I have never made a secret of the fact that I am different. I stand out from the crowd. I am, it is true, a rugged individualist. Not that you could tell this from my actions or lifestyle. I don’t have a lice ridden beard and a leather waistcoat, nor do I ride a large American twin cylinder motorcycle or make amphetamines in the shed.
No, what makes me different and fascinating is that I am not fond of John Lennon’s post “The Beatles” work. In particular, I dislike his song “Imagine”.
So there you go. For some reason you are quite free to make your own mind up about most things. Generally where there is a disagreement about the merits of a song or a film you can defend your choice but at the end of the day you can’t expect everyone to agree with your choice.
For some reason, this does not apply to “Imagine”. If you don’t like it you are thought to be wrong. Any time that there is a poll for “greatest song ever written”, “Imagine” wins it. Easily.
I just don’t understand. How can that be so in a world that has “Mmm Bop” by Hanson, to name just one infinitely greater song?
“Imagine” is not a musical masterwork. It isn’t peppy and doesn’t get you on your feet.
Lyrically it is smug and a bit embarrassing. The worst part of it is that Lennon seems to think that this odious doggerel will somehow change the world. It didn’t and it won’t.
There is no way that this can be the greatest song ever. It isn’t even the greatest song by a tired, washed up former member of a mega band.
Not when we have “Je Suis un Rockstar” by Bill Wyman. Again, the music isn’t much, but Ah!, the lyric. I give you this;
“She took off ‘er ‘at
And she ‘ad lovely ‘air
Said she smoked marihuana
At the Copacobana.”
I mean to say, who wants to go to the sweat and hard work of imagining, for example, all the people living for today? What good is that going to do? Imagining her lovely hair, on the other hand, is going to be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Plus you get to imagine her hat. For mine it is a bit raffia one with a bit of a droopy brim such as might be seen at the beach, but equally it could be one with mouse ears or even a bobby’s helmet.
I mean to say, she was sitting in a fountain in Trafalgar Square or something, wasn’t she?
So there you go. There is no doubt in my mind what I would prefer to imagine. I hasten to add that the imagining might have to stop when you get to the part of the song in which Wyman, somewhat ill advisedly given his history, suggests to the girl in question:
“We could go on the hovercraft
Across the water
They’ll think I’m your dad
And you’re my daughter.”
Anyway, there you go.
In some quarters my dislike for “Imagine” prompts people to think that I am a big fan of Paul McCartney’s, which is not quite so. I do like “Live and Let Die” and a couple of others, but would rather have my fingernails pulled out and the sensitive tips of my fingers bathed in rocket fuel than listen to “The Girl is Mine” or “Silly Love Songs”.
My favourite of “The Beatles” was actually George. The only other solo album I bought was “Ringo’s Rotogravure”.
The less said about that, the better.