can dismiss the latter, although Yoko did take pride in being able to spend vast sums. She would have taken pleasure in overpaying.
Rather I would say that Sam Green was a very knowledgeable expert whose task was to find art that would appreciate in value. Thus the question is did he perform that function and the answer is, yes. Yoko’s acquistions increased in value far above her purchase prices. I think it is unfair then to say that the Greens bilked her. Surely the laborer is worth his hire.
Now, Sam Green as her agent had to buy the items he acquired for her. Being knowledgeable as to who in society wanted to sell what at distressed prices he may have made some excellent buys that he then tacked on his margin which of course meant that he sold to Yoko for ‘more than they were worth.’ But, heck, even Christie’s and Sotheby’s take twenty per cent each from the buyer and seller. That’s a forty per cent surcharge. However Sam served his function of providing investment pieces so I see no evidence of bilking.
Sam Green also formed a close, probably romantic, liaison with Yoko that persisted until after John’s death. Another art dealser she became close to was a Sam Havadtoy with whom she subsequently lived for twenty years beginning immediately the day after John’s death.
Now the men Yoko associated herself with were all effetes, that were either emasculated when she found them or who she emasculated. Strangely Lennon was the strongest of the lot. Both her first Japanese husband and Tony Cox appear to have been heterosexuals but both Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy were dependent homosexuals. With Havadtoy Yoko may have had her ideal relationship. He was thoroughly emasculated while with the fortune Yoko inherited from Lennon he was totally dependent on her. The classic toy boy a couple decades younger than herself. He, by the way, after his twenty year stint as live-in retired to Hungary with an abundant palimony but he isn’t talking.
In my reading of the situation then, a not particularly compliant John became somewhat of a liability to her, especially as he began to reassert himself with the return to the recording studio in 1980. The problem has the surface appearance of separating the man form his money and discarding the man.
Yoko began building her entourage, Sam Green, John Green, Sam Havadtoy and her various occult people with what appears to be an admiration for and some sort of connection with Andy Warhol. Sam Green and Havadtoy would be a troublesome presence in Lennon’s life during the recording of Double Fantasy while he does not appear to have been enchanted with the Warhol connection
As has been mentioned Yoko became involved in occult practices. She did practice hypnotism on Lennon and was an adept at suggestion which is the essence of hypnotism. Thus on the one hand she suggested forcefully to May Pang that she take up with Lennon while it is probable she hypnotized Lennon into taking up with May Pang. Post hypnotic suggestion would give her a command over all Lennon’s actions. Once implanted she would only have to say the word and Lennon would follow her suggestions.
How complicit John Green would have been in this isn’t exactly clear but any of Yoko’s suggestions to John could have been complemented by a reading. John Green was after all dependent on Yoko for a very generous income beyond whatever he may have scammed.
John Green is another interesting case. He was apparently successful as a Tarot reader before he met Yoko while he is reported to hae been a student of the African Yoruba religion called Santeria. The Yoruba are a tribe in Nigeria, middle river, Western side. He would have obtained much of the magic information he displayed in Cartagena, Columbia, SA from that source. The sixties themselves were the great period of the dissolution of the American mind and personality. One of the key items in the disintegration was the 1962 movie, Mondo Cane. (It’s A Dog’s World). It is difficult to assess the impact of this movie on the malleable college age mind of the times.
I saw the movie then and while it passed out of my conscious mind it struck me most forcibly and lodged in my subconscious mind. I, of course, reviewed the movie for this essay and while I at first remembered little gradually my conscious mind recovered the images so that I remember almost all. The viewing at the time was very repulsive and unsettling to my mind as it was for everyone I talked to about it and every college kid saw it. Still, consciously I missed the true import of the movie completely.
The filmmakers equated some New Guinea stone age people with modern Whites and equated them- said both states of
consciousness were the same- and that there had been no advance between the primitive and modern. Then they showed Whites at their goofiest and most ridiculous. Drunks at a German Oktoberfest, aged tourists clumsily trying to do a hula. The movie was a real exercise in moral relativity. It was shortly after viewing the movie that I first remember hearing the phrase ‘Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.’ I don’t want to philosophize on this but my thought was that if I think something is bad therefore it must be because I think it and I can’t be wrong.
