Competition and Facilitation: David Kopp’s Examination of the Lennon/McCartney dyad

Recent evaluations of the Beatles songcraft and dynamic have begun to explore the role played by the innate qualities of the group’s individuals. One such area of exploration involves the differing methods and styles of creation within the band. A growing interpretation argues that one of the primary artistic and interpersonal clashes resulted from the contrast between McCartney’s more conceptualized method of songcraft, which contrasted with Harrison and Lennon’s more step-by-step approach.

From 1966 on, McCartney would often come into the studio with almost all the musical facets of a song fully mapped out in his brain, instructing the others how and what to play in order to achieve his vision. In contrast, both Harrison and Lennon often built their songs layer by layer in the studio, trying and then rejecting or accepting musical and production suggestions from the other Beatles, or George Martin.

While it is difficult to argue with some of the results of McCartney’s determination to decline suggestions and realize his individual artistic vision – see “Hey, Jude” – this approach stifled input from the other band members, provoking resentment not only from Harrison and Lennon, but even the relatively laid-back Starr, as the drummer noted in Anthology: “It got a bit like, ‘I wrote the song and I want it this way,’ whereas before it was ‘I wrote the song; give me what you can.’”

Additionally, evidence from the “Let it Be” “lunchroom” conversation indicates that, in Lennon’s mind at least, McCartney’s differing conceptual approach began to overwhelm the production of some of Lennon’s songs as well. Due to McCartney’s well-documented innate musicality and superior ability regarding and interest in production, he could ‘hear’ a more comprehensive musical landscape, including instrumentation and studio production, than Lennon could, even on some of Lennon’s own songs. The lunchroom tapes include Lennon acknowledging their differing approaches and strengths, while requesting a more concerted effort from McCartney to grant Lennon’s gradual, trial-and-error approach more time before offering McCartney’s own suggestions. Thus the complimentarily natures of their innate but contrasting creative styles sparked both friction and genius.

In his article “Linking Differences in Self-Directed Learning Competency to Dyadic Conflict,” (Twentieth Century Approaches in Self-Directed Learning, 2003), David Marshall Kopp adds another layer to the debate, arguing that significant contrasts in learning styles, and how those learning styles influenced creativity between Lennon and McCartney, also played a role in creating a friction and eventually dissolving their creative dyad. Kopp, an academic, focuses solely on the narrow issue of “Self-Directed Learning” in an attempt to ascertain each man’s individual learning style, what issues/conflicts resulted from their differing approaches to Self-Directed Learning, and the arc of the Lennon/McCartney dyad.

Kopp’s resources on the Beatles and the Lennon/McCartney dyad include numerous biographies and secondary sources, such as Ray Coleman’s Lennon, as well as primary sources, such as McCartney’s Many Years From Now. Drawing information and quotes from these materials, Kopp argues that, from their childhoods onwards, Lennon and McCartney demonstrated serious contrasts in their levels of self-directed learning, which Kopp defines as actively pursuing new knowledge via a variety of avenues, someone who can “conceive of goals and plans, and has the will to power through and exercise self-discipline.”

Due primarily to his voracious reading habits, Kopp regards Lennon as a self-directed learner, “but of a significantly lesser degree than McCartney.” As Kopp notes (and Pete Shotton concurs) “Lennon never made any plans for the future and lived in the spur of the moment,” and the unstable nature of his early upbringing ensured he was not exposed to the same degree of attention and stimulation as McCartney.

The result of this was that Lennon displays a “consistent need for a facilitator, or ‘peer simulator,’ during his learning experiences.” In simple English, Lennon was uninterested in or incapable of pursuing new knowledge (again, with the notable and significant exception of reading) by himself, and needed a partner to introduce and familiarize him with new concepts and knowledge.  Lennon’s reliance on some sort of partner – from Shotton to McCartney to Ono – has been well documented and accepted as one of the fundamental aspects of his personality.

Kopp also identifies McCartney as a Self-Directed Learner, but of an entirely different level than Lennon. He identifies McCartney as one of the highest levels possible: an “autodidact,” a “self-directed learner who is single minded in his or her commitment to learning tasks, achieves high levels of expertise in his or her chosen area of inquiry, and thrives on personal autonomy.” Or, as McCartney described it in his 1966 interview with Maureen Cleave, “I vaguely mind people knowing anything I don’t know.”

The author also notes that, unlike Lennon, McCartney’s Self-Directed Learning did not require a facilitator, but was conceived and pursued independently. “What fundamentally emerged was that Lennon was more dependent on his environment – by way of a facilitator – for his learning experiences than was McCartney. John had low autonomy and high dependence, whereas Paul had high autonomy and low dependence.”

