Monday, June 9, 2008

Free Thinking with John, Yoko and Dick

Some people couldn’t stand his intellectual style of conversation, but Dick Cavett’s way of confronting taboo issues made him a welcome fixture on American television, especially during the turbulent early 1970s.

Cavett had a way of ticking people off. The Wiki article on Cavett includes a quote from the hip talk show host about his experience after the premier of “Candy,” the Ringo Starr film based on a Terry Southern novel.

When the interviewer, Pat Paulsen, got to me, he asked what I thought the critics would say about Candy. I said I didn't think it would be reviewed by the regular critics, that they would have to reconvene the Nuremberg Trials to do it justice. He laughed and asked what I had liked, and I said I liked the lady who showed me the nearest exit so that I would not be forced to vomit indoors.

One person who didn’t care for Cavett’s criticism was President Richard M. Nixon. According to the same Wiki entry, Nixon, as captured on the infamous Watergate tapes, asked "Well, is there any way we can screw him [Cavett]? That's what I mean. There must be ways." H.R. Haldeman, White House Chief of Staff, answered, "We've been trying to."

Conspiracy theorists with selective skepticism regarding mental illness and an equal share of fondness for mind control might suggest that Nixon’s people found a way to inflict the frequent bouts of depression that Cavett has suffered over the years.

When Zakk asked me about the source video for the Lennon interview at the end of 1 - The Wizard of Faul #1, I thought it would be appropriate to report a couple of interesting things about this particular Lennon appearance on the Dick Cavett show, which was taped on September 11, 1971. The clip in the wizardoffaul video came from a Q&A session with audience members near the end of the taping. The taping itself carried on much longer than anticipated because the participants were having such a good time. Surprisingly, the clip in question was immediately after Cavett had a testy exchange with his guest after Lennon suggested that overpopulation was a myth concocted by the government to distract people from other issues.

Cavett: Oh, I think you're wrong about that.

Lennon: Oh, I don't care.

Cavett: ...He doesn't care!

An audience member asked Lennon directly about the Paul Is Dead rumors. John gave the usual denial, but as always there was a certain way that something was said that made you wonder what he meant. Lennon said: "It had nothing to do with me. There is a rumor that he is dead actually." A bit of a smirk was evident.

Aside from being a rare moment when John had to respond directly to a Paul Is Dead question, the Cavett appearance had some other interesting things in it.
Lennon is wearing a military shirt. The fact that he has Sergeant stripes deserves a place on that rapidly growing list of subtle signs that lead back to the Sgt. Pepper album.

But the thing about the show that has been whispered for years concerns another audience member who posed a question to Lennon that day. The audience member is just a little belligerent. In fact, if you watch the entire segment, it appears that the director cut him off sharply as he was trying to hurl another follow-up question.

It is not unusual for some weirdo to overstep the bounds in a situation like this, but the thing that caused Lennon fans to wonder was the person’s physical resemblance to another weirdo who appeared at John’s door during the filming of the recording of the Imagine album. Although the footage was not used in John’s "Imagine" movie from 1971 (which featured Dick Cavett), it did appear in the 1988 "Imagine John Lennon" documentary. In the movie, we see John explaining to the confused hippy that he couldn’t possibly be sending messages to him in his songs. The conversation appears to end in a stalemate at which point John asks him if he is hungry and invites him in for something to eat. It is a poignant moment in the film and it shows us a rare glimpse at John’s soft side. But, it has also caused many to wonder if this person is the same one who was in the audience of the Cavett show and if so, was he stalking John?

Compare this still from the Imagine documentary to the YouTube video capture from the Dick Cavett show above.

There does appear to be a strong resemblance, but the voice sounds different. And if he is the same person that was filmed at Lennon's house, he was either very high or in a much more disturbed mental condition. Perhaps another victim of mind control???

wizardofFaul is back with 2- Wizard of Faul #2


Anonymous said...

That guy that showed up at Lennon's door didn't say anything that a lot of the NIR people haven't been saying in their own way. Maybe the NIR people have been brainwashed by the same "Distrust those Beatles who are sending you clues and messages" program developed by the RAND corp.

