Tittenhurst Park

This Tittenhurst Park blog is dedicated to John Lennon's home in Sunningdale, near Ascot, Berkshire between 1969 and 1971. The aim is to gather as much material relating to the estate as possible - obviously with the emphasis on the Lennon-era, but also concerning Tittenhurst Park as it was before and after John Lennon's ownership. In addition, there will be posts about and associated with the Beatles, plus any other rubbish I feel like. The blog is purely meant for the entertainment of anyone (assuming there is actually anyone) who, like me, has an unhealthy interest in one particular Georgian mansion. Those with anything interesting to contribute in the way of links, photos, scans, stories etc. please do contact me: tittenhurstlennon@gmail.com
(Legal: this blog is strictly non-commercial. All material is the property of the photographer/artist/copyright holder concerned. Any such who wishes a picture etc to be removed should contact me and I will do so. Alternatively, if someone is happy to see their photo on here, but would like a credit/link then let me know and I'll be happy to provide one).


John Lennon Remembers - Jann Wenner Interview Part 5

What do you think of America?
America is where it's at. I should have been born in New York. I should have been born in the Village; that's where I belong. Why wasn't I born there? Paris was it in the eighteenth century; London, I don't think, has ever been it, except literary-wise, when Wilde and Shaw and all of them were there. New York is it. I regret profoundly that I was not an American and not born in Greenwich Village. That's where I should have been. It never works that way. Everybody heads towards the center; that's why I'm here now.
Are you pleased with your new album, 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band'?
I think it's the best thing I've ever done. I think it's realistic and it's true to me. That has been developing over the years from "In My Life," "I'm a Loser," "Help," "Strawberry Fields." They're all personal records. I always wrote about me when I could. I didn't really enjoy writing third-person songs about people who live in concrete flats and thing like that. I like first-person music. But because of my hang-ups and many other things, I would only write specifically about me now and then. Now I write all about me and that's why I like it. It's me! And nobody else.
You said at one point that you have to write songs to justify your existence.
I said a lot of things. I write songs because that's the thing I choose to do, you know, and I can't help writing them; that's a fact. And sometimes I feel as though you work . . . I felt as though you work to justify your existence, but you don't. You work to exist and vice versa, and that's it, really.
What do you think are the best songs that you have written?
Ever. What is the best song you have ever written?
The one best song?
Have you ever thought of that?
I don't know. If somebody asked me what is my favorite song, is it "Stardust" or something . . . I can't . . . that kind of decision making I can't do. I always liked "Walrus," "Strawberry Fields," "Help," "In My Life." Those are some of my favorites, you know.
Why "Help"?
Because I meant it; it's real. The lyric is as good now as it was then. It's no different, you know, and it makes me feel secure to know that I was that aware of myself then. It was just me singing "help," and I meant it. I don't like the recording that much; we did it too fast, trying to be commercial. I like "I Want to Hold Your Hand"; we wrote that together, and it's a beautiful melody. I might do "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Help" again, because I like them.
Why "Strawberry Fields"? Did you think that was real?
Yeah, it was real for then, and it's . . . I think it's like talking, you know . . . it's like that Elton John one where he's singing, oh, I don't know - he talks to himself, sort of singing, which I thought was nice; it reminded me of that.
Songs like "Girl"?
Yeah, I liked that one.
"Run For Your Life"?
"Run For Your Life" I always hated.
I don't know, it was one of those I knocked off just to write a song, and it was phony. But "Girl" is real. There is no such thing as the girl; she was a dream, but the words are all right. It's about "Was she taught when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure/Did she understand it," and all that. They're sort of philosophy quotes. It was reasonable, and I was thinkin' about it when I wrote it; it wasn't just a song, and it was about that girl - which happened to turn out to be Yoko in the end - the one that a lot of us were looking for. There're many songs I forget that I do like. I like "Across the Universe," too.
Because it's one of the best lyrics I've written. In fact, it could be the best, I don't know. It's one of the best; it's good poetry, or whatever you call it, without chewin' it, it stands. See, the ones I like are the ones that stand as words without melody, that don't have to have any melody. It's a poem, you know; you could read 'em.
What do you think the future of rock & roll is?
Whatever we make it. If we want to go bullshitting off into intellectualism with rock & roll, we are going to get bullshitting rock intellectualism. If we want real rock & roll, it's up to all of us to create it and stop being hyped by, you know, revolutionary image and long hair. We've got to get over that bit. That's what cutting hair is about. Let's own up now and see who's who, who's doing something about what, and who's making music and who's laying down bullshit. Rock & roll will be whatever we make it.
Why do you think it means so much to people?
Because it is primitive enough and has no bullshit, really, the best stuff, and its beat gets through to you. God to the jungle and they have the rhythm and it goes throughout the world - it's as simple as that. You get the rhythm going, everybody gets into it. I read that Eldridge Cleaver said that blacks gave middle-class whites back their bodies, you know, put their minds and bodies together through the music. It's something like that, it gets through - to me it got through. It was the only thing to get through to me after all the things that were happening when I was fifteen. Rock & roll was real. Everything else was unreal. And the thing about rock & roll - good rock & roll, whatever good means - is that it's real, and realism gets through to you despite yourself. You recognize something in it which is true, like all true art.
What's rough picture of your immediate future, say the next three months.
I'd like to just vanish just a bit. It wore me out, New York. I love it. I'm just sort of fascinated by it, like a fucking monster. Doing the films was a nice way of meeting a lot of people. I think we've both said and done enough for a few months, especially with this article. I'd like to get out of the way and wait till they all . . .
Do you have a rough picture of the next few years?
Oh no, I couldn't think of the next few years; it's abysmal thinking of how many years there are to go, millions of them. I just play it by the week. I don't think much ahead of a week.
Do you see a time when you'll retire?
No, I couldn't, you know.
YOKO: He'll probably work until he's eighty or until he dies.
I can't foresee it. Even when you're a cripple you carry on painting. I would paint if I couldn't move.
Do you have a picture of "when I'm sixty-four"?
No, no. I hope we're a nice old couple living off the cost of Ireland or something - looking at our scrapbook of madness.

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