Edie Sedgwick

Maid Of Constant Sorrow

Chaps 3,4 & 5

Time Is On My Side

A problem with the sixties is the concept of time.  Einstein had gummed up the investigation of the concept considerably.  Time is not a static thing but moves at various speeds.  Strictly speaking time does not exist but is a human construct.  The basis of the construction is the diurnal rotation of the earth and the earth’s revolution around the sun.  There is no starting point for the revolution and no end.  Man constructed a beginning based on earth’s greatest distance from the sun and because of the Plane Of The Ecliptic, the shortest day of the revolution.  This was the most recognizable point to begin.  Without the day and the year there is no basis for determining time; there is no other vantage point in the Universe.

Time has no existence in the universe; there is only space and matter and space cannot be defined without matter.  No changes take place in the nature of space, only in matter, and time is no operative factor in those changes.  Time does not exist outside the human mind.

Time as we usually think about it is a division of the earthly day into hours, minutes and seconds; of the year into seasons, months, weeks and days.  As this is objective time keeping without reference to the passing of events or the perception of the individual subjective time is unaffected by objective time.

Now, let us say that the normal rate of perception and living is done in 4/4 time.  To try to be specific let us say the standard is time as lived by 18-60 year olds adjusted to their societal needs.  Let us just speculate that the mind in its normal state is comfortable with 4 bits of information per second and let us say that normally, whatever that means, bits of information are occuring at 20 bits per second.  That means that 16 bits a second are normally over the subject’s head; he may perceive them but he can’t record them on the spot.  Part of this is made up in sleep and dreams where removed from external stimulus the individual is able to subconsciously process additional bits that went by him while waking.  The remainder then can  only be captured and analyzed from a distance in time where what was happening can be seen but what is gained in distance is lost in immediacy.  That is history, what I am attempting here.  While the big picture can be seen, vast amounts of immediate detail are lost to memory or altered to conform to desires and prejudices.  But, that is the way it is.

The period of ’64-’66 was one in which amphetamines and barbiturates altered or distorted 4/4 time.  Under the influence of amphetamines subjects were living in, let us say, 16/4 time.  They were so alert they couldn’t sleep.  So long as they could control their obsessions  and not be hung up on details they could turn out prodigious amounts of work.  Thus to satisfy this amphetamine induced mania for work Warhol and his assistant, Gerard Malanga, could manually turn out fifty large Presley silk screen prints in an afternoon.  In fact, in this period they turned out thousands and thousands of silk screens.  There are a lot of Warhols out there.

Dreaming Dylan

Dylan is said to have literally and steadily turned out reams of material.  He left a huge sheaf at Baez’s in Carmel in Spring of ’65 which he never reclaimed.  As he said, songs just flowed through his amphetamine fueled mind.  This sort of activity ceased or drew to a close when both Warhol and Dylan ceased using amphetamines- in other word their time races slowed down and their brains slid back toward 4/4 time.

Now, when the subject’s brain was racing at 16/4 it couldn’t slow down to allow him to sleep.  Keith Richards says that in those days he slept only two nights out of seven.  Warhol said he got two hours of sleep a night during this period and some said, perhaps with exaggeration, they didn’t sleep at all for one or two years.

So, while your brain is racing along 16/4 and you feel the need for rest you have to take barbiturates, downers, to slow your time down toward 8/4 or hopefully 4/4.  This pits one drug against the other, one is speeding, one is dragging.  Too much manipulation and of course one’s time slows to 0/4 and you’re dead.

Between events being clustered and racing so fast that no one can keep up, even at 16/4 and certainly at a speed to defy analysis no one had any idea of who or where they were and what was happening.  No matter how fast the brain is racing one is still living in 4/4 time.

For those with 16/4 racing brains and no outlets such as art or writing, music, the result was chaos and self-destruction.  In addition confusion was caused by making the 18-60 years old time race as an objective standard by which all normality is measured.

When someone says that time stood still, it literally did for the subject, the duration of that stillness cannot be measured by objective time.

All I Have To Do Is Dream

What may seem like a few seconds to an outside observer is literally timeless to the subject.  The earth still turns but the mind doesn’t move, but no time is lost because time doesn’t exist.  Thus children and mature people live in 2/4 or 3/4 time in which 4/4 time is irrelevant.  It takes eons for a day or two to pass as a child while objective time becomes irrelevant if you no longer have to watch the clock.  For instance, at 72 I live in a mix between natural time and objective time.  I only have to enter objective time when it’s necessary to keep an appointment and I try to eliminate those as much as possible.  Otherwise it’s day or night, Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall.  I frequently don’t pay attention to what day it is because I don’t need to know and I don’t care.  It doesn’t make any difference; it is always my time.

Doctors try to evaluate your memory by applying the needs of 18-60 year olds who are living according to the demands of objective time.  So, since we live at different time races those whose speeds differ have a difficult time understanding each other.

Give Me Mo' Mo' Mo'

Chapter 4

Speeding Down The Highway

Lest we associate amphetamines at this time with illegal drugs let’s look at the scene in NYC.  Sometime in the early sixties Feel Good doctors were dispensing massive does of amhetamines and vitamins.  the most notorious, or well known, of these doctors were Max Jacobson and a man referred to as Dr. Roberts.

Jacobson appears first on the scene with a patient roster of astounding celebrity which included then President John F. Kennedy.  Lyndon Johnson took a shot but perceived the situation for what it was and didn’t go back.

George Plimpton

The Beatles mention a Dr. Robert in one of their songs and he’s the man we’re concerned with here in ’65 no to be confused with   Dr. Roberts.  Dr. Roberts  administered to some of the Warhol crowd including Edie Sedgwick.  There is an astonishing account of his practice in Stein and Plimpton’s Edie.  Quite an extensive account.  To excerpt it I’d probably have to have permission; I’ll check into it.

