Skip to content


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.

Our Tumblr asks

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

Our Tumblr asks

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)

Our Tumblr asks

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 ♥️♥️

Our Tumblr asks

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

Anonymous asked:

In episode 3A, it said that John was paranoid Paul would leave him, even though Paul was known to still be very committed to the Beatles, and I’m curious if John was ever sorta “right” in those feelings. Because I do wonder why Paul felt the need to be more musically isolated during the White Album, or was that perhaps Lennon just being paranoid? Always felt like something went down in their relationship, before that album, after the India trip. And I love your show — finally a fresh take!

Our Tumblr asks

Hello listener!  Thanks so much for reaching out!

Yes, in 1980 John (finally) verbalized his suspicions that Paul might have wanted to leave the Beatles in 1968.  At another point (in the epic Playboy interview), John suggests he was considering leaving the band as early as 1966 (whilst in Spain filming How I Won the War) and actually says Paul might’ve been considering the same thing then!  (The aforementioned part about John contemplating his departure in 66 is oft-quoted by the Lennon Estate, but the rest of the sentence about Paul thinking the same has been thoroughly buried or ignored by authors).

Considering how “Yesterday” – a song John (and the other Beatles) had no part in either writing nor recording – became an instant classic upon its release in 1965, it’s not a stretch to imagine that this would trigger John’s paranoia about Paul’s talents and his ability to successfully go solo.  Add to that a variety of contributing factors such as Paul’s refusal to move to the suburbs with the other Beatles, his growing interest in the London art and avant-garde scenes, his cultivation of friends outside the Beatles circle, his refusal to do acid with the others Beatles, etc….It’s actually pretty reasonable for John to be “paranoid” about Paul’s propensity and ability to stray. 

Never mind the fact that Paul is famously a one-man band who has played all the instruments on at least three of his own albums.

Having said that, John was paranoid and had major (well-documented) abandonment issues.  So whether or not Paul was a true flight risk is hard to gauge.  One thing does seem clear to us – that no matter how much Paul may have loved the Beatles, he did not like being artistically muzzled any more than John did and would fight back as hard or harder if pushed into a corner.  In the end, John (backed by lieutenants George Harrison, Yoko, Klein and to a lesser extent Ringo) tried this approach and it backfired.

If you haven’t listened to Episode 1 of the Break-up series, we recommend that you do! 🙂 We discuss 1968 in detail there.

Anonymous asked:

This was an amazing episode. The further you go in this series the more baffling it is that no one has seriously broken down John’s love for Paul in a prominent Beatle’s book. I really liked that you pointed out how Paul now uses hyperbole to try to explain his relationship with John. I hope you guys are getting enough appreciation and not too much push back, this is a really refreshing series with some very important points that I hope continues for a long time.

Our Tumblr asks

Thank you so much! Your words mean a lot to us, and it is very reassuring to know that someone out there is listening and appreciating the hours (lifetime!) of research and thought we’ve put into this analysis.

To be perfectly frank, we haven’t gotten ANY pushback on any of our analysis about the Beatles. The only pushback we’ve gotten thus far has been about our criticism of Mark Lewisohn. (None of it was substantive, however, it was all of the generic, “hey, he’s a good guy!” variety)

As to pushing back on actual substance… we encourage it! We can defend all our viewpoints, they are all based in logic, common sense and facts, so are open to challenge and debate.

Anonymous asked:

I think I screamed a bit after seeing your podcast was made up of women. Finally got a media outlet that reflects a huge portion of the fanbase. And I was not disappointed – because you’re very fair and balanced when analyzing the Lennon/McCartney brand. You neither condescend nor embellish, or hero-worship to an insane degree, which is something usually occurring in Beatles documentation. Instead, it seems you’re simply getting down to the emotional truth. Thank you for your hard work!

Our Tumblr asks

Thank you so much for this amazing comment! We are very grateful for this feedback.

We think perhaps that being women (of a different generation) helps us see the story through a new/different lens. We aren’t as emotionally attached to the original story and frankly, we think we can see through men’s posturing a little better than many men! Maybe our collective years of experience dating a variety of men have helped us see through their games a bit… in a way that isn’t so obvious to the typical Beatles authorship? 🙂

We don’t think anyone has totally uncovered the emotional truth of the story yet but think we can get closer, so we are digging, and as we do so, we are seeing a different and much more compelling story emerge. We hope you stick with us to see it unfold!

penislane asked:

I truly appreciate your podcast, keep it up!! Me and my brother both really enjoy it 😊

Our Tumblr asks

We’re so glad you and your brother are enjoying the podcast! Thanks for reaching out, and keep listening…we have a lot of other very exciting topics in the pipeline!