The rest of the article outlines the various stages of collaboration and competition between the two men, while linking an overall decline in the writing partnership to a decline in Lennon’s benefiting from McCartney’s higher level of self-directed learning. Kopp notes how McCartney’s superior musical knowledge at his July 6, 1957 introduction to Lennon – superior knowledge which was the direct result, in part, of McCartney’s higher level of self-directed learning and greater autonomy — was viewed by the older boy as a threat, with Lennon worrying “that his leadership role might be threatened by McCartney’s formidable abilities, rendering Lennon secondary status.” However, Lennon also viewed these same qualities as among McCartney’s primary enticements: “What was significant was that not only was McCartney reaping the rewards of such SDL projects of teaching himself to play and tune a guitar as well as learning the words and music to the most popular songs, but that these also were the skills and abilities to which Lennon reacted.” This interpretation – that throughout their relationship Lennon viewed McCartney’s strengths as both admirable and beneficial but potentially threatening to his preeminent status – is also reinforced by Shotton’s memoirs.

In Kopp’s analysis, The Lennon/McCartney dyad progressed through various stages, including Collaboration, which lasted from 1957-1963, Competition: 1963-1965, Competition Lost: 1966-1967, and Disengagement: 1968-1970. In the first stage, Lennon benefited from McCartney’s self-directed learning even as both benefited and improved each other’s work; during this same time period, Lennon produced more A-side singles than McCartney and provided a dominant presence on the A Hard Day’s Night album. However, Kopp argues that, during the competitive stage, Lennon began to benefit less from McCartney’s Self-Directed Learning as the two progressed beyond 50/50 songwriting to writing more songs entirely or primarily as individual rather than collaborative efforts. Lennon’s low autonomy regarding Self-Directed Learning as well his destructive LSD habit, along with the now primarily competitive rather than collaborative nature of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting partnership, pushed McCartney into the forefront. As McCartney explored Stockhausen, Lennon explored LSD, and his productivity plunged. The result was McCartney’s de-facto leadership and musical dominance, as evidenced by an overwhelming number of McCartney A-side singles during the band’s last four years. Unable and unwilling to compete commercially, by 1968 Lennon largely withdrew from contention, with the A-side count from 1968-1970 tallied as Paul: 5, John: 1, and George: 1.

The largest flaw with Kopp’s analysis is his narrow focus on songwriting as the sole evidence of collaboration between the Lennon/McCartney dyad. While face-to-face songwriting did decline over the years, particularly after touring ceased, collaboration within the studio evidenced numerous instances in which McCartney’s Self-Directed Learning continued to benefit Lennon’s work. The famous tape loops McCartney added to “Tomorrow Never Knows” would be one such example. In addition, this avant-garde musical bent, a direct result of McCartney’s higher level of Self-Directed Learning, was something McCartney encouraged Lennon to pursue, to the extent that McCartney hooked up the Brunel reel-to-reel tape recorders in Lennon’s home studio so that Lennon, too, could experiment. Thus, in a circuitous way, we can thank McCartney for enabling Lennon and Ono to use those same tape recorders and later gift the world with Two Virgins.

Multiple other instances, including McCartney’s similarly essential contributions to “A Day in the Life,” cast doubt on Kopp’s conclusions that Lennon viewed McCartney’s higher level of SDL as an irreconcilable threat because it no longer benefited him: “Lennon’s inevitable floundering can be traced back to Foucher’s and Tremblay’s 1993 study, which posited that a SDL with low autonomy could not thrive without facilitation. During their earlier collaborative period, the data shows that McCartney facilitated Lennon in such things as learning chord structures and harmonies … By the competitive stage, however, Lennon no longer had McCartney’s facilitation … as a result, Lennon could not compete with McCartney’s output.” Studio evidence indicates that Lennon’s work continued to benefit from McCartney’s high level of Self-Directed Learning, even as McCartney’s work continued to benefit from Lennon’s editorial input (again, see “Hey, Jude”) and musical suggestions. Ultimately, declaring that “Lennon no longer had McCartney’s facilitation” is simply an exaggerated, if not untrue assessment which undermines a significant element of Kopp’s thesis.