These doctors were carelessly giving incredibly huge injections that kept you speeding for a week or two.  But needles, syringes and drug could be obtained easily and they were which brings us to a member of the Factory entourage, Brigid Berlin.  She was not old money but came from a very affluent background.

She, obviously laboring under several mental disorders, was an indiscriminate and unsound dispenser of the drug.  She ran around the Factory injecting all and sundry with the same dirty needle.  Her forte was to inject herself straight through the seat of her jeans.

Jean Stein

Andy, himself, used something call Obetrol which is described as a very high quality amphetamine producing a pleasant  and stimulating high.  While this drug kept Andy up with the exception of an hour or two of fitful sleep it also allowed him to work, work, work, industriously and with intense concentration for hours at a time.  Fifty Presleys in an afternoon, think about it, assembly line pace.

Without a work outlet one had to find other ways to work off the excess energy.  Non-stop talking is one but, hell, I can do that all day without the benefit of drugs.  Since all these people at the Factory were living in 16/4 time they could communicate on that level with each other.  There wasn’t an awful lot of intelligence being communicated.  Warhol did us the service of recording 24 hours of what passed for communication and published the result as a book or novel he titled ‘a’.  This book is virtually unreadable but as dedicated to my art as I am I am living proof that it can be done.  Let’s hear from anyone else who had the patience.  The gang was big on non-verbal communication.  There are mostly a lot of incomplete sentences in the book but the conversation is forwarded in a pastiche manner each participant adding a phrase so that a sort of idea is parsed out.

As might be expected the group was low on conventional 4/4 morality, but at 16/4 they seem to have worked out a morality that all could accept but one I certainly would reject.  Beatings, theft and random sex in view of others or not with anyone or anything seemed to be the moral basis.  While Andy disavowed responsibility for anything that hapened at the Factory he was in fact the leader functioning as Magister Ludi.  In the novel ‘a’ he is referred to as Drella, a combination of Dracula and Cinderella- a vampire and a fairy.  He was in truth a bloodsucker.

He essentially took a whole group of Catholic homosexual Undermen and gave them a clubhouse and a certain immunity under the umbrella of his name and fame.  Even then he and his Factory were a thorn in the side of legitimate society, the police visiting the place on a regular basis.  And rightly so.

This was the scene, the environment that Chuck Wein brought Edie into.  It seemed to suit her state of mind, she stayed.

Magister Ludi

Dylan also was an amphetamine freak at the same time while using alcohol, LSD, marijuana and heroin.  Warhol who was a perceptive observer said that Dylan’s songs were the amphetamine speaking.  According to Andy, Dylan took other people’s words (and tunes) and because of the amphetamine was able to make them sound as though  his own.  He also astutely divided Dylan’s output into two periods; the first, social protest and the second, personal protest.  Pretty much half a side of Another Side, plus Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde.  Once again, he knew whereof he spoke.  We’re concerned more with the personal protest here taking little or no interest in the social side.

Dylan’s personal protest by its very nature must be autobiographical.  Indeed, Suze Rotolo identifies many of Dylan’s songs as referring to her.  She should know.  Dylan was quite taken with her.  He obviously suffered a painful feeling of desertion whan at her mother’s insistence in 1962 she left NYC to study in Italy.  This absention definitely changed the relationship although as Bob was never too constant a lover it is difficult to see how.  Ego was hurt, I guess.

Although the relationship was reassumed on Suze’s return her sister, Carla, and her mother disapproved finally breaking the couple up.  The break up produced the autobiographical Ballad In Plain D in which Dylan vented his emotions in a loud screaming complaint that was a direct predecessor to his magic mantra ‘Like A Rolling Stone.’

Chapter 5

I Can’t Stand The Pain In Here

According to accounts Dylan began writing Like A Rolling Stone in June of ’65.  It began as 20 pages of ‘vomit’ according to Dylan, cut down to 10 and then to its released form.  The 45 was a successful disc reaching the Billboard Top 10.  The song is quite obviously about Edie when one learns the background.  Many New Yorkers who were aware of the scene expressed their opinion that it was about Edie, pointing out further their belief that Warhol was the Napoleon in rags.

If first written in June then Dylan had made a considerable psychological investment in Edie since the previous December of ’64.  One wonders where he found the time to cultivate a relationship with her between the two dates.  He wrote recorded and released ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ between the meeting with Edie and April.  He had performance dates.  He divided his time between NYC, Woodstock and Carmel.  In the last mentioned place he was staying at the home of Joan Baez while keeping Sara in Woodstock and maintaining some sort of relationship with Suze.

The extent of the rage and hatred of ‘Stone’ seems to be out of all proportion.  According to the song Dylan is in a jealous rage because the ‘She’ of the song has deserted him for this ‘Napoleon in rags.’  ‘He calls to you, go to him now.’  What exactly did Dylan intend to do with Edie that he should become so emotonal?  There is no question but that he intended to marry Sara; also none that he would marry either Joan, Suze or Edie.  Quite simply they weren’t Jewish and Sara was.  Dylan had no intention of marrying outside his religion.  He intended to obey the Biblical injunction, which he takes as the literal word of God, to be fruitful and he wanted his children raised Jewish.

So what, then?  What did Edie represent to him?  Apart from being an uptown girl, in Volume I of his autobiographical Chronicles he suggests that one looks for the model of ‘She’ in his mother.  I found this puzzling.  I couldn’t make it fit the lyrics.  None of the ‘facts’ of the song seemed to fit what is known of his mother.  Then I saw Dylan’s 2003 movie, Masked And Anonymous.  This is a delicate subject of which I am only going to skirt the edges.  But, if one reads between the lines of Jack Fate’s soliloquy at his father’s death bed about his mother and faher, the lyrics of Freight Train Blues and what I’m hinting at here the fog should thin out somewhat.  Remember that Dylan said his mother was connected to ‘Stone’.   Since the song is about Edie it follows that Dylan associated his mother and Edie in his mind; there was a situational similarity to him.

