Was John a great musican??

Discussions related to John Lennon as Beatle and his solo career.

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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby graecophilos88 » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:55 am

mi, i can see what you mean! and the lines you quoted prove your point.
"How Do You Sleep" and the fact that he kidnapped Kyoto prove your point as well. But I would say they just show how many sides John's charakter had. I mean, if you sum up all the difefrent themes of his Imagine album songs, you can tell he's a person who's seeking for peace and truth. that the attacked paul just proves, that he was really hurt by him.
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby mi » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:56 am

graecophilos88 wrote: that the attacked paul just proves, that he was really hurt by him.


I guess that's true, and I know he was a person of love and peace, it's just that "How Do You Sleep" is not the right way to get people to listen to your side - I just can't take it seriously (and neither did Paul - he once said that was his way of dealing with it: "that's just John, he always talks nonsense..."). The fact that John was really attacking himself is obvious without being said. That's often an efficient way of dealing with one's bad feelings - taking them out on others... I'm not coming to judge or anything - I'm far from perfect myself, I just have a different way of dealing with things...
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby linclink » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:51 pm

YES!!! Sheesh...This is VERY subjective, and depends largely on how you define "musician", and/or great. Too many think only of technical prowess...as far as that goes, sorry Macca fans, not one Beatle makes it...and almost no musicians from Rock proper would...and who cares? With those standards you reduce to a technique and divorce it from all soul. Now viewing a musician as an artist or communicator, then ALL the Beatles make it, and in spades. Who was the best guitarist in The Beatles? The Beatles were that's who!! All three, John, Paul & George played great leads, all played great rhythm, and so much of what they did was about interplay...not to mention the amazing riffs they penned ("And Your Bird Can Sing" & "I Dig A Pony" are both convoluted masterpieces and both pure Lennon) For the record...Lennon's bass playing on "The Long & Winding Road" is as terrific as his 8-string bass playing on "Back In The U.S.S.R.". Also, though Ringo played just a bit of keyboard and mostly drums, lets not forget his percussion contributions, and general overlooked input into arrangements. Otherwise, the three non-drummers (and yes I know Macca played drums on a few tracks & they all could play drums) all played bass, various keyboards and different stringed instruments to amazing & breathtaking results. There is just FAR too much to catalog here.
As far as his solo work, to correct a previous poster...Lennon plays both guitar & keyboards all over the "Mind Games" album, including playing the towering slide riff on the song "Mind Games" itself (not to mention driving "Meat City" from all angles)...a few have mentioned his "avant garde" playing and certainly his work with Yoko (yes, especially "Why" & "Walking On Thin Ice") is amazing. He plays guitar & keyboards all over the solo albums, and please check out "I Don't Wanna Face It" from the Anthology Box Set (though the Milk & Honey version is fine too)or the fact that is the only guitarist on POB. Lennon has astounding groove, soul & feel, and was most certainly a great musician. It may be technically true that Macca did have more technical prowess, but it is how you apply that that makes your work great. Having a huge vocabulary does not make one a great writer, writing well, independent of vocabulary, does. Think of all the souless "shredder" metal head guitarists out there, or the souless jazz-fusion hacks. On every level that matters to me, all The Beatles were great musicians. Harrison often is cited as lacking in this area as well, and Ringo (and to a lesser extent Charlie Watts) is often seen as less technically adept, and therefore an inferior drummer to many others (some of whom mercilessly overplay and stink up whole albums)...this is the same as the sad claim that Macca is a lousy lyricist. Yes, sometimes he is lazy and not great, but much more often Macca is an incredibly great lyricist, and a fine musician to boot.
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby linclink » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:02 pm

Also to address a few issues "Mi" has raised. FYI: Lennon sang (on liver versions), and pointed out that he wished he'd written "Imagine" with the lines "I wonder if WE can", and "Brotherhood & SISTERHOOD of Man" (though that one should end with humanity I guess- I'm politically sensitive, and a pretty ardent feminist, but I'm not dogmatic about political correctness & am OK with an artist conveying an idea with words that are questionable if it serves the art and idea well)...also while he did wirte "How Do You Sleep", and it is fairly nasty, there are parts of it that are cheap shots, and parts of it that are pretty accurate...and I think it's a terrific piece of music too. And, to be fair, BOTH John & Paul are quite human and both could be amazing friends, fathers, husbands, etc., and BOTH had there share of time being absolute jerks, including BOTH of them being pretty catty to each other. Blessings!!!
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby mi » Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:52 pm

linclink wrote:Lennon sang (on liver versions), and pointed out that he wished he'd written "Imagine" with the lines "I wonder if WE can


