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an opened lettuce to sodd runtlestuntle from dr. winston o'boogie
April 16, 2002 8:07 PM   Subscribe

an opened lettuce to sodd runtlestuntle from dr. winston o'boogie
"John Lennon ain't no revolutionary. He's a fucking idiot, man. Shouting about revolution and acting like an ass. It just makes people feel uncomfortable."
posted by quonsar (35 comments total)

 
I love Lennon's tactic of constantly abusing and mispronouncing Todd's name - it's juvenile and unoriginal but it always seems to work. On Bewitched, Endora used that tactic all the time to irritate Dagwood. Or Darwin. Darren. Whatever.
posted by iconomy at 8:16 PM on April 16, 2002


I don't know why we can't just give peace a chance. I'm sure Rodd Tundgren was a beautiful boy but just imagine what a jealous guy he is watching the wheels of Lennon's career spin out of control. Lennon is just playing mind games, but hey, whatever gets you through the night I guess. Power to the people.
posted by jaden at 8:30 PM on April 16, 2002


Endora used that tactic all the time to irritate Dagwood.

My favorite was when one of Samantha's relatives (not Endora, if memory serves) called him "Dustbin."
posted by diddlegnome at 8:44 PM on April 16, 2002


Lennon was an idiot. This is perhaps my most unpopular opinion. He was a stupid, pretentious, conceited bastard.
posted by Settle at 9:10 PM on April 16, 2002


Not so fast, Settle. In his younger days, he was also a loudmouthed, contrarian little speed freak. In other words, a much, much, more talented version of yourself.
posted by Optamystic at 9:33 PM on April 16, 2002


After a moment of consideration, I would be quite happy to pay $2600 if I could be assured that I would never hear a Beatles/Solo Beatle song again. (Monkey Paw caveat: I won't pay if one of you deafens me, or otherwise harms my head)
posted by thirteen at 9:45 PM on April 16, 2002


Great link, quonsar; never heard about this TR / JL exchange before. Sure Lennon was sometimes pretentious, also conceited. Aren’t we all, here in the Media Age? But as that opened lettuce to ‘Turd Runtgreen’ shows, he was far from stupid.
posted by LeLiLo at 9:54 PM on April 16, 2002


Wasn't that Turd Roentgen fella the Varmint of Skink Wallow?
posted by pracowity at 10:33 PM on April 16, 2002


Yep. Did you know that Rundgren toured in a Beatles cover band last summer?
posted by shinybeast at 10:53 PM on April 16, 2002


I remember reading this exchange in Ray Coleman's excellent Lennon bio. I do admire how John manages to shred all of Rundgren'a arguments while still managing to flatter him a little at the same time.

I gotta disagree with John on one thing though. "I Saw the Light" was a great song but the best thing Todd Rundgren was ever involved in was "Open My Eyes" from his old garage band The Nazz, closely followed by the fact that he produced the first New York Dolls album.

That damn covers thread has got my brain in music trivia mode. I should stop now before I snap a synapse or something.
posted by jonmc at 10:57 PM on April 16, 2002


quonsar thanks for the stupendous link.

any reference to Godd Rundgren is imho horribly incomplete without at least a few blasts from R. Meltzer's infamous "A Fatal Jerkoff on the Moon":
There was this party for Robert Mapplethorpe at the Chelsea and there was a shopping cart full of cans of Budweiser rolling around and guys were starting to snap em open. Plus they would drink em. Well then somebody dumped an ounce of boo on the table and cats and kitties got their kicks that way and the beering halted. Well then Todd Rundgren lit a match. He stuck the match down there with the ounce and he was still holding it so's he could get a good fire going without the light going out. There weren't too many matches left. Well no sooner had the ounce fire gotten off the ground than the area was mobbed with grass fans opposed to the blaze. And it wasn't cause they were Smokey the Bear types, it was cause if there was gonna be a fire they wanted it inside a joint. Jesus the world sure has a mile of weird creatures with even weirder preferences! And they were all lined up around the forest fire even though it wasn't a forest. Some people used to call it a forest when it was just seeds and stems -- mostly stems -- because that's the way it looked. This wasn't even a forest, it looked a lot more like lawn mower cuttings shredded up even more. Some people like it like that but Todd saw thru their dumb game and he was having the most fun at the party. There was even a joint made up of a dollar bill with the stuff rolled up in it, if the stuff was gonna get smoked it would have to be under unusual circumstances or over Todd's dead body. And he wasn't gonna die for anybody..."
posted by ssdecontrol at 11:45 PM on April 16, 2002


Who knows what Meltzer was huffing that day? Perhaps it was just seeds and stems. Here's another pungent comment from Meltzer: "But to be backstage at some of these shows, to have ANY connection to these musicians, by then, these musicians were LOATHsome, and yes, there are exceptions. I never minded Iggy Pop as a person. Todd Rundgren wasn't too much of an asshole. And for a while Patti Smith, but by the time Patti Smith was a celebrity, she was a PIG..."
posted by shinybeast at 2:44 AM on April 17, 2002


