Thanks Mr. Lennon: In His Own Write (and Mine)

I was insane about the Beatles as a kid. I even used to read some of those candy-colored drugstore fan magazines that had compelling facts: “George doesn’t like to ride on buses.” I had a HUGE plastic Army set—that even had exploding bridges!—with tanks, trucks and soldiers galore, and I traded the whole thing for a Beatles wig, which looked like a giant, black, eyeless Maltese. I felt that I got the better end of the bargain. The wig, cleverly, matched my Beatle boots.

So it’s no surprise that the Beatles were my inspiration for my first literary endeavors. I hand-wrote a Beatles newspaper; my handwriting, which is similar to what you’d get if you put a full inkwell up your nose and sneezed it out on paper, wasn’t helpful, but I didn’t know how to type. The newspaper was filled with the kind of thrilling things I’d read and heard about the Beatles, as well as some of my original Beatles poetry. I still remember the line, “The Beatles like to sing and dance, even in their underpants” like it was yesterday.

I made 15 or so copies of the 4-page paper and sold it for a quarter on the street corner of my block, shaking it enthusiastically in the faces of strangers passing by, a few of which would part with a quarter to rid themselves of this bewigged menace. After four issues, I shut the enterprise down, because the public wasn’t ready for my poetry.

John, of course, was my favorite, because he was a wise guy, and because he wore glasses, like me. Imagine that.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lennon. Dreamers make a difference.

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4 thoughts on “Thanks Mr. Lennon: In His Own Write (and Mine)

  1. As a little boy you happily traded military for millinery (sort of…)? Arms for Wigs? What a stirring anti-war statement (or at the least a brilliant marketing strategy). John Lennon definitely would have approved (either way, I think).

    During childhood/adolescence I was crazy for the Beatles too, especially when it came to their psychedelic phase. Used to crank up tunes like I Want You/She’s So Heavy and dance around the living room, imagining that I was a groovy flower child. Still imagining.

  2. Annie, c’mon—from assessing your bonafides, I KNOW that you were a groovy flower child. Your signature probably still carries some petals. Hey, I used to rock the room to She’s So Heavy too—we probably danced together in the time/space/spasmodic continuum.

  3. Every time I’m in some online chat and some cretin says so what about the Beatles they were talentless hacks and I say why not wait ’til next year y’know when you’re 16 and maybe then you’ll get it and they say I won’t be 16 ’til the year after next and at least then I can laugh instead of punching my computer.

    Whew! Glad to get that off my chest. Er, fingers. Whatever.

    We didn’t have a radio or phonograph until somewhere around 1970 (it’s a long story) so they were gone before I even knew what was going on.

    I’ve since figured it out.

  4. I still get a different, decidedly emotional feeling that from that of other artists when I hear so many of the Beatles songs—whatever their recipe of talent, timing, pluck and luck, they had magic.

    And they helped me with my salesmanship in high school, since my Let It Be shopliftings were one of my best sellers. Ahh, free (?) enterprise…

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