Now, from August ’65 to the recording of Blonde On Blonde nearly the whole of Dylan’s output is centered around Edie, Warhol and the Factory.  One of Dylan’s more vicious songs was ‘Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat’ which is about Edie.  When Edie dissipated her inheritance she bought a slew of fur coats and a lot of jewelry.  She had the leopard skin pill box hat.

Dylan’s mother was also known for having a lot of jewelry and several fur coats.  Dylan recorded his version of Freight Train Blues long after 1968 when his father died.  Now, immediately after his death the business owned by his father and two uncles either went bankrupt or was forced to close.  In other words there was no more money left in the business.  While Hibbing was not a flush market there was no competition either.  So Abe Zimmerman’s exit came at a propitious moment, or….  At any rate there was no more money.

Just as Edie went through her money so Dylan’s mother kept her husband hopping in all likelihood straining the finances of the appliance store that, after all, had to support three families.  Dylan, then, may have conflated Edie with his mother’s extravagance and whatever he had planned for Edie would have been done to his mother surrogate.  In fact he was quite brutal to Edie, destroying her in the end.  Thus one avenges oneself on one’s mother, ‘Like A Rolling Stone.’  He is probably one of those people who reject but can’t tolerate rejection because of his mother’s rejection of him per Jack Fate.  According to his soliloquy in Masked And Anonymous his mother essentially rejected him plnging him into a deep depression from which he has never recovered if the movie is any indicaton.  The movie too is autobiographical.   He felt:  ‘Nobody leaves me, I leave them.’  ‘That’ll be the day when you leave me’ as Dylan’s hero Buddy Holly put it.  This was possibly the cause for the eruption of Ballad In Plain D.

Obetrol

In March of ’65 Edie entered the corrupt, even criminal, world of Warhol’s Factory.  One can only speculate why Chuck Wein took her there.  Perhaps the empresario was having a difficult time getting Edie launched and thought he could get her into Warhol’s hideous movies.  Having run through her inheritance Edie was getting desperate for money.  Perhaps in her naivete she thought movies were movies and movie stars made big money.  Certainly one cause for her break from Andy was his refusal to pay her.

Warhol, in his own delusions believed that Hollywood would come knocking on his door cash in hand.  That that never happened was probably a major disappointment.  At any rate when this vision of the respectable Overmen appeared in this dump of a studio Andy went ga-ga.  In fact, Edie was his ticket, his entry into the Upper East Side crowd.  Just as Fred Hughes was to show him how to make money, Edie opened society doors to him.

This King of Scurf was creating quite a scene at the Factory.  At the same time he gave a clubhouse to the Undermen, as a leading figure of the art world which, after all, is an upper class affair of wealth, he had a foot in that camp.  Led by the more louche of celebrities the Factory was becoming a party destination.  So Edie added some instant uptown glamor.  Old family, old money.

Whether it was the hope of money from movies that kept her there or whether this degrading atmosphere filled some psychological need Edie stayed on thereby sacrificing her reputation.  I imagine there’s always the hope that once you get your face up there something will pop.

Sometime between March and June Dylan became enraged that Edie was at the Factory making some pretty lame Warhol movies with little or no commercial appeal.  Thus his work from this time on reflected his tug of war over Edie with Warhol.

Edie says that she didn’t get into heavy drugs before she joined Warhol’s menagerie.  This may be true but as Warhol said:  How do you stop someone from doing what they want to do?  I would imagine the effects of electro-shock are very long lasting and discombobulating.  Lou Reed of Velvet Underground was certainly whacked out from electro-shock.  As I write my mind keeps going back to the time I stuck my finger in the socket as a child.  I mean, it is vivid, so I can’t imagine what Electro-shock does to you.  Perhaps speed replicates what electro-shock does do to you.  Perhaps speed replicates or complements the feeling of electro-shock in some way.

Of amphetamines Edie is quoted as saying:

The Ghost Of Electricity

The nearly unendurable torment of speed, buzzarama, that acrylic high, horrorous, yodeling, repetitious echoes of an infinity so brutally harrowing that words cannot explain the devastation nor the tone of such a vicious nightmare.

Could be close to the feeling of electro-shock.  Kind of reminds me of my finger in the socket.  Dylan’s seach for the ‘high mercury sound’ must also have been the result of speed.  Cacophonous songs like ‘Highway 61’, ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ and ‘Rainy Day Women’ come to mind.

Perhaps also the amphetamine high reflected and complemented the deranged vicious goings on Warhol allowed at the Facatory.  The sado-masochism.  Brigid Berlin, or the Duchess as she was alternately known, roaming around with her needle and syringe ramming it into anyone will they, nil they, not much choice there.  Beatings going on back in the shadows, is it any wonder that Dylan referred to Warhol as Dr. Filth in Desolation Row.

It is difficult to ascertain dates in existing sources but possibly between June and August Dylan invited Edie and Andy to a concert in upstate NY so, there was significant interaction between the three before Highway 61 Revisited.  Side one of that record doesn’t reflect Factory activity as much as side two.  I suspect all three songs on that side reflect Dylan’s sitation with Andy and Edie while Desolation Row definitely does.  Now, while at the time there were few listeners who had any idea of what Dylan’s lyrics meant except for possibly a few, of which Warhol definitely was one.  He must have recognized the reference to himself in ‘Stone’ and also in Positively Fourth Street.  These songs were hits.  ‘Fourth Street’ was pulled from airplay shortly after relaease but when I first heard it the sound just blew me away.  I heard the put downs but too fleetingly to grasp them.  Hank Williams on steroids.