Meltzer's writing has certain elements in common with clavdivs's at times. Settel, you're an impertinent twerp.
posted by y2karl at 7:40 AM on April 17, 2002


Let's put this in context. Rundgren was writing not long after Lennon had put out one of the most wretched albums ever created by a human being: "Some Time in New York City." Can you remember the overwhelming embarrassment you first felt at this inept, ham-handed attempt to be revolutionary NYC street person? Lennon was like R. Crumb's "A Honkie Visits the Lower East Side", giving the peace sign, and saying, "I love you people." I was a vicious Marxist radical and rabid Beatle fan at the time, and I and my compadres were speechless shame that Lennon could have produced such a nit-witty work -- and with such a knuckle-headed band (Elephant's Memory, whom Lennon mistook for, like, real authentic New York guys). Also, this was right about the time that Lennon started wearing that stupid oversized cloth cap -- you know the one I mean. (Dion still wears his!) That cap alone was enough to have dropped Lennon off any list of even marginally hip people of the twentieth century. PLUS, by that time, his considerable song-writing genius ("There's a Place" being a prime example) had long fled, he'd sold his soul to a demented slut and turned his back on his best friend and the man to whom he owed everything ("How Can You Sleep at Night?" indeed), was shooting junk and doing all that other stuff in the Albert Goldman biography. No wonder Rundgren called him a jerk. (Rundgren, by the way, earned his right to dis Lennon, by producing his wonderful Beatles pastiche "Alone in their Field" with his group Utopia, not to mention subsequent brilliance such as "Cry for Me", "Feets Don't Fail Me Now", and at least one fabuloso song on every album he put out through the rest of the 70s and 80s. What did Lennon do up until he got shot? "Just Like Starting Over" which owes its one hooky chord change to Brian Wilson's "Don't Worry Baby?")
posted by Faze at 8:30 AM on April 17, 2002


Come on now faze, Yoko may be an irritating, pretentious, untalented harpy but I don't think she's a slut.

Also, it sounds like you're a Paulist! If so, it's good to know another one!
posted by Ty Webb at 9:16 AM on April 17, 2002


Yes, Ty Webb. A Paulist. I think John Lennon suffered with feelings of inferiority from collaborating so closely with two of the great musical geniuses of his time: Paul and George. And by George, I mean George Martin. As far as the sluttiness of "that woman" is concerned, I'll keep the particulars to myself. A Wooster never bandies a woman's name.
posted by Faze at 9:50 AM on April 17, 2002


Faze, I wouldn't downplay Lennon's genius so much. I think he and Paul exemplified two ways of approaching art: art as a means to an end (John), or art as an end in itself (Paul). The competition between the two of them was instrumental in the realization of their talent, and, let's face it, George Martin would have spent his career producing comedy and classical albums had not the Beatles come along and given his genius a reason to flower.
posted by Ty Webb at 10:02 AM on April 17, 2002


Ty, I agree with you 100 percent. The two of them together where what really clicked. Whatever negative Lennon attitudes I have relate entirely to his post-Beatles ouevre (the White Album, "I Am the Walrus", "Come Together" and "She's So Heavy" excepted). And if it's true -- as it is -- that George Martin would never have flowered without the Beatles, think of what would have happened to Lennon's genius if he hadn't met Paul.
posted by Faze at 11:01 AM on April 17, 2002


think of what would have happened to Lennon's genius if he hadn't met Paul.

Yes, and vice-versa.
posted by Ty Webb at 11:26 AM on April 17, 2002


Whatever negative Lennon attitudes I have relate entirely to his post-Beatles ouevre (the White Album, "I Am the Walrus", "Come Together" and "She's So Heavy" excepted).

Huh? Please clarify.
posted by y2karl at 11:32 AM on April 17, 2002


Thank you for your request for clarification, Y2karl. What I meant to say was that if Mr. Lennon had taken his bullet shortly after Sgt. Pepper, we would have been spared his turgid phase, which most notably included the abovementioned titles -- including the entire White Album, with the possible exception of the mildly okay "Dear Prudence". To anyone who would defend his contribution to the rest of that album, I have only two words "Number Nine". I suspect that you might want to defend "Come Together" or "She's So Heavy." IMHO, they are dark, murky, smack-ey songs. In addition, by ripping off Chuck Berry in "Come Together", Lennon put himself in almost permanent thrall to the mafiosi who owned the rights to a certain duck-walking star's musical catalogue, an obligation he spent the next several years working off (mainly with nightmarish "Rock and Roll" album), and whom I suspect the Beatles STILL owe -- a fact to which I attribute the extraordinary number of the duck walker's songs that appear on the recently released Anthology albums.
To anyone who would defend the remainder of Lennon's career, I have only seven words: "Woman is the Nigger of the World".
posted by Faze at 12:36 PM on April 17, 2002


