Connect with us
[the_ad id="89560"]

Bruce Dowbiggin

Get Back: Imagining The Real John Lennon

Published

7 minute read

Get Back, Peter Jackson’s new documentary on The Beatles taping their Let It Be album in 1969 has revelations for all generations of Beatles fans. Using video shot at the time for an earlier Michael Lindsay-Hogg film Jackson captures the creative process of the band in all its tortured glory.

Watching the four men create, procrastinate, argue, harmonize, feud and eventually part ways puts meat on the bones of their legend— particularly for those who came to their music since the band split up in1969-70. Seeing them in the context of the time reinforces their astounding productivity and creativity.

While there are have been endless tribute bands since, The Beatles themselves almost came out of thin air. They didn’t discover rock and roll fire but they harnessed it to establish a template often imitated but never quite duplicated. The anticipation of a new album like Revolver (their best) was a cultural event for which there’s no modern equivalent. After they split up members of the group never achieved quite the success they enjoyed as a foursome (George Harrison fans might contest this.).
Jackson’s documentary does establish one salient fact. Yoko Ono did not break up The Beatles. Nor did Linda Eastman nor George Harrison nor Paul McCartney. The Brutus in this plot was John Lennon, the quixotic blunt edge of the group. Distracted and disillusioned in the film, Lennon creates the fissures that finally result in dissolution.

Nursing a nasty heroin addiction as the band starts recording, Lennon is starting the slow-motion breakdown that leads to his later incarnations as Ghandi, Gene Vincent, Randall McMurphy and finally martyred Jesus figure. He can’t concentrate on anything for more that a few minutes. He wants Phil Spector, the Rasputin of rock, to produce the album. He wants Allen Klein to mange Apple, their creative company. He wants to play a public concert.

Eventually it all gets to be too much for the other Beatles. Harrison chafes to record his own music, Ringo feels bored, while McCartney wearies of trying to hold the whole business operqtion together. Lennon, meanwhile, wants to hang with the New York crowd that Yoko has introduced to him.

At its heart the band dramas were about Lennon and loyalty to The Beatles brand. His current beatific image is nothing like the man we see in Get Back. In 1969 he was the scruffy guy who’d written songs like Run For Your Life (“I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man”) and dumped his wife Cynthia for Yoko. (John singing “I’m in love for the first time” about Yoko must have been comforting for his ex-wife Cynthia and son Julian.)

His pacifist politics are summed up in Revolution (“If you talk about destruction, don’t you know you can count me out”) He liked getting in the face of authority. “Once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humour.”

And he famously debated his popularity versus that of Jesus. There were seams and creases to the man in the studioi who later became the sloppy drunk pal of Harry Nilsson, boozing themselves to oblivion. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say he was the least loveable of The Beatles in his day— an image he was okay with, apparently.

So Lennon would probably hate the people who define him now by Imagine, the song he wrote that has been sanitized by the establishment. Imagine is what you’d get if Karl Marx met Sesame Street

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharin’ all the world?

No possessions? Kids who can’t go ten feet without checking for their iPhone sing this tripe without irony. Remember that Apple’s name and its iconic startup tone are Beatle tributes. There’s more.

Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Livin’ life in peace?

This is how we got Facebook censoring the posts of people who might actually prefer borders and religion. (Frankly this is the part I blame on Yoko.) And this verse prefiguring post-1980s marketing.

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will live as one

Because Lennon was shot to death by one of his lunatic fans— precluding any second act to his llfe— we now see him as corporatized John, smoothed out to be marketable like Big Macs and Apple tablets. As Jackson shows he was anything but a bite-sized commodity.

Watching Lennon still fascinate the public 40-plus years after his murder suggests one lyric that might serve as epitaph: “It’s not like me to pretend. But I’ll get you, I’ll get you in the end. Yes I will, I’ll get you in the end. Oh yeah.” Get Bak to that.

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

BRUCE DOWBIGGIN Award-winning Author and Broadcaster Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience . He is currently the editor and publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster website and is also a contributor to SiriusXM Canada Talks. His new book Cap In Hand was released in the fall of 2018. Bruce's career has included successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC-TV, Mr. Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of "Money Players" (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and two new books-- Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever for Greystone Press and Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion for Random House. His ground-breaking investigations into the life and times of Alan Eagleson led to his selection as the winner of the Gemini for Canada's top sportscaster in 1993 and again in 1996. This work earned him the reputation as one of Canada's top investigative journalists in any field. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013) where his incisive style and wit on sports media and business won him many readers.

