Over the gate...

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Monday, 16 January 2017

More Marrakesh: New Year, 1967.


You wait 50 years for a photo of John's sojourn in Marrakesh and then 2 turn up at once... so here's the second.

On a theme of new year, a belated happy one to all readahs.

Less happily, ye will no doubt have heard that Allan Williams and Alexis Mardas have both recently gone to, respectively, that great night club and that great electronics lab in the sky. One can't help but feel that Mr Mardas has been treated somewhat unfairly by "history".

As for Mr Williams, perhaps the first stop should be his book, one of very few Beatles-related tomes to receive a personal endorsement from 'imself... and another posthumous one is in from Mr Lewisohn who has penned a pithy appreciation of the contribution made. It can be read HERE.

4 comments:

  1. Great blog - been reading it for years but this is my first post. I tend to disagree about Magic Alex: I think once Lewisohn unravels all the details of the Apple years, and Alex's role in the end of John's marriage, the conclusion will be that he was little more than an opportunistic con artist.

    Alan's book did get John's endorsement, but did he actually read it? A lot of it, later happily admitted by Alan, was made up!

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  2. Thanks for your kind comments... and comment. I agree that if the bottom of it can possibly be got to, then Mark will. I think it's sometimes too easy to judge certain past events and the people involved through the harsh prism of the present day. All These Years, as the author explicitly states, is a history of the Beatles in their time... so we shall see.
    Yes, Allan's book was apparently short on factual accuracy... but long on atmosphere and humour. John certainly felt it well worth a read, and who am we to argue?

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  3. If you mean something like Von Ranke's idea of understanding history through the prism of the period under review, or Collingwood's idea of history from the inside, then I could not agree more. Nothing amazes me more than how a provincial girl with no connections (Kathy Etchingham) could get involved with Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix and the whole 60s counterculture in London. Of course it helps to be attractive, as she was, but it is hard to imagine celebrity culture being so accessible now. Alex was part of that, and accounts have differed how me got to meet John (possibly John Dunbar; possibly Brian Jones - again), but one of the comments that intrigued me was that Alex knew how to pitch his ideas at just the right level. But that sort of hustler, or sociopath, is probably a universal trait, and this is why I think in time Alex will come in for a lot of criticism. Let's just take 3 examples: the 72 track machine in Savile Row. Alex claimed (in 2010) that he had never been to the studio and was working on a design in Boston place. But even if the accounts differ slightly, everyone else (including Geoff Emerick) has reported that there was a studio in the basement that was useless. In 2010 he claimed to have invented certain things like an 'electronic camera'. What does this mean? What patents were ever created? Does this mean he beat Kodak in developing a sensor and the first digital cameras (which they then tried to sit on). Of course he didn't. And what about his role in John's divorce. Cynthia was not an accurate witness if her books are the only judge, but she does come across as honest. Her account of Alex's actions go beyond loyalty to John to borderline creepy, worrying behaviour. I think he was an atypical con artist and sociopath. We'll find out when Mark gets to the final volume I would guess.

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  4. Great photo! Happy New Year to everyone from a very hot Rio Summer. I never read Allan's book, have to do so. Mark's words, as always, were perfect. As for Magic Alex... sometimes I wonder how could John be so naive to believe in him. R.I.P.

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