-Thalia and the AKOM crew

Anonymous asked:

Can you explain what exactly you guys mean by the term “jean jackets” and how it came about? Great podcast – a much needed antidote to the biographies written by emotionally blunted male rock critics. 😉

Our Tumblr asks

Hi there, thank you so much for reaching out, and we’re so glad you’re enjoying our podcast!

“Jean jackets” was invented by Phoebe as a term to reference members of the rock music press, critics, and fans who hold dear the (false) idea that John Lennon was the only Beatle who really mattered and regard Paul McCartney as a lesser or sidekick to Lennon. In other words, people who have a vested interest in keeping the standard narratives about the Beatles story intact. The “uniform” of the 70’s rock critic, “jean jackets and ponytails,” is an evocative reference for both a group of influencers over fandom discourse AND a mentality. Phoebe gives some explanation of the term in our first episode, “The Minds Behind Another Kind of Mind.”

Thank you so much for listening, and we hope you stay tuned!

– Thalia and the AKOM crew

Anonymous asked:

No pressure, but I was wondering if there was an ETA on future eps? Love this podcast!

Our Tumblr asks

Hello Listener, thank you so much for reaching out to us! 

Phoebe and Diana are hard at work on the next installments of the Break-up series.  

We’re hoping to post Episode Three by the end of this week!  Stay tuned and thanks for listening!

– the AKOM crew

Anonymous asked:

Your podcast is fantastic, it seriously gives me life. 😘 I just read this interesting tidbit about a man named Alastair (can’t remember surname) who was a friend/employee of Paul’s after he broke up with Jane, and that Paul would often go to his house for emotional support. He said that while Paul was very close with the Beatles, Paul said he couldn’t go to them because he couldn’t show them weakness. Dying to hear your thoughts on this dynamic and if it played in the breakup at all.

Our Tumblr Asks

Hello Anon,

Why thank you! We love hearing we are making people happy! We are about to drop a couple more episodes so we hope you find them equally entertaining.

The Alistair Taylor anecdote was very revealing and indicative of some of the dynamics within the Beatles. Paul, in particular, has mentioned that they were “Northern Men” and as such did not overtly express their emotions with other men. This seems slightly counter-intuitive for a group that sang “All You Need Is Love” — but apparently that was the case when they were not playing music.

We will be examining this dynamic in our next few episodes because it really comes into play around the breakup of the Beatles. We have pondered why, for example, John, George, and Ringo weren’t more sensitive to Paul around the break-up, knowing what we know now (that it was hard on him emotionally) and yet they treated him like he was Teflon. We think this probably reflects Paul’s outward behavior at the time — that he was fine and strong. Similarly, to us, John’s actions seem obviously highly emotional, yet Paul seems to have taken them at face value (or at least partially believed them), but this again suggests that to Paul, John looked strong and determined. Certainly the entire Authorship has been unable to crack John’s code, so clearly his behavior and actions are not all that obvious to some men!

Anyway, thank you for raising this issue and please stay tuned for our upcoming episodes!

– Diana and the AKOM crew

Anonymous asked:

One of the points that I’m most thankful to you for making, about what the traditional narrative gets wrong, is about how John sees Paul so differently from how the jean jackets see him or think John sees him. That’s a topic that makes me say “yes finally” every time you touch on it. You’ve also done a great job analyzing the songs which is such a strangely under-explored area. Anyways, all the breakup stuff is so important but sad, it makes me want to listen to some happy early-beatle stuff

Our Tumblr asks

Hello Anon,

We agree that highlighting how John saw Paul, based on his own words, is critically important for getting to a more nuanced view of their dynamic, and a more realistic view of the narrative as a whole. Correcting this issue is important because John’s POV has been so misconstrued by the Beatles authorship. They seem to have projected their opinions of Paul onto John, or they have taken John’s tantrum-filled words of the early 70s and imagined this is how he always felt about Paul, which he himself said it wasn’t!

Time and again, John provided us with insight into how he saw Paul, which is: strong, powerful, gifted, brilliant, tough, driven, obstinate and infinitely talented and attractive (as we mentioned, John was the one that referred to Paul as looking like a “God” in LIB!) We can also infer, based on things that John has said later that he sometimes felt unloved by Paul (or not loved enough), and used by Paul. He also repeatedly complained of Paul’s insensitivity, which hurt him deeply. But probably the highest measure of John’s esteem for Paul was that he saw him as his only true competitor, a view he held until his death.

