Sunday, 2 January 2011

John Lennon Competition Results


Time has now been called on our John Lennon songwriting competition (see post here, but it's academic now).

I have to report that as no entries by other hands have been received then technically the prize has to go to me, as the only person to have contributed a snatch of song in the appropriate mode. True, it was intended merely as an example of how to go about things but if it's the winner by default then my hands are tied. So I can only say - as I would have done to any worthy winner - very well done.

Ooh, I'm all excited now - never win things, me. What could the prize be? Perhaps a vintage copy of the Yellow Submarine Gift Book from 1968, telling the story with lots of colour drawings and possibly written by Hunter Davies?


I say this with no evidence other than the line:
They were the fabulous Beatles who we know and love!
Devouring the book for the first time, in bed on Christmas morning 1968, that line leapt out at me. Partly because it had, unusually, been incorporated into one of the illustrations, but also because the nascent critic in my ten year old self was dimly aware it was in a different register. The only other line I remember wholesale was the rather clunkier description of the Fabulous Beatles' encounter with Lucy:
The boys were transfixed by her beauty.
Which seems rather more George Martin (especially as played by The Actor Kevin Eldon) than Hunter Davies.

Anyway, I really, really hope that is the prize. Oh, I can hardly wait. I regret selling my original copy, along with a lot of Beatle monthlies, in the mid seventies when I needed cash. Though in the case of the monthlies, it was easy come, easy go: bought 'em in a jumble sale one Saturday in Glasgow's McLellan Galleries. And when I saw there was an issue in French about a Paris gig, I tore it in two - then found out later it was a collector's item worth about forty quid (which would have bought you a little semi-detached on the South Side then, but hey).

But is that going to be the prize? It might be nothing at all, apart from a brief sense of arid triumph. I haven't decided yet.

And a more important consideration, perhaps, than any Beatlish gewgaw is this further enforcement of the idea that the act of writing in this blog has to be its own reward (as discussed a few entries ago, here).

Which may ultimately be a good thing, if it forces me towards the other kind of writing which I have been avoiding.

(Sonorous voice) And  maybe that is the real prize. Y'know, the real prize.

Though I wouldn't say no to the Yellow Submarine Gift Book as an additional  incentive: the revisiting of Hunter Davies' - or possibly George Martin's - prose might, who knows, have the effect of awakening my long-dormant potential. I have no choice but to hold on to that possibility, especially having read an article in the Guardian by Kathryn Schulz, here, on the transformative power of self-delusion.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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