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Relatively interesting stuff going around this weekend about an exchange between John Lennon and a guy named John Hoyland in 1968. All on the occasion of a documentary that just aired on ITV, and which at least had a nifty sequence on the paris posterers.

He was absolutely furious. “Dear John,” he began. “Your letter didn’t sound patronising – it was. Who do you think you are? What do you think you know?… I know what I’m up against – narrow minds – rich/poor… I don’t remember saying that Revolution was revolutionary – fuck Mrs Dale… You say: ‘In order to change the world we’ve got to understand what’s wrong with the world. And then – destroy it. Ruthlessly.’ You’re obviously on a destruction kick I’ll tell you what’s wrong with the world – people – so do you want to destroy them?”

He also asked, pertinently: “What kind of system do you propose and who would run it?” and finished: “Look man, I was/am not against you. Instead of splitting hairs about the Beatles and the Stones – think a little bigger – look at the world we’re living in, John, and ask yourself: why? And then – come and join us. Love, John Lennon. PS – You smash it – and I’ll build round it.”

I had the last word in a reply that we printed below his letter. “What makes you so sure that a lot of us haven’t changed our heads in something like the way you recommend – and then found it wasn’t enough, because we simply cannot be turned on and happy when you know that kids are being roasted to death in Vietnam, when all around you, you see people’s individuality being stunted by the system.”

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 17, 2008 at 12:11 am

Posted in distraction, revolt

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One Response

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  1. Tariq Ali talks about this in his memoir ‘Street Fighting Years’, too.

    Mike Beggs

    March 17, 2008 at 10:58 pm


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