Okay then, how about "I hope someday you'll join us..." :roll: :lol: ... look, I've got nothing against "Imagine", it's just too much "on the grand scale" to my taste, know what I mean? "All the people sharing all the world", "No religions", "No possessions"...these are the kind of things that we can really only "imagine". I'd rather be a little more "down to earth". We all want to change the world, right, so let's begin on the small scale - start with the little things we can do in our neighborhood. All great things start little, you know...
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby mi » Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:53 pm

linclink wrote:. And, to be fair, BOTH John & Paul are quite human and both could be amazing friends, fathers, husbands, etc., and BOTH had there share of time being absolute jerks, including BOTH of them being pretty catty to each other. Blessings!!!


No argument there, that's excatly what I said...
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby linclink » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:09 pm

Mi: First of all thanks for the civil and considerate exchange here...
Okay then, how about "I hope someday you'll join us..."- Weeeellllll considering later on you say. "... look, I've got nothing against "Imagine", it's just too much "on the grand scale" to my taste, know what I mean? "All the people sharing all the world", "No religions", "No possessions"...these are the kind of things that we can really only 'imagine'.". I think you statement kind of answers the question. Many moons ago people said that getting rid of Kings, or slavery, or having women vote, or anyone other than white males owning property, or getting having people land on the moon, or curing polio, or seeing a day when the Soviet Empire, or South African system of apartheid would end were crazy far-fetched ideas for dreamers. I am all for the "think globally, act locally" version of the wheel that you favor, I've nothing against it, and take quite a big part in it actually. I do feel that it needs to be in conjunction with that very larger grander vision. It's every person's right to their own experience and opinion, but I do feel that you are very self-limiting when you start to disqualify certain possibilities. It's fine if you don't want to join "us", but the "us" he is talking about is those who dare to dream larger. You need to be able to literally imagine, or perceive of something before you can achieve it. Lennon's point in that song seems to be about being willing to believe in those enormous bedrock ideas that are the foundations of all the best parts of World Spiritaulity- Absolute Cosmic Love, Planetary Peace & Harmony. Before they can be achieved they need to be understood, mulled over, gestated on, and nurtured into being.
Just because it hasn't happened here on Earth on a large scale yet doesn't mean it can't. I'd argue there are pockets where it does exist, for example The Huichol Indians of the Sierra Madres- Matriarchal & Anarchist & amazingly peaceful & healing oriented. Rianne Eisler (author of "The Chalice & The Blade") is one of the most respected Anthropologists in the world and she makes a pretty strong argument of an Edenic pastoral Matriarchal "partnership" (as opposed to modern "dominator") based world. Not to mention what has happened in different dimensions- speak to the Shamans of South America that I've studied with, or better yet do some work with them and I think you might have a rather expanded version of what incredible potential life, including all humanity, actually possesses.
"I'd rather be a little more "down to earth". We all want to change the world, right, so let's begin on the small scale - start with the little things we can do in our neighborhood. All great things start little, you know...". I certainly agree with your wise words here...I'd just offer that you don't put your energy into self-limitation or limitation of the our species, or planet. It's more than a little ironic that part of what you don't resonate with about Lennon's song is that he is most likely singing part of that song to folks like yourself who believe certain ideas can only be imagined at best. Maybe artistically this seems pompous or pretentious to you, that's very subjective, but in the much more important arena of life, you can find those grander enormous things precisely in the ultra-local, and everyday unique details of your own personal existence. That's where they've always existed. They are within the depths of your heart, which is nothing more than a piece of the one true heart of the Love & Light that is the All. At least that's the understanding that my tiny monkey brain has of this ever changing mystery, and it's certainly my hope that you are able to someday taste that wonder as well. Blessings!!
Om Namah Shivaya !!!!
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby mi » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:53 pm

linclink wrote: Many moons ago people said that getting rid of Kings, or slavery, or having women vote, or anyone other than white males owning property, or getting having people land on the moon, or curing polio, or seeing a day when the Soviet Empire, or South African system of apartheid would end were crazy far-fetched ideas for dreamers.!


