Over the gate...

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Monday, 15 June 2009

2 Scraps Of Paper: Benjamin, Fowler, Guivel?





These scraps of paper, which feature John's scribbled notes for Lucy and Fool On The Hill, also contain one or two other intriguing bits and pieces. An interest in the occult was fashionable at that time, part of a general counter-culture trend to seek alternate ways of apprehending the world. Famously, the Great Beast himself, Aleister Crowley, peers out from the cover of Sgt Pepper. Elbert Benjamin was an occultist who started the Church Of Light, and was concerned with matters astrological, extra-sensory-perceptual and Aquarian - all very much in keeping with the spirit of 1967. Lorenzo Niles Fowler was the famous phrenologist, who promoted theories of psychological analysis via skull shape, and produced, amongst many other things, the famous phrenological head seen above. (I wonder if John had one of these - it would have fitted in perfectly in the sunroom). The second piece of paper has rather more obscure scribblings on it - hard to decipher, partly because of John's handwriting. I think there is a town called Aleberg in Sweden, but the rest is unclear - unless anyone knows different.

2 comments:

  1. Saw this in the archives. It first struck me as odd that John would write down Paul's lyrics, but this is explained by the fact (or at least Wikipedia) that the first time John heard the song (at Kenwood) he told Paul to write down the lyrics so he (Paul) wouldn't forget them. But Paul was sure he wouldn't so John did it just to be sure. It is well known that John really liked the song and possibly identified with it - after all Kenwood is located on a hill...
    Just a thought.

    I'm so bored today that I'll even make an audacious attempt to decipher the other scribblings:

    John was shopping for a diamond for whatever reason and got a phone call about this whilst penning down the lyrics.
    During the call he scribbled down "Lighter Yellow (col) Diamond" followed by what looks like three names (indecipherable). It is a perfectly correct phrase to describe a coloured (col) diamond.
    Then follows the text "High E" which could possibly have something to do with the song, and "Aleberg, sense of feeling" which probably meant the drugs had kicked in! There is no such town in Sweden but there is a town in Denmark named Ålborg.

    Well I said I was bored!

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  2. This in an email from Colin Halyk:

    "I'm pretty sure the word that looked to you guys like "Aleberg" is actually "Alchemy"

    Alchemy of the sort spiritual folks and Jung and such speak of (as opposed to the lead-into-gold sort) seems, in the search I looked into, to often be described as an attempt to synthesize something at the axis of sensation (the senses) and feeling (the emotions) - a synasthesia that I;m sure I don't need to add is very LSD, but I have added so anyway, it seems.

    What's more, the thing that initially caught my eye was the "Lighter Yellow" bit, as I knew that was the main colour associated with the fool in the Rider Waite tarot deck, very popular in this day and that, and a huge influence on the art of the OTHER Fool, (re: the stuff you posted about the piano,). The phrase could be a sloppy rendering of "Lighter Yellow FOOL". It is more of a stretch to see the discs with asterisks on his cloak as diamonds... not impossible, but more of a reach, I admit.

    I decided to look into kabbalah lore associated with the card because of the Lucy page references (after being distracted for a while by the hash=out of the Pepper running order on it), and that turned up even more links and fun "evidence", confirming my linking of pale yellow to the Fool card, and also mentioning the musical note (each card is associated with one in the major arcana, the part of the deck it's from ) is not just E, but what the text actually called "natural E"! (Yeah, I know that's just another way to say not flat or sharp, but it still made me feel like a rich man too.)"

    It does look like alchemy, true enough (and the other stuff makes sense too).

    Cheers Colin.

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