Paul's 1981 Conversation w/ Hunter Davies Mar 1, 2011 6:06:43 GMT -5
Post by nicole21290 on Mar 1, 2011 6:06:43 GMT -5
Yes, there are other interviews where Paul expresses sorrow but this 1981 series of statements made to Davies is basically a pity party by Paul for himself.
John was the first to admit that he wasn't a saint yet Paul works pretty hard in these series of statements to make the point that John was no saint. It wasn't John's fault or desire to be murdered. The grief felt throughout the world for John's death was not manufactured, it was real.
In 1981, I naively turned to Paul for comfort and healing and these statements were then thrown in our faces and it personally felt to me like Paul had punched me in the gut with the infamous lines like “a maneuvering swine” and "Martin Luther Lennon."
Sorry but that was how I felt back then and rereading some of these quips still makes me upset.
I see. As I said, I kind of just got slightly mad then and had to dash off a quick reply before my next lecture at uni... Sorry!
I guess it's very different for me because I wasn't even born until 10 years after John's death. As I've grown up I've only read interview after interview of Paul talking lovingly and warmly about John.
I'd agree that Paul was very self-pitying in this telephone conversation but god, it was a telephone conversation to his friend a few months after John's death. I don't think Paul is 'working' trying to make John un-saintlike. Besides, in saying that John wasn't a saint - isn't that just the truth? Paul didn't say he didn't think the world of Lennon, that he didn't think he was a good person, that he was a bad father to Jules - none of that. He did make the point that John wasn't a saint and did so in terms that are regrettable but it's true - he wasn't a saint. I think he's trying to explain his own emotions and feelings and hurts and does so in a rather all-over-the-place manner. It's not like he sat down with pencil and paper, made a list of exactly why John wasn't a saint and read it to Davies. Of course John didn't desire to be murdered or seen as a saint and I don't see where Paul is saying he was. He's concerened about the media perception and the general public more than anything and he knew and knows the grief over John was real - he has talked about how loveable John was and how everyone loved him (and not in this case comparing this love to how others perceive Paul himself). Even in these statements he talks about how he always looked up to John, how great he was, how much the 'it's only me' moment meant to him (it was a frigging mantra in his mind, apparently...) He'd talked about how painful it is to have John appear in his dreams and then wake up to the realisation that he's no longer alive.
I understand that this may have been incredibly hurtful to see that Paul had said these things about John but I get equally upset seeing John or Paul diminishing or insulting the other in the interviews through the 1970s and 1980. 1981 was a particularly sensitive time, I grant, and it's unfortunate that you had to read this stuff. However, I don't think Paul wanted this conversation out in the open - everyone knows how much he likes to remember the good times, try and convey optimism and happiness, how he likes to gloss over negative times quite often. People always bang on about Paulie-the-PR-man: such a man would not have wanted this out in the open, I don't think. I mean, he's underplayed the depression he had at The Beatles breakup and over his mother's death etc - he doesn't like to go on and on about his own pain - when he does talk about it he often also talks about how much worse John had it and how painful John's childhood etc was. In the mid-eighties he talked about how he'd always thought that to be loved and like you had to appear 'unwarty' - trying not to show your faults and insecurities.
You've got to remember that Paul was (I would say) more hurt and upset and angry and devastated over John's death than you and we don't always respond well in grief (Paul certainly hadn't when his Mum died or when Stu died...). Sure, those comments are regrettable and I don't think Paul would look back on them and go "I'm so pleased I said that and now everyone will think even better of me". Also remember that, as Davies said, this conversation was a particular one in response to something else -that something else being a comment by Yoko that deeply, deeply hurt Paul and which seemed to be utterly bewildering and painful to him - that HE was the person who'd most hurt John in his life.
Do you blame Paul for saying these things in a private conversation (evidently, to me at least, in hurt and confusion and anger) or do you blame Hunter Davies for publishing them for a new edition of his book? You probably would've never heard these comments if it weren't for the latter, I don't think...
Paul was talking on a radio show about his new (at that time) Tug Of War album and after discussing 'Here Today' he was asked about Somebody Who Cares and said he was thinking about John whilst writing that too. He sympathises with people's loss - he understands it (see also: Too Much Rain, Little Willow). The lyrics of that song may not be the best he's ever written but I think he meant it...
When your body is coming apart at the seams
And the whole thing's feeling low
You're convincing yourself
That there's nobody there, I know
I know how you feel
As I say, I understand your perspective on this but I can't say I agree with some of the conclusions you draw... Nevertheless, I'm sorry you felt so hurt by it. Really.