Skip to content

Tagthanks for writing in!

Anonymous asked:

Just want to say love the latest episode!!! Really thought provoking stuff. You two always give me something unexpected to mull over. Thanks for all the time and work you put into these, looking forward to whatever you come up with next!

Our Tumblr Asks

Thank you so much, Listener! We can’t tell you how nice it is to read feedback like this! 🙂

We’re currently working on our next episode in the series, where we will continue to tackle so many crucial events of the breakup!

Anonymous asked:

Do you have any opinions on music critic Robert Christgau? I guess he’s not important anymore, but reading his reviews of solo beatles, I find him frustrating. Even in his retrospective reviews he pans Paul’s early solo work. He negatively reviewed George’s first solo stuff as well. Obvi this can be a matter of tastes, but he claims the beatles are his his top favorite artists yet he seems very “centric” to their solo work. I’m just curious because I see his name pop up in old music critiques.

Our Tumblr Asks

We don’t have much to say about him, but the words, “total douche” come to mind!

Everything you pinpoint about him is true.  We also unanimously agree that he lost his right to comment on an artist ever again after he publicly suggested Paul should’ve been shot.

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.

Our Tumblr Asks

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.

Our Tumblr Asks

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.

Our Tumblr Asks
image

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:

I have now gone through all your podcasts. I’m so grateful for your perspectives! Question: We know John obsessed about Paul throughout the 70’s, he was remorseful and apologized in some of his song lyrics, Linda said Paul “was desperate to write with John again”, they had planned to do a reunion concert in England according to something John wrote in a document, etc. So WHY do you think the Beatles didn’t reform as early as the mid- 70’s, particularly after the exit of Allen Klein?

Our Tumblr Asks
image

Ahh, that’s a million dollar question!  We think John and Paul were probably the ones who wanted a reunion the most, but nevertheless they likely both had major reservations. 

From our POV, Paul had the least to gain from a Beatles reunion in the mid 70s.  Wings was a roaring success by that point.  Paul had finally managed to establish an identity outside of the Beatles and, for the first time post-Beatles, was enjoying both commercial and critical success simultaneously.  George and Ringo OTOH weren’t doing great (after each had experienced much success in the early 70s).  John was coming off a pair of successful solo albums (and a #1 with Elton John) but by 1975 he was coming up dry and making an oldies album to fulfill his contract.  Paul was in a very strong position by 75-76.  

This is just our take, but we believe that while John and Paul were both tempted to revive Lennon/McCartney, we’re skeptical that either was really into the idea of a re-formed Beatles.  We think they were excited but nervous to work together again and would’ve ultimately used George and Ringo as buffers (this is not to denigrate George or Ringo, this is just our impression of how John and Paul thought).   Predictably enough, we don’t think George was EVER enthusiastic about a Beatles reunion.  Maybe if the other three applied enough peer pressure he wouldn’t want to be left out, but we don’t think he was ever eager to work with Paul again. It’s totally reasonable that Harrison would be wary of a Beatles reunion where he would get wedged between Paul and John yet again.  

It’s no secret that the major rift was between John and Paul; they were the only pair of Beatles who never again worked together after the break-up.  In 1975 John admitted (rather poignantly) that he and Paul “had a harder time” coping with their rift than any of the others did. 

We believe that Paul “desperately” wanted to work together with John because (a) he desperately wanted to repair his relationship with John throughout the 70s, and (b) he genuinely enjoyed writing with him, although AGAIN, to be clear, Paul did great in the 70s, never had a dry spell, and didn’t need John to succeed, artistically or commercially.  A reunion with John would have also surely taken some air out of the How Do You Sleep debacle. While we doubt this was the primary reason Paul wanted to reconcile, we imagine it was a factor.  And if John was truly sorry for HDYS, this would’ve been a great way for him to demonstrate it.  Publicly.

In the 70s, John made several references to Paul’s “energy” and we definitely think John missed the charge he got from Paul.  However, we believe John ultimately carried too much emotional baggage about Paul for a light-hearted reunion.  Primary amongst his reservations might be jealousy over Paul’s success and insecurity about his self-conscious “need” for Paul.  But surely there were other reservations, not the least of which was their continued business/legal battles, resentment over reaction to each others’ wives, internal fights within the band, etc. And of course, since Paul was infamously awarded the dishonor of John’s Ultimate Hurter, surely that was always looming in John’s mind as well.  How would Paul hurt him again?  Would Paul’s unique brand of insensitivity be more painful a second time around?  

