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View Poll Results: John's Greatest post-Beatles feat?
Truth and honesty in music: no one else before or since ever laid it out there like John 1 14.29%
Peace Activism: no other pop star put his entire career on the limb for something most found silly 1 14.29%
Feminism: John really bridged the gap when he told the world Yoko was his equal 0 0%
Vulnerability in music: POB, "Jealous Guy," etc. 0 0%
Social Awareness: John may have leaped before thinking but his heart was always in the right place 0 0%
Maturity: From a superstar to an icon to a househusband...from a boy to man 0 0%
All of the above: honestly, this is JOHN LENNON. Always completely one-of-a-kind 5 71.43%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll


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Old Jul 04, 2012, 12:08 PM   #1
Apple Scruff
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Post Post-Beatles John: his greatest 'statement'

I've thought about this for some time and I figured I'd make a poll to garner some discussion from you good people. It almost seems incomprehensible to consider this, but what they hey!

John did so many amazing and varied things in his post-Beatles career. And even though it was only about a decade, and five of those years were spent in domesticity, he still managed to leave a remarkable (and incomparable) artistic mark on the world. And that's putting it lightly.

So I have to ask: what do YOU think was John's greatest artistic accomplishment post-Beatles?
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Old Jul 04, 2012, 01:32 PM   #2
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I'm a little conflicted because I think all of the options are accurate, but in unequal measure so I don't think "All of the above" is the best way to go. But going down the list...

Truth and honesty in music: Obviously, the greatest legacy John left is his music. But you don't become an icon just because you write good songs. His catalog is the most important archive out there to anyone who wants to learn what John Lennon was about because he really did put his message in his music. The main reason I'm hesitant to select this option is because it's much more complex and layered than the "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine" songs that the general public associates with his solo period. And yes, those songs do define him, but so do "Gimme Some Truth," "Mother," "Aisumasen," and the multitude of other tracks that distance themselves from the "peace" angle and dive more into his inner conflict with both himself and the figures surrounding him. Those are infinitely more fascinating to me and I think for most John aficionados, but in general I think many people are largely unfamiliar with those and only have a tiny portion of the picture.

Peace activism: This is what I ended up voting on because I believe it's the image that most people have of post-Beatles John: that guy with the long beard sitting in a bed and putting up bare "WAR IS OVER! If You Want It" billboards. The former was goofy, and John knew that, but it got people's attention--and he knew that too. The latter was bold but simple. You could write it off as a hippie message, but the truth is, I can't really think of a single more profound yet graspable--and accurate--philosophy about war. Sadly I think part of the reason his peace activism stands out so much is because he died in such a violent and unnecessary manner. That really just reinforces everything he was saying.

Feminism: I don't know if this is really considered a big aspect of his persona--John was a man of many causes and over the decades I think this one has gotten lost in the shuffle. WITNOTW is an unfortunate case of John's brashness cutting off the importance of his message (not unlike the whole "bigger than Jesus" controversy), because the kneejerk reaction of "He used the n-word!" (or "He called his band more popular than Jesus!") provided a convenient excuse for people to not think about what he was actually trying to say.

Vulnerability in music: I'd argue that it's not really a major development from his post-Beatles career because it was pretty much there from the beginning. Well, maybe not the "Hello Little Girl" beginning, but even something as early as "There's a Place," "I'm a Loser," "Help!"--they may have been presented as accessible pop songs but they're almost self-psychological studies.

Social awareness: Eh...I have mixed feelings on this. As I said before, John was a man of many causes, and while I absolutely admire that he dove into them 100% because he believed in them, I think he later (rightly) distanced his relationship with figures like David Peel, John Sinclair and Abbie Hoffman...not just because it nearly got him deported, but he eventually came around to realizing there were worthier outlets that deserved his attention. Outside the counterculture I don't think most people count this sort of stuff as John's finest achievements.

Maturity: From John's standpoint, I'm sure this was probably what he was most proud of, and rightly so. And it impacted the world as a whole as well--I remember reading an article in which a stay-at-home dad said that John Lennon single-handedly made that concept acceptable. Even so, I see this more as an individual achievement than a statement...at least not an intentional one.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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I took the easy way out and voted ALL OF THE ABOVE.

But, for me personally, the thing that really stands out was how he promoted feminism. The '70s was a time of immense social change... things happened so rapidly. I was a kid at the time, so it was really fascinating to watch the change happen... but, of course, it was a bit confusing. The way John laid it out there helped me to make sense of things.

We can't underestimate the whole 'househusband' concept that he helped promote. Of course, John was not the only guy out there taking care of the kids and whatever else he supposedly did... but he was the one who made it not only okay, but pretty hip... enlightened.

He was always on the forefront... like a surfer riding the crest of the wave.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 11:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringo_rama View Post
Social awareness: Eh...I have mixed feelings on this. As I said before, John was a man of many causes, and while I absolutely admire that he dove into them 100% because he believed in them, I think he later (rightly) distanced his relationship with figures like David Peel, John Sinclair and Abbie Hoffman...not just because it nearly got him deported, but he eventually came around to realizing there were worthier outlets that deserved his attention. Outside the counterculture I don't think most people count this sort of stuff as John's finest achievements.
In this matter, I think John would have really matured in a great way had he been given the chance to live through the '80s. He had to distance himself from radicals like Hoffman and Rubin to protect his personal life, but I'd bet that as Sean began to grow and he became a public figure again, John would have become involved in social issues... just maybe not in the same way. Maybe he and Yoko woud've taken an artistic approach... maybe they would have created an '80s version of the bed-in for the No Nukes cause or something along those lines.
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Old Jul 07, 2012, 12:54 PM   #5
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I voted for "Truth and honesty in music".... I hesitated with "Social awareness".

But overall, each listed point applies on John... because he was so much more than just "a Beatle"

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Old Jul 10, 2012, 02:24 PM   #6
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Once again I have bucked the trend and gone with an unpopular choice! While I do agree that John can be all of the above, I felt like that was a cop-out to pick that one.(sorry ya'll who chose that answer ;-) To me, I think his honesty above all stood out as his greatest accomplishment post-Beatles. Modern rap singers seem to want to take credit for being the first to talk honestly in their songs. But we know it was John who was truly a pioneer in this regard. Not only was he honest in his lyrics, but he made songs that had melody, a tune--they were stand-alone works of art and beauty.
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