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Anonymous asked:

Hi. I love your podcast. Just have one comment on your interpretation of Come Together. Ono Sideboard isn’t about Yoko being on the “side”. In English houses, a sideboard is a small dresser to keep your best china. Adults also use them to keep valuables away from children. I was never allowed to go in my Grandma’s sideboard, I always wondered what was in there. John must have kept his valuables (his heart? his secrets? hopes? future plans?) for her to be his sideboard. That’s my interpretation.

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Thank you for that information! That’s a lovely interpretation which could be true!

Anonymous asked:

Hello, I’ve really been enjoying your podcast but as an Asian American woman it upset me to hear you (in 3.b) both be so dismissive to the possibility of a racist element in the reaction to Yoko in the 60s. Your gleeful and mocking disdain for Yoko in general left me feeling uncomfortable. But that it extends to the point you can not envision how challenging the world was for an Asian woman living in a very white, conventional England in the sixties is upsetting to say the least.

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Hi listener,

Thank you for this thoughtful ask on an important topic!

We deeply regret any implication that we don’t believe Yoko faced special and unfair challenges due to race or nationality, because we are absolutely positive that Yoko faced racism, sexism and anti-Japanese sentiment in the 1960s (and probably still does today).

In 3.b we were specifically suggesting that the cause of the negative public reaction to Yoko was not solely about race, but mainly due to her behaviors, attitudes and artistic eccentricities such as her unconventional fashion sense, her jarring and very unusual singing style, her bizarre art and artistic “happenings” (the nude album, the interviews in black bags, throwing acorns at their TV audience, etc).  Yoko was a conceptual artist whose career was founded on shock value and making people uncomfortable, so from our POV it is disingenuous for John & Yoko to be surprised or offended when people react with shock and discomfort. 

John and Yoko were weird, unconventional and provocative (which they embraced), and this alienated almost everyone virtually overnight, which is why we find it unhelpful to attribute her negative public reception to the single cause of racism.  This is not to say we don’t believe she experienced racism; of course she did!  But both things can be true at once.  She can experience racism and she can also be disliked for reasons having nothing to do with racism.

Similarly, we don’t think the reaction to Linda, as touched on in this quote was based soley in anti-semitism.  At the same time it would be absolutely insane to suggest that Linda had never experienced anti-semitism in her lifetime.

In the breakup series we are mainly focused on the dynamics within the group, and we believe their primary issue with Yoko seems to have been her disruptive and unwelcome presence within a creative space which for years had been the sole domain of the bandmates. 

In any case, we sincerely apologize for upsetting you.  

We never want to reduce Yoko to her sex or race, which we feel is both unfair to her and an impediment to a candid examination of her work (which we think has been absent from Beatles discourse).  One of our biggest complaints is how Beatles authors only evaluate Yoko as an influence on John, and never allow her to stand or fall as an individual artist in her own right.

As for our occasional mocking of Yoko (which often includes John), we can assure you that has nothing to do with race either. Any disdain on our part is reserved for the self-aggrandizing tone with which John and Yoko often discuss themselves and their art. 

We acknowledge that it can be difficult and challenging to be critical about a woman with such a controversial place in history, perhaps undervalued as an artist and subject to some unfair prejudices.  We have tried to strike a balance in terms of being empathetic to Yoko as a person while simultaneously subjecting her to the same rigor we would any artist, including the Beatles – whom she famously considered herself to be as good or better than.  

Thanks again for taking the time to write to us and share your reactions. We will continue to consider this important topic in the future.

Anonymous asked:

Hi! I’m listening to your episode about Klein for the second time and I must ask you… Do you think John knew about his bullying and what he said about Paul (“the reluctant virgin” and all that stuff)? I think he knew.

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We don’t know. There is no evidence to suggest he did or didn’t know. 

However, based on what John said later, we suspect he would have been aware — however — he might not have seen it as bullying but rather Klein maneuvering to get his way (which was John’s way) and he might have rationalized that the end justifies the means.