Yoko is often blamed for the fizzling of reunion plans in the mid-70s, and we agree she was probably a major contributing factor.  May Pang confirms that after visiting the Dakota at a critical moment just before heading to New Orleans in early ‘75, John’s attitude towards collaborating with Paul abruptly changed from excited to sour.  There is no doubt that Yoko was against John getting back together with Paul, likely for a multitude of reasons, but perhaps most critically because it was a threat to her creative reputation; if John and Paul reunited, it might be interpreted as a creative failure of JohnandYoko and  the primacy and superiority of Lennon/McCartney, and there is no way she wanted that to happen. Yoko had invested a great deal of time and energy in creating and maintaining the Ballad of John and Yoko and wasn’t about to let that unravel. We also suspect she probably did not want John to get too under Paul’s spell again as that would diminish her power over him. There are accounts of her maneuvering behind the scenes to make sure this didn’t happen, so clearly she saw their reunion as a threat to her position with John. 

Ultimately, however, we suspect it all boiled down to the same conundrum John faced in the late 60s: He could either commit to Yoko and permanently let go of Paul, or permanently break up with Yoko and commit to a professional partnership with Paul.  The problem with the latter option was that a strictly-professional partnership might not only be painfully incomplete on an emotional level for John (after having been Paul’s sole creative partner and surrogate spouse in the 60s)… but of course now Paul had his own band, three kids and a wife. John wouldn’t just be back where he left off in ‘68, he would be a much lower priority to Paul than he had been in ‘68 which put him in an even worse position.  Therefore the emotional risk appears to have been too great for John. 

All evidence points to the fact that Paul’s desire in the 70s was to maintain a friendship with John and explore rekindling their songwriting partnership.  He seems to have had fewer reservations or concerns about doing so —  perhaps because he had a functional band at the time, so was not dependent on this happening. It seems that he simply loved working with John and would have liked to have done it again as a way to reconnect, heal and spark the old magic. But he also required flexibility to perform with his band and focus on his family.  

We are less convinced that John was willing or capable to view their partnership as something casual or flexible, with no strings attached.  It was John himself who used the analogy of “one night stands” with Elton and Bowie as opposed to his marriage with Paul.  This isn’t to say we think Paul loved John less or cared about their partnership less.  It’s clear that no one has ever replaced Lennon as a complete collaborative partner to Paul (despite Paul’s demonstrated ability to collaborate with many, many artists in many different capacities) and Paul himself has said as much.  As always, we just think they had different personalities and different needs that were fairly consistent over time: Paul desired freedom and flexibility while John desired security and total commitment.

The only powers John did seem to retain were the power to seemingly “reject” Paul and/or deliberately hurt his feelings and to humiliate him in public.  John flexed both these powers periodically until he died, presumably to make himself feel better in his weaker moments or because of residual resentments towards Paul (over any number of things).  

TL;DR: Paul was open but too independent, John was open but too emotionally conflicted, George may or may not have been open but resented them both too much.

Anonymous asked:

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

Our Tumblr Asks
image

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!!

Our Tumblr Asks
image

Anonymous asked:

Have you all seen this? “Exposing the Voice of Truth: A Psychological Profile of John Lennon”? Would be interested in your thoughts. It is an academic paper about possible DSM-5 diagnoses for John, written by some English student at The College of New Jersey.

Our Tumblr asks

Hi listener, we have seen this paper and gave it a read.

To us, it’s an effort by an undergraduate student to link John’s behaviors to the DSM-5 criteria of BPD. The author makes some faulty assumptions (like saying that Mimi was, “incapable of expressing compassion”), and mentions Paul McCartney exactly once (and only in reference to a “Glass Onion,” song lyric).  It’s not the work of someone trained in the science and discipline of psychology.  It’s an armchair diagnosis, so it’s not something that we feel could be used to conclusively prove anything about John’s mental health.  As far as armchair diagnoses go, it’s as good as any of them. 🙂 

So while we do think John struggled with his mental health for his entire life, and that his struggles should be taken into account (and taken seriously) when studying his life and work, we don’t think it’s a great idea to attempt to armchair diagnose him with any specific condition, especially by someone not trained in psychology or who didn’t meet with John in a clinical setting.

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.

Our Tumblr asks

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

3 Listener Asks…

Thank you, anons! 🙂

We are not afraid to call out Mark Lewisohn. He is simply a man who has written some books. He is subject to the same rigor and scrutiny as any other author. We don’t believe popularity within the fandom should render him immune from criticism. Especially since we think he has failed spectacularly at being unbiased and impartial (which he originally claimed he was setting out to do).

– 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 😘

Our Tumblr asks

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.

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:

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

Our Tumblr asks

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

– 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.

Anonymous asked:

Thanks so much for the podcast. I’ve devoured each episode voraciously the past week and it’s been such a source of enjoyment. Your characterization of John is spot on. Definitely not some macho guy nor a sincere revolutionary. While I’ve had the same take on him for years as y’all, I’ve never connected the dots between his personality traits and the breakup. The sequence of events you lay out and your analysis of it MAKES SENSE.

Our Tumblr asks

Thank you so much, listener! 🙂 We really appreciate this and we’re so glad thst you’re enjoying the show!

– Thalia and the AKOM crew