Čudesno putovanje narednika Pepera

Čudesno putovanje narednika Pepera

 

Prošlo je skoro pola od kada su Bitlsi izdali album Orkestar kluba usamljenih srdašaca narednika Pepera. Sa svojim muzičkim inovacijama i aranžmanima, konceptualnim pristupom, istočnjačkim ritmovima, kolažnom umetnošću i neskrivenim referencama ka LSD-u, danas se smatra najuticajnijim rok proizvodom svih vremena. Njusvik ga je uporedio sa Eliotovom Pustarom a neki kritičari nazvali su njegovo objavljivanje “ključnim trenutkom istorije zapadne civilizacije”.

Ali, reći da je Sergeant Pepper iznedrio hipi pokret, psihodeliju, progresivni rok ili leto ljubavi te 1967. godine je, verovatno, nedovoljan i pogrešan zaključak. Album je, između ostalog,i o nečem mnogo jednostavnijem i…mnogo čudnijem: o Engleskoj. Da, da….o  Engleskoj trubačkih orkestara, muzičkih dvorana, autobusa na sprat, jednoličnog kućnog života i odmora kraj mora, kiše, i naravno…šoljice čaja. To je bezvremena Engleska uhvaćena u posebnom trenutku, kada se staro presvlači novim, kada popušta stisak političara i vojske nad zemljom…. I kada devojke istrčavaju iz svojih kuća u predgrađu da bi se srele čoveka svog života. To je Engleska u posebnom trenutku života Džona Lenona i Pola Mekartnija čije je takmičarsko prijateljstvo došlo do svojeg kreativnog vrha na Sergeant Pepper-u pre nego što je počelo da klizi ka svom gorkom kraju.

Bitlsi su radili na albumu između decembra 1966 i aprila 1967 godine. U isto vreme snimili su  Strawberry fields forever Lenona i Mekartnijevu Penny Lane. Producent Džordž Martin je izostavio ove dve pesme sa albuma, pravadajući se da su bili pritisnuti od diskografske kuće radi objavljivanja novog singla  a nama ostaje samo da zamislimo kako bi izgledala ploča sa još te dve pesme….koje, ironično nisu, kao singl, stigle do broja 1 na top listama. Sa ovih trinaest na albumu i I’m the Walrus koju je Lenon napisao septembra te godine jedini su deo Bitls opusa koji prenosi i ovekovečuje duh prostora i okruženja koje ih je stvorilo.

Jer, u ranim danima njihovog je-je-je perioda pesme su bile smeštene u bezimena mesta…a Paperback writer je redak izuzetak. Izrazita engleskinja Elenor Rigbi živela je i umrla na Revolveru ploči snimljenoj pre Narednika Pepera…gde je Džordž Harison objašnjavao vladinu poresku politiku u Taxman-u. I to je sve.

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Posle Narednika