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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
LJ ON JL: Week 1; Chapters 1-4
This week, I finally began reading Philip Norman's John Lennon: The Life, the "seminal" and/or "definitive" JL biog that recently popped up (click here to check out our recent Gift Guide post about it).
Most People are most likely not tearing their out hair in excitement over committing to an 817-page tome (in hardcover, no less!) chronicling the infamously-obnoxious life & times of some deceased Liverpudlian whose name isn't even tattooed on their body; this is one of the countless reasons why Most People kind of irk the John Winston Lennon outta me. Never-the-lesser, I am a very forgiving human being, and have decided that I will make Most People's lives easier, entertaining, and more Lennon-centric by providing y'all with periodic updates highlighting the most interesting tidbits I've gleaned from John Lennon: The Life over the course of the past week. Enjoy! I'm happy I've been able to spare you the massive inconvenience of having to carry that book around. It gives you shoulder-bruises. And never forget:
When life gives you lemons, make Lennon-ade!
l to r: The Daily Howl, Adolescent John Lennon's "zine"; The Goons Live; The Magnet; a James Thurber-drawn dog
+ When John Lennon was a wee bairn, his nasty deadbeat dad, Alfred "Alf/Freddy/Freddie" Lennon, took him "Crimbo" shopping across Liddypool proper. As tends to be the case with corporate environs, every department store in the entire town advertised that Santa Claus would be hanging out at their shop. "How many Father Christmases are there??" asked mini-John. Wow! You're so shrewd, Baby John Lennon!
-+ Childhood John Lennon and his rascally buddies would, for a prank, run into Marks & Spencer and scream "WOOLWORTH'S!!!" which is perfectly unfunny in that lame kid way.
+ A Lesson Learned: One should use all one's intelligence to be unbelievably silly.
+ Sometimes Aunt Mimi would throw away Adolescent John's drawings and poems because she saw them as distractions. Later in life, John said, "I would say [to Mimi], 'You've thrown my fuckin' poetry out and you'll regret it when I'm famous.' I never forgave her for not treating me like a fuckin' genius." John Lennon- I like your attitude!
+ What the Helter Skelter is the deal with old-timey British people giving themselves or others stupid, nonsensical nicknames? Here are all the weird ones that have come up so far:
-John Lennon's Aunt Anne: Nanny
-John Lennon's Aunt Elizabeth: Mater
-John Dykins (John Lennon's Mother's Boyfriend): Bobby Dykins (WHY BOBBY? WHY NOT JACK?)
-John Lennon's Childhood Home: Mendips
-Sir Paul McCartney: Macca
Personally, I would kill myself if my name was Elizabeth and I had to be known as Mater. Should I start calling Elizabeth Barker 'Mater Barker'??
+ Some Good Words and Phrases: prefab; plutocrat; echelon; "filibustering about"; "giving squeakers" (Giving Squeakers was Baby John's nickname for kissing his beloved Uncle G; this makes me wish I had a sexy boyfriend so I could reappropriate BJL's terminology for hotness-related purposes)
+ Ealing Studios' The Magnet is a 1950 UK film described as a "psychological satire" by good ol' IMDB. It's set in Liddypool, and is the story of an "only child of a pair of psychologists, who trades an "invisible watch" to a much-younger child for a large magnet. His nurse/nanny accuses him of stealing and scolds him and he runs away. He soon convinces himself that the police are after him and following several unsuccessful attempts to get rid of the magnet."
+ "Simply a Simple Pimple Shortsighted John Wimple Lennon" is the "Laura Jane Windowpane Hit Her Head On A Weathervane Faulds" of John Lennon.
+ My New Band Name: Goldiloppers and the Three Bearlodes
+ My New Second-born Son's Name: The Kardomah Kid (this was Aunt Mimi's nickname for Adolescent John, because he'd always skip school and go hang out at a local coffeehouse called the Kardomah. This, predictably, was a cool move on JL's behalf)
+ Author Philip Norman devoted a surprisingly large amount of time to describing in detail the ins and outs of Teddy Boy Fashion. Teddy Boys, known as Teds, were early-fifties Brit badasses whose badass-ness was somehow defined by their wearing of the following garments:
-knee-length coats with black velvet collars
-fluorescent orange or lime green socks
-three-inch-heeled Chukka boots
I think it's time for a Teddy Boy Renaissance. SPRING 09 FASHION CONCEPT, ANYONE?
+ Adolescent John Lennon and his gang would regularly participate in circle jerks- How Hella Homoerotic, Adolescent John Lennon! Mid-"wank", the dudes in JL's clique would shout out the names of "sex goddesses" like Sophia Loren or Brigitte Bardot.
But, because John Lennon is cool and hilarious, he would toy with everybody else's game by shouting out "Frank Sinatra!" or "Winston Churchill!"
PS: I am confident that this column will get a lot more interesting once the Beatles are in Rishikesh and all the like
Tags: Adolescent John Lennon, Baby John Lennon, Childhood John Lennon, circle jerks, John Lennon, Laura Jane Faulds, Laura loves the Beatles, Liddypool, rascally behavior, Teddy Boy Renaissance, The Daily Howl, The Goons, The Magnet
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