Know what? That's exactly my point! Yes, slavery is no longer legal, but I read testimonies from recent years of concripts in the russian army, saying that their only way to survive was to be totally enslaved to senior fellow servicemen. I read that accroding to according to human rights organizations statistics, hundreds of coscripts in the russian army die or become disabled as a consequence of brutal hazing. It sounds worse than the Spanish Inquisition! isn't it what slavery is all about? the other person belongs to you and you can do anything you like to him? And this situation exists in every army in the world. I don't care how much lip service they give to the media, military authorities everywhere do NOT do enough to stop it, in many cases they'd rather cover it up! And I'm not only talking about things I read in the paper - my husband (and myself, for that matter...) has been to the Israeli army and I heard plenty of stories first hand. What I'm trying to say is, there is still a long way between theory and practice.
Some other example - yes, women rights situation in general is better than it was 500 years ago, but have you read "Thousands of Glimering Suns" by Haled Husseini? It is a very realistic and current description of women rights in Afganistan - women there are nothing more than a possession of the man. I just couldn't believe I was reading about the 21 century and not some dark middle ages period...that's what I mean by "think globally but start locally". I don't think I'm really that self-limiting, I'm not saying world peace and harmoy (or even peace between us and the Palestinians...) are crazy dreams that will never happen, I'm just saying we've still got a long way to go.
I'm not calling you naive or anything, don't know where you live, I do however think that, living where I am, I just might have a little clearer idea...it's not really "living in a war zone", like some people think, it's not even that different from most other modern countries, but yes, we are used to hearing death threats on a regular basis, from Iran and Hizballah, we're just so used to it we don't take it seriously anymore... and yes, you can never feel 100% safe when going on a bus or sitting in a restaurant. I don't know how updated you are, let me tell you about our 19 year old soldier who was captured nearly two years ago by the Hamas, who are only willing to release him in exchange to their most dangerous prisoners who are a serious threat to our safety, if released. (of course, you could argue that our army is a threat to their safety, but there is a slight different between organized terrorists activists and a 19-year-old boy who only went to where his commanders sent him - without knowing him I can assure you he'd have preferred just to stay home...). I see his parents on the news every evening and it's heartbreaking, just to look into his father's eyes... my point is, when you hear about it on a daily basis you realize more than ever that this might as well have been you next door neighbor or yourself, for that matter. When I was a soldier I was once offered a lift by a couple of strangers, while I was standing in a bus station. I refused, of course - but if I'd gone with them and seen by military police I could have gone to prison, for breaking safety rules...
So, again, I'm not trying to call you a dreamer or naive or anything, just trying to share a little of my experience to show where I'm coming from. On the whole, it seems, we both agree on the main points.
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby linclink » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:11 am

