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Old Sep 13, 2004, 02:39 PM   #1
HariScruff_00
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Default Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

This is the first i've heard about this documentary but judging by this article... I think i'll skip it.
Its sounds like the doc has a point to drive across and didn't bother showing any thing of the "other side".


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainm...ection=general

Rivalry worked for The Beatles, so let it be

14.09.2004 By GRAHAM REID
In the second Greatest Story Ever Told - or at least the one told almost as often as the Big One - the Beatles went from being loveable moptops and good friends to jaded adults and sometimes litigious enemies.

The rivalry between Paul McCartney and John Lennon for the control and direction of the band after the death of manager Brian Epstein in 1967 might have been at the heart of it - although both George Harrison and Ringo Starr walked out at various times before the major and final breakup.

When McCartney told the media he had quit Lennon tartly described as it as a guy standing on a stage alone saying, "I'm leaving."

By that time all was not well within the house of pop.

The premise of tonight's History Channel documentary in the Rivals series, however, is that Lennon and McCartney were always grappling for control of the group, and "the seeds of rivalry were sown when they met" says the darkly foreboding monotone voice-over. Really? As far back as that?

What the programme subtitle "Lennon v McCartney" suggests is some kind of heavyweight bout, which the evidence hardly supports.

Even when the group appeared to tear itself apart during the fraught making of the album which became Let It Be, their last release, they got together for Abbey Road, an album which many consider among their best and certainly one which has a sense of camaraderie and optimism about it.

Photos taken at that time show some very happy chappies in the studio.

But with the premise of conflict established in Rivals, it remains only for familiar Beatle-watchers such as Liverpool journalist Bill Harry, former manager Allan Williams, press officer Tony Barrow and Beatle expert the late Mark Lewisohn to line up for bite-sized quotes to support the idea that Lennon and McCartney were frequently trying to direct the group down their own paths.

To some small extent that seems true - certainly McCartney was more willing than Lennon to compromise their look to get an audience - but the rivalry was also the productive spark of the band, as when McCartney would appear for a recording session with a handful of song ideas and Lennon, realising he had very few, had to push himself to produce.

What became increasingly evident during their career was how much individual songs belonged to the sole writer - McCartney recently asserting his sole right to Yesterday which no other Beatle contributed to - and that the myth of the songwriting duo was faltering by the mid-60s.

Yet it is possible to argue that even then, without the input or critical ear of the other, Lennon and McCartney were co-dependents.

McCartney has frequently told the story of Hey Jude and wanting to dump what he considered the clumsy line, "the movement you need is on your shoulders." Lennon told him it was the best bit, so it stayed.

This documentary doesn't address such inconveniences which don't conform to the dramatic arc it has set up.

Certainly their separation was very bitter when Lennon, Starr and Harrison wanted lawyer Allen Klein to look after their interests and McCartney argued for Lee Eastman, his soon-to-be father-in-law.

And yes, during those years after the breakup Lennon and McCartney sniped at each other publicly through their music (Lennon being the hands-down winner for sheer nastiness).

But that is a different kind of rivalry from a discussion about whether they should wear suits.

The creative conflict at the heart of the group and which made them such great songwriters is not what the tone and content of this doco - with evocative footage, Beatle soundbites and re-enactments - wants you to believe. But the truth is something different from a story shoehorned into the conceptual catch-all title Rivals.

Mark Antony v Brutus, maybe.

Lennon v McCartney is a harder case to sustain when all the facts are considered.

Rivalry can bring out the best in the protagonists. It did with the Beatles. Just listen to Abbey Road.
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 05:51 PM   #2
jtal909
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

I believe there is some validity to this thought of rivalry.
There was also a mountain of good that came from it all, obviously.
And how true:

Yet it is possible to argue that even then, without the input or critical ear of the other, Lennon and McCartney were co-dependents.
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 06:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

I wish I had the history channel, now more than ever.
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Old Sep 13, 2004, 07:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

This is NOT the same History Channel as the United States, btw...I know, my husband works there! (Geez, even the Canadian History Channel is different!)
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Old Sep 14, 2004, 01:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

[ QUOTE ]
HMVNipper Posted:
This is NOT the same History Channel as the United States, btw...I know, my husband works there! (Geez, even the Canadian History Channel is different!)

[/ QUOTE ]

Perhaps one day on "Biography Channel or Arts and Entertainment Channel (A&E)" Actually John got heavy into drugs, this may have caused him to lose interest, didn’t want to be forever known as Beatle as much as Paul wanted to keep the group together.
I read an interview when John & Paul were on the “Tonight Show” (1968) and the interviewer asked both “What they would be if not a Beatle” John sarcastically said for Paul “A Policeman” which Paul shot back with a smile, “I would not”… still if you saw “Let It Be” Paul was quite pushy, while John didn’t seem to care much, dream state of mind, drugs? You get the idea, still they wouldn’t be one without the other, I don’t care what “Paul’s Fans” say, without John Lennon there would be no Paul.
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Old Sep 14, 2004, 10:39 PM   #6
HariScruff_00
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

[ QUOTE ]
while John didn’t seem to care much

[/ QUOTE ]

i thought the same thing when the article said that the doc shows both were fighting for leadership of the group. Personally i don't think anything could be farther from the truth.
In an interview in Australia in 1964 the press asked "who's the leader of the group" and Paul immediately looked at John, like it was up to him to answer That question. John just gave the "we don't have a leader" answer. It didn't exactly come off as two power-hungry rivals.
Later, as was said, it seems like John didn't care anymore and Paul stepped in to take over the vacent role as captain of a sinking ship.
Paul and John were rivals, no doubt, but if it was such a heated, angry rivalry then they wouldn't have more than 6 months in the same group much less 10+ years.
Its really hard to say much without having seen the documentary but if what half the article says is true then it sounds like it went a bit too far off center.
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 05:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

[ QUOTE ]
Whistlerca Posted:
[ QUOTE ]
HMVNipper Posted:
This is NOT the same History Channel as the United States, btw...I know, my husband works there! (Geez, even the Canadian History Channel is different!)

[/ QUOTE ]

Perhaps one day on "Biography Channel or Arts and Entertainment Channel (A&E)"

[/ QUOTE ]

In the US, A&E, the History Channel and the Biography Channel are all the same company. In some other countries, though, the History Channel is not the same, as in New Zealand.

So...just because this show will be on the NZ History Channel does not necessarily mean it will EVER be shown here in the United States on our History Channel or any of the related sister networks.

Just wanted to clarify this.
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 06:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

[ QUOTE ]
it seems like John didn't care anymore and Paul stepped in to take over the vacent role as captain of a sinking ship.


[/ QUOTE ]

I agree, Paul's role as captain of a sinking ship, Eastman family pushed his ego, but finally as everyone knows, John had enough, even right before his death, Paul kept showing up at the Dakota with guitar in hand, hopes of teaming with John, writing and playing new songs, but John wouldn't have anything to do with it, it was finished, done with, no longer would there be the beatles.
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 11:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

Susan,

Thanks for clarifying. That sounds very optimistic about this being shown in the United States.
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Old Sep 15, 2004, 07:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lennon vs Macca \"Rivals\" documentary

Blech. I'm glad it's not likely to be shown here in the US. I hate with a passion shows, articles, whatever, that try to make it all into a soap opera of rivalry and jealousy and all that. Sure, not that there wasn't some of that going on, but if that's ALL it was, they never would have gotten where they did. I've never been a John VS Paul kind of person....I love them both, separately and together, for what they've done and have never understood the mentality of those who enjoy pitting them against each other more than they were in real life.
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