Where Kopp’s thesis becomes stronger is in his evaluation of the power and creative fluctuations within the Lennon/McCartney dyad. The author reinforces the now fairly well-established perception that McCartney dominated the band, musically and otherwise, from 1966 onwards. More, Kopp argues that Lennon’s insecurity at this realization of McCartney’s preeminence may have increased his drug use. During this period, John “began to abuse harder drugs such as LSD. What emerges from the data is the possibility that Lennon’s drug abuse was a response to his growing insecurity regarding McCartney. What Lennon had worried about almost ten years earlier had materialized … McCartney, by way of his superior talents, was now leading the dyad and the group.” While there is considerable reason to reject Kopp’s argument that Lennon lost McCartney’s faciliatation, the analysis that Lennon felt threatened by McCartney’s increasing pre-eminence is an interpretation that numerous writers, such as Peter Doggett and Mikal Gilmore, have presented within the last decade. Under this theory, Beatles historiography inevitably unfolds like a Greek Tragedy, as the very seeds for the band’s collapse were also present at its origin: Lennon chose McCartney because of his musical abilities, but felt threatened by those same abilities, and would not accept anything but recognition as leader. (Lewisohn also hints at this interpretation in the introduction to Tune In).

Ultimately, Kopp’s analysis that Lennon and McCartney displayed significant innate differences in Self-Directed Learning Styles, and that those differences impacted their individual approaches to music and songwriting, appears correct. Where Kopp stumbles is, first, assigning the issue of differences in Self-Directed Learning such significance and, second, in arguing that Lennon lost McCartney’s facilitation.

18 thoughts on “Competition and Facilitation: David Kopp’s Examination of the Lennon/McCartney dyad

  1. Karen Hooper says:

    Great article, Erin. A few thoughts while I chew on the piece:

    As you know, I’ve long held the belief that the creative conflict between McCartney and his bandmates had more to do with McCartney’s differing creative style than any presumed “bossiness” on his part.

    It seems as though Kopp is suggesting that while a creative partnership was essential for John’s creative endeavors, such a partnership was almost nonessential for Paul. I would disagree with him. Paul’s entire career, with the Beatles and after, may be epitomized by his enthusiastic pursuit of creative partnerships with other artists. John needed motivation, but Paul needed inspiration. When it comes to sheer output, I tend to think that it’s easier to inspire than to motivate. In other words, perhaps Paul’s self-directed style was more amenable to action than John’s.

    I also think that John was about as autodidactic as you can get–voracious readers usually are. Paul certainly thought so. (I remember Paul’s comments about John’s antics with Yoko: paraphrasing, but he said that no, he didn’t understand it, but John was probably ahead of the game and he, Paul, just had to catch up.) And autodidacts aren’t necessarily actors; in other words, you can teach yourself a lot of things that don’t necessarily translate into some sort of quantifiable commodity. Paul’s self-directed learning style taught him how to do things; John’s self-directed learning style taught him how to see things.

    And I agree with you–to say that Lennon lost McCartney’s facilitation is simply wrong. “Come Together”—one of the last Lennon-McCartney songs—has McCartney’s influence all over it.


  2. Erin says:

    Glad you liked the review, Karen. Its such an obscure, specialized article, (and on a topic you know far more about than I do) but I thought it did have some good insights.

    “It seems as though Kopp is suggesting that while a creative partnership was essential for John’s creative endeavors, such a partnership was almost nonessential for Paul.”

    I don’t think Kopp regarded partnership as non-essential for Paul, just that Paul did not require facilitation in exploring SDL to the same extent that John did.

    “Paul’s self-directed learning style taught him how to do things; John’s self-directed learning style taught him how to see things.”

    Perfectly put. And its another example, among many, of how their differing methods were complimentary, because their differences ensured they covered all the bases.

    “And I agree with you–to say that Lennon lost McCartney’s facilitation is simply wrong.”

    Indeed. Which then leads to the other element of the article, which resembles Shenk’s “Powers of Two” in its examination of the power dynamics in the Lennon/McCartney dyad. So long as John felt firmly enough in control, Paul’s abilities were beneficial, if nascent threats; once John no longer felt secure enough in his supremacy, those threats became irresolvable.


  3. sertaneja says:

    Only Paul can tell us about it. John also could if he was not dead, of course. I guess Kops never was by their side to see how it worked. So, for me, it is useless. Just his own fantasy.


    • Erin says:

      Welcome, Sertaneja! It’s always nice to see a new poster.

      While I completely agree that only John and Paul could/can know what it was like to actually be in the Lennon/McCartney partnership, (although we know we can’t take what they say as gospel, either, given their varying agendas, drug use, etc.) I think it might be better to label Kopp’s analysis as “hypothetical,” rather than “useless.” For myself, exploring these issues in depth allows us to theorize and explore nuances to Beatles history that otherwise get painted in very black and white, simplistic tones.

