1975 and 76 represent a pivotal moment for John Lennon, and his choices at this juncture determine his fate in his final years. Episode Three is a deep exploration of John’s ongoing inner conflicts: his lasting trauma over the Beatles breakup; his susceptibility to Yoko’s continuing mind games; his predilection for jealousy and insecurity.
All this, plus the long shadow cast by the nightmarish Primal Scream Therapy John underwent at the hands of Arthur Janov. It’s a topic which usually slides under the radar of Beatles discourse—until now. AKOM’s hard, probing look at Janov reveals his therapy’s catastrophic effects on John’s psyche and on the Lennon-McCartney relationship.
Ultimately, John chooses not to revive his partnership with Paul McCartney in New Orleans. How does this alter the course of their renewed relationship? And how does John’s eventual descent into depression, paranoia and superstition alter both his feelings for and perceptions of Paul?
In our second installment of Pizza & Fairytales we discuss how Yoko draws Paul into her mind games with John. Highlights of Paul’s ensuing visit to John in LA include the Toot ‘n’ Snore jam session and a peculiar Polaroid message sent to Jann Wenner.
Back in New York, John gives his last ever concert performance and the Beatles are finally, legally dissolved. Afterwards, Paul invites John to a rendezvous in New Orleans, setting the stage for a possible Lennon-McCartney reunion.
AKOM PRESENTS: Pizza and Fairytales A new 4-part series on Lennon & McCartney in the 1970s!
Although the Beatles are effectively broken up by 1970, Lennon and McCartney spend the next decade proving they are anything but disengaged from one other. The magnetic push and pull between these two friends keeps them orbiting each other – sometimes smoothly, sometimes not.
Despite some rocky moments, there is an enduring desire for reunion on both sides, with John and Paul each trying to feel their way toward a mutually agreeable, new kind of partnership.
They continually communicate to each other through song, just as they have since the very beginning. Their songs give voice to feelings of regret, anger, and anguish – as well as yearning, hope, reassurance, and love.
In this series, we’ve dug deep to uncover what happened between them, what happened around them, and why they were ultimately unable to reunite.
In this episode, we discuss the violent incident at Paul’s 21st Birthday andJohn and Brian’s trip to Barcelona.
We use this as a springboard for broader topics, including: how John tends to be unfairly singled out as the only Beatle with a problematic history, the reluctance to look critically at Brian Epstein’s behavior as it pertains to the band, how homophobia curtails discussion of the fallout from the Barcelona tripand the absence of McCartney’s perspective in the reporting of this incident.
Phoebe and Thalia explore these issues, followed by a panel discussion with newest AKOM host, Iris.
What can we learn about Paul McCartney from the female protagonists in his songbook? Phoebe and Thalia discuss several McCartney compositions featuring prominent female characters and identify their central themes.
Sources: “Many Years From Now” by Barry Miles (1997) Interview w/ Allison Anders, Bomb Magazine (1997) Paul McCartney interview w/ Jonathan Wingate Record Collector (2008) “Chaos and Creation at Abbey Road” (2006) “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou (1978) “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (1984) Interview w/ Paul McCartney for Billboard Magazine (2001) Paul McCartney Interview w/ Susan Goldberg for National Geographic (2017)
PLAYLIST: She’s Leaving Home (1967) Jet (1973) Blackbird (1968) Jenny Wren (2005) Working Women at the Top (1991) It’s Not On (1982) Temporary Secretary (1980) Another Day (1971) Penny Lane (1967) Eleanor Rigby (1966) Eleanor’s Dream (1984) Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People (1975) English Tea (2005) Let it Be (1970) Imprisonment, Ocean’s Kingdom (2011) Daytime Nighttime Suffering (1979) Mama’s Little Girl (1973) The World You’re Coming Into (1991) Lady Madonna (1968) For No One (1966)