The movie had a devastating effect on the attitude of the generation. It was a form of hypnosis with a great deal of post-hypnotic suggestion. Whether John Green saw the movie or not I can’t say but if he had it would have prepared him for accepting Yoruban Santeria. In fact these primitive forms of religion and what not flourished in the wake of Mondo Cane. At the same, as I indicated, Yoko would have been very open to Santeria. I think there is little doubt that Green and she at least discussed the religion and its African tribal origin. Especially as she established something she calls the Spirit Foundation. In the online prospectus she describes the foundation thusly:
The Spirit Foundation is…concerned with the protection and promotion of creative and cultural diversity amongst shamanic tribal communities worldwide. Part of the foundations work is the International Shamanic Network which aims at promoting the ancient creative archetypes of man and their binding ecological realtionship to the world.
Our emphasis is on education for action.
As mentioned Yoko and Lennon moved into the suites used in Rosemary’s Baby with its Satanic overtones. In the movie a young woman living with the Satanic couple either jumps or is pushed to her death not far from where Lennon was shot. In this very location Yoko took up Satanism. She decided she wanted to make a pact with the Devil to obtain her wishes. The ubiquitous Sam Green knew of a witch who could serve as an intermediary between Yoko and Satan. (Remember I am only retailing the story, I don’t believe Satan exists.)
Sam Green who had prospered as an art consultant had used some of his earnings to purchase what he called a castle in Cartagena, Colombia. He recommended his witch to Yoko who asked John Green to take her to the witch as he doubled as Tarot reader and Wizard. John Green did so and the witch duly negotiated a deal between Yoko and the Lord of Fire. When it came time to sign the pact Yoko asked Green to do it for her which he did. She was aghast when he told her he didn’t sign his name but hers. Yoko trying to cheat the devil.
We don’t know what she asked Satan for but we are compelled to believe she got it.
As I believe she hypnotized Lennon into taking the Long Weekend I don’t know exactly why she wanted him out of the house. She certainly closely monitored his activities while he was away both in NYC and LA. During his absence Yoko didn’t have a Power of Attorney so she was somewhat constrained as John had her on a 300K budget. When he returned she quickly obtained his POA so that she had unlimited use of his money and, in fact, his identity.
Lennon is criticized for being a recluse in the years between 1975-80. He certainly wasn’t a recluse in that he withdrew from the world. He merely limited his contacts with it. It is said there was a fifteen month period when he was completely withdrawn. While he was obviously suffering from a mental malise in my opinion the withdrawal was completely justified. He had mental issues that had to be resolved. He had the money and time to work at it as he did.
He had a mother/father fixation he had to resolve. he had the feeling that he had been either a genius or a lunatic from boyhood. In a remarkable rant within the 1970 Rolling Stone interview he rants for pages because no one recognized him as a genius in his youth while he had now convinced himself that he was and had been a genius. The fact that he never did his schoolwork doesn’t seem to him that that may have a reason why people missed his genius and though him somewhat mad. What would theyhave done if they had? So he had to reconcile the issue in his mind.
He seems to have made no advance past his school years except in music. The years between leaving school and taking up with Yoko were completely wasted intellectually while the pressures of phenomenal success and wealth disoriented him completely not to mention the massive doses of drugs. At some time then he had to come down and organize his mind and life. From 1968 to let us say 1980 he was completely dependent on Yoko for his mental balance. In NYC he went where she did and did what she did. Hence the connection to Andy Warhol and Sam Green.
There are numerous pictures of Yoko, Lennon and Warhol. Yoko even patterned some of her work after Warhol’s style as in the ‘work’ below patterned after Warhol’s double Elvis. Thus she associates herself and Lennon with Presley.