      For example, Karen’s earlier argument that Paul’s innate creative style conflicted with John’s, because left-handed Paul viewed musically more conceptually than John or George did. For decades, the story was simply that, post-1966, 1. Paul was a bossy egomaniac who alienated John and George by ordering them around in the studio and refusing to accept their suggestions regarding his songs. Looking at theories like Kopp’s (or Karen’s) introduces nuance to the issue; yes, past a certain point, Paul didn’t request the other’s arrangement or instrumental input on his songs, which can certainly be construed as egotistical. But when we view Paul’s bossiness and ego regarding how he wanted his music performed as an innate aspect of his creative process, simply because he visualized his songs in a different way than John and George viewed theirs — that adds depth to an otherwise flat issue, and helps explain why Paul was evidently incapable of understanding just how infuriating this habit of his was, because that’s simply the way he was wired.

      (Karen, I absolutely think you should write an article about that whole conceptualizing issue and see about it getting published somewhere, because its fascinating). There are other issues that I think could benefit from these hypothetical explorations: for example, I’d love to see a really in-depth look at how George’s introversion affected his relationships with his fellow Beatles, with music, with fame, the press, etc. Of course, much of it would be speculative, but if it nudges us away from the widely believed doctrine that George was nothing but a bitter, sour grump, then I think it also adds to the conversation.


      • Karen Hooper says:

        Karen, I absolutely think you should write an article about that whole conceptualizing issue and see about it getting published somewhere, because its fascinating.

        Thanks Erin–but I think I’d like to have reams of data to support my hypothesis before I attempted that undertaking. As it stands, it’s kind of a cobbled together theory, extrapolated from related research about left- vs right-brain dominance and information processing. While I feel pretty confident that Paul processes holistically rather than sequentially, I’m not clear on how brain lateralization fits in to the picture–beyond the fact that I think it fits somewhere. 🙂

        I agree with that Kopps’ theory is useful–certainly much more useful (and relevant) that the tired old “Paul was bossy” trope that’s been batted around for the last 40 years.


        • Erin says:

          I understand, Karen — an article like that would be a pretty intensive undertaking. Still, if you ever have anything more you’d like to say and explore on the subject here, I know we’d all love to hear it.

          “’m not clear on how brain lateralization fits in to the picture–beyond the fact that I think it fits somewhere.:)”

          I’m not quite sure on what ‘brain lateralization’ is, so you’ve certainly got one up on me.

          ” agree with that Kopps’ theory is useful–certainly much more useful (and relevant) that the tired old “Paul was bossy” trope that’s been batted around for the last 40 years.”

          Certainly. And while we’ve been using the “Paul is bossy” trope as the prime example of the very simplified, black and white way Beatles historiography has been written, its only one of many. Speaking of tropes, have you been to the Beatles “TV Tropes and Idioms” page?
          It’s got some good analysis of the Beatles associated tropes, and its pretty balanced. If I was going to introduce the Beatles to one of my classes, I’d much rather use that website than hand them half the books written on the band.


          • Karen Hooper says:

            I’ll have to check that one out.

            Brain lateralization is just another way of saying how the brain organizes itself: right-brain (which is associated with left-handededness) and left-brain (right-handedness). The interesting thing is that while right-handed persons have fairly dominant left-brain executive functioning for language, left-handed persons use both hemispheres. Music is also highly associated with right-brain executive functioning.


    • linda a. says:

      I’m sorry Sertaneja, but what exactly can only Paul tell us about? Whether or not he really is an autodidact? I don’t think David Kopp would have to have been by their side to figure out there individual learning styles. There is an awful lot of information available about Lennon and McCartney. It’s pretty easy to make fairly educated assessments about them regarding their relationship, working styles, etc.etc.etc. I fail to see how Kopp’s ideas are useless because he didn’t stand next to them every day watching and taking notes. Although I agree his focus is a bit narrow ( I.e. only regarding their songwriting), I think this is an interesting piece. It adds another dimension.


  4. Charlotte Bowen says:

    I get why Paul wanted his songs to sound a certain way. As he grew musically and heard his songs in his head with a little of ‘this’ a certain moment, and a little of ‘that’ mixed with some ‘this&that’ coming in here and there. He wanted his vision realized.

