Last Days of John Lennon

Hosted byIan Punnett

Last Days of John Lennon

About the show

Author Kenneth Womack joined guest host Ian Punnett (Twitter) for a discussion on the last days in the life of John Lennon. He explained that the focus of his forthcoming book centers around the circumstances which led to Lennon's musical comeback, which had only just begun when his life was tragically cut short. "I wanted to try to tell the story of how these great spate of recordings comes to be," Womack said, "without writing a true crime book." To that end, he likened Lennon's writing style to that of confessional poets who "wrote about themselves and their experiences" at that particular period in their life. "John Lennon wrote that way," he marveled, "he was telling us where he was at, essentially, in the late 1970s and certainly 1980."

Noting that Lennon was influenced by elements of pop culture that caught his attention, such as a movie about baseball legend Lou Gehrig, Womack observed that this "moment in time was just so absolutely different from the place we're at right now" as the former Beatle was consuming much of the same media as the fans. "He's watching the same TV we were," Womack marveled, "it was a much smaller world." On the subject of Lennon's great love of television, Womack recounted the amusing story of how Lennon actually gave his neighbor, Rex Reed, a subscription to the magazine after the famed film critic provided a testimonial advocating for the musician to receive his green card.

Reflecting on some of Lennon's final interviews in which he expressed strong opinions about the Beatles' songs such as his dislike for the classic Eight Days a Week, Womack stressed that its important to remember that these comments were merely a snapshot of what the musician was thinking at that time and, due to his untimely death. "He doesn't get some of the wisdom you get from getting to live longer," Womack mused, theorizing that Lennon would likely have had a more diplomatic take on such matters in later years. Similarly, he noted that Lennon seemed to possess something of an internal conflict wherein "he could be really harsh and biting," in comments to others, "but at the same time he just adored people. He was always an interesting study in these oppositions."

The Cabal Controlling America

In the first hour, former Minister of National Defense in Canada, Paul Hellyer, shared his concerns about what he believes is a sinister cabal controlling the United States government. He asserted that this group traces back to the end of World War II when thousands of Nazis were brought to America as part of Project Paperclip. "They were given new identifies and new names and put in high places," he lamented, "and it wasn't long before they were in charge of the armed forces in the United States." Since that time, their grip on the power in America has only tightened, he said, and the only way to defeat them at this point would be to dramatically cut the funding of the Army and hold hearings wherein insiders who know about this group can finally reveal the truth.

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