(the White Album, "I Am the Walrus", "Come Together" and "She's So Heavy" excepted).
Sorry I ranted without really explaining the above line. The way I should have said was: the White Album, "I Am the Walrus", "Come Together" and "She's So Heavy" are exceptional in that they were done while Lennon was still with the Beatles, and yet they still blow.
posted by Faze at 1:21 PM on April 17, 2002


Faze: sure, some of Lennon's solo work sucked, but even the worst John Lennon barely approaches the levels Paul McCartney has reached since McCartney II (or, arguably, even Band On The Run). I never liked Paul's Beatles songs anywhere near as much as John's (with a few notable exceptions), but the degree of unbearably lame, twee, precious awfulness Paul's reached in the last decade or three has been almost powerful enough to reach back through time and undo his past good works. I'm not going to defend John's later Beatles work which I seem to like and you clearly don't (it seems most people really are a Johnist or a Paulist, I'm the former, you're the latter), I just don't think you're wielding your dis-staff fairly. (Paul, I'm begging you, please just stop...).

quonsar: Thanks for this link, it brought back all kinds of memories...that Toad Runtgnome...what a character.
posted by biscotti at 1:29 PM on April 17, 2002


What a pool of wishy washy crap. C'mon, guys--make up your minds!
posted by y2karl at 2:11 PM on April 17, 2002


Faze, wtf are you talking about with the "mafiosi who owned the rights to a certain duck-walking star's musical catalogue"? This sounds like a particularly bizarre conspiracy theory, without even getting into your questionable taste in Lennon songs. If there is any real evidence to support the theory that (1) the mob owned Chuck Berry's music, (2) "Come Together" was considered so similar to one or more Berry songs as to constitute plagiarism, (3) said mob used said plagiarism as a means of extortion on Lennon and the Beatles, and finally (4) payment for said extortion took the form of using Berry songs on Lennon and Beatles releases, I want to know about it.

as an aside, to anyone who thinks Paul's post-Beatle work surpasses John's, I have four words: "Cook of the House"
posted by yhbc at 2:31 PM on April 17, 2002


Faze, I'm still waiting to see any explanation of and evidence for your half-assed conspiracy theory.
posted by yhbc at 7:31 PM on April 17, 2002


ANDREW WK!!
posted by Settle at 7:38 PM on April 17, 2002


yhbc, you can read the outline of what I've said in the July 2001 issue of MOJO magazine, in the article called "The Great Rock and Roll Swindle." It documents the main points about the ownership of CB's music, the legal problems with "Come Together" and Lennon's desperate attempts to appease the mob. Please be assured that I am not retailing a conspiracy theory, but mentioning something everyone in the music business has known for years. I make no claim to originality. (I DO, however, cherish a little conspiracy theory of my own. It has to do with the Rolling Stones not having written their own songs. Some day I'll get the details all worked out...)
posted by Faze at 7:42 PM on April 17, 2002


Thank you. I will endeavor to check the story out, and judge for myself if it has any more credence than Albert Goldman's "biography" of John, another hatchet job I feel strongly about.

BTW, the Stones for sure didn't write "I Wanna Be Your Man" ;)
posted by yhbc at 7:55 PM on April 17, 2002


so Faze, uh, what do you say about paul's dance music ambient trance chill out or whatever he calls it?
posted by Dean King at 7:57 PM on April 17, 2002


WHITE ALBUM.
best.record.ever.

the mob never owned Berrys' music. They just tried to shake down Hollywood, and help Sinatra out. (Fountainbleau hotel is my favorite story) and JFK. "Lennon's desperate attempts to appease the mob." i've heard this but heard it to be false, can anyone provide a link...which La Familia tried to shake him down....The Krays?
posted by clavdivs at 8:00 PM on April 17, 2002


Please don't make me defend Paul's post-Beatle work. The Israeli army couldn't defend Paul's post-Beatle work. I'll carve out a little redoubt for "You Gave Me The Answer", "My Brave Face" and the "Band on the Run" album. But I'll push the rest of it into no-man's land with Lennon's post-Beatle stuff. And George's. And Ringo's. Thank goodness for Emmitt Rhodes!
posted by Faze at 8:06 PM on April 17, 2002


the mob never owned Berrys' music. They just tried to shake down Hollywood, and help Sinatra out.

The mob then formed RIAA, and took control.

I'm reasonably serious about this. Look up "valenti mafia OR mob" on Google. Turns out to be a well-established mob name.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:22 PM on April 17, 2002


"The mob then formed RIAA, and took control.

I'm reasonably serious about this. Look up "valenti mafia OR mob" on Google. Turns out to be a well-established mob name." ive goggled this and find little concerning valenti...which one...jack? I dont but it, not that im naive, the mob was bigger then mere records. but i did find some juicy stuff on other topics...
posted by clavdivs at 8:11 AM on April 18, 2002


my 'buts' naive though, i'll 'buy' that.
posted by clavdivs at 8:49 AM on April 18, 2002


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