Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Walrus Wisdom? (see special update: Gift for You)

Lennon image credit: painting by artist Jeff Ham.

I tend to think that somewhere in my life I certainly must've seen or heard every possible thing The Beatles ever sang or wrote or said. Obviously that is not true, for I've never heard this interview with John and his classic observations of war and peace (5-minutes):

"In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit, and timeless message."

I love that John always took the time to talk seriously with the many earnest young people who found him and asked questions!

Why don't short films like this get nominated for Oscars?

ps, I don't know if it was meant as an inside joke, but I think the vid is misnamed. There's a Beatles song where John says, "here's another clue for you all -- the walrus was Paul." Oh well, it's still a great interview vid.

*****Walrus Update: Spadoman explains the Walrus reference in comments!

*****SPECIAL UPDATE: If you liked the interview vid above, you'll want to see "U.S. versus John Lennon", a 2006 documentary focusing on the time in Lennon's life when he transformed from a musician into an antiwar activist. Watch this short YouTube trailer (2-minutes). If you liked that ...

*****SPECIAL UPDATE #2: click here to watch the whole 100-minute documentary. If you're a Lennon/Peace Fan, this is my gift to you!


Spadoman said...

Wow! What a treasure! While passing time this week, recovering from a bit of illness, I worked on a project loading CD's onto my iTunes. I have so many Beatles albums. I wanted them all in one place, so I had been working on getting them all organized. So, the Beatles were in my mind. When I came to visit, I see this great picture of John, read the story, listen to the interview. Another of the prophets they killed. Afraid of those that people will listen to who are telling the truth. 1969. Same shit, different day.

Thanks. Where, and how, did you find this?

Oh, and The Walrus. Lennon threw in the line about Paul to confuse people. He got the idea from a poem, and later found out the the walrus was the villian in the poem.

Here is an excerpt from an interview from 1980:

"It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system. I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with The Beatles' work. Later, I went back and looked at it and realised that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy. I thought, Oh, shit, I picked the wrong guy. I should have said, 'I am the carpenter.' But that wouldn't have been the same, would it? [Singing] 'I am the carpenter....'"

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

Annette said...

What a joy... this was awesome. It is amazing how little they were thought of for their political views though. If we only stopped to think of some of the things that these people were saying instead of putting them down all the time. By "we" I mean the talking heads of the time.... not we now.. but the heads still do the same thing. They discount us, the little people, they won't listen to what we say, they just talk louder and drown us out. Just as they did John, until finally some nut job, drowned him out permanently.

Fran said...

I am a huge John Lennon fan & this was a first time viewing this- so thanks for sharing.
I remember when John & Yoko did the whole campaign in the Vietnam era-- WAR IS OVER- a huge white billboard with large all cap letters & in fine print on the bottom said "if you want it to be".

Here he reiterates that we put the government in place & it is our job to tell them to stop the wars.

Little did he know how badly thing would spiral.... to the point where 100,000 people would assemble in protest...or even more nationwide.... to no avail.

In Bush's case even the Pope spoke out openly against preemptive wars. (not that I subscribe, but that would have been his religion's spiritual leader).

Things had spiraled out of control so badly, we the people did not even actually vote the "leader" or president in to office. In other countries, stolen elections were met with throngs of protestors who refused to leave until the matter was corrected.

We had better figure out a way to stop the violence/wars..... or we will wind up where we are headed!

D.K. Raed said...

That is great Walrus info! So what he was really saying is Paul was the villian? Now it all makes sense! I saw the vid while cruising around yesterday, it was featured on BuzzFlash. I've been looking for a way to show more Jeff Ham paintings, so it clicked! And now, hearing of the synchronicity of your experience, maybe it clicked for a reason?!

D.K. Raed said...

The Beatles took a lot of heat when they moved from pure pop to more political music. American DJ's started a movement to smash their records when John observed they were more popular than Jesus. I remember scenes of teenagers crying as they added Beatle albums to bonfires. Truly, USA schizophrenia at its finest!

D.K. Raed said...

Makes you wonder what John would be saying today about all that, hunh? He saw far, but maybe not so far as Bush ... unless you consider his comment that we all carry both Hitler and Jesus inside ... so to that extent, he may have leaped across the vote/nonvote factor and put the blame inside each one of us?!

Also, his protests certainly garnered more attn than all of ours, it seems, so maybe it takes more than masses of people. His protests, like many European protests today, are more like theatre performances. Maybe that's what we're missing?

Dave Dubya said...

Lennon was a living embodiment of the revolution of consciousness and conscience we so desperately need today.

Something tells me we won't see as much outpouring of sorrow when the Shrub croaks as we saw when John was assassinated.

It is a reflection on humanity's better nature when we saw so much more mourning for Jerry Garcia's passing than for Ronald Reagan's.

Something good resonates to this day from those kind old hippie types from the 60's. I'm so much happier being from their tribe rather than of the empire.


D.K. Raed said...

Dave Dub:
I wouldn't trade my experiences in the 60's for any other era! Peace back at'cha.

Oh, the diehard 25% will shed copious tears when Shrub croaks. Karl Rove will be bereft. Boo hoo.