Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quotes

In the late 1960s and early 1970s it was common to include brief quotes in the cover art of LPs. These words of wisdom often came from the artist (frequently under a pseudonym) or from a well known associate. Usually the quote could be found in an inconspicuous place somewhere on the back cover or inner sleeve, but it could also be prominently displayed. Several little gems of wisdom were evident on solo projects of the Beatles.

The earliest one I can remember was plastered right on the front cover of the John & Yoko album "Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins." The quote surprisingly came from Paul McCartney. I have always wondered about that quote.

"When two great Saints meet, it is a humbling experience. The long battles to prove he was a Saint."


Was this a lackluster attempt at liner notes? What are these two sentences supposed to mean? The second line isn't even a complete sentence. Why would Paul refer to John and Yoko as saints in 1968?



The following "Unfinished Music" project from John and Yoko, called "Life With The Lions," contained a short, honest and to the point quote from Beatles producer, George Martin on the back cover: "No Comment." This was another interesting choice for the Lennons, since George Martin considered these experimental projects self-indulgent and boring.

The only other album that appeared on the special Zapple label after "Life With the Lions" was "Electronic Sound" by George Harrison. The inner sleeve contained a quote from one Arthur Wax.



Although I don't believe that Mr. Wax ever existed, I think his quote was appropriate.

John Lennon's album "Mind Games" included a few quotes on the inner sleeve. The longest one was the Declaration of Nutopia signed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. But the inner sleeve also contained what may be the first appearance of the Lennon pseudonym Dr. Winston O' Boogie, who was quoted as saying, "Madness is the first sign of dandruff." Truer words have rarely been written and this does explain why confused people tend to scratch their heads. The other quote was a line from Yoko that must have served as the inspiration for one of John's songs: "Only people can change the world."



Lennon's next album, "Walls and Bridges" contained two signed quotes on one of the pages in the enclosed booklet. Suffering from constant harassment from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Department, John put the following:

"Possession is nine-tenths of the problem."
--Dr. Winston O' Boogie

The other quote, signed with only initials has been a source of speculation for years. May Pang still maintains that is was a true statement:

On the 23rd Aug. 1974 at 9 o'clock I saw a U.F.O.
J.L.


Dr. Winston O' Boogie struck again in a profound way on the John Lennon Best of collection "Shaved Fish," issued in 1975. You don't need to be a PID person to give this statement a ton of weight, but it helps.

"A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."-- Dr. Winston O'Boogie

Perhaps to spoof the trend, Ringo Starr put a most unusual quote on the back of his Best of album "Blast From Your Past," issued the same year.

"You don't have to be first, but make sure you're not last"
--A local Gynecologist

I have to say that my favorite album quote was yet another from Dr. Winston O' Boogie, this time on the Lennon produced Harry Nilsson album "Pussycats."



"Everything is the opposite of what it is."
--Dr. Winston O' Boogie, M.D. (Manic Depressive)

This statement is a tribute to the mental gymnastics of the conspiratorial mind. I am lumping myself into the category that I am describing. As individuals, conspiracy theorists tend to be intelligent, creative people. But when viewed as a collective, all kinds of crazy things can be attributed to conspiracy buffs. No one is immune to guilt by association. Just as the skeptics have the problem of being on the side of the closed minded, conspiracy people have many unstable people in their ranks. And when viewed from the outside, we can be seen as people who believe the contrary of every known fact in the world. As a result, the conspiracy world is stuck with some blatant contradictions.

Critics can sit back and ridicule the apparent incongruity of the conspiracy theorists who don't believe that men walked on the moon in 1969 (They believe it was filmed by Stanley Kubrick in a studio) but maintain that men can travel through time via star gates and wormholes. Skeptics can scoff at those who believe that every attack from Pearl Harbor to 9/11 was an inside job, unless they find one that really does turn out to be an inside job, in which case it must have been a real attack that had to be covered up by security agencies for political reasons. In the world of Beatles, some believe that Paul McCartney, who continues to make music nearly forty years after the breakup, actually died four years before the breakup but, John Lennon, who died in 1980 is actually still alive. And now that some rational people have suggested that Paul did die in 1966, we have a whole new crop of conspiracy theorists who say that Paul is alive, but was replaced in 1966 for other reasons. The theories get weirder and weirder with large scale replacements, aliens, shape-shifters, doppelgangers, monarch slaves, and the like. While these may be no worse than any other conspiracy theories, once you put them all together, you become an easy target.

So, to all of my fellow conspiracy theorists....You may be sane, you may be smart, and some day you may even be proven right. But for now, get used to the fact that you are stuck with some non-reality based bedfellows.

Just beneath the quote: "Everything is the opposite of what it is," we have another gem from Harry Nilsson's Pussycats album:

"But somehow it isn't only not just the words, isn't it?"
--Professor Schmilsson M.E. (Me)

Goodnight Harry. Rest in peace...if you really are dead.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

We love ya stevie baby




D...s

Anonymous said...

. . . .
. . . .
. . ..



Dimas

MikeNL said...

great post taf, really ;)

M.

Anonymous said...

"Remember the Maine"?!?!

Vince.

Anonymous said...

Vince here, again.
I would like to think they 'lifted' this idea from Frank Zappa. (I'm sure he would've LOVE to think it, too)
His first album was loaded with quotes.
Three that I can think of off the top of my head are:
"The present day composer refuses to DIE!" -Verese.

"No Commercial Potential!"- some gut at CBS records.

AND,
"If your children ever find out how lame you all are, they'll kill you in your sleep!"- Our final message to our audience at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go.(1966)


peace.

Anonymous said...

Which one had "Love is having to say you're sorry, every 5 minutes."?

Tafultong said...

Anonymous said...