As I mentioned before the social entree arranged by Warhol and Sam Green failed because of the social ineptness of the Ono-Lennons.
While we have a full record of what Lennon was doing during his ‘Lost Weekend’ we have a less full account of what Yoko was doing. She seems to have had romantic liaisons with at least three men- Sam Green, Sam Havadtoy and the guitarist David Spinozza.
Perhaps she wanted to see how well she could do on her own as a musician, to see if her reputation as a performance artist and, in her mind, musician, was sufficient to maintain a career on her own without John. If so, she was brutally disappointed as in her only solo performance she failed miserably. Thus she realized that as of 1974 her reputation as well as her wealth depended on Lennon.
It was during Lennon’s absence that John Green came into her life. While John Green tells a fairly smooth story in his Dakota Years one has the feeling that he is being highly selective in what he tells while he slyly ridicules the Ono-Lennons as their superior. The attitude easily leads to contempt and from contempt to abuse. Of course he would have to dissimulate both the contempt and abuse as Ono would be reading the book. As I imagine, a priest in the Santeria religion, he would have been in the company of some shady characters. I don’t know how many actual Yorubas were in NYC but I have met a couple elsewhere.
One imagines most of the hierarchy Green came into contact with was African or American Blacks. Santeria involves a deal of ritual sacrifice while money would be needed. I suspect that John Green was involved in the extortion attempt on the Ono-Lennons. This may have been Santeria related. Thus a sort of Black Hand organization was created. Rather than go for the big money that would have created a stir, the group settled for hitting up people with millions for a mere 200K each. An unpleasant tax for being rich but one more conveniently paid than to die resisting.
We have only Green’s version of the extortion and his relationship to it. He paints himself in a relatively good light. The Ono-Lennons did call in the FBI, they did give the extortionists newspaper rather than cash as the FBI advised. But then things went wrong. The FBI apparently had only one tail on the extortionist who came for the money rather than a series of back ups. The agent inexplicably lost his man. The Ono-Lennons never received another call but they had been warned that if they failed to pay Lennon would be killed whether it took one, two or more years. In December of 1980 the bill fell due. On December 8th he was shot. December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day so there may be a Japanese connection. Yoko Ono being Japanese, her numerologist and the assassin’s wife while Chapman missed the appointed day by one.
The question then hangs on Mark David Chapman the shooter. He is still alive and in prison. He was an assassin as the classic lone nut like Lee Harvey Oswald and any number of assassins who pay the law for the crime while the organizers go free. The technique has been well known to criminals for centuries. Any time a lone nut assassinates someone you may be sure that they were a patsy as Oswald announced over TV he was.
It seems likely that Chapman had been hypnotized. Witnesses said Chapman acted as though in a trance and he himself said he heard a voice in his head saying: Do it. Do it. Do it. The problem would be how he was recruited. I, of course, can say nothing for certain while what I am saying now is merely an hypothesis or inquiry. The main thing is that Chapman was supposed to be a lone nut. Ridiculous.
The most obvious recruitment method was the Santeria of which John Green was a member and to which Yoko Ono was
sympathetic. There are some oddities in the Chapman story that have to be explained not least of which are the large sums of money expended by Chapman in relation to his income. He was a married man therefore had a wife to support. Yet in 1978 he was in Japan at the same time as the Ono-Lennons beginning an around the world flight.
Perhaps Tokyo was the first stop of the trip around the world that then led to Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Delhi, Israel, Geneva, Paris, London, Dublin, Atlanta and back to Hawaii. His travel agent was a Japanese woman, Gloria Abe, who he then courted and married. She is reported to have been involved in occult circles. She may have seen so involved that, through Takahashi Yoshikawa, Yoko’s numerologist she was brought in to arrange the trip. Such an around the world trip in a Westerly direction- sundown to sunup- according to Yoshikawa’s numerology would be characteristic of Yoko Ono. She and Lennon made a round the world trip for occult reasons as did both Lennon individually and John Green at her instance. Green made his trip in 59 1/2 hours only leaving a plane once to change to another. As the financing of Chapman’s trip is unknown I would suggest Yoko Ono.
