Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Lucy In The Mind Of Lennon" by Tim Kasser

Oxford University Press, 9780199747603

A very odd book by Tim Kasser who is a Professor of Psychology, on the subject matter of John Lennon and his wonderful song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds."  First of all, a Psychologist looking into Lennon's mind seems so un-rock n' roll like.  Two, it sort of creeps me out that someone can do this without actually meeting or talking to the patient of sorts - Mr. Lennon.

So basically Kasser is getting his information second and third hand, and I think he's reading too literally into a work that's art - which in mind comes from numerous places in the Lennon brain and out there in the world.  There is nothing wrong in writing a book like this, but it is also not that interesting.  I think Kasser states the obvious, and it would have been more interesting if he focused on the culture or the roots of this song.  And maybe in his eyes he did that, but I feel "Lucy..." is about the '60's, London life, as well as the world of Carroll (Alice) and Lennon's insecurity.  I think Lennon was a genius in getting something raw and polishing the work till it becomes something else.  And I would say he did that for his brilliant debut solo album as well.  It is personal, but on a bigger plane it is about feelings, and pop songs are basically the graveyard and platform for 'feelings.'   Lennon knew that, and that is what made him the artist that he is.

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