January 13th, 1969 (Twickenham Film Studios, London): In the middle of a personal discussion with John and Ringo about the band, its tenuous future, and their relationships with one another, Paul (in response to John’s admission of insecurity in the face of external pressures from the public and media to perform) is emphatic about his faith in them and their abilities and contends that whatever interpersonal problems they have can be resolved, for what their music is worth. (Note: I am sheepishly and frustratedly uncertain of my transcription. And yes, Yoko and Linda seem to be having a fascinating conversation about Paul and George.)
PAUL: [trying] If all of you were for sale on a shop, I’d want you as, you know, that, but I really don’t want you as that!
PAUL: But I want you as that! I don’t want him as that. You see, I want you to want yours. You’re [inaudible]. Ringo wanted— When I say those things, you know, I can hear myself sort of – but I don’t know what it is you want me to do! In period and in fact, I want you all for whatever you are, because I’m placing it – after all the bests, and all it bloody does, and what’s best, is that what you are is alright. Because if it isn’t, then it’s just stupid of me [inaudible], you know. Because if it’s what you are, and I would want us anywhere! So I’m placing all the money, all the fame, and everything, on what you are. So if this is what you two are, then get on with it.
FAT JOHN <3 <3 <3
John Lennon orders sushi…
'…It was very, very sad because I loved him so much. I'd just been through cancer with Linda and here I was going through it all over again with a mate of 50 years. He wasn't my immediate family but he almost was. He'd always felt like my little brother.'
He takes a breath, focuses on a point in the distance, mutters ‘What a lovely boy’ then carries on.
'The last time I met him, he was very sick and I held his hand for four hours. As I was doing it I was thinking “I've never held his hand before, ever. This is not what two Liverpool fellas do, no matter how well you know each other.” I kept thinking, “he's going to smack me here.” But he didn't. He just stroked my hand with his thumb and I thought “Ah, this is OK, this is life. It's tough but it's lovely. That's how it is.” I knew George before I knew any of the others and I loved that man. I'm so proud to have known him. Still, as sad as it was, you take the great bit, which was that last time you saw him, and that's what you remember. That and all the other lovely memories.'
This never fails to make me smile… :)
January 1st, 1976 (Dakota, New York): John tells Elliot Mintz about his Irish inclinations and how he arrived at Sean’s name.
JOHN: The very first name I thought of was Sean. I’ve always liked it; I was always fascinated by the S-e-a-n spelling. Being a little bit of a… Anglo-Irish descent, you know, and so I was always reading about Celts and things like that. It’s an Irish name, and it’s Irish for John. I don’t like “Jr.”s. I know it’s very popular in America, but not in Europe so much.
YOKO: Not anymore, is it, now?
JOHN: It’s still pretty popular to have Somebody Jr., you know, like a replica of yourself, which is—
MINTZ: Or “the Second”.
JOHN: “The Second”, yeah, or “the Third”, which I think is ridiculous ‘cause although one tends to think it’s a little John, because it’s a male, it isn’t! It’s a combination of John and Yoko which produced something completely and entirely separate from us. It is not a little John Lennon or a little Yoko Ono – it’s a Sean. It’s itself, you know. He is himself, he’s not – you know, apart from us giving birth [to him].
JOHN: I called my auntie [Mimi] in England – this is a nice story, might round it up for us. Okay. ‘Cause all my family is English except for my father’s side – pure, straight, English. But on my father’s – my father’s father was Irish, and that’s not too good in England… as you might guess from the news. But I’ve always been a bit interested, the name Lennon is Irish, so that’s, you know - I’m entitled. So I called my auntie who brought me up, who is pure English. I say, “It’s a boy! It’s a boy!” And she says, “Oh, it’s great! It’s great!” And she’s happy and screaming on the other end of the phone. And I say, “Well, I’ve got one thing to tell you.” “What? What is it?” I say, “Do you want to know what I called him?” “Oh, yes, yes, yes!” I say, “It’s Sean.” She says, “Oh my god, John, don’t brand him!” [laughs] And she kept saying that over and over, and I said, “Don’t worry, he’ll probably be brought up in America, or internationally, and it doesn’t – it’s no harm,” you know. But she couldn’t believe it.
I’m hugely excited about all the new material, that’s the main thing. Research is Lewisohn’s strongest point, and from what I’ve seen the book will do a lot to showcase that, which will probably make it very useful for fact-checking. I did get annoyed by that quote about John keeping Paul’s obnoxiousness at a manageable level because it clashes with my view of their relationship. For insight I would rather read somebody like Doggett, but I think that mostly shows that there are different ways to write a great book about The Beatles (and that it’s completely impossible to write the ultimate one).
|—||Mark Lewisohn, footnote in The Beatles: All These Years (Vol.1) – Tune In. (proof copy) (2013)|
Another piece of Lennon writing, probably from this time [December 1959], is the short story ‘Henry and Harry’, seemingly based on George Harrison’s dilemma. On Christmas morning,unwrapping his gifts at 25 Upton Green, George was dismayed to find a set of screwdrivers and electricians’ tools from his dad. He felt the implication was clear: Harry expected his youngest boy to make electrics his life’s work. Dad had a plan too: George’s big brother Harry was a motor mechanic, his other brother Peter was a panel beater, and, ultimately, George could join them as the electrician in a family-owned motor garage; he himself would be the manager, leaving his job as bus driver after all these years. John was ‘astoundagasted” on behalf of his young pal: to him, all such jobs came into one category, ‘brummer striving’, a phrase he’d cooked up to represent dead-end industrial work or bog-standard labour of any kind. Asked in a TV interview in 1968 to define it, John replied, ‘Brummer striving is… brummer striving - all those jobs that people have that they don’t want. And there’s probably about 90 per cent brummer strivers watching in at the moment.’
'Henry and Harry' encapsulated George's predicament: the school-leaving son at their 'quaint little slum' expected to follow into the father's business.,the dad batting away his son's protests. *Get out!* John was urging his young friend, who little needed the encouragement. *Tell him to f*** off!* George could, but wouldn't, at least not in those words. And it wasn't as if his first experiences as an electrician promised much anyway: given the job of maintaining the lights in Blackler's Christmas grotto, he'd fused them, casting a Scouse Santa and a queue of excited kiddies into darkness. It was something for George and Arthur Kelly to laugh about during Blackler's Christmas dance at the Grafton Ballroom. The finest photograph of these best buddies was taken here, their hair defying all known laws of gravity, two 16-year-old working men wearing smart suits and big natural smiles for the camera before they moved in to check out the birds.
|—||From The Beatles - All These Years: Tune in by Mark Lewisohn (via thateventuality)|