Saturday, April 08, 2006

The New Lennon

Some people are getting themselves into a tizzy over the fact that Pete Doherty is supposed to have claimed to be the new John Lennon. (Actually he didn't: an interviewer made the suggestion and he replied, "that sounds good" but let's not get caught up with facts.) And the irate response is, "how dare that junkie compare himself to John Lennon.
There is a teensy flaw in that argument. I was quite surprised to read this in a biography of Lennon: (so surprised that I memorised it) "for the last ten years of his life rarely a day passed without him using a drug, mostly heroin, usually several."
It's perhaps too much to say that the last decade of Lennon's life was wasted, but he certainly was for most of it.
I'm not a great believer in the e idea of role models. If someone makes me laugh or sings a song well they've done their job as far as I'm concerned, and how they spend the rest of their time is their business.
But I'll make something of an exception for the Beatles: they achieved a level of global fame unknown before and rarely if ever equaled since, and they chose that fame to actively promote the use of drugs.
I don't condemn anyone for using drugs personally, but I do find it weird that someone should be considered unfit to be compared to a man who used drugs copiously, advocated their use, and ended up addicted to heroin because, "they're a junkie!"


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