Sunday, April 29, 2007


The blunt interviews in two issues of Rolling Stone (later collected in book form as "Lennon Remembers") showed a brutally honest John Lennon in primal anger and sparing nobody, including Paul McCartney, the fans, and figures from his past including his aunt.
Tony Hendra's brutal parody "Magical Misery Tour" (from National Lampoon's "Radio Dinner") used mostly Lennon's own words from that interview to turn furious rage into a comical tantrum. He was so close in voice and attitude that the signature line "Genius is Pain" could almost have been lifted directly from a track on John's first solo album.
Hendra recalls, "Lennon was the ultimate sacred cow...I have never been so nervous as the night we recorded this cut. It was, to put it mildly, a high-profile assault, and I'd never had the slightest talent for impersonation...I had no idea why I was doing it, only that it was right and new, another of those leaps in the dark. It was frightening even just to attempt it. Lennon might have been sacred, but I was scared."
John was a huge fan of iconoclasts, but there's no report on whether he was a fan of this devastating satire. Fortunately most fans who read John's interview agreed that their hero had a bit too much "self-obsession" (as Hendra called it) and considered the parody pretty valid, and the music very solid (piano by Melissa Manchester, who turns up at the end as an unconvincing Yoko Ono).
Hendra had some electronic help to get the right nasality and pitch (ironically, John would often demand his producer use echo or other tricks to "fuck up me voice" with studio enhancements), which does make some of the words hard to understand. Most references are probably obvious to Beatles fans. The "Eastman" mentioned, is Linda McCartney's father, who was suggested by Paul as the right attorney to handle the mess that Apple had become.

The lyrics:
"I RESENT performing for you fuckers, tell me, what do you know? A lot of faggot middle-class kids wearing long hair and trendy clothes. Look, I'm not your fucking parents and I'm sick of uptight hippies coming knocking at me door with a fucking peace symbol, get this, fuck that, I don't owe you fuckers anything and all I got to say is FUCK YOU. The sky is blue.
"And Mick Jagger, I think that Mick's a joke with all his stupid faggot dancing. I always did. Wiggling his ass you know, it's just a lot of bullshit. And where does he come off saying all those tarty things about The Beatles when every fucking thing we ever did Mick tried to copy and you know we even wrote his second fucking record for him, no, The Stones aren't the same in class as The Beatles either music wise, or power wise, and never ever were. Pardon me, sir!
"Paul said he hated Yoko, tell me, why should Yoko have to take that kind of shit? Shit from those fucking sons of bitches? George said she gave off evil vibes. I should have beat the fucking shit right out of him. Him with his fucking Hare Krishna
"Me auntie, she tore up me fucking poems. She just threw the bastards out. I can't forgive her, 'cause she didn't treat me like a fucking genius. Look, you bastards, I'm a genius, like Shakespeare and Beethoven and Van Gogh! Don't you dare criticize my work! "Don't Worry Kyoko" was one of the fucking best rock and roll records ever made! I'm a fucking artist! I'm sensitive as shit! I throw up before I go onstage! I can make a guitar speak! If I could be a fisherman I would, but I can't, because I'm a fucking genius!! I was the Walrus! PAUL wasn't the Walrus! I was just saying that to be nice, but I was actually the Walrus! Him and that rubbish he's been singing! Eastman was an animal! A fucking stupid middle-class pig. I won't let fucking animals like that near me! Yoko is a supreme intellectual! I'll tell you why nobody likes her music — because she's a woman and she's Oriental, that's why!
"Where are you Mother! They're trying to crucify me! Genius is Pain...Genius is Pain...(primal screams) Turn left at Iceland...(more screams)"
John Lennon satire. Instant download or listen on line.


psb said...

i am a major lennon fan, and I heard this last year... it's one of the funniest parodies i've ever heard.
deadly accurate. thanks for posting the lyrics.

Anonymous said...

Infinitas gracias por todo el material de tu blog, es excelente e inapreciable, muchas gracias nuevamente.
Amplias de una forma singular las referencias de algunos temas que tenĂ­a, enriqueciendolos y dandoles una nueva perspectiva.
gracias, Esteban.

pixelmutt said...

Hey IF,
here's a version with Lennons quotes dubbed in syncronisticly like:

I think that dinsdalep guy ( did it

Ill Folks said...

Hi Pix,

Wow, thanks. What a great idea...and nicely done, too, documentary-style. Fun AND educational.

Where did that "Iceland" remark come from???

Anonymous said...

Tom said...

I have read in several books that Lennon WAS in fact aware of this song. The first time he heard it, it was sprung on him when John and Yoko showed up for an interview on a radio station in New York. Reportedly, he hated it and left the room. Yoko would've joined him but she was laughing too hard and rolling around on the floor of the studio!

Anonymous said...

I have been trying to remember the album this was on along with many other hillarious parodies, I had purchased back in the early 70's I would love to hear them all again, do you or anyone know the name of the album? thanks

Anonymous said...

Never mind I just found it!!!!!!!!!!!!!! National Lampoon's Radio Dinner! wow what a trip down memory lane!

Unknown said...

National Lampoon Radio Dinner. :)