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John Lennon: Two Johns

frankencat

Guitarded
Gold Supporting Member
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13,576
There has been much discussion about there possibly being two Pauls but I have not seen much about the two Johns which happened right before our eyes. There is the early Beatle mop top ”Ticket To Ride” John and the later hippie “John and Yoko” John which were seemingly two very different people. This has always intrigued me and I am a fan of both. How and when did this transition take place?

(images borrowed from another post)

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frankencat

Guitarded
Gold Supporting Member
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13,576
It’s not about what he looks like, his whole attitude and approach changed.
 

Average Joe

Member
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12,144
Drugs, politics, spiritual enlightenments or at least attempts at it.

It's interesting how as a teenager Lennon was always the "cool" Beatle, the biopic also came out around that time and made an impression on a lot of people my age. He seemed the edgier, cooler, more profound of them. In my middle age watching the Get Back doc, he came across as fairly random and directionless whereas McCartney was the guy who got **** done. Dunno that one impression is necessarily more true than the other, just a change is all
 

John Quinn

Gold Supporting Member
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3,920
How and when did this transition take place?
View attachment 444557 View attachment 444558


Lennon was more than two people - he was actually 4 - The Early Lennon shaped and portrayed as cool - the 67 version that was drugged into oblivion which carried on until 1975 - then the subdued Lennon who was lazing about with no direction - 1979 the evolved Lennon who was finally glad to be alive showed - which unfortunately was cut short.

The transitions were not so much - but were a result of Lennons eternal pursuit of a guru - 1n 1966 Lennon was tripping constantly - laying about the house - barely moving and rarely going out - he was tired of the Beatles but didn't know what to do - then Yoko presented him with a new direction - one of a free artist - pursuing the unknown - hooked on heroin and probably cocaine and barely eating - going through the Jung therapy - he was barely functional - he came out of it by 1973 and started to drift with May Pang - but he was afraid to leave Yoko - which was part of her demeanor to contain Lennon ( she by the way picked May Pang so she could control the 'affair') - then he went back to Yoko with only smoke some pot and drinking which she reportedly put her foot down that he couldn't do it anymore - he got out of life and retired to be a fake Househusband - the Househusband who had a nanny to take care of Sean for the 10 hours he was awake - although he participated in his life - it wasn't all that much.

Finally he had enough the Yoko and House - he started searching again for his next Guru. Rumor was he was going to leave Yoko after the album - one of which when recording he was Coking up -Smoking Pot - Drinking - and returning to his habits - he had strict orders that none of the session musicians or staff were to talk about it to Yoko. It's up for speculation if he would have left - but he was searching to be sure.
 

Riffmaster227

Member
Messages
2,542
Transition took place in 1965 when Dr Robert gave George and John and their respective wives
LSD in their coffee Circa March 1965
 

talonmm

Member
Messages
905
It’s not about what he looks like, his whole attitude and approach changed.

One major change is that Paul really took over the band as the years went on.

You can really see in the documentary, John was no longer "the driving force" or "half of the driving force" as he once was. John seemed distant in the documentary at times.

Yet through it all, John wrote some brilliant music - even until the end of the Beatles - ie. Don't Let Me Down.
 

Steeltoe

Silver Supporting Member
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1,922
There is Harmonica John, then Psychedelic John. I would argue his singing voice was much better early on, with lot of resonance and projection, which morphed into a nasally, weaker voice that often doesn't even sound like the same guy. Drugs, tobacco, aging...
 
Messages
20,398
Really?

It was all drugs?

I suppose it makes sense, when I was a kid I used to love oatmeal. Then after a few too many Flintstones chewables- I was done with that **** and moved on to Lucky Charms.

It's all the drugs.

It's got nothing to do with any life experiences beyond any drugs. You know, like growing up, changing taste, societal changes, societal pressures... it was just the drugs.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,559
I think also he's spoken pretty candidly about the John presented to the public in the early 60s was a facade that he felt was increasingly far removed from himself - even at the beginning when Epstein insisted on the suits he had misgivings in how they were packaged and by Help he was very much a man in crisis, trying to be wise cracking funny John to the public while his personal life and self confidence was coming apart at the seams. I suspect what you see in him from Pepper onwards is a more honest portrayal of where he was at the time.

Physically I think there's a pretty obvious switch from chunky booze and comfort eating John when they finished touring to skinny and often unhealthy looking drug John, combined with the decision to ditch the fab four shtick, but mentally I think there was a significant switch at the same time whether you attribute it to drugs or escaping the constant album/tour cycle of the earlier band, or indeed myriad additional factors he was dealing with at the time.
 

Mr. Crow

Member
Messages
1,762
A lot of folks are talking about a 'drugged-out' and 'barely functional' Lennon in the later years of the Beatles. A person of that description doesn't get the amount of work done that he did in those years. Yes, he took drugs, but the drugged-out theme seems a little ridiculous considering what he wrote and accomplished.
 

Funkhauser

Member
Messages
1,372
Really?

It was all drugs?

I suppose it makes sense, when I was a kid I used to love oatmeal. Then after a few too many Flintstones chewables- I was done with that **** and moved on to Lucky Charms.

It's all the drugs.

It's got nothing to do with any life experiences beyond any drugs. You know, like growing up, changing taste, societal changes, societal pressures... it was just the drugs.

Sure there would have been other factors. But still, mainly the drugs.The impact of drugs on the Beatles and Lennon in particular is well documented. He took a lot of very powerful mind altering substances over a number of years and that will change anyone. It goes without saying.
 




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