Two years after this very costly trip around the world Chapman flew from Hawaii to first Chicago, then Atlanta, then to New York where he landed a few days before the assassination. Once again, well beyond his means. It is said that he took paintings to Chicago that he sold. Where he would have gotten the paintings isn’t known but once again Yoko is the obvious source. She had an art gallery of valuable art work.
While in Atlanta he contacted a former roommate, then a Deputy Sheriff, Gene Scott, who gave him the hollow point exploding
bullets for a handgun. One assumes such bullets couldn’t be bought over the counter. One wonders why Scott didn’t ask what Chapman intended to do with them. And if he did and Chapman told him Gene Scott is clearly an accomplice and should be questioned.
Chapman himself came from Atlanta where in his teen years he was known to ingest any and all drugs. Atlanta was also a Santeria center with several weird Black cults. Lennon’s death took place at the same time as the Atlanta child murders for which Wayne Williams was later convicted. The Santeria religion has been suspected in these obvious sacrificial murders while John Green establishes a Santeria connection to the Ono-Lennons and Yoko in particular.
Yoko was an excellent hypnotist who understood the use and power of suggestion. The Santerists as Africans would be well versed in the use of suggestion and hypnotism.
Chapman said he was possessed by the Devil while appearing to be in a hypnotic trance. All this rather amusingly is taking place at the Dakota, the scene of the Devil’s birth in Rosemary’s Baby. Indeed, the identical apartment.
After Lennon’s death there was no period of mourning or sense of loss by Yoko. All Lennon’s assets were in her control and name before his death. The so-called will of Lennon is suspicious, although the will was unnecessary becaue I doubt if Lennon thought of a will while the will appointed the art dealer Sam Green as the gaurdian of son Sean in the event the Ono-Lennons perished together. Lennon wasn’t that enamored of Sam Green.
Within a few days Sam Havadtoy was installed as Yoko’s live-in where he remained for twenty years.
While Yoko’s success as an artist and rock n’ roller wasn’t affected by Lennon’s death she now had the money to pay to have her art exhibited. Even then she found her reputation was indissolubly linked to her dead husband. She has become a caretaker for the Lennon legend parceling out old recordings while humiliatingly Lennon’s artwork is more in demand than hers.
She seems to have patterned her later career on that of Andy Warhol who as he acquired fame and fortune managed to insinutate himself into certain society circles. So has Yoko. Now, at 78, she has attained a certain status although still extremely self-centered while having an appearance of terminal aloneness.
March 13, 2010
Mourning Becomes Yoko
The Passing Of John Lennon
This magic moment
So different and so new
Was like any other
Until there was you.
To understand the sixties one has to go back in time to the foundation of Astrology. In Time beyond Ancient, Astrology and Astronomy were one. The very old gods and the sky were one. It was only when science, a more clear understanding of ‘creation’, if you will, removed the sky from the gods’ purview that Astronomy and Astrology separated. Astrology in those days had meaning that is not apparent today when the sky is just part of our natural surroundings.
The Zodiac was divided into twelve periods of roughly 2000 years each which formed the Great Year. The periods were called Ages with each Age having its own avatars. The avatars of the current Piscean Age have been Jesus the Christ for the first thousand years, and for the succeeding thousand years Artemis or Diana in northern Europe and Mother Mary to the south. Sometime within a few hundred years near the end of an Age a new avatar begins to form.
The first intimation of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius that I am aware of occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century. While not the first, the chief proponent seems to have been Edgar Rice Burroughs and his creation, Tarzan The Ape Man. Not one to
be dogmatic Burroughs left his intent open only to, dare I use the word again, the initiated.