Anonymous said...

JGuildersleeve, can you troll somewhere else please. Even if every PID conspiracy theorist is off their rocker do you really think your gonna change the way they see things? You'd have a better chance convincing a wall or a dead horse.

Arguing on the internet is like the Special Olympics. Even if you win...

Do I see a HEAVY resemblance. Yes. Does that mean I can say, for sure, they are the same person? No. But I'm glad the information was provided here so that others can see it.

The crazy and wacky PID people are just as crazy and wacky as the PIA fanatics. Most stalkers are usually fanatical fans.

Anonymous said...

How about you elaborate on your Rand, SRI, and Tavistock brain-washing connections and play along (instead bashing NIR'ers).

Zakk said...

wonderbar! nice to see I sparked a new topic for todays blog!! ~_~

Yeah, those two guys look similar, however that not saying much about grungy white hippies back in the 70's.

I do distinctly remember seeing that segment of the Lennon Documentary, I was fascinated about how the guy kept bringing up things like "hold you in his armchair" and so forth, convinced there was a hidden clue that only Mr. Lennon could explain to him... John just shook his head and kept saying "they are only songs".

He then fed the guy dinner and said he felt sorry, since it was his music that causes people to go like this.

Couldn't find the clip on the net tho, its a great bit.

Anonymous said...

Kucinich Presents Bush Impeachment

Is the timing of this related to the IAAP story somehow, or is that the impression we are supposed to be getting?

Anonymous said...

For me, the guy in the Imagine film was typical of a lot of sixties people who thought themselves free thinkers although they were really looking to follow. With respect, I do see something similar with some of IAAP's "followers" who see themselves as truth seekers banding behind a charismatic and enigmatic figure whose videos appear to reinforce Manson-esque ideas about Beatle songs and images. I find this interesting and ironic. Lennon tried his best to deflate any notion that Beatle songs were anything more than songs. Long before there were any think tanks, people developed conspiracy theories to explain, excuse, or justify their situation in life. Whether Maat vs Tiamat, Set vs Horus, Christ vs Antichrist, Matter vs Spirit, it is part of human nature to reduce things in terms of paired opposites or as righteous individuals vs institutional evil. JCharles.

Tafultong said...

JCharles wrote:
Lennon tried his best to deflate any notion that Beatle songs were anything more than songs.

I agree that Lennon tried, however, I am not sure that he "tried his best" to suggest that Beatles songs were not useful as catalysts for social change. He was the one who said that the Beatles only appeared wholesome because their messages were subliminal. I'm not suggesting that this has anything to do with Manson. I just mean that Lennon would always diminish the importance of the songs one minute and then suggest that they changed the world the next. He was the same way about the quality of his songs. He would dismiss most of his work and then come to the conclusion that he was a genius.

Paul McCartney's approach was completely different, but just as interesting. He seems to love to talk about the craft of songwriting, and yet claims to be a passive recipient of inspiration from a mystical source. Sometimes he is so "off the wall" about his songwriting, it makes you wonder if he is putting us on--For example, the long involved explanation of the inspiration behind the song "Bogey Music" on "McCartney II." It is laughable to read that explanatory paragraph on the album and then to read the lyrics and listen to the song. But at the same time, you can make a case that he is the greatest songwriter of all time.

Dhani Harrison said it beautifully about his father's music. "I'm not saying it's going to change your life or anything, but it definitely changed mine."

The music of the Beatles changed people's lives. And for some it was uplifting. But some others have found a sinister element in it. I find that fascinating.

It is either a tribute to the depth of the music or an indictment to the sickness of the world.

Anonymous said...

"The music of the Beatles changed people's lives. And for some it was uplifting. But some others have found a sinister element in it."

More accurately:

"The music of the Beatles changed people's lives. And for most it was uplifting. But a few have found a sinister element in it."

Anonymous said...