Importantly, however, we think that John saw Paul as powerful and strong during the period, so he probably wasn’t worried about Paul being hurt or bullied.

Anonymous asked:

“If Maxwell is a granny song, what the f*ck is Mean Mr. Mustard?” I think I love you.

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Anonymous asked:

Hi! I just wanted to say that I adore the podcast and loved the new episode. I’d never thought about Come Together in any other way than the general hippie togetherness idea and laughed out loud during your discussion of a possible sexual meaning, unfortunately Come Together is in the background of one of the quarantine-themed adverts that’s on TV currently, and I’ve been thinking about ‘they’re all coming on his face, but not in a gay way’ everytime it comes on. Looking forward to part B!!

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ladysstardust asked:

First things first, I abso-fucking-lutly love your podcast. Found it only 2 days ago, I’ve been listening as much as I can. Having women’s voices in the sea of sausage that is the Beatles fandom, and not only that but challenging the narrative that’s been established since the beginning is such a fresh breath of air that I’m high on the oxygen. 1/2

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Well first of all, thank you so much for your kind words! We LOVE receiving messages like this from listeners.

We agree that the break-up, particularly the Get Back sessions, can be almost overwhelming. At the end of the day, even if there was no neat solution to John and Paul’s interpersonal problems, we truly believe that both of them were driven by fear of being hurt by the other. It’s hard not to get bummed out by that.

However, we encourage you to keep listening! We believe it’s necessary to wade through the emotions of the period rather than avoid them (like every author ever), so we can at least ATTEMPT to figure out what was really going on. Since fans are still trying to figure out the breakup, and both Paul and Ringo are still being asked to explain what REALLY happened, it’s clear that the traditional explanation just isn’t satisfactory and doesn’t ring true. And we believe the story doesn’t ring true because it ignores the deeply emotional (sensitive, taboo, unspoken) issues between John and Paul. That’s why we consider this work so important to do.

We’re very pleased and thankful that you’ve followed us in this journey.  ❤️

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Anonymous asked:

Please tell me that “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” playing in the background while you talked about Paul bad John still enjoying the other’s company was intentional!!

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Well, we are always very intentional with our musical choices…🙂😎🔨🔨

almhw85 asked:

Thank you for episodes 4 & 5, I really enjoyed them. Our dear Beatle Authorship could learn from this “applying sensitivity and emotional intelligence to our analysis” thing you’ve got going on . You don’t just defend Paul against the stupid tropes of mainstream fandom – IMHO, you have done John the greatest service: being regarded as a human person and not a cliche male fandom object of worship. You have fleshed those four guys out (and I can’t wait for the Linda episode!!)

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Thank you!  It is part of our mission to faithfully represent what we believe is John’s POV as well as Paul’s.  As much as John has been reductively demonized (i.e. Albert Goldman) or superhero/exalted (by take your pick of authors), the truth is that almost everyone in his life testifies that he was a deeply sensitive and sweet person who was easily hurt.  We respect John’s courage and talent but we also respect that he was a fragile person with huge (and maybe sometimes unrealistic) needs.

Anonymous asked:

You were so right about Brian’s often unprofessional behaviour (ex. his trip to Spain with John) in the episode about Klein!!

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Thank you, listener!  We always try to sensible and fair.  We know Brian is a well-loved figure in the Beatles story, and was very important to their success.  However, we see that his favoritism and sometimes unprofessional behavior has been normalized and excused from the start, and many authors (most recently Lewisohn) have painted Paul as “difficult” for expressing frustration or concern over the situation, and we believe that’s very unfair. 

Anonymous asked:

Happy New Year! I love your podcast! Learned about it from a YouTube commenter on one of the “Understanding Lennon McCartney” videos. I am becoming a more serious Beatles fan and wondered if there is a book list available that touches on quotes you’ve mentioned on your shows (if there already is a list, kindly disregard). Keep up the great work.