Mi: Though I'd now call myself an "Evolutionary Revolutionary" I am, at least technically, still an Anarchist. I have traveled a fair amount, and after living the better part of decade in New York City have had quite a bit of contact with folks from all over the world. I spent a whole lot of time studying "the problems", decades actually, and while I think it is still important to have some understanding of things...I think it is much more valuable and important to live the solutions...being tolerant, compassionate and doing one's best to embody what you espouse.
As a person who feels that both the idea of nation-states, and the wage based slavery induced by the monetarily based world economic system, are inhuman, I am pretty aware of the horrendous conditions that exist for a large % of the people on this planet. There is the virtual slavery of terrible conditions, and then there is the legal possessing and selling of human beings as commodities, and while there is little difference from one perspective (which I think is valid) there is also the equally valid point that the ending of that more narrowly defined slavery was a vital part of the evolution of humanity. I also had a Women's Studies concentration in college, and am quite painfully aware of the conditions around the world. I am quite Goddess centered in my Spirituality, and actually took my Mother's maiden in large part to honor that Goddess Spirit...one that I hope, and believe is reawakening. There are countless stories of horror at any given time on this planet, but I'd argue that while there is much to still be done, that we have actually advanced a long way over the last few hundred years. It's far to easy to become mired in "how things are". I was there for years. This is purely personal, but I felt the weight of these things, and had a whole lot of anger for those that advanced the horrors. Not anymore. I honestly Love them. I Love George Bush, because he needs it, more than most. To have hate, anger, and fear is to feed their fire. To Love and forgive, and offer compassion to transform Life itself. I really do believe that there has been a great and important shift towards this, and I personally feel that the largest part of this has to do with the spreading of techniques for Spiritual realization that were once very esoteric, rarely experienced things (such as Yoga or Visionary Plant Shamanism) that are now becoming available to a large part of the Earth's population.
I am, in fact, a "soft" 2012er. Meaning that I agree with The Mayan & Inkan (or Incan if yo prefer) cosmology, as well as the work of Ethnobotonist Terence McKenna (who quantified the I-Ching into a fractal wave graphing time's deployment into dense and linear fashion here) and countless others who point to 12/21/2012 as a vital date. The shift may be subtle, or not, but I do think it will be sublime. Evolution seems to roll along, and then take place in leaps. You don't need a majority (51% of the population) to bring about this leap, you just need a ceratain "critical mass" operating at a very high vibration.
I really thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I know a few folks who have lived where you do, or have relatives who do, or have visited there. There are quite a few places on the globe where the situation is, for want of a better term, very glaring, and in your face. It is important, and difficult work that is being done there, by anyone who tries to remain aware, open, and unjaded or disillusioned. You sincerely have my undying gratitude for your courage and fortitude in having to face this down. People who live in difficult places, or through terrible times, even on a very personal level, and live above that, help to raise the vibration for all creation. I've lived in New York City, and actually in worse situations in Buffalo, NY, but I'm sure that was sitll far from what you have to deal with. I have, however, gone through many, many extraordinary experiences in my Shamanic works that have led me to experience both sides of various awful and horrifying situations (being both the rape victim, and the rapist, the murdered and their victim, etc.)...I've gone through things so excruciating that sometimes I wonder if I'd known what was in the curriculum, if I would have taken the leap. That said, I'm grateful I did. Often when I'd be going through these things, there would be a narrator's voice that helped me to understand and have compassion for the awful existence that the darkest forms of life have to inhabit. They will have lots of work as long as people here react to their actions with hate, anger and fear. It feeds them, imprisons them, and assures their continued existence in these forms. If, as I believe, that all creation, is truly, as it is taught by so many wise ones, all just ONE, then the "All You Need Is Love" credo of unconditional Love & Light for all is what we will need to be living to move this forward. What we offer to them, is exactly what would be offered to ourselves if we were to incarnate with such awful tasks to be part of. In fact, if we all are one, than in some real way, we all have. Some of these ideas may sound esoteric, or downright wacky...I understand. I didn't always feel this way, let alone understand it. It took a lot of first hand experience to bring me to where I am...which I know is someplace that has a long way to go to continue deepening my understanding and efforts.
I do think we agree on lot. One of the things I appreciate about John Lennon is that he struggled through period of incredible anger and nastiness to arrive at a place at the end of his life that realized the best parts of some of the understandings he came to along that journey. At his life's end, he believed that the best thing you can do to achieve these higher goals is to actually live them out day to day in every little way. While I oppose the War in Iraq, I don't tend to do much protesting, and if I go to a rally, I spread light and joy as best I can. I think the best thing you could do to stop a war is stay home and meditate and pray and put that vibration forward.
I don't know what will or won't happen, nor do I care much about speculating on how likely certain things are to occur sooner or later or deeper or not. The reason is that what I'm seeking to help bring about is the same regardless of the odds, and that my actions would be the same no matter what. I do feel that with the splitting of the atom, the planetary eco crisis, and the population explosion mixed set against the economic injustices that exist, that we are certainly reaching a critical juncture as a species and that doing all we can now is maybe more important than it's ever been. A joke I tell to old activist friends of mine is Demand Absolute Love & Light for all of Creation, and be willing to settle for no less than Peace & Justice in the meantime, here & now. Blessings!!
Om Namah Shivaya !!!!
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Re: Was John a great musican??

Postby pianoguy123 » Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:00 pm

He was definatly a better songwriter than Paul was...Paul just had the voice and bass down!
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