Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"...exactly what he was"

In my "Assorted John news" post from several days ago, I linked to this Rolling Stone article, which quotes Yoko on a number of topics. She mainly talked about the forthcoming documentary LENNONYC, but she also touched on the reissues of John's post-Beatles albums that will be available in October. I found her comments intriguing:

Ono said the upcoming October 4th reissues of Lennon's post-Beatles albums would focus on his best-known solo music, and not include the experimental works Two Virgins and Life With the Lions. "I want it to be known exactly what he was (BL's bold print) — he was a brilliant singer-songwriter and a rocker," she said, "and I don't want something like the avant-garde sneaking in there."

Perhaps she's done this before and I just didn't notice, but with these words Yoko seems to be deliberately distancing John's legacy ("he was a brilliant singer-songwriter and a rocker") from the avant-garde works he put out in the late '60s. It's hard not to be struck by this because both Two Virgins and Life With the Lions are albums that Yoko was heavily involved in making. As John Harris recently observed, it was Yoko more than anyone else who helped to push Lennon in the experimental direction. She did not serve as a check on him like Paul did; she was, in fact, an enabler of some of his indulgences. And now she has taken to dismissing her collaborations with him? Interesting, no?

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