Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Assorted John news

- As you'd expect, there's been much outrage expressed of late over John being used in a commercial for Citroën, a French automobile company. In the ad, not only do you find John's image, but there's also an imitation of his voice which is used to deliver an "inspirational" message about creativity, living in the moment, etc. Yoko obviously gave this her approval, and Sean Lennon has defended the commercial as a way to keep the memory of his father in the broader public consciousness. But these facts have not stemmed the flow of indignation from zealous fans of Lennon (see Sean's Twitter page for some acrimonious back-and-forths). At his Beatles Examiner digs, Steve Marinucci denounced any ad that puts words in a dead celebrity's mouth as "unbearable" (though earlier in the article, he stated that he was not too bothered by last year's One Laptop Per Child commercial, which showed John's likeness speaking dubbed lines). As I've stated before, I just can't get too worked up about this issue. It strikes me as far too inconsequential for the kind of passion that it elicits. Annoyance? Sure, because some of the ads can be exceedingly artless. But outrage? Fury? Righteous anger? No. Grow up. When Bill Harry, the founder of the Liverpool newspaper Mersey Beat, laments that this Citroën commercial is "totally out of order and will be depressing millions of Lennon fans," perhaps it's an indication, more than anything else, that those throngs of the soon-to-be or currently depressed need a radical adjustment of priorities.

- Here's some late coverage of "We Are Plastic Ono Band," and here's a review of Yoko's performance at the Noise Pop festival in Oakland.

- Nowhere Boy came up short at last month's BAFTAs. In related but much juicier news, the film's director, Sam Taylor Wood (age: 42), is carrying the child of Aaron Johnson, the 19 year-old actor who portrayed John Lennon. The two are engaged.

- "Don't Let Me Down: rise of the rock biopics."

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