I've gotta say, Lennon's comments on the Paul is Dead rumor sound absolutely genuine. I don't know whether this has been brought up much, but it seems to me that if Paul really died and was replaced in a cover up, the best approach to any questions about the "clues" would have been to say they planned it for publicity, as Lennon mentioned. But they denied any involvement whatsoever. If, as the theory goes, Paul really wants everyone to know (which is why believers think he keeps dropping clues for the benefit of the PID community in practically every song, image, and statement), he or Lennon could have left some much better and more obvious clues, certainly in their solo work. Something that could not be assigned to coincidence or misinterpretation.

Anonymous said...

Taful I agree about Lennon's musical self-awareness. Early on, when they really thought the world had gone mad, the boys were quick to point out that it was just music. Later, when they really demonstrated genius, they were more apt to point out how influential they were. They just didn't want to be influential in a negative way, or have their music misinterpreted in a Manson way (this was still recent when the interview was done), which is why Lennon went on for some time about what he meant with the song "Revolution." JCharles

Anonymous said...

Lennon and McCartney were mining the musical hills looking for melodic gold, and they found a major vein somewhere. I think that, while the Beatles were Beatles, they usually didn't make too big a deal of their artistry, they were just busy putting it together, and they were also awed by other artists of the era. There wasn't a "rock press" like today, and there wasn't much written for them to reflect on until they broke up. When the smoke cleared, and after reading up on their legend from other sources, I think it began to dawn on Paul especially just how unusual and unparalleled their creative burst was. It had to be bizarre to go from being the voice of a generation whose every song went to number 1 to being mocked and ridiculed as a commercial goofball. Now he must think, "Gee, I wrote Michelle in twenty minutes, but people still go bonkers for it even now. Maybe there was something mystical going on back then." Have a good night. JCharles

Tafultong said...

anonymous wrote:
More accurately:

"The music of the Beatles changed people's lives. And for most it was uplifting. But a few have found a sinister element in it."


Tafultong said...

JCharles wrote:

It had to be bizarre to go from being the voice of a generation whose every song went to number 1 to being mocked and ridiculed as a commercial goofball.

It's more bizarre than that. It must be extremely confusing to Paul that his most "mocked and ridiculed" works were also his most commercially successful ones. I'm not just talking about "Silly Love Songs." "Ebony and Ivory" was a smash hit. "With A Little Luck" ruled the airwaves. I could go on, but you get the idea.

I give him a lot of credit for continuing to write and record the songs that he claims "just come into me head" because in a way, he stands defiant and defends his art. Bob Dylan gets more respect for doing that, and that's probably deservedly so, but McCartney should get a lot more credit than he does. Bob Dylan seems to respect him.

Anonymous said...

I think it was Lawrence Juber who said that when he worked with Paul in the 70's he knew that Paul could have written more substantial songs but he felt that Paul really liked the throwaway nature of writing a quick pop hit that took very little time to come up with. At the time he said Paul felt critic-proof because the public loved the songs. When the hits ran out after 1985, that's when Paul started putting more effort into his writing because he felt he had to. He still tosses off a "Hope Of Deliverance" now and again when he's in the mood.

Clare said...

I think it's time to note here, the date on the Sgt Peppers "drumskin"/"grave marker" (even implied by Derek Taylor, when he said the ground on the album was a grave, then tried to deny the implications about Paul).

The only exact clue to Paul's death date we have, if it is one, is that drumskin message (as seen in a mirror): 1 ONE 1 X ^ HE DIE

11 9 in USA date format (and long assumed in PID circles, is Nov. 9.

But in British (and Canadian) date format, it's Sept. 11.

Not only would this fit with a Kenya subsequent clinic timeline for the new Paul's trip and putative 1st surgery, but ... the date sounds familiar.

Of course, cultically, 11 and 9 in either order would be meaningful, "magickally".

And John's SHOW DATE for his first main appearance on TV in the US talk show circuit? THIS SHOW DATE? Sept. 11. Complete with PID question (luckily) and more planned, probably, the military stripes and 5-pointed star on his shirt.