“Lucy in the Mind of Lennon”

“Lucy in the Mind of Lennon”

One of the very best psychobiographies I’ve ever read—and I’ve read too many—is out soon, by Tim Kasser.  The focus is the song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”—whose opening still gives me serious chills—and John Lennon’s conscious and unconscious reasons for writing it.  Don’t miss this one if you enjoy studies of art and inner lives.  Get it HERE.

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21 thoughts on ““Lucy in the Mind of Lennon”

    1. no shit. i adore lennon. he was so fallible, so sharp, so vulnerable, so angry, so gifted. he’s everything, in one crowded package. “a day in the life” one of the best songs ever written. and there are so many more!

      1. Couldn’t agree more. Basically he was completely sincere always, and a no bullshit guy. His later solo albums are hugely underrated too, if they had been done by anyone lesser they would be seen as great works.

        1. very true. those solo songs are as good as anything he ever did–jealous guy, isolation, oh my love, imagine (of course). fuck, it’s all incredible. and yeah, he was one of those people who decided, almost by an act of will it seems, to have zero armor.

          1. Also the common view that McCartney was better on melodies and Lennon on lyrics is very relative; Lennon had tunes most other people would kill for (“Jealous Guy” being one).

  1. good point. i agree. i mean, songs like fool on the hill or eleanor rigby etc—all sweet melodies. but lennon’s tunes also amazing. i was talking to my kids the other day in the car. strawberry fields came on. i mentioned how it was put out as a single, with Penny Lane on the flipside. all you need to know abt the diffs between lennon and mccartney is revealed by comparing those two tunes. each written deliberately about childhood….

    1. Yes, arguably their greatest single, and held off the number 1 spot here in the UK by Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Please Release Me” in a bizarre miscarriage of pop justice. I get the impression The Beatles are actually even bigger in the US than here, judging by the sales of the Anthology CDs and the recent remasters. Anyway they have more or less entered the canon of classical composers, as well as their rock legacy.

  2. i always tell my kids they (the Beatles) are like space aliens, impossibly fecund, impossibly flawless. i see them on the order of picasso, van gogh, da vinci, etc. btw so weird you shd mention humperdinck. total sychronicity. just 2 hrs ago my mom asked me, out of nowhere: “why do i keep thinking the word humperdinck?” i said, “he was a singer.” she said, “oh.”

  3. Well Humperdinck humiliated himself last year on a kitsch, post-modern annual show we have in Europe, the Eurovision Song Contest. Perhaps a case of (not Instant) Karma. Yes, The Beatles were off the scale of mortal musical endeavour. It always astounds me that no one could see it initially, apart from Epstein with his uncanny prescience and determination, and George Martin taking a chance on them. All those rejections make for hilarious reading now. Just shows that in the entertainment industry, “nobody knows anything”.

  4. right. no shit. it’s one of those sadly rare instances when, in time, someone good was seen as good. i’d hate to be a musician today. the music is so depressingly bad–i mean, the popular music. has it always been that way? i sort of doubt it. actually, i do doubt it, definitely…. i was 7 when the Beatles split up and i distinctly recall it was a mood, in the US, of total catastrophe. how to even go on without the Beatles?!?

  5. Well I have a more immediate experience of this phenomenon, as a callow young recruit into the teenage band of which I was the undisputed leader is now in Coldplay. To a psychologist this probably explains my fascination, perhaps obsession, with the contingency of success and fame.

  6. dang. that would suck. it makes you start to wonder about luck, talent, randomness, and all those basically bewildering intersections. it almost makes me cry when real ability is, by some miracle, rewarded.

  7. Indeed, though if it miraculously gets out there at all, the good stuff tends to win out in the long term. I doubt many will be discussing Miss Swift or Chris Martin’s output in 50 years.

  8. Thanks. It would be funnier if it wasn’t so true. Actually in this day and age there is something noble and heroic in being an uncompromising, overlooked, struggling artist. That’s what I tell myself anyway. In the meantime I enjoy your insights into the psychic and creative processes of the talented AND lucky few.

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