Botanical Gardens, Bermuda 1980.
So this is the Botanical Gardens. The wrought iron gates are like the ones at Strawberry Fields. Palms, banyan trees but somehow English. Spotting an outdoor café the famous pop star and his son decide to have some milk shakes. Time to make some notes.
Right, let’s see where we are. I needed space. Had to get away from my new American ‘buddies’ who seemed to think a few days on a boat together is enough to establish some kind of bond. They’ll be giving interviews about it soon most likely. Their brush with fame. I need a place where I can watch the wheels go round. Some place to hide out. That’s the trouble with fame. People think you’ve got all the bloody answers.
Same thing after five years in the Dakota. The dream was over. But it was OK. Safe. Womblike. Just a few fans hanging round the gate. People expected too much. There is life without music. Inspiration comes and goes.
I weathered the storm yeah baby...sat at the wheel when the others were below. Massive waves. But I was at peace with the elements…in control of my own destiny for once. Damn what a feeling.
It’s the Viking blood you know. Sea-faring people the Irish. Sailing to Bermuda? Piece of cake.
OK that’s enough milk shake. Let’s have a walk around. Lots of flowers and tropical things to see. Bugger me what’s this? Double Fantasy!!! That’s it! The album cover! A freesia...whoda thunk!?!
Undercliffe seems OK. Once we got rid of the occupants. $24,000 for 6 weeks and the daft twit invites me to join the golf club. Fairyland. That’s nice. Now what? I wonder if she’s bonking that Sam. Can’t really blame her. Maybe I should look for some crumpet. Naughty thought. Must be some discos around. I’ll get Fred to check. He can be my chaperone. Nobody told me there would be days like this.
What to do? Can’t do nothing.
Ideas are piling up. Last night was strange in that disco place. Journalists spotted me. ‘Are you really John Lennon?’ ‘What are you doing here?’ ‘Where’s Yoko?’ ‘How come you haven’t done anything for 5 years?’ Cheeky buggers. Then they played that silly Lobster song by the B-52s…those girl singers were screaming. Wheels on the wall. Too much beer. Threw up in the driveway. Don’t tell Mother.
Write one for Ringo. One of these days everybody will be hooked up to computers...virtual reality...talking to each other.
Plumbers in today. Found Sean telling them his Daddy’s a Beatle. The little bugger sounded really proud. And...as if that wasn’t enough I keep hearing the famous ex-Beatle Paul McCartney singing on the car radio... Coming up like a flower? Silly love songs. It’s Pablum for the masses but so what? Good luck to him. If Mr. Confidence can do it so can I. But mine will have primal screams in it, channeling the anger...like that chick whatshername, Clare Torry...did for Pink Floyd. Somehow it’s all got the old creative juices flowing. Need to get back. Go public. Phone Yoko. Perhaps she’ll let me come home. It’ll be...like starting over.
Good old Bob Marley. Wonder if there’s any reggae around. Probably not. They seem a bit straight-laced here. Fred wants me to go back to that disco place. Not bloody likely. It’s crawling with journalists.
Nice climate but I don’t think I could live here. Too small. Everybody knows everyone else.
Must be lots of people going through domestic ups and downs these days. People our age. Do an album just for them? Me and Yoko...half and half...make it like a dialogue. Now there’s a thought. Perhaps I can write the sleeve notes myself. In my own write. If I ever feel that loose again.
Past, present and future. Is it possible that they all converge at times? Just for a moment. Have I been hiding? Is it time to come out again? What is the meaning of success?
Contradictions. Some questions are too big to face. How to save humanity when it’s people you can’t stand.
Sean seems happy enough. He’ll have some memories to look back on one day. This morning he showed me a shell he’d found on the beach. He wanted to know what it is. I told him a sea creature lived in it once but now it’s gone. To another shell? He asks. Oh boy...life and death...the great cosmic dance. I told him the sea creature found a new home.
Strange to think when I was his age I had to choose between my parents. How can a kid make a choice like that? Fucked for life really.
Yoko was here. Not good. Mix up at the airport and she didn’t stay long. Same old shit. Could write more. Don’t feel like it.
Fred’s making notes I see. Probably be writing a book down the road. Everybody will be getting on the bloody band wagon. Twisting things around. Putting their own spin on things. Thus will we build a composite picture of the famous Beatle.
They’ll say I was happy. They’ll say I was depressed. They’ll say it was a self-indulgent soppy album. They’ll say I was on top of my game. Maybe it was a bit soft and soppy. Well sorry folks...the anger’s gone. I finally got some truth. Punk killed the Sergeant but he still wanders the halls of Abbey Road...the ghost of 67.
Got George to drive us out to St. George. I wanted to see the place where we landed. Stopped in an old church. St. Peter’s. Graveyard in the back for freed slaves. I see Peter Sellers died. Heart attack. Wonder how I’ll die.
Back to New York tomorrow. Going to miss this place.
In the Botanical Gardens they are building a monument.