Yet this has gone largely ignored by authors — perhaps because it doesn’t conform to their preferred narrative? Or else they can’t see beyond John’s bravado, which sometimes obscures his more honest, vulnerable moments.

Because post-Beatles John could be so critical of Paul (a right he felt was  EXCLUSIVELY his), Jean Jackets erroneously assume he held Paul in low esteem rather than understanding that John held him to the highest possible standards.  So while the Jean Jackets position John as acting from a position of indifference and strength, in reality, he has said time and again that he saw Paul as a powerful and “extraordinary” man who was his true partner and a metaphorical spouse— one he also suspected of not loving him enough and potentially using him for his own gain. And while we don’t believe the latter, we know that John was highly paranoid so HE might have believed this. All important to keep in mind when examining his actions. And disinterested in Paul is the last thing he was!  

And while the breakup is a depressing topic, we find it is less tragic and more human when we go through it in detail—as we are doing. And perhaps one aspect that is less depressing is that they seem to have remained obsessed with each other. In other words, although the band broke up, their love for and interest in each other never died. We are tracing this story—all their drama seems to have been a series of reactions, games, moves, and countermoves.

Anyway, thank you for your note! We hope you will stay with us throughout the series and we promise to keep it really interesting. In fact, we will be dropping a few more episodes very soon—episodes we are very excited about. So please stay tuned!!

Diana and Akom

Anonymous asked:

Everyone’s asks are super deep but I just wanna throw out there that the joking assertion that John’s sex tape was to detract from his lack of material was pure comedy gold and I loved it.

Our Tumblr asks

Hello! We’re so glad you’re enjoying the show and that you’re enjoying the humorous aspects as well! 🙂  Thank you so much for this ask – it brought a smile to our faces! 

– Thalia and the AKOM crew 

Anonymous asked:

I enjoy the show. Just as it is dangerous to overestimate any individual Beatle, I do think that it is equally dangerous to over romanticize John & Paul’s relationship and justify behaviors on the basis of some supernatural closeness. Close as they were there is also evidence of significant dysfunction. Do you believe John or Paul or both were emotionally manipulative/unhealthy dependence (see Attachment theory)? Would you all be willing to explore the more unsavory aspects of their friendship?

Our Tumblr asks

Hi!  Thanks very much for the ask!  Glad you are enjoying the show.

First of all I think there is probably some level of emotional manipulation and/or dependence in every long-term relationship, so John & Paul aren’t necessarily unique in this regard.  And despite whatever their various inter-personal issues or problems were, it’s undeniable that Lennon & McCartney were also one of the most prolific and successful creative partnerships in the history of modern popular culture.  So, there’s that.  

It’s our contention that Paul and John both believed in their spiritual (“supernatural”) connection and we believe this is an under-explored area of analysis.  Their closeness doesn’t mean that their behaviors were always positive, but what it does suggest to us is that their behaviors are often linked, and the traditional narrative does not necessarily take this into account.  Our goal with AKOM is to inspire deeper reflection on under-reported issues like these.

But yes, to your point, it definitely appears they had their fair share of dysfunction, and we discussed a few of these issues in our most recent episode.  The next episodes in our break-up series also push many of these issues to the forefront, and we’ll be discussing them as they arise.

Diana and I have planned a future episode in which we unpack more of the problem areas in the Lennon/McCartney partnership and try to get underneath some of their lasting resentments.

Lastly, while I agree that it’s not helpful to over-romanticize John & Paul’s relationship, it can be tricky because John and Paul were both so prone to romanticize it themselves (especially after the break-up).  In that respect, it’s sometimes a difficult balancing act to empathize with them from their respective POVs while simultaneously trying to get to the truth of what was actually going on.  They were/are both, at the end of the day, artists who primarily wrote and sang (often collaboratively) about love.  How much of this romanticism and its accompanying behavior (i.e. unrealistic expectations, justification/forgiveness of various harmful behaviors) created problems in their personal relationship is a fascinating study in and of itself.

Thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy the rest of our Break-Up Series!

– Phoebe and the AKOM Crew

Hi there Anon asker! 🙂 We had to redact most of your ask not to reveal spoilers, but we wanted you to know we see you and we’re glad you liked it! 🙂  Thanks for reaching out to us, because we love to hear from our listeners! 

Anonymous asked:

A sentence in the first (I think) episode of your podcast really stuck out to me: “It’s not about kissing Paul’s ass, it’s about advocating for him”. YES!!!

Our Tumblr asks

Hi and thank you so much for this! 🙂  We’re really glad you’re enjoying the show!  And yes, we simply strive to talk about Paul in a different way than has become the norm, which is to give him the props he deserves!