Tonight I watched the musical Backbeat. It’s really more a play with The Beatles music telling the story of the early Beatles days: Mamma Mia it is not. If you are reading this in the hope to find a review you may as well stop here. Sorry.
As I was watching the stage and Andrew Knott deliver his one liners as John Lennon I suddenly remembered why I was once infatuated with the man. (The man being John, not Andrew.) It was not a crush perse: if anything before the hormones kicked in and the boybands came around ( I’ve had this blog for sooo long I will stop apologising for my dire taste in music – you should know this by now) my huge crush was Elvis. As In Presley. That’s right: the pretty boy with the magic voice and a weakness for glittery jumpsuits… and you wonder why I still have a weakness for pretty boys leaning towards the camp
If Elvis was The Pretty I crushed on, John was The Wit. I loved his words, his playing with language, his semi-nonsical/ semi-meaningful philosophising, his humour, his anger, his arrogance. He was who I wanted to be because as any teenager I was angry, arrogant and at the same time so insecure.
I connected to this free-spirit/singer-songwriter turned new age tongue-in- cheek philosopher. The latter would shape my appreciation of art: I still find it hard to like any sort of creative person if they take themselves too seriously. So what, if all my teenage- self was only capable of thinking thoughts and writing pieces that were one foot in utopia-nirvana, one foot in 20th Century materialism: John had mixed up ideas, invented words and played with them and then laughed at his own ideas. I started liking connecting the theories of ancient and modern philosophers to my own experience of life. ( Super-geek! Did A-level philosophy.)
I started appreciating the power of thought shaped by the power of word thanks to John Lennon. I don’t care if he was a difficult personality or made the wrong decisions or hurt people unnecessarily. This is where the years have thankfully caught up: I no longer want to be John but partly thanks to his writing, I laid the foundations to create me.