Tarzan is timeless, he represents the past, being associated with the Atlanteans and the range of evolution, the present and, as the exemplar of the perfect man, the future. While rejecting organized religion Burroughs also rejected the Piscean avatar, Jesus The Christ in favor of the coming man-god. Thus the coming man-god must be a projection of the Aquarian avatar. Tarzan, a magnificent specimen is both physically and mentally the perfect man and hence representative of the future Aquarian man-god. Do not confuse the movie Tarzan with the literary creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The longing then for a new messiah had been developing for half a century, at least, when circumstances came together for the appearance of a new avatar pointing toward the Age of Aquarius. This manifestation appeared on the stage of Ed Sullivan, in of all places, New York City. It was the Tupelo Mississippi Flash himself, Elvis Presley. In that brief magic moment on Sullivan’s stage he revealed himself and was recognized by his people.
Interestingly the appearance on 10/9 coincided with the birthday of John Lennon.
In that moment Presley’s future was cast. Whether the old order recognized who he was they knew how he was perceived and made every effort to slander, denigrate and destroy him short of actual murder. All to no avail. They might have been able to kill him, murder him, but he was inviolable to any defamation. It made no difference that they ridiculed him in a couple dozen fatuous films, he was the man-god. People endured his humiliations with bowed heads and resentful miens.
From him succeeding generations have taken their guidance. The first awe struck generation took the stage in direct emulation of him. While many had better songs (Gene Vincen’ts Be-Bop-A-Lula) none of the generation were anointed thereby developing a devoted following in the magnitude of Presley.
Elvis was not the last word but the first in what will be a procession. While the American Pharisees persecuted and scattered the faithful a new, younger generation was growing up in Elvis’ shadow. Their epiphany, that Magic Moment, would take place on the same Ed Sullivan stage in that same strange city of destiny, NYC, nine years later.
The gestation of this second manifestation of the godhead would take place in Liverpool, England. Inspired by Elvis Presley four young men of the second manifestation would be filtered through the persona of a young Scottish musician named Lonnie Donegan
When the settlers from the British Isles settled America they brought their musical traditions with them, most prominently to the Southern tier of States. Thus both the White and Black musical traditions of America stem from essentially the Celtic peoples. In the mid-fifties Donegan brought this music in the form of American Folk back to England in a form he named Skiffle Music. It swept England and its youth up being combined with Presley. Donegan added a ferocious beat to the music that evolved into the form termed the Big Beat. Thus the British musicians were schooled in American music as it had evolved from their own.
Now, the Magic Moment requires the man who has been prepared for the moment. If all goes right he is equal to his destiny, if not the moment fails.
While Presley was the man, the second avatar would be four men seemingly acting as one. The four men seemed to represent four archetypal personalities as in the four faces of the godhead. Those of us who didn’t ‘get’ them, of which I was one, were mystified by their apotheosis.
Just as Elvis had his unique preparation so did this fabulous foursome. Raised as four ordinary kids from varying levels of poverty and varying psychological backgrounds they were united by the music of Presley and Donegan.
They began a grueling and astonishing apprenticeship in the red light district of Hamburg, Germany. Unable to speak German they were thus compelled to rely on each other for companionship which created a unique bond. They were required to be on stage for up to twelve hours at a stretch for weeks at a time thus honing their musical skills apparently to perfection.
Thus the four aspects of humanity, one might say, were placed in a unique situation creating a unique combination of personalities seemingly as one. In those circumstances they were forced to be able to communicate instantly with their audience night after night. Valuable training.
Returning to Liverpool with their abilities seemingly uniquely developed they were adrift with no direction home and no other future than earning their livelihoods as best they might. But then, as by a miracle, a man appeared with no managerial experience who said he could take them to the top. Amazingly he got them launched. Even more astonishing they were assigned to perhaps the only record producer in the world who could bring out their unique talents. Thus this Fab Foursome took their home British Isles by storm succeeding as no other had succeeded before them but their Magic Moment, that lunge for the Golden Ring had not yet arrived.