Stop! In The Name Of Love

Dylan, then, was making, on Warhol a blatant attack over the airwaves of all America plus reviling Edie in a hideous manner.  What did Andy think, what was his reaction?  Having vented his feelings even more violently than he had in Ballad In Plain D, Dylan’s next move was obvious.  Having lost Edie in March he meant to reclaim her in October.  And so this epic battle for the person of Edie Sedgwick began.  She was only a pawn in their game.

Chaps. 6, 7 and 8 are up on the next post.

Chaps 9,10, 11 and 12 are now up on the post following 6,7 and 8.

 Chaps 13, 14 and 15 are now up also.  Chap. 16 and end is in contemplation

 

A Review

John

by

Cynthia Lennon

One Giant Step For Somebody

Review by R.E. Prindle

Lennon, Cythia: John, Three Rivers Press,  2005

Remember what the door knob said…

–Grace Slick

We built this city on Rock and Roll.

–Jefferson Starship

If you want to be a girl of mine

You’d better bring it with you when you come,

–Trad.

John and Cynthia- Sometime In Liverpool

     Cynthia Lennon’s autobiography of her life with John Lennon opens the door to a number of possibilities of which I’ll explore one, at least, here.

     Let’s begin with Lonnie Donegan’s 1955 hit The Rock Island Line.  Lonnie was the originator of his own genre- Skiffle Music.  Skiffle was all the rage in the British world from England to Australia to New Zealand while passing very lightly over the States except for the fortunate few of which I was one.  Rock Island Line was a major hit in the US though.

     Lonnie, may he rest in peace, was also the originator of the Big Beat.  Of course Lennon and most of the young English rockers studied at Lonnie’s feet.  The first band Lennon formed, the Quarrymen, was a Skiffle band.  That was back in the fifties before the second stage of the big change kicked off.  The first stage began about 1950 with Johnny Ray and his song Cry.

     Eisenhower had the world pretty well organized in 1960 before John Kennedy stole the baton from the intended successor, Richard Nixon.  With the accession of Kennedy the American personality or identity, such as it was, began to disintegrate- I mean in the psychological sense.

     The Celts tried to establish Kennedy as the second coming of King Arthur and his Camelot.  Not the smartest thing they could have done; a couple bullets fired in Dallas on November 22, 1963 put a period to that dream.  By the then the sixties were fairly launched about to begin in earnest in January of 1964 when Lennon’s next group, the Beatles, hit.

     The Beatles began as a Big Beat band rooted in the fifties.  Seized by the avant garde they were made the avatar of the sixties.  In their own way they launched the sixties although the makins’ were already out of the can.  Kennedy was shot almost in December and in January the Fab Four washed his memory out on the Ed Sullivan Show.  The Kennedy assassination was so then, then.  The Beatles were NOW.  IS in capital letters.

     While the Beatles were revamping fifties music they edged into the future with modified Prince Valiant haircuts and collarless suit jackets.  They were then NEW emerging into a brave new world.

     Almost at the beginning of 1960 the art world was shaken by the emergence of Pop Art.  Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and especially Andy Warhol with his Campbell’s Soup Can set the sixties on its ear.  On

Premier example of Pop Art

the film scene the James Bond series with its new sensibility began.  Bond also was a revelation portending changes with unintended consequences.

     Pop Art would figure signficantly in Cynthia Lennon’s life in a few years when one of its more laughable practitioners, Yoko Ono, would step into her life and filch her husband from her.  In fact Pop Art would be inextricably linked with the record industry.  All the pop motifs would find their way onto record covers with increasing frequency.  Tiny Alice would have a cover that opened like a match book.  Talking Head’s colored disc would even become a happening designed by Rauschenberg himself.  The burgeoning poster business would find its way into record sleeves.  Astonishing packages never seen before in the record business although perhaps anticipated by the experimental ESP label of NYC.  Some interesting stuff.   Perhaps Milton Glaser’s poster of Bob Dylan could run for the distinction of the most popular poster design of the whole era.  It was innovation itself at the time although not quite so fresh today.

     Now, all this was happening so fast and from so many directions that it was impossible to get it all or even keep up on what you did get; after all people had lives to live.

     In the San Francisco Bay Area where I was during the sixties the Scene was especially heavy.  I wasn’t in the thick of things but a little off to the side.  Thus while the UC Berkeley Free Speech Brouhaha took center stage in the East Bay, Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and the Acid Tests were simmering on the Peninsula, but actually invading the middle class especially at Stanford and UC Berkeley.  The San Fransciso Mime Troupe was very important in the early stages while Bill Graham was commercializing the Trips Festival with his Fillmore shows and Chet Helms was organizing the Avalon Ballroom out at the beach.  The posters for the ballrooms which epitomized the psychedelic was the first inkling I had that something ‘new’ was happening.  I don’t know how quick on the uptake I was  but the first inkling of New York Pop I had was 1966-67 when I opened a poster store soon to be a record store.

     LA, always commercial, would nevertheless provide the great Ron Cobb political cartoons for the LA Free Press one of the best of the Hippie papers soon to degenerate into porn as did the Berkeley Barb and all the rest.  R. Crumb in San Francisco became the king of Hippie porn which characterized the movement from then on.  The scene was then set for George and Pattie Harrison’s famous descent on the Haight-Ashbury that disappointed them so.

     This brief sketch only contains a few of the highlights of the period.  It was into this world that John and Cynthia Lennon stepped unprepared.  Both Cynthia and John came from a background of very low expectations.  Cynthia’s dreams were very modest while per her John’s dreaming was no bigger than reaching the tops of the pops in England.

     Indeed the much touted German clubs showed no promise of a future whatever.  Essentially playing in brothels in Hamburg one wonders what the ‘lads’ were thinking of the whole process.  The wonder is that they paid enough attention to hone their skills.  One of those making lemonade from lemons situations.