    Imagine someone telling Da Vinci, “You know Leo, that Mona Lisa painting would really blow folks minds if you gave her a great big toothy grin, maybe even a missing tooth right in front there, or a ‘knowing’ wink, or even have her tongue sticking out! Why don’t you do one of those, instead of her barely there smile, which makes people wonder what that’s all about?”

    I’m an artist too and I don’t mind some suggestions, but when I’m creating and I’m “in the zone”, it irks and rankles for someone to tell me how MY vision OUGHT to be.

    Even John wanted Strawberry Fields a certain way, but didn’t want to bother to learn how to put it together HIS way by learning all the technical tricks and skills Paul was learning in the studio from George Martin and his engineers, to make Beatles music come alive as never before. (That may also account for John having more time to write A side singles that Paul and George M. were adding technical musical textures that enhanced John songs)

    John relied on others to do it and complained later they didn’t get it the way he heard it in his head. I suspect George Harrison may have been like John regarding his songs as well. I can and do empathize with how John, George and Ringo must have felt left out (creatively) and bossed around by Paul’s “I know what I want on MY songs, I know how I want to sound!” attitude……still…(as an artist)

    (I’ve tried post this comment several times, and tried to use the markdowns instead of caps and quotation marks to emphasize but as a “luddite”, I couldn’t get it to work so please pardon me.


    • Erin says:

      I am sorry it took so long for your post to get seen. I was busy on a weekend trip, and I thought I approved it right before I ran out the door to leave, but evidently not.

      “it irks and rankles for someone to tell me how MY vision OUGHT to be.”

      I’m not an artist, so I can’t speak to what its like, having a specific artistic vision in your head and wanting to realize it. But as you said in your post, its easy to ‘get’ Paul’s views on the issue: as he grew musically and immersed himself in production, he was then capable of knowing “I want a piccolo trumpet here,” or “I want a descending riff here,” and then instructing the others to do it. And its also easy to get the other’s POV on it as well; “We’re not session men, Paul; we’re your bandmates. You used to ask us for our ideas and contributions, and now you just shut us down and say ‘Play like this.'”

      “John relied on others to do it and complained later they didn’t get it the way he heard it in his head.”

      And that’s a big part of the lunchroom discussion (which I love as a source, both for its credibility as well as the range of topics it covers) where John talks about how George followed John’s direction on “She Said/She Said,” but it still wasn’t the end result John wanted, (which John, of course, blame on George) because he couldn’t transfer it from his head to the recording as fully as he wanted. And actually — you wonder if that irritated John; Paul was capable, evidently, of realizing his vision for his songs more fully, and without outside help or suggestions, than John was with his. And part of that was because Paul was more interested in production than John, and had a much better attention span.

      There’s a part of that whole lunchroom discussion that I love — in part because it contradicts what John was trying to ‘sell’ in his 1980 Playboy interview — where John is discussing the whole issue, and says something like, when he wrote and arranged music, “I don’t hear the flutes playing, y’know?” and then acknowledges how much Paul’s vision/production/arrangement has brought to his songs (which he reverses himself on in the Playboy interview, saying he added more to Paul’s songs than Paul did to his, which, by my reading, doesn’t seem to be true). And then John reminds Paul how much he, John, had helped Paul with his lyrics writing.

      “(That may also account for John having more time to write A side singles that Paul and George M. were adding technical musical textures that enhanced John songs.”

      The A-side thing is interesting, because that competition was evidently one that both John and Paul put a great deal of stock in, and you do see a very clear ‘changing of the guard’ from John to Paul around fall 1965/by 1966. I’ve read somewhere that John protested vociferously to “We Can Work it Out” being anointed the A-side single over “Day Tripper,” which is why it wasn’t specifically designated as such (but of course the secondary source, in that case MacDonald, didn’t cite where they got that info from) but A-sides were determined by majority vote. There’s also an account in Pete Shotton’s book discussing how John was upset when it became clear that “Revolution” was going to be superseded as the A side by “Hey, Jude;” he kept protesting to the point that Paul appealed to Pete, and even Pete acknowledged that “Hey, Jude” was the better choice, which hurt John.

      Don’t worry about being a ‘luddite,’ I’m one too, much to Karen’s eternal amusement and despair.


    • Karen Hooper says:

      I’ve tried post this comment several times, and tried to use the markdowns instead of caps and quotation marks to emphasize but as a “luddite”, I couldn’t get it to work so please pardon me.

      (I think I know what happened. The brackets are just the way coders differentiate the markdown from the rest of the instructional text. You don’t have to add the bracket. Don’t stress about it though. I’ve moved the duplicate posts to the trash, as per your request. 🙂 )

      And I totally empathize with Paul as well. I think we share in how we tend to envision things as a whole, rather as component parts.