Which one had "Love is having to say you're sorry, every 5 minutes."?

I believe that was on the back cover of "Fly" by Yoko Ono.

tfltng said...

War Hurt Ax

Really really really GOD post, Taffy!

Anonymous said...

Great post Taful. The PID thing-- unlike Mermaids, Big Foot, UFOs, Loch Ness et al--is that each of those theories developed, in part, due to eyewitness accounts, which of course does not make them true. Some of the witnesses, particularly to UFOs, are credible and I've known a few(pilots, physicists, astronomers etc). PID is an interesting belief insofar as there is not a single eyewitness or even second-hand witness with regards to Paul's supposed death. More difficult to believe that Paul died is the idea that so many people that would be in a position to know have never said a word. Not one. May Pang, Pete Best, Pete Shotton, Richard Lester, Magic Alex. George Harrison' sister, Charlie Watts, any number of people that knew Paul professionally such as realtors, lawyers, tailors, press agents, hair stylists, doctors, photographers, engineers, the list would probably number in the thousands. Not one person that knew what Paul looked, sounded, and acted like in real life up to 1966(that's the key, because celebrities often look and act much different in person)has ever said that they suspect Paul post-66is a different person.

tfltng said...

"A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

Anonymous said...

*A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words*

That's why the people closest to the Beatles have kept silent about the fact that Lennon was the re-incarnation of Amenhotep.

Anonymous said...

Tafultong,
Great post.I bought a low price CD about the early days of the Beatles and it had interviews with the original Quarrymen who remember when Paul McCartney joined the group in the 50's.They said he was very talented but bossy,cheap and a bit of a showoff.I thought that was interesting because that's what people in PID like to say about Faul.Maybe it's the same guy!
They also said that when he met John he showed off by playing the guitar over his head.He also brought George into the group but John thought he was just a kid and would laugh at him.

-Aja

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who talked about the people who knew Paul and the Beatles, you make a good argument. However, unlike Bigfoot et. al., we have sharp photos of someone who is supposed to be Paul McCartney who at least suspiciously doesn't look enough like him, and at least for a little while. I'm personally in the PWR but didn't die camp, as that would explain the family going along with the deception, especially if Paul asked them to do so and respect his wishes. I guess you could say "PID is dead" for me..

Following through, were the other Beatles angry at Paul and not Faul for visiting the PID business on them and having to cover for his extended holiday? Yes, re-read the lyrics to "How Do You Sleep" with the subject of the song a very much alive Paul.. makes more sense.

Anonymous said...

Taful, I would point out that Lennon's statement about everything being the opposite (which he explained in a different context)holds for conspiracy theorists, too. Conspiracy theorists are skeptics, depending on how one decides to argue. They're skeptical of the status quo, and PIDers are skeptical that the current Paul is the original Paul. JCharles

Anonymous said...

There are also sharp photos and sharp film in which Paul looks just like Paul, too. The photo comparison thing is pointless, as the arguments from both sides demonstrate. I have dozens of pictures of myself that look very little like me. Better off going by Paul's speaking and singing voice. There are hundreds of hours of Beatles talking and recording in the studio. I can always tell when Paul is speaking or even laughing because it's so familiar. You mean to tell me an impersonator stayed in character for every minute of every session (including laughing in the same manner) on the slim chance that people might someday hear the recording outtakes and realize Paul's voice is absent? Some cabal can pay off thousands of people and yet can't erase tapes? As to paying off Paul's family and friends to stay quiet, I can only say that, if I had died at age 24, it would be impossible for any group, no matter how powerful, to pay off people I knew. The reason: no one but myself knows all the people I've known. Girlfriends, school friends, etc. This idea that everyone in the entire music industry was in on it is absurd. That's thousands of people. You know how that is--we've got people that know us that we might not even remember we know. I once ran into a girl who recognized me on the street and who went on and on about me in the third grade, and how she never forgot me, and she quoted things I said etc. I was in my twenties and she still recognized me. Actually, I recognized her, too, even though we both were much older. I only knew her for a couple of years, and yet her familiar gestures and laugh came right back.

Sorry for the long post Taful. JCharles

Miles Denton Oliver said...

Five have fallen, one is, and one is to come.

Anonymous said...

Best posts: aja and jcharles!!

you are both so right!

Anonymous said...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_4tTShrLvsw

Tafultong said...

Miles Denton Oliver said...

Five have fallen, one is, and one is to come.

Revelation 17:10

Tafultong said...

Anonymous said...

Best posts: aja and jcharles!!

Yes, always a high standard of comments.

Anonymous said...

"Whaaa.", Vince says comically!

I'd say "Remember The Maine!" says it all!
Mr. Hearst started it!


peace.

MikeNL said...

new video from MemoryAlmostFull2007 aka iamaphoney:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuQINOzrsFE

There is only ONE Paul McCartney :P

Anonymous said...

There's a new video on the "KUClNlCH2008" account:

watch?v=4YcIAWcj0fc

Anonymous said...

About the Paul McCartney quote/liner note, this is what Ian McDonald had to say about it, on p. 276 of "Revolution in the head" discussing song [168] The Ballad of John and Yoko: 'Despite his wryness about Lennon's messianic excesses - asked for a sleevenote for Two Virgins , McCartney had obliged with "When two Saints meet, it is a humbling experience" - he did not hesitate to help, offering him the same unqualified support he had during Lennon's bad trip in 1967 (see [104]).'

I rember laughing reading that and i had to laugh again when i read the quote in your most excellent post. Paul McCartney can be a funny man!

Keep it up & cheers for your troubles

Anonymous said...

I thought it was funny that the quote on Ringo's "Blast From Your Past" CD was "You don't have too be first...". "Too" should be "to" and an album art director should be fired.

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