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Hi listener, happy belated New Year to you as well!

We’re fans of the Understanding Lennon/McCartney videos, so it’s very cool that you found us from a comment there! It’s nice to know the word about our show is getting around. 🙂

Thanks for your patience while we talked about how to approach this ask! The question of Beatles books can lead down quite a rabbit hole as you may guess. At the moment we’re working on making our web presence more interesting and elegant, and something like a list and ranking of the resources we use is something we’re discussing. In the meantime we did answer another listener’s ask that was somewhat similar to yours.

This list is not exhaustive or super detailed, but it has some good titles in it, many of which we have used for our episodes.

See the post here…

Thanks for writing and stay tuned!

– Thalia and the AKOM crew

 

Anonymous wrote:

Just want to say thanks for the great podcast. Has completely changed my view on Paul and the Beatles. Like, once you realize that Paul was disengaging possibly more than any of them, so many things start to click and make sense that didn’t before. It’s amazing how pervasive the narrative that he was desperately clinging to the band seems to be.

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Hi listener,

We’re always thrilled when people have this kind of reaction to our show, so thank you for writing to us!

This narrative is so persistent and pervasive, isn’t it? When we really examine the actual behavior of John and Paul at that time, and put it under a microscope, this narrative simply makes no sense.

Stay with us – we have a lot of interesting topics coming up!

– Thalia and the AKOM crew

Anonymous asked:

Just wanted to say I love your guys’ podcast and it is so extremely necessary. I’m amazed at how well you’re keeping your cool if you’ve read as many Beatles books as it seems like you have. I’m trying to get through Phillip Norman’s Paul bio and I want to reach through the pages and bitch slap the author. Anywho, love ya, thanks for the stellar content 😘

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Hello listener, and thank you so much for the kind comments!  We really appreciate it and are glad you’re enjoying us.  It is true that combing through most of the Beatles books out there is an exercise in patience! 🙂 

Norman is a bit of a mixed bag depending on what metric we’re going by.  There are things about his approach we find frustrating (a bit of misogyny here, a bit of editorializing there).  But we do want to give him credit for being willing to revise his opinions on Paul as an artist and a human being, his marriage to Linda, and the Lennon-McCartney partnership as being that of two equals who had mutual respect and love for one another.  

We have more coming soon, so stay tuned!

– Thalia and the AKOM crew

joanwasquizzical asked:

OMG Thank you so much. You have pretty much hit the nail on the head for what I think happened and articulated it SO WELL.

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Thanks, Joan (great url!). We’ve been studying them and considering all angles for a really long time. It’s great to hear that our take is resonating!

– the AKOM crew

Anonymous asked:

Since there’s evidence to show John’s interest in Paul (in that he feels rejected by him), what do you think of the evidence suggesting Paul maybe felt similar feelings, if not to a lesser “interested” degree? Similar to how Philip Norman’s phrasing of “bohemians should try everything” minimizes John’s feelings for Paul, I feel like the dude-fandom-writers “romanticizing” of Paul’s pining for John (so that John is seen as the strong one/hero) has actually washed down Paul’s true feelings as well

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Hi listener!

This is a great question.  You make an excellent point- that the fannish tendency of writers (looking at you Doggett and Lewisohn!) to position Paul as forever smitten by and pining for an indifferent, dismissive John probably obscures Paul’s true feelings as well.

Having said that, we aren’t aware of any evidence that suggests Paul had “similar” (i.e. sexual) feelings for John.  Of course it’s possible, but entertaining this idea would be pure speculation.  However, if you know of any evidence whatsoever (i.e. testimony from Paul or his intimates) that Paul wanted an affair with John, please let us know.

Paul is SO much more publicly forthcoming about his love for John than vice verse.  We see this as both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, Paul’s testimony is very informative about the depth of their relationship.  On the other hand, it gives a lopsided impression of their feelings for each other, and gives ammunition to those who wish to see the relationship as lopsided.

