Over the gate...

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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Corporation t-shirt.



Recent rambling on here has made me think about I Am The Walrus. This pic must have been taken around the time he was writing it. I am reliably informed that the t-shirt he is wearing advertises the Regent Petrol Company, which had a chain of UK petrol stations at that time: corporation t-shirt? Or...not.
Walrus was partly written as a response to a letter he received from a pupil at his alma mater Quarry Bank, who told John that his lyrics were now being studied there. John replied that 'The mystery and shit built around all forms of art needs smashing'. (By the way, some have said that the "elementary penguin" was poet Allen Ginsberg. Maybe, maybe not, but there will be a prize of a Yoko-esque imaginary 50 pence to the first person who can post in Comments what the direct Beatles connection is with the above pic of Mr Ginsberg (clue - it's clothing related)).Pete Shotton remembers a song he and John used to sing at Quarry Bank - "Yellow matter custard, green slop pie, All mixed together with a dead dog's eye, Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick, Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick". Indeed! The tune, of course, came from the sound of a police siren. Here's what Mr Davies had to say...
"The first memory that always comes back is swimming in John's pool at his house in Weybridge. I'd gone to spend the day with him, but when I arrived, it turned out he had decided it was a day for not talking. I walked round his garden with him, not talking. Cynthia made lunch and we ate it, not talking. I sat with John in his cramped little den, under a sticker saying "Safe as Milk" while he watched children's television, not talking.
Then we had a swim, round and round in his pool, not talking, but while we were swimming, we suddenly heard the noise of a police siren floating up the hill from Weybridge itself. It was giving that familiar two-note wail - Ah, ahh, ah ahh, ah, ahh. John started playing with the two notes - humming them, while not actually talking.
Then he went inside, went to his piano, till he had turned the two notes into a song, or at least half a song. John was very good at half songs, quickly growing bored, often needing Paul to coax the other half out of him. A lot of their joint working sessions were like competitions - to show the other what they could do, or make the other do better".
© Hunter Davies, The Independent.

3 comments:

  1. Once at a poetry lecture attended by John and Yoko, Ginsberg said, “Poetry is best read naked,” then removed his clothes and hung a hotel notice, “Do Not Disturb,” on his penis. The Lennons left in disgust...

    lol

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  2. hmmm, ironic, given that John and Yoko later took a photo of themselves naked for the 'Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins' album cover!

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  3. A noble effort, Sir! Actually, I was talking about the shirt he has on in that pic, which was taken at the Legalise Pot rally in Hyde Park in 1967. The previous evening, Ginsberg had been round at Macca´s, who was opening fan mail. In one of the parcels he found a shirt, which he decorated with colored pens and then gave to Mr G. So Ginsberg wore it the next day at the rally, even though it didn´t really fit him.

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