     Only the greatest good luck showed them to success and fortune.  They would have labored in the vineyard for a while and then drifted off into jobs but for the fact that an entrepreneurial romantic by the name of Brian Epstein saw them as the vehicle to realize his own dreams.  He had the direction and energy to galvanize their careers.  Still they were rejected by all the labels until a producer, George Martin, apparently heard what the rest of the world would hear and agreed to record them.  It was then that the unbelievable happened elevating the Beatles into the most successful pop group ever.  It was success far beyond their imaginations.  With that success came challenges that neither John nor Cynthia could meet.  The fact that they failed is no reflection on either one; they came from very low expectations and having fallen down the rabbit hole they were slightly unprepared.  ‘One side makes you larger, the other side makes you smaller.’

     To this time in their lives neither had even eaten at anything other than the English equivalent of McDonald’s, fish and chips or whatever.  Now in one great step they were introduced into the haut ton by their manager Brian Epstein.  Cynthia leads us to believe that Epstein gave special attention to John over the other ‘lads.’  As Epstein was a homosexual and as other sources, Peter Brown, Goldman actually state that Epstein seduced Lennon he obviously had a crush on John seeking to mold him in his own image.  Indeed, John may have been his incentive for taking the Beatles on.  Lust at first sight.

     John had an attractive flip attitude that left the impression that he was much better educated than he was.  Actually he left Art School, already a step down from the top,  flunked out or whatever preferring to devote himself to his guitar chords.  Most of the rockers were in the same situation.  It’s amazing that their fans looked to them for salvation.  This was tragic, because the generation invested all their hopes and dreams in these muscians attributing universal knowledge and genius to them, each and everyone.  While they all did changes on certain political and social themes there was an appearance of ‘deep’ knowledge.  Being anti-pollution was a badge of authority.  Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane made the mistake if, one hopes, jesting that one should never trust anyone over thirty; this while she, John and others were about twenty-nine.

     The phrase stuck.  Those under thirty trusted these youthful, perhaps well-meaning rock stars.  Being somewhat older at the time I could only see some very ordinary boys and girls who were just youthful wiseacres as we all were in that phase of our journey through life.  Give me a break.

     The most revered of all were the three Beatles John, Paul and George with Ringo thought of more as the court jester.  John seemed to take his role most seriously as the guru of the generation, especially after he abandoned Cynthia for, spare me, the psychotic Yoko Ono.

     Her abandonment by John for Yoko Ono is of course the most traumatic incident in her story.  One can only commiserate with Cynthia.  Then one has to search for reasons why; there was certainly no physical attraction there.  Lennon did release a solo album called Mind Games so perhaps the best place to look is the mental.  Lennon’s success must have placed great stresses of various kinds on him.  The transition from a fair degree of poverty to one of a very large income to great wealth under the management of Yoko Ono would be psychologically unsettling in itself.  Cynthia was unable to transit from poverty to wealth always remaining a lower middle class haus frau while John appears to have lacked the social climbing instincts of, say, Mick Jagger.

     Musicians in general are held in very low esteem by the social elite so without unbounded desire and chutzpah, an ability to endure slights of the most painful kind it is highly unlikely that a musician would ever find acceptance in society.  The aristocrats, Marrianne Faithfull describes as associating with Jagger appear to me to be more of the Black Sheep variety.  So, Lennon may have been experiencing some frustration at that level.

     At the same time there are numerous flatterers who are adept at putting ideas of omnipotence into your head not only intimating but saying that you are godlike.  Even though one rejects the notion on the conscious level still a feeling of super powers creeps into your subliminal mind.  One feels invulnerable, that one can do what’s never been done, that one can do drugs with impunity.  There was never a time when the availability of drugs was ever greater or more socially acceptable.

     At the time rumors abounded which have since turned into facts.  During the Kennedy administration there was one Dr. Feelgood operating in New York to whom the social elite went for their drugs.  His name was Dr. Max Jacobson and he was your friendly amphetamine pusher.  His speed cocktails were extraordinary and they lasted for days.   It’s comforting to know that President John F. Kennedy was amphetamine fueled while he was making those difficult international decisions- like Cuba.  Nothing like having an A-man on the job.  He wasn’t alone, VP Lyndon Johnson, followed in his footsteps into the office of Dr. Feelgood.  He would have found his place at the end of the line of the NYC elite.

     One person who took the good doctor’s prescription said that he went blind for three days staying high for several.  Max was the economic type, dirty needles too.

     At the same time Dr. Timothy Leary was sending everyone from prison inmates to Beat poet Allen Ginsberg tripping into inner space with his free handed distribution of LSD.  Kennedy was involved in that too.

     Prior to their arrival for the Sullivan show we are led to believe that the Mop Tops had only used pep pills in Hamburg to fuel their twelve hour sets.  We are told that Bob Dylan was the one who turned them on to La Cucuracha, the most mild of the intoxicants.  From there the boys graduated to LSD through spiked drinks or food.

     Just as Harrison’s wife, Patti, records a spiked introduction to LSD so does Cynthia Lennon.  Cynthia quite properly was revolted by drugs having no use for them.  John was quite the opposite.  He embraced LSD apparently ingesting regularly for long periods of time.  As he would describe it, thousands of trips.  At that point in my estimation the marriage was over.  There is nothing for which Cynthia has to reproach herself except for her small divorce settlement.  Nothing disintegrates the personality like drugs.

The Ghost In The Machine- Albert Hofmann

     The drug influence was followed by a change in their music patterned after Dylan.  When I first heard the Rubber Soul album I found it extremely noisy and unpleasant.  This album was probably influenced by the Band’s playing behind Dylan on the ’65-’66 tour or perhaps the Bringing It All Back Home and Highway ’61 albums.  It seems p;robable to me that the song Norwegian Wood commemorated  Dylan’s turning them on to marijuana.  The girl obviously represents Dylan.

