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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 19, 2005

"You can't handle the truth!"

It's a known well fact that the end of Western Civilisation As We Know It began when John met Yoko, and Paul decided not to marry that nice Jane Asher after all, and instead eloped with the evil, serial-killing cannibal Linda McCartney. Some have speculated that Paul, with happy childhood memories of visits to the circus, mistakenly believed she was a former human cannonball, only to realise his mistake, too late, one misty morning on the Mull of Kintyre.

Well, the truth by now is lost in those other mists... the mists that don't roll in from the sea, and so we'll never know for sure.

But how might the world have been different if these two pivotal events hadn't occurred?

The world of cake making and decorating might have lost a small contribution, and the world of pointless avant garde so-called "art" (aka "shit in a box") would have carried on regardless. But the fabulous Beat Brothers might have struggled on, settling into their 30s with renewed gusto, and then becoming an undignified national embarrassment in their 40s. Most importantly, Western Civilisation would have been safe, and "Evil" Phil Spector would never have got his grubby, murdering* hands on a National Treasure.

Roy and I speculated, a few years ago, on the shape an Imaginary post-'69 Beatles album might have taken. I even went as far as creating a compo, called "Imaginary," natch, but so desperate was the need for half-decent material, that I had to cheat, 'far as Macca was concerned, and go all the way up to 1973 and Band on the Run. Even then, listening back, it's pretty dire.

Lennon's not immune from this, neither. His post-split material is more polished and complete, at times, than Macca's, but it's still mostly shite. Sentimental, hippy-dippy, Dudley Do-Gooder claptrap mixed in with half-baked political naffness and screeching from Ono. George Harrison had a respectable pop, with All T'ings Must P'ass, but even then it was overlong and self-indulgent. Appallingly produced, too, by that little gnome.* You can barely hear the vocal. So I ended up with two tracks from that, plus Bongo's Photograph and the rest was just shit.

But, of course, and this is the point, it wouldn't have been, because what you see in their post-split material, is how shit they were without the Other One there to impress and/or compete against.

So the 60s ended, and we started to slip into mediocrity, almost immediately. It was like the Last Beatle to leave the building switched off the light of Western Civ on the way out of the Apple building, even as it was being plundered by righteous hippies. Never Trust a Hippy, went the saying in the 70s, and how right that was. Thieving, dishonest, selfish, grasping, lazy, and feckless were the secret watchwords of the Peace and Love era. Most of the blokes were in it for a cheap shag; the women ditto, and because it was better than working.

Meanwhile, "Evil" Linda McCartney started her Evil Empire, based on selling ground up human meat to vegetarians, and Ono insisted that each John Lennon release consisted of 50% screeching and wailing. No wonder he "retired" in 1975, only to emerge again in time to be shot by Phil Spector in disguise.



  • Live and Let Die is a good tune, to be fair to Macca.

    By Anonymous Rafael, at 10:55 am  

  • Thanks for visiting.

    You're right, Live and Let Die, another one from 1973, is indeed not a bad tune. But it's basically one verse, one chorus, and one middle 8. In other words, like so many of his post-split songs, it was a half-finished thing he got up to length by repeating himself - he did this with things like Maybe Im Amazed, Let Me Roll It, Jet, etc. Only Band on the Run itself resembled the Beatles in their pomp, because it consisted of different tunes glommed together, in the manner of We Can Work It Out, A Day in the Life, Happiness is a Warm Gun, and so on.

    Also, I couldn't bring myself to include Live and Let Die on Imaginary, because it was a James Bond theme song, so would have counted as a side project, anyway.

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 1:23 am  

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