As we point out on the podcast, 95% of Paul’s loving comments were made after John’s death.  But even in 1970, as Paul was attempting to finalize the divorce, he was able to articulate to the press several times (i.e. to John, through the newspaper) that he loved John.  To our ears this doesn’t sound “desperate” or “thirsty” but quite the opposite!  To us it sounds like Paul is trying to soften the blow of his departure, reassuring John that despite the mess of the break-up, John is still valued and loved.  Again, YMMV, but to us this sounds like it comes from a place of maturity and true, deep compassion.  

One thing we do believe is that Paul did cherish being the most important person in John’s life and perhaps Paul’s (romantic, possessive) feelings may have gotten murky by ’68 when Yoko entered the scene and Paul realized his position as #1 might be threatened.  By 1970 (when he commits to the divorce), Paul is able to articulate that he was jealous of Yoko when she first arrived, indicating that he is aware of his feelings and capable of taking responsibility for them.  

By 1985, Paul understands and is able to say aloud that he was “like (John’s) girlfriend” so he recognizes that they are like a couple (in terms of intensity of emotion).  However he also makes the point that he couldn’t fight for John because he was “not a girl.”  While this is somewhat open to interpretation, it sounds to us as if the stumbling block in Paul’s mind is mismatched gender; they love each other but are both guys, so therefore it doesn’t work (at least in Paul’s heterosexual mind).  Maybe in another lifetime, another incarnation… But not this one.  So Paul stepped aside.

Whereas John seemed to have loved and wanted Paul as he was. i.e. John loved Paul the man, as a man.

Is it possible there’s more to the story?  Sure.  But if there is, we simply don’t have those details.  And we believe the way both John and Paul continued to struggle with comprehending and defining their relationship throughout their lives was genuine.  Our best evidence is that while they weren’t lovers, they were something more than friends and they probably existed in this indefinable middle ground for a long time.  Paul seems to have dropped enough hints/taunts (on RAM, for example) to indicate that he was aware of some underlying sexual tension between them, and that he was aware of John’s desire for him. So even if Paul wasn’t interested in or willing to pursue a sexual relationship, he did seem willing to fan the flames and probably greatly enjoyed being desired, and sometimes deliberately stoked the heat between them.

Ultimately, John and Paul reached some sort of impasse in 1968-69, and we DO know that John contemplated an affair with Paul (and was deterred because he believed Paul was straight and therefore uninterested).  This is the actual information we have, and therefore what our assumptions are based on.

We definitely believe Paul loved and missed John throughout the 70s, and continues to love and miss John now.  We also believe that John & Paul had a special connection that they both found impossible to replicate.  Again, the main difference is that Paul is (at least now) much more able and willing to articulate these things without shame. 

Which gets to the bigger point.  We find the major difference in what John and Paul are willing to admit about each other somehow involves internalized shame.  Paul simply doesn’t exhibit the shame John does on this subject.  Paul’s ability to wax poetic about how John had beautiful hands, for example, reflects to us a lack of embarrassment about his feelings.   John’s ability to speak openly about his love for Paul was much more compromised, often coinciding with his level of comfort with his own sexuality. (You can do the math on that one). And vitally, what John said behind closed doors about Paul (to Yoko, to Harry Nilsson, to his own diaries, etc) was often more revealing than what he said in public.

I sometimes feel like the fandom displays an overwhelming desire for equivalence in this area, I guess because this is more palatable?  But John and Paul were of course, individuals with separate identities (sexual and otherwise) and by the time they broke up we do believe they wanted different things. Also, fans and authors alike tend to show resistance towards allowing Paul to have multiple and complex emotions like they allow for John.  So while we do think John was the center of Paul’s universe in the 60s, we also think Paul had other interests, attractions, and loves and this is seldom acknowledged. So although we always consider their love deep and mutual, we do acknowledge that their wants and needs occasionally fell out of sync and caused hurt feelings on both sides.