      Succeeding albums would aim for a ‘heavier’ feel with more social significance.  As Lennon said in his ’80 Playboy interview, I Am The Walrus was written in imitation of Dylan.

     The cover of Rubber Soul was traditional uninfluenced by pop art trends.  The succeeding cover in the US, the famous ‘Butcher’ cover would be widely interpreted in the US as a comment on the Viet Nam War.  It may have been meant as a pun- prime cuts of  both meat and record tracks, but I don’t know.  Whether there was a Pop Art influence isn’t clear.

     The cover for the following Revolver by Klaus Voorman seems to indicate an awareness of Pop.  For a band that was thought to be on the cutting edge of everything there are only two covers very avant garde with neither being very satisfying to me.

Acid Art- Victor Vasarely

     Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band that follows Revolver is a complete Pop Art package.  A bizarre and macabre conception it does succeed.  The grave in the foreground with the floral Beatles is chilling, perhaps a presage of the break up of the band.  As Dylan said:  If you’re not busy being born you’re busy dying.’   The Beatles are pictured in dead black and white looking down mournfully on their grave while the newly born Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band stand front and center in vibrant living color.  Obviously the one has risen from the other.

     Behind the band are row on row of ‘ancestors’ or, as was commonly assumed, influences.  In fact members of the band contributed only a few of the names while the rest were contributed by others.  Dylan is certainly among the pictures.  The album comes complete with a childhood toy, a sheet of cut outs, making a complete Pop Art package.  They could have had a designed inner sleeve but they overlooked that.  Peter Blake, the main designer, is known as a Pop Artist.

     The musical content follows the downer social significance motif with aural pyrotechnics such as had not been heard on record before.  The release, as everyone is aware, was a complete smash, but it went beyond smash into realms not achieved until Michael Jackson’s Thriller.  Thriller failed to excite as did Sgt. Peppers.  That summer of ’67 was literally a surround of Sgt. Peppers.  It was almost the only record anyone played.  The Beatles easily trumped Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde  of the summer of  ’66.

     The rest of the Beatles’  covers are pedestrian.  The White LP probably influenced by One was trite at the time.

     Cynthia seems to lack all understanding of what tremendous pressures the very unstable Lennon was subjected to , how his mind was being affected by adulation from the fans and respect from the world at large.  Kid me, being named one of the three most influential men in the world wouldn’t have inflated the head of a Liverpool loser?  My god, the Beatles even sung ‘I’m a loser.’  I couldn’t believe anyhone would sing such a song much less the Beatles who were clearly winners.  How does one endure thinking of oneself as a loser on one hand and one of the most influential men in the world on the other?

     At the same time that Lennon was enlarged Cynthia shrunk into the Liverpool realities of her youth.  The couple had a mansion but unfamiliar with so much space Cynthia preferred to live in one small room!  Clearly she was not equal to the demands of her situation.

     The situation became critical when Lennon began mass consumption of drugs, including heroin, which Cynthia correctly declined to do while at the same time the poisonous Yoko Ono injected herself into Lennon’s life.  There was no hope for Cynthia.  Yoko Ono was a walking disaster looking for a place to happen- and then there was John.

Yoko Ono- Single Fantasy

     Quite frankly Yoko Ono’s ‘career’ was going nowhere.  Born in 1933 she was 33 in 1966 when she began her assault on John who was 25.

     The sexual dynamic is that Lennon seemed to prefer older women than himself having a masochistic submission impulse.  Cynthia herself was a year older.  She too apparently sought security in younger men.  Her second husband was two years younger and her third six.  She seemed to lack the dominating impulse to make such marriages work.  Ono had it in spades.

     While John was by this time psychotic, Ono had been so from childhood, in addition she seems to suffer from extreme cognitive dissonance.  Ono got the rock critic Robert Palmer to shill for her in her 1992 release, Onobox.  In the essay Palmer states:

     It is quite likely that having John Lennon fall in love with her was the worst thing that could have happened to Yoko Ono’s career as an artist.

     Notice the lack of mention of falling in love with Lennon.  This was written, I almost said, dictated to Palmer, in 1992 twelve years after Lennon’s death.  No serious critic could have written that line so one must assume that it was dictated by Ono herself.  The line shows how far she has distanced herself from reality.

     Ono was in fact, a poor little rich girl.  As a woman she felt inferior to the male writing such pieces as ‘Woman Is The Nigger Of The World.’   Once again cognitive dissonance.  Yoko Ono was never in the position of being  ‘a nigger in the world.’  It is true that her father advised her against attempting composing believing that women didn’t make good composers.  How wrong was he, hey?  Ono milked every man she was ever with before actually going into the dairy business herself.  Secondly, having chosen to enter the Western world as an Asian she places her artistic neglect on the twin facts that he is a woman and an Asian.  It never occurs to her that her art is unpleasing.

     As an artist, whether woman or not, Asian or not, she had nothing to offer the art loving peoples of the world.  In this increasingly globalized world of the sixties being Asian meant nothing while being a woman held no one with talent back.  Indeed, male artists were increasingly being suppressed in favor of women in all the arts.  If all girl rock bands isn’t an oxymoron I don’t know what is.

     By her own admission she thought she was an influential person in the New York City art world of the early sixties after an apprenticeship of one year even gaining  ‘an international reputation.’  As she told May Pang:  I was famous before I met John.  So, one asks how does one reconcile her imagined great success with the feeling of being held back as an Asian and woman?

      She rented a loft for fifty dollars a month which she coyly implies that as a starving artist the money was not easy to find.  Well, Daddy was only a phone call away, she should have reached out and touched him.  You can be sure he wasn’t going to let his little girl starve.  By comparison I was paying 125.00 a month for an apartment in the Bay Area.  I think we can dismiss the impoverished struggling artist scenario as so much more cognitive dissonance.