The Magic Moment was awaiting them in NYC. A big jetliner brought the foursome to America’s shores in January of 1964 to appear on the Ed Sullivan show where they were to stand in Elvis’ footsteps so to speak. The difference in presentation between the two is interesting. With Elvis, he and his backing duo were standing in front of the drawn curtains on the edge of the stage, no set, his two band members were huddled behind him while the guitar player is turned sideways not even facing the audience. Presley is directly in front of them cavorting on a minuscule part of the stage. Mort Sahl would do his standup routine a few years later in the same manner with a newspaper as a prop.
In contrast the Beatles were given an open stage with decor behind them while the group was spaced dramatically and attractively. A very positive image which from long experience they knew how to take advantage of . But the appearance on the Sullivan stage merely confirmed their Magic Moment placing it indelibly in the American psyche.
The actual Magic Moment occurred when the Beatles announced themselves on the tarmac. Gods descending from the skies. For
whatever reason there were thousands of screaming girls awaiting them and a battery of newsmen and photographers. Some say the girls were bussed in, it isn’t unlikely that the astute promotion men of Capitol had a hand in the arrangements, but on the receiving end of the tube it looked genuine. Mystifying but genuine.
Posed a bunch of questions by the news cameras all four Beatles fielded them with aplomb, the cheekiest and most confident acting was John Lennon himself. All four personalities established themselves at that time as one- the Beatles. In that little flash of time the role of the Beatles was established for all time.
While each individual Beatle was adored for the face of mankind he presented each had only an identity as an aspect of the Beatles. When they split they became merely humans rising or falling based solely on the musical merits. Of the four, Lennon adopted the messianic mantle, was accorded it, and took it when he left. In one sense the Magic Moment had been his.
There would be argument about when the Beatles began to break up over the years but the when was coincidental with their annunciation. John Lennon was the weak link in the chain. Having now won what he had been struggling for for so long John Lennon discovered he wasn’t worthy. Incredibly he wrote, and the Beatles recorded his song, ‘I’m A Loser.’ He was a loser, not the winner he appeared. Now conflicted he tried to both accept and reject the role of ‘messiah.’ He was well on his way to losing the role two short years later in 1966.
The course of his career was affected by two people, Bob Dylan in 1964 and Yoko Ono in 1966. Historical ifs are difficult. It seems impossible that Bob Dylan’s career would have been possible without the overwhelming success of the Beatles. Dylan lacked commercial appeal then as he does now. He appealed to a minority audience- as opposed to the majority audience of the Beatles. Dylan lacked universal appeal then as he does now.
While the Beatles were one as a group they were two as the songwriting team of Lennon-McCartney. Since 1962 they had been turning out a steady stream of million sellers both for their own use and that of others. They were catchy tunes in the Tin Pan Alley manner that could be sung and whistled but very introspective at the same time. Dylan on the other hand wrote tortured introspective lyrics that resisted anything close to whistling or a Mitch Miller singalong.
Dylan considered his stuff amazingly thoughtful and profound. He apparently put himself in the same class as Elliot and Pound. He fooled most of his audience for a long time too. The Beatles for whatever reason became the top news story of the day; for months they either were, or seemed to be, on the news every night. Seriously, one had to ask: What’s Going On?
Just as mysteriously Dylan began getting the same treatment. Now, the Beatles were selling unprecedented millions of records on both sides of the Atlantic, at one time occupying the top five spots of the Top 10. Dylan was doing diddly squat with his tortured lyrics. He wasn’t selling records in any quantities while having essentially a cult following. Now, mysteriously he began to be given the same treatment as the Beatles. Time Magazine sent a reporter to interview him on camera. Dylan imitated the Beatles by giving smart ass answers. The Time reporter took his jibes seriously. Sitting out in front of the tube my eyebrows shot up. What is this? The rest of the world went wild in their applause of the Beatle’s and Dylan’s cheekiness. God, they were giving the finger to the Greatest Generation. The latter may have crushed Elvis but these boys were getting their own back.
Maybe Dylan got the attention because he was the only American act available, to balance the relative status of Britain and the US. Perhaps in the emerging racial politics of the time he was offered as Jewish competition to the great goy champions of Elvis and the Beatles. He entered the Beatles’ life in August of ’64 when the Jewish journalist Al Aronowitz took it upon himself to introduce him to the four-in-one. The meeting was more momentous for the Beatles than Dylan.
