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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:

“Of course this fandom loves to attribute Paul’s EVERY emotion to John Lennon…” I LOVE YOU

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And we love you too, listener! 🙂  Thanks for tuning in!!!  

– the AKOM crew

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.

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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!

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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 😊

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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. 😉

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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:

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.

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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

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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!!

Best,
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.

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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?

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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!!!

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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!

Anonymous asked:

I adore your podcast!!! Right now I’m listening to “If I ran away from you – Episode 1 Part 2” and I love with your interpretation of Hey Jude and of how Paul’s new relationship with Linda fits in the song! I never thought of that and it really makes sense!

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Thank you so much! 🙂 “Hey Jude” is a complicated song chock-full of layers.  I love Phoebe and Diana’s analysis of it as well!  Paul had so much going on in his life during that time and I love that they could see that “Hey Jude” is an amalgamation of everything he was facing!