     Ono spread herself pretty thin apparently attempting to cover all aspects of the avant garde.  She’s keen on belonging to the avant garde.  In music she patterned herself after John Cage and that weird contemporary ‘classical music’ approach with perhaps more than a nod to the early electronic composers such as Robert Maxwell who she mentions.  She began her career in 1969 between the end of the Absract Expression mode and the beginningof the Pop movement so she was too late for the one and too early for the other.  She and Lennon would try to rectify this in 1971 by doing obeisance to the Pop guru, Andy Warhol.

     In 1961 she threw a party and was devastated that a snow storm discouraged the uptown crowd she had invited from coming.  At least she said there was a snow storm.  This may be another instance of cognitive dissonance.  As she was an actual nobody she had no reason to expect society people to attend, snow storm or no snow storm.   Nevertheless she was devastated, leaving town for Japan shortly thereafter.  One may question where she obtained the fare for that flight when she had difficulty of meeting a fifty dollar rent bill.

     In Japan she acquired her first husband simultaneously being committed to an insane asylum.  As difficult as it may be to believe, her  soon to be second husband, Tony Cox, heard these marvelous things about Ono in NYC deciding to fly to Japan to look her up.  He found her thoroughly doped staggering around the halls of the asylum.  He succeeded in getting her released then he, Ono and her first husband formed a menage a trois.  The first husband wisely was the first to leave so Cox claimed the prize and the couple returned to NYC in 1964 so she is having an eventful four years.  Shortly after their arrival they pulled up stakes and headed further East to London.  Of the move Ono says:

     I thought (the) avant garde world in New York was still very exciting but that it was starting to become an institution in itself, and there were rules and regulations in an invisible way, and I just wanted to get out of it.  I never considered myself a member of any group.  I was just doing my own thing.

     That is just another way of saying that the art scene was a cliquish group in its terminal stages that was difficult or impossible to break into so unable to do so Ono was ‘just doing her own thing.’  It might be noted however that the NYC art scene was or was in becoming a nearly totally homosexual affair.  At any rate we have evidence of sour grapes- I never considered myself a member of any group.  And the result of rejection-  I was just doing my own thing.

     After her rejection she ‘composed’ a musical piece called Wall Piece For Orchestra in which she knelt on a stage and repeatedly banged her heard on the floor.  Today that would be called ‘acting out.’

     Off to new worlds to conquer in London and at the Indica Gallery of John Dunbar, the resident ‘head’ art gallery.  Now, at this point she ‘ruined her career’ by pursuing John Lennon until he caught her.  I imagine that she had been shrewdly observing his career and undoubtedly came to the psychological conclusion that he was a dependent personality who could be easily manipulated by the older maternal type with the right touch.  That John Lennon could be made dependent on this woman eight years his senior is proof positive.  Indeed, John even referred to her as Mother.

     Cynthia for whom the role was impossible correctly assessed the situation noting the influence of Lennon’s Aunt Mimi who brought him up.  Ono courted Lennon, interfering directly in his marriage.  Ono was quite willing to drug herself along with Lennon so that both were heroin addicts.  Ono thus established a sado-masochistic control over Lennon that Cynthia had no chance of breaking.

     Rather than ruining Ono’s career the ‘third most influential man’ in the world gave her a stage on which to perform that she could never have found on her own.  She now considered herself a collaborator with the Beatles.  The injection of the Cage and Maxwell garbage combined with Lennon’s erratic behavior produced the nonsense of Revolution #9 on the White Album.

     Lennon on drugs and under the influenceof Ono, who had her motives, according to Dire Corrector’s blog quoting the biographer of Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, says:

     The meditation had essentially precipitated a nervous breakdnown which was not helped by John’s tremendous drug intake.  On May 18, 1966 he summoned a meeting of the Beatles at Apple and announced to them that he was Jesus Christ…the night after he told the other Beatles that he was the Savior, he finally called Yoko Ono and told her to come over.

     Quite obviously Lennon was either teetering on the brink or had fallen over the edge.   If he hadn’t broken with Cynthia by this time it is quite clear that apart from a certain inappropriateness of being wed to the Savior she was quite innocent of causing the break in any manner and should have a clear conscience.

     Lennon’s state of mind would explain the insensitive manner in which he broke with Cynthia and its aftermath.  The man must not have been in his right mind.  While easing Cynthia out was relatively easy, from Ono’s end Tony Cox to whom she was still married was not such a simple matter.  One wonders why he would fight so hard to keep a women who was so psychotic.  Perhaps it was their daughter who he later took into hiding to keep her away from Ono.  Justly so, it seems.

     At any rate by ’69 Ono and Lennon were free to marry.  Definitely by this point Lennon had all but surrendered his identity to Ono.  She was now in possession of the reputation of one of the three most influential men in the world.  Blending her identity with his she was about to become hermaphroditic.  Perhaps Lennon was overawed by her avant garde credentials, such as they were, as well as whatever passed for her musical sensibilities.

     She became Yoko Ono Lennon while he legally changed his name to John Ono Lennon so they both became Ono Lennons.  After a number of happenings which one must believe were entirely Ono’s conceptions, such as the ‘bed in’ in Holland and the organization of the Plastic Ono Band, the pair settled in New York in an apartment building known as the Dakota.  The Dakota was a connection to Ono’s past fulfilling an old desire to surpass those uptown types who she felt had slighted her.

     In that connection also the cover of the Plastic Ono Band is a fulfillment of an old desire of Ono’s.  While a child she witnessed the fire bombing of Tokyo in the US attempt to bring an end to the war.  The blue sky was obliterated by the billowing clouds of smoke.  While she didn’t witness Hiroshima yet she imagined the same sky as that over Tokyo.   She then developed a blue sky obsession.  If you notice the cover of the Plastic Ono Band is just a blue sky.  One assumes then that Ono’s plans were coming together.

