John & Yoko:above us only sky
"Channel 4’s feature-length documentary about the making of Lennon’s album Imagine, featuring unseen footage from John and Yoko’s Berkshire home where much of it was recorded, is as close as you’re going to get. There’s testimony from musicians who played on the album, plus interviews with Yoko and eldest son Julian Lennon. But it’s John who commands the attention, bashing out his songs on the upright piano so the band can learn them, and telling fellow ex-Beatle George exactly what sort of guitar solo he’s after." - TV Guide
Truly this is a mere 'advert' for the repackaging of the reissue and yet isn't really about the making of the album at all, it is barely about the making of the one hit track and I am guessing, whilst I love Yoko and always saw her first as a quite independent artist in her own right, the influence here is clear. She hangs over the whole project like a judgemental omnipotent influence ensuring that nothing untoward is touched upon. However not only did she really co-write 'Imagine' that finally becomes clear by referencing 'Grapefruit' but this hagiographic whitewash of a film clearly did not want to rattle any cages or spoil things by exploring anything even approaching the truth. It is merely about just the song and as everyone has called it the 'untold story' which is patently laughable! There is nothing here that we haven' t seen before. Given the film makers finishing up by saying they edited it from thousands of hours of footage it seems extraordinary how bland an end result they have committed to broadcast. Quite why some of the art folk or gallerists and retired DJs and 'D' listers are represented here (Yoko's gallery perhaps?) the whole set up is totally unfathomable and frankly I couldn't even be bothered to find out who the hell they are and even dear Klaus Voormann sounds old and confused getting his facts wrong about now . . . . . . . Even Julian is used as a cursory footnote here. To say that the song 'Imagine' is "not religious" is foolish in the extreme as 'no hell below us, above us only sky" and "and no religion too" always made it simplistically clear but this doesn't look at their life together in Berkshire where they hardly spent 2 years in their newly bought stately home how John was no father to poor Julian at all by then or visits the reasons other than what comes across as whimsy to move to New York in any depth at all their life style changes there and for example their fascination with numerology or suffering from such heroin addiction (or consumption really in that they never injected) but had smoked it on and off for years, so that in New York that John readily saw UFO's on the skyline over the Dakota building for example and the footage of the rich man's 99 acre stately home of Tittenhurst Park where they spent twice the value of the house on eccentric landscaping projects (their lake was built without any planning permission) and 'doing it up' only to leave after a couple of years selling the house to Ringo and all of this is certainly stuff that we have seen before. The heartbreaking encounter there with the supposed ex-Vietnam vet with his fuses blown is not new and doesn't really warrant a second viewing. We might be forgiven for thinking the footage we haven't seen is only the 'D' lister talking heads waffling on saying next to nothing.
Heck you know we ALL have an opinion on John and Yoko!
Truly truly dreadful piece of hagiography. Hardly worth bothering to watch