December 18th, 2016

candy cane


In an interview two years after John Lennon's death, Paul McCartney was asked, as he often did, about the negativity John directed towards him in interview and songs. Paul said, The truth is he didn't really think that was all my character. He knew there were all sorts of other bits.

In many ways, negativity stands out more than positivity. People mistook John's willingness to be negative for honesty. Everyone knows How Do You Sleep? was an attack on Paul, but much fewer people recognize I Know (I Know) as an apology, despite such unsubtle lines as "I know it's getting better all the time / as we share in each other's minds". In the very interviews where John insulted, mocked, and dismissed Paul he also made many positive comments, but those aren't remembered as well. The negativity is unusual, so it is given more weight than the positive.

So in this post I am going to cherry-pick the positive comments from two of John's more hostile interviews: 1970's Lennon Remembers and John's 1980 Playboy interview.

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