The story goes that Dylan introduced the boys to marijuana at that meeting. More importantly he lectured Lennon-McCartney on songwriting. Dylan told them in effect that they should stop writing hit songs and write the pretentious crap he did. Now, consider, the Beatles were incredibly successful at what they wrote, Dylan couldn’t do what they did and what he did do couldn’t compete in the marketplace with the Beatles. I mean, they should have been lecturing him, but they didn’t while accepting his viewpoint at the same time. They listened to the little twerp and fell under his infuence to begin trying to imitate him.
The imitation was not very good but as the current avatar of the messiah the Beatles were industructible, as the leader, for whatever reason, John Lennon was accorded the role of messianic leader, a role that he took quite seriously.
While the Beatles had always used various pill forms of speed or amphetamines after Dylan’s introduction to pot they quickly expanded their repertoire to include Acid or LSD. The other three seem not to have been so conflicted in their personalities not becoming as drug dependent as Lennon. He claims perhaps with exaggeration, perhaps not, to have taken LSD thousands of times in the next few years. Under the influence of LSD his personality already distressed by the transition from failure to success disintegrated completely. As he says, he lost his ego totally.
If so, adrift, he was open to a strongly directed personality to manage his. This personality appeared in 1966 in the person of Yoko Ono. She quickly commandeered his personality displacing his British wife, Cynthia. It would be two years before Lennon divorced Cynthia but he left her a year earlier.
Since signing with Brian Epstein as their manager the Beatles had had an ideal artists arrangement. Trusting him they left the business details to him which allowed them full time to devote to their creative efforts. If they needed money they asked for it while all business details such as negotiations, titles and even check writing were handled by Epstein so that the Beatles had no worldly business experience. In 1967 Epstein died.
With Brian gone the Beatles were left rudderless with no one they could trust to manage their corporate and personal finances. Forming Apple as their business alter ego they attempted to manage their affairs themselves resulting in a business regime of such dissolute ineptitude that it has been referred to as The Longest Weekend.
Having attached herself to Lennon, Yoko Ono now tried to insinuate herself into the group as the ego of John Lennon. Thus the group would have been comprised of McCartney, Harrison, Starr and Lennon-Ono. A clear impossibility, the Beatles would be dissolved. As the avatar of the sixties the era had no choice but to disappear along with them.
This was now the late sixties. The world as it had been , the world that gave birth to the Beatles c. 1960 had all but disappeared. Blown away in the wind, so to speak. Just as the sixties called for the Beatles as the messiah of the period so it called forth its anti-messiah of satanism. In 1966 Time Magazine’s cover story was Is God Dead? A title that offended Bob Dylan who petulantly asked: How would you like to be talked about like that? Right.
In 1966 Roman Polansky began filming a movie titled Rosemary’s Baby that actually portrayed the birth of Satan’s child. The story took place in the future home of the Onos- The Dakota Apartments. And then the Rolling Stones released their rather bizarre record, Their Satanic Majesty’s Request with its famous song Sympathy For The Devil. Right about then the Broadway musical Hair was staged that celebrated the Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius. Synchronicity? Not a bit.
As the messiahs had abdicated it remained for the anti-messiahs the Rolling Stones to place the epitaph on the period which they did in 1969 at Altamont.
However John Lennon as the messianic figurehead was rescued by Yoko Ono. As an unsuccessful performance artist now with Lennon’s audience and financial clout to realize her wildest fantasies she, using Lennon, organized some of the most outrageous extravaganzas that catapulted she and Lennon onto the world stage playing messianic figures. The Bed-In was the most jaw dropping stunt since flag p0le sitting.
Part III will consist of the career of the Ono-Lennon’s to John Lennon’s death in 1980 and perhaps a little beyond. There’s some really interesting stuff involving John Green and a possible associate, Sam Green. The latter is an interesting story.