Follow Author

More from this author

Bruce Dowbiggin

Fortress Australia Gets Its Scalp, Tosses Djoker Out

Published on

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity. —W.B. Yeats

There has always been a large reservoir of affection for Australia in the West. The sun-kissed land down under. Kangaroos. Beaches. Crocodile Dundee. Aussie Rules Football. Men At Work. Foreigners embraced all the clichés gleefully.

The Australian Open tennis tournament was part of that scenario. The first Grand Slam, played in scorching sunshine while the Northern Hemisphere freezes in January. TV coverage was laced with tourist entreaties to fly 14 hours to the Great Barrier Reef and Gold Coast.

But with the nation’s behaviour in fighting Covid-19, this is all (in the words of Yeats) “changed, changed utterly.” The fever-swamp regime now running the nation has gone off the rails with detention camps for unvaxxed, flying squads of police roaming the streets and total lockdowns in emulation of the Chinese.

Australia’s heavy-handed “cures” for Covid would make Curfew Quebec look a model of tolerance. While America is moving away from draconian lockdowns, (Associated Press is now asking its writers to play down Covid numbers) Australia is still singing from the 2020 WHO hymn book that pretends lockdowns save lives. For example, mask mandates were recently re-imposed when five— count ‘em— five local cases were spotted in Perth.

Look, Australia is entitled to run their nation any way they want. They have the constitutional right to act like so many scared kookaburras in the face of a virus that will spare 99.98 percent of them. But don’t push the “shrimp on the bar-b” hokum on the world when the tennis begins.

This whack-a-mole mania culminated in Sunday’s expulsion of Covid rebel Novak Djokovic. After granting the No. 1 men’s player in the world a visa to play, Australia’s Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke said he had cancelled the 34-year-old’s visa for a second time on “health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”. He said Djokovic’s example was— wait for it— a threat to his people.

Good order? Hawke and his government have to lock up the population because their Island Fortress strategy isn’t enough to curb Omicron’s arrival. Yet Djokovic is the threat, not their frantic search for a fifth column of viral killers in Canberra.

Djoker knew he was going into headwinds as he sought to play in the Open as an unvaccinated player. He was less than forthcoming on his entry documents. So his highly political stance made him a target. But a threat to the people of Australia? Please. (The cops escorting him to the airport was reminiscent of Judy Garland being shooed from the country in the 1960s for being too drunk to perform.)

The Australian PM Scott Morrison, with his eyes on re-election, greeted the expulsion, mumbling about needing to “keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe… It’s now time to get on with the Australian Open and get back to enjoying tennis over the summer.”

Djokovic’s argument is that the Australian government that initially granted him a visa is now using him as an easy target to whip the natives in line. The independent, unapologetic Djokovic has certainly served the Aussie politicians well as a convenient whipping boy for the petrified millions who put their faith in governments and health “experts” to save them from the dreaded virus.

(Sounds like France, which never misses an opportunity to enforce the status quo, will emulate Australia by banning an unvaxxed Djokovic if he ventures there in June for the French Open.)

The “burn the witch” frenzy feeds into the non-vaxxed insanity currently underway in Canada and the U.S. There are demands that those who declined the juice be denied healthcare or fined or have their taxes audited. Immunity is dismssed. Cobbled hospital numbers are conflated with truths. Instead, images of gap-toothed hillbillies saturate progressive media who find their allies have been unable to halt the virus as promised.

Inconveniently, polling by Abacus in Canada has shown that the typical anti-vaxxer is not a swaggering tennis player, a bow hunter or toothless yokel but is in fact a 42-year-old Ontario white woman who votes Liberal.

The bright side of this Kafkaesque farce is that Omicron is fading like old Xmas decorations. Many are predicting that it is peaking now and will be a spent force by February. The tinpot tyrants in Australia, having booted Djokovic, will need something else to reinforce their desperate grasp on power.

Ditto here in North America. Unless a follow-up variant can be swiftly produced (remember that subsequent viruses are always weaker) Skippy and Biden will be left to explain their enforced vaccines and virus solutions to a public disinterested in their ongoing need for power.

To use a tennis analogy they’ll be down two breaks and facing Djokovic’s best serve. Should be entertaining.

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

Continue Reading

Bruce Dowbiggin

Once Biden’s Ace Against Trump, Covid Now Sinking Him

Published on

“220,000 Americans dead,” said Joe Biden during the second presidential debate.”If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this — anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America,”

In March of 2020, the Democratic Party was dead in the water. Despite three years of Impeachment Theatre, RussiaGate inquiries, SCOTUS witch-hunts and the assault by Hollywood/ mainstream media on #OrangeManBad, the Dems were facing the likelihood that Donald Trump would win a second term in November 2020.

It was the economy, stupid. What to do with a front bench of mediocrities, radicals and lunatics running for the party nomination if the markets are booming?