     The NYC art world of 1960-’61 had shifted totally, the Abstract Expressionists she had tried to piggyback on were gone having been replaced by Pop Art of which Andy Warhol was the reigning doyen.  If the Abstract Expressionists had been exclusive Warhol was nothing if not inclusive.  He worshipped celebrities and Lennon was the number one celebrity.  Himself a groupie and maximum social climber he welcomed an association with the Onos.  For Yoko Ono the association with the leaderof the NYC art scene was her dream come true.  Nothing but blue skies from now on.

     In the accompanying picture you will notice that Warhol is seated in between a standing Yoko Ono with one hand on her right tit while his hand is on a drugged out looking John Ono with his hand on Warhol’s crotch.  The symbolism is quite clear.  The standing Yoko

The transfer of power.

 is the master of two emasculated males who happen to be two of the most influential men in the world.  She ain’t no nigger no more, Maggie’s Farm is a thing of the past, yes, men are now niggers in relation to herself.  Warhol as an artist takes precedence over the disposable oafish John Ono.  Yoko is tallest and standing, Warhol is second tallest and sitting while the now disposable John is lowest, lying on his back.  The future is clear.  Study John’s face; study all three faces.

     The sexually besotted John Ono has surrendered his entire identity even as a musician allowing Yoko Ono to usurp his place by putting out those horrid hideous LP musical montrosities.  Robert Palmer aside, with song titles reminiscent of her head bashing days:  What A Bastard The World Is, I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Glass Window,  Woman Of Salem (Witches), Coffin Car, Hell In Paradise and Walking On Thin Ice.  Clearly this woman had an unsettled, disturbed mind.

      Having usuped Lennon’s role and identity he became expendable.  Her problem now was to transfer his past and his wealth to herself thereby becoming Yoko-John Ono, Double Fantasy.  Two fantasies melding into her one personality.

     John Ono’s finances were, of course, in complete disorder.   As Yoko was soon to show billions of dollars were disappearing down a sink hole.  She rapidly organized his finances turning his money green.  Within short order the Onos were worth a hundred million or so which she would swell to a billion or more after John’s death.

     I imagine it was fairly easy to have John Ono give her a power of attorney, indeed he forked over his identity allowing her to function in his stead as himself.  An awesome abdication.  A POA would negate the need for a will, and indeed having made herself not only co-owner of John’s assets as well as his identity Yoko Ono would merely acquire full ownership leaving no assets to be willed.  Indeed, she could have turned him out penniless at any time.  When Cynthia was clamoring for a reading of the will she was wasting her breath; if a will existed, unlikely in itself, there would have been no assets to bequeath.

     Yoko Ono having now incorporated John Ono’s reputation and identity into her own had also incorporated the assets and with the assets the legacy of all copyrights held by John Lennon as the double fantasy melded into one fantasy.  The only obstacle to Yoko’s apotheosis  into man-woman was John himself as he was alive.  However John was only thirty-five.  To wait thirty-five years or more with a man she didn’t love or even like would be unbearable.  Some hard thinking was in order.

     She manipulated the poor dolt into thinking he was a boorish oaf who needed to go off to get himself together.  Rather than just sending him off she chose an employee, May Pang, an Asian like herself, to be John’s consort while away.

     In reading May Pang’s book, Loving John, it becomes clear that Yoko Ono was a master hypnotist.  She knew how to make suggestions and have people act on them.  Acccording to Pang she fixed an hypnotic glare on one, assuming an authoritative posture while intoning her suggestion.  She had the reputation of always getting her way.

     Of course her version of what happened is different than Pang’s.  Yoko having suggested she go  off with John, the act was soon consummated.  Pang insists she and John were in love, yet a year and a half later when Yoko called John back he came running.

     Thus, from 1975 to Double Fantasy in 1980 Yoko and John Ono were out of public life living as a double fantasy of Howard Hughes.  Then in 1980 Mark Chapman became the man who shot John Lennon.  There have been speculations that Chapman was hypnotized when he committed his deed.  Conspiracy theories therefore have sprung up.

     One must ask who the death of John Lennon benefited.  Two possible people.  Yoko One on one hand and possibly Chapman on the other.  On the one hand Yoko Ono achieved the psychotic desire to escape being the ‘nigger of the world’ by becoming John Ono Lennon while physically remaining the sweet little girl she had been before the fire bombing of Tokyo.  She was unable to manage the memory of that transformative experience.  In her mind, then, she became the prominent artist-musician of the world.

     I don’t believe the government had anything to do with the assassination.

     As we know Yoko Ono was a master hypnotist; the question is how did she find Mark Chapman and how did she hypnotize him?

     Earlier in the day Chapman had approached Lennon for an autograph.  He can be seen worshipfully  smiling beside his hero in the picture.  There appears to be no indication he meant to harm Lennon.  He might easily have shot him point blank at the time, yet when he came back in the afternoon with a voice in his head insistently saying:  Do it. Do it. Do it. he gunned his hero down.

     At the time Yoko Ono had dropped a few steps behind John.  In similar murder attempts, people step away from the intended victim so as not to be caught in the line of fire.  This may have been the case with Yoko.

     Certainly Yoko is opposed to Chapman’s release from prison even though he has fulfilled the twenty year requirement of twenty to life.  I doubt if he is a threat to society however he may be a threat to Yoko Ono if he were to remember or reveal the details leading up to his shooting of John Ono Lennon.

     Of course, I don’t know why Chapman shot but I do know that Yoko Ono Lennon was the sole beneficiary.  She left Cynthia holding the bag while she realized her double fantasy.

 

Double Fantasy- Yoko Looking Over John's Granny Glasses