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The John Lennon Series
by Jude Southerland Kessler

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Beatles Myths

John says "I Buried Paul" on Strawberry Fields Forever

A common belief is that John says "I Buried Paul" at the end of Strawberry Fields Forever on the Magical Mystery Tour album. In fact, he actually says "Cranberry Sauce", not once, but twice.

The Proof:

On the ending of Strawberry Fields on the version on the Anthology 2 album, you can clearly hear John saying "Cranberry Sauce" twice, and then "Calm Down, Ringo" to cause the track to come to a grinding halt.

[SOUND] In addition, in this interview sound clip, John corrects the interviewer to emphatically say that he said "Cranberry Sauce" and not "I Buried Paul" on Strawberry Fields.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Because of the weird images in the song, and the coincidence of the intials in the song title, it's widely believed that the song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds is about.

In fact, the Beatles have maintained all these years that the song is not about at all. The title was inspired by then four-year-old Julian Lennon. He brought home a picture he drew in nursery school, and told John it was his freind, Lucy, in the sky, with diamonds. John has said in interviews that the lyrics of the song were inspired by the 'Wool and Water' chapter in Lewis Carol's Through The Looking Glass, where Alice is taken down a river in a row boat by the Queen, who has suddenly changed into a sheep. Additional images came from things like the plastic ties they wore on The Goon Show, one of John's favorite programs.

The Proof:

Above is the actual picture, "Lucy In The Sky, With Diamonds" (99k), drawn by Julian Lennon in 1967.

Update -- June, 2004:

In a new interview in Uncut Magazine, Paul detailed his use for the first time with the Beatles, which centered mostly around and that he had tried once. In that interview, although Paul acknowledged that Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds had indeed been named for the drawing by Julian, he also said "it's pretty obvious" that the song is about.

The "Butcher Cover" was a protest by the Beatles of Capitol's "Butchering" of their albums in America

A persistent urban legend claims that the "butcher cover" shot, photographed by regular Fabs photographer Robert Whitaker, was staged in protest of the Capitol habit of "butchering" the Beatles' standard UK LP configuration. However, looking at the historical facts shows that the photo session was completed in March 1966, expressly for the "Paperback Writer" campaign, and before Capitol asked for a suitable cover photo for "Yesterday and Today".

The Proof:

[SOUND] Here is a sound clip of an interview with John Lennon, in which he talks about the making of the picture, clearly stating that it was totally the concept of the photographer.

(By the way, butcher covers sell for significantly more these days than what John mentions in the clip.)

Beatles Manager Brian Epstein

Recently the American cable TV network A&E released information in connection with the airing of a biography about Brian Epstein perpetuating the myth. This is not true. The official medical inquest at the time in 1967 declared it was an accidental. Many dangerous were found in his room, yet the medical evidence showed that he had simply taken some of the less dangerous in an accidentally fatal combination.

The Proof:

Besides the medical evidence and official inquest verdict, official Epstein biographer Ray Coleman documents several reasons we can know Brian was not planning at the time of his death. Brian's father had died six months earlier, and Brian was very dedicated to his mother, Queenie, who was very devestated by Brian's father's death. He was also engaged in purchasing a London flat for her at that time. He would have never intentionally left her at such a time. Further, Brian was very meticulous, in both his business and private lives, yet he died without first arranging a will. In addition, he wrote a letter to Derek Taylor days before his death, outlining exciting plans for the future, including being excited about the news that Cilla Black, another of his artistes, had just been offered her own TV show on the BBC.

[SOUND] Here is sound clip of Derek Taylor talking about Brian Epstein and how his final days lead to his accidental death.

Julian Lennon is joining the Beatles to replace John

Because of the similarity of looks and singing voice between Julian and his father, John Lennon, it is frequently rumored that Julian Lennon will join the three remaining Beatles to record some new music.

In fact, in many public interviews, Julian has said he has no intention of getting together to work with the other Beatles, and that it would be a very confusing situation. Paul also said almost the very same thing in the Anthology TV show.

The Proof:

[SOUND] Here is Julian, in his own words, in a clip from an appearance on David Letterman on April 10, 1985.

Linda McCartney was related to the Eastman-Kodak family

It is still commonly believed that the late Linda McCartney, who's maiden name was Linda Eastman, was related to the Eastman family of Eastman-Kodak fame. This is not so. On the contrary, Linda's family name was originally Epstein (no relation to Brian Epstein), and their family name was changed to Eastman when they emigrated to America.

The Proof:

[SOUND] Here is a soundclip of Linda, from a 1992 interview on the NBC TV Today show, with Katie Couric, specifically stating that she's not related to the Eastman-Kodaks, and telling a humorous anecdote about this confusion.

Some historical data from The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn.
This page last updated June 6, 2004

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