Monday, June 15, 2009

Well, You Know, We All Want To Change The World

"I'm sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites,
All I want is the truth,
Just Gimme Some Truth.
I've had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians.
All I want is the truth,
Just Gimme Some Truth.
No short-haired, yellow-bellied son of Tricky Dicky
Is gonna Mother Hubbard soft-soap me
With just a pocketful of hope,
Money for dope,
Money for rope."

"Just Gimme Some Truth", John Lennon, 1971.

When the city's civic leaders arrange a (not so) cheap photo-op with someone claiming a Beatle connection, you just know desperation & distraction are the driving factors. Culture year was an all too pathetic attempt to indulge in bread & circus politics while the city's real needs were ignored in an Echo-led orgy of self-congratulation. Ringo arrived with his chums & spent his way through £90,000 worth of expenses before flying down to London & being a little too honest for his own good on the Jonathan Ross show. McCartney was supposed to play his gig at the Salthouse Dock, the idea being that the dock would be drained & the fish would be humanely stunned (yes, really, Tony Parish had the story). After spending thousands on a feasibility study into a Salthouse Dock gig, it was decided to move it to Anfield, where, under the banner of "Liverpool Sound" Macca was joined in a celebration of local music by The Zutons &, erm, Kaiserchiefs, from Leeds.
All of which makes it inevitable that tomorrow's easy PR stunt at the Albert Dock with new mayor Mike Storey & Julian Lennon will be long on platitudes & short on relevance to both the people of the city & its current music scene ( ).
It seems this unlikely duo will call for world peace & all that jazz. No, really, they will. They'll also light a white candle there:
"Candles will be sent to all cities across the globe for civic leaders to do the same in memory of John Lennon's struggle for peace and understanding, and Julian's continuing efforts.
"Liverpool's Lord Mayor, Councillor Mike Storey said: 'John Lennon, and indeed the Beatles are a huge part of the history of the city. As a city we will never forget the contribution John Lennon made not only to music but towards a more peaceful world.
'The candles represent a white feather which was a symbolic part of both John and Julian's life. We are hoping that all major cities will take part and help create a more peaceful world.' "
I like the way "all cities across the globe" becomes "all major cities" in the space of a couple of paragraphs. Must be the council cuts, I take it? I'm also indebted to the city's new mayor for informing me that Lennon & his band mates "are a huge part of the history of the city". Nothing much happened in Liverpool before then, I suppose; perhaps Storey's been taking local history lessons from his predecessor & noted expert on American history, Steve Rotheram.
The council PR release (it appeared on its website under the "news" section, by the way) also quotes Lennon jnr.:
"The white feather is so prevalent in my life. One thing for sure is that it's always represented peace to me. One of the things my father said to me was that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be ok, or that we were all going to be ok, it was by in some way, shape or form presenting me with a white feather."
A cruel & cynical observer might remark that Julian appears to share his dad's enthusiasm for gobbledygook (In His Own Write; A Spaniard In The Works, etc). However, I wouldn't be so cutting.
Still, it's nice to see that altruism & general bonhomie will be the order of the day, eh? Eh? Oh:
"The event coincides with the opening of an exhibition at the new Beatles Story branch at the Pier Head on Wednesday (June 17) called White Feather - The Spirit of Lennon."
It sounds like a Yoko-approved move to cash in on the name with a new alco-pop concoction, doesn't it?
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if they can. Wonder if Storey's called Lee Forde back to help in the organisation for tomorrow's charade?

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