  5. Dr David M Kopp says:

    Great analysis of my work; the chapter you read was culled out of my dissertation, which obviously is a 100 pages more detailed! One major clarification: I never suggest that Paul stopped facilitating John. But Paul’s facilitation was always a dependent variable (to the extent John was in the mood to collaborate–The Ballad of John and Yoko April 69 being a great late example. John’s avoidance/apathy for everything Beatles and Paul at the end (I want a divorce) was the independent variable. In fact, I think you will all concur that John was at his best when he WAS facilitated (e.g., by Pete, Paul or Yoko). Also, as I say in the article, especially compared to you and me, John WAS self-directed, but not compared to McCartney, which is the point. To be highly self directed is not about just being an idea man (or a voracious reader, for that matter), it’s about ultimately taking the initiative, securing the resources to COMPLETE a project and then evaluate it. For example, even after Paul was robbed in Lagos, Nigeria, and his band members quit, Paul completed Band on the Run, talk about not needing to be facilitated!

    As an aside, I had dinner with Yoko in 1999 to discuss my dissertation…

    Kopp, D.M. (1999, October, 20). Reflecting with Yoko on leadership, Orlando Business Journal, p. 35.


    • Karen Hooper says:

      Hello and welcome, Dr. Kopp. I’m glad you happened upon Erin’s review of your work (or a portion, as it turns out.)

      You’ve got me curious about Yoko’s impressions of your hypothesis–favourable? Not favourable?


    • Erin says:

      My apologies for the late reply, Dr. Kopp; I’ve been under the weather with a severe cold, and under the gun with midterms, grading research papers, etc.

      I greatly enjoyed your chapter; it was unique, insightful and refreshingly non-partisan. I was only able to get ahold of the one chapter via I.L.L: what was the overall topic of your dissertation?

      Thanks also for clarifying the facilitation issue — “But Paul’s facilitation was always a dependent variable (to the extent John was in the mood to collaborate” — in your response. Given John’s need for a collaborator, and his replacement of Paul with Yoko, where do you see Yoko on the SDL scale? (Did John have a ‘type’ he consciously or unconsciously sought out in his collaborators?) While Yoko certainly appears to be self-motivated and capable of seizing the initiative to complete projects, her heroin use from 1968-1970, as well as later on, would have impacted her abilities to complete projects.

      Like Karen, I’m curious to know what Yoko thought of your dissertation; I’ll try and see if I can get ahold of that article from the Orlando Business Journal.


  6. David Kopp says:

    Thanks Erin and Karen,
    Also, one more point, while some may think I stumbled a bit in listing the authorship of songs as a symptom of the self-direction and changing leadership dyad, I still contend that, while simplistic, analyzing the ‘end product’ was a sound methodology and dispositive; at least, as a symptom of what was going on within the group. Indeed, what else would you use if not their product?

    While I didn’t come out as say ‘your husband wasn’t as self-directed as Paul McCartney’, I did suggest that John was a facilitated genius, and told her that I thought that the the John from 1968 on could only have existed because of her influence. Admittedly, she just nodded and then told me to try the Soba Noodle dish, lol. As an aside, I went with Francie Schwartz to meet Yoko (Francie gets full props for setting up the meeting and, frankly, I have always felt she got a bad shake). If you give me your email(s) I will send you the article.


    • Karen Hooper says:

      I did suggest that John was a facilitated genius, and told her that I thought that the the John from 1968 on could only have existed because of her influence.

      Truer words–and in addition, I don’t think that influence was remotely positive for John, personally or creatively.

      Francie Swartz and her memoirs strike me as most personal narratives do–subjective, impossible to consider as objective truth, but containing micro-truths if you have the time and energy to ferret them out. Erin can send me the article and I look forward to reading it.


  7. Erin says:

    I find it interesting that you believe Francie got a bad shake, David: I haven’t yet read her memoir, although we did discuss the obvious error which various Beatles writers have displayed in regarding her (or anyone’s) unsubstantiated retrospective testimony as fact in a previous thread.

    Personally, I would argue most of the females in Beatles historiography have received unfair and/or inaccurate depictions, including language and interpretations which range from patronizing to sexist to hagiographic, depending on the personal agenda of the writer, their partisanship, and various other factors.

    I don’t want to give out Karen’s e-mail address without her permission, but mine ( is also included under the About section on the banner at the top of the page. I look forward to reading your article.


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