Then the political gods gifted the party with Covid-19 in February 2020. The Wuhan-sourced pandemic was the ultimate political Hail Mary, an exploitable vehicle the Dems would manipulate to win the White House. From the time of the first deaths in February to Nov. 3, the Dems made sure everything Covid was attributed to the tempestuous Trump. And it stuck.

Trump’s attempts to marshal Operation Warp Speed, his confrontational press conferences, his bans on foreign travellers and, ultimately, 15 Days To Flatten the Curve— no matter. The DEMs tied the shocking death numbers in the U.S. to Trump. Might early and alternative treatments have helped slow the pandemic? It didn’t matter. Trump could not be given a win.

It mattered little that every other nation was helpless to stop the virus. The Dems made Americans believe Trump was making it worse. Looking at his opponent, Biden said in October’s debates. “He knew all the way back in February how serious this crisis was… The president has no plan… It is what it is, because you are who you are.” And so on.

This cynicism allowed the Dems and their leaking pals in the bureaucracy to flail the idea of vaccines being available in 2020. “If Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it,” future VP Kamala Harris shouted during her debate with Mike Pence. They also got a hand from their Big Pharma donors who delayed release of the vaccines till after the election, robbing Trump of a needed PR victory before the vote.

Famously, the DEM media party eviscerated Trump’s attempts to discuss early treatment options such as Ivermectin, HCQ, vitamin therapy and, of course, falsely accusing the blustering Trump of telling people to drink bleach. It all stuck— and became Covid orthodoxy. Trump said it? Print it.

The “approved” CDC, WHO, NIH and Democrat prescription? Go home if you get sick, and wait till either you recover or go to the hospital to die. Anyone daring to contradict Team Fauci on Covid catechism was tossed from Twitter, Facebook and the MSM. Trump, Alex Berenson, Ivor Cummins, Naomi Wolff, Mike Lindell, Steve Bannon and the New York Post were among the many suspended or banned for “seditious” thought.

The October banning of the Post was the apogee of Pandemic Cancel Culture hubris. Because nothing was allowed to deflect from the pandemic, the oldest newspaper in America was banned for an October series of sourced stories on how Biden and son Hunter had been operating a shakedown scheme for years in China, Ukraine and other nations. How complete was the blackout? One in six Bidden voters later said they wouldn’t have voted for him had they known.

(Canadian media, in the process of being bought out by PM Justin Trudeau, swallowed the Democrat narratives and sold them to mortified Canadians who were told Trump was the Grim Reaper. If anything, Canadians accepted harsher restrictions and lockdowns for fear of the media-manufactured apocalypse “created” by Trump.

The pandemic panic also allowed DEM operatives and sponsors to have election rules changed to permit mail-in voting, vote harvesting and to have ID rules relaxed— often in states run by GOP legislatures. It paid off as DEM votes went from 65,853,625 in 2016 to 81,284,666 in 2020. (Trump jumped from 62,985,106  to 74,224,319.)

The problem for new president Biden was that, having captured the WH, he now had to live up to the standards he’d imposed on Trump. Having told the public he was the man to conquer Covid Biden was soon eating humble pie. As of this writing 330,000 Americans have died on Biden’s watch— 110,000 above the number he’d used to attack Trump. No surprise, Biden isn’t resigning.

The media forces that put Biden in power quickly began campaigns of acceptance for one, then two, then three, now four shots of vaccine. Vax passports become good-behaviour badges. The unvaxxed were ostracized, portrayed as sub-human to distract from the collapse of the Omnipotent Vaccine narrative.

If the end result had not been thousands of deaths one might have even admired the hubris of the Biden operation. But people have died in large numbers as a result of a political scam.

Further, polling now shows the weary public is not distracted by this chicanery. Having failed to deliver on his Covid election promises, Biden now sees numbers at levels Trump experienced. Worse, a midterm massacre is in the offing, one that could see GOP take over both Houses of Congress. And repeal many of the progressive policies now being fed to the public.

The Biden media is now signalling the failure of its Covid strategy, pivoting to voting rights. DEM operative Donna Brazile catches the rage flavour. “Just as Revere and other patriots rode through Massachusetts on the night of April 18, 1775, warning rebellious colonists that the British were coming to prevent the creation of American democracy, Biden and Harris have warned that Republicans are coming now to destroy our democratic processes.”

And all this because the Left, smarting from 2016 defeat, put its selfish destruction of Trump ahead of the safety of Americans. Karma is a bitch, no?

 

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author was nominated for the BBN Business Book award of 2020 for Personal Account with Tony Comper. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. His new book with his son Evan Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

 

Continue Reading

Trending

X