Also, the fandom seems to underestimate Paul’s incredible powers of seduction, and his natural inclination to flirt.  And the authorship (who is apparently 24/7 horny for Lennon) seems in literal denial about Paul’s desirability.  We feel this also drastically skews the read on the Lennon/McCartney dynamic.

almhw85 asked:

Congrats on Episode 3! I agree on your reading of the Ballad, and the how and why of its construction. I also remember in one of the first episodes, how you mentioned the way John would anticipate being rejected & preemptively push people away or offend them so he would not be the one passively abandoned (for no reason). John’s obsession with Paul hurting him, leaving him – it’s all a self fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it ? And he could never get over it. (1/2)

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Hi there, and thanks so much for the comment! 🙂  We’re glad you enjoyed Episode 3!  I (Thalia) enjoyed it so much as well! 

I’ve always thought it strange how the fandom and authorship just sort of accepted the idea that John and Yoko have some otherworldly love that we mere mortals just can’t understand, something more special than we could ever fathom.  I always joked that they marketed themselves as the loveliest lovers who ever loved (in the history of love)!  And that their art is so important, and of such a high purpose, that of course most people just aren’t high-minded enough to understand it. 

I do agree that this myth was built by John and Yoko for multiple purposes: partially to promote them as a couple with a higher purpose and help him form a new identity and satisfy Yoko’s desire to be famous, and partially it’s what John had to tell himself to keep from feeling hurt (didn’t work) and to protect his public image (I don’t want to look like the dumped one, that’s embarrassing).  I think Diana and Phoebe are also right in acknowledging that there was a love between John and Yoko, and that all these factors coexist. 

But at the end of the day, John’s legacy was built within Lennon/McCartney, and you really can’t compare Lennon/McCartney to Lennon/Ono (and I think Ono knows this, which is maybe why she feels threatened to this day).  They are two completely different kinds of partnerships.  For this comparison to continue into present day is extremely unfair to McCartney (and to the Lennon/McCartney relationship). 

Thanks so much for writing in!  We hope you continue to join us!

– Thalia and the AKOM crew

Anonymous asked:

Something I’m curious about is whether or not drug use had a hand in not just John’s pre-breakup behavior, but Paul’s too (not trying to attribute the interpersonal issues solely to drug use or excuse any Beatle’s actions). But JJ’s attribute a lot of John’s actions to heroin (and therefore Yoko’s “bad influence”), but Paul was doing a lot of drugs at that time as well. Not calling Paul out or anything, he’s my fave Beatle, but I wonder if it made him less sensitive. Love this podcast, btw ♥️♥️

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Hi there, we’re really glad that you’re enjoying our podcast! 🙂

That’s an interesting question!  It’s hard to track whether or not Paul’s drug use made him less sensitive during the breakup, because there is a lot more to Paul than him being a hyperfocused workaholic who puts a shell around himself.  A lot of other facets of his personality are missed when it comes to how the JJ’s analyze him. 

What we do see is that the main 2 drugs he chooses to indulge in over a long period of time are alcohol and pot.  Pot likely has a mellowing and relaxing effect, and alcohol seems to loosen him up. I would imagine that his brief period of dabbling in cocaine use would hype him up and urge him to be more productive, but the use of uppers wasn’t anything new to the Beatles, and he seems to have dropped that as soon as Linda and Heather were in his life.

Just citing one occasion, alcohol was the reason he and John were able to experience “the night we cried” in Key West and were able to be so emotionally unbound with each other during that experience.  And Paul has mentioned in more than one interview that being able to be more emotionally vulnerable with the other guys was easier with alcohol.  So if Paul’s main drugs of choices are pot (which mellow him out) and alcohol (which loosens him up), it’s really difficult for me to conclude that Paul’s drug use was a huge factor in him being less sensitive during the breakup period. Thanks so much for listening and for reaching out!

– Thalia and the AKOM crew