April 10, 2014
The shock of the new for me is when Paul McCartney announced to the world that he was leaving The Beatles. I was a teenager at the time, and of course, like most American teenagers I was totally wrapped up in everything that was the Fab Four. It was the first time that I experienced the feeling that things can’t last forever, and their breakup caused a major head-fuck for me, because I couldn’t understand at the time, why they had to break up. I mean, couldn’t they just talk it out. What was worst was reading the John Lennon interview in Rolling Stone that year, where he just exposed all his inner-feelings about Paul to the public. I was not only shocked to read this interview, but I actually hated him for letting his true feelings out. I have great faith in a world where one has the illusion of a perfect domain, and that they should with all their power, keep that world intact. Here, Lennon was shitting on the Beatle world, therefore my world as well.
The one illusion that was important to me was the TV series “The Rifleman” starring Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain and Johnny Crawford as his son, Mark McCain. It was the first show to portray a widowed parent raising a child by himself. Lucas’s character is that of a rancher who purchased a ranch and is making a concerted effort to make it all work, with his son helping out with the daily duties of running a ranch. McCain was also a excellent rifleman, and had a specially made rifle which could be fired rapidly. But the heart of the show is the relationship between Lucas and his son. In fact, I never have seen such a relationship before on TV or in a film. Whenever I watch the series I felt a great deal of comfort, because the Dad here is very decent, very powerful, and is basically concerned about his son’s welfare. Scenes where McCain is without his son, or being tortured by a villain, were extremely disturbing to me. Looking at the shows now, they do have a sub-text of S&M, at least emotionally so. But at the time I was totally caught up with the relationship between Dad and Son. I felt that way about The Beatles as well, because in my thoughts, here is a gang that won’t never let each other down.
Relationships are extremely important to me, and when something unexpectedly goes wrong, it disturbs me to the very core of my being. I often can identify with the main character in Alain Resnais’s film “Last Year at Marienbad” written by Alain Robbe-Grillet. The man approaches a woman at a social gathering at a baroque hotel, convinced that they have met the year before, and both agreed to meet the next year. Now that the year has passed, he sees her, but she claimed to never had met him before. In a sense he had a ‘false’ hope that this relationship will happen, but alas, it becomes an illusion of sorts. My expectation of relationships, through the personal, as well as through the media of film and music, is one where I find myself wanting to assume that what I see on the screen or hear is true. And it is true in my heart, but alas, the world moves differently in another dimension.
So the fact that Paul left The Beatles left a major scar in my psyche. But also gave me the gift to observe that I live in two lives. Almost in another dimension, in there is a world where things work out perfectly such as Martin Denny’s Hawaii landscape, and "The Rifleman." On the other side is the Beatles split, and the disappointment that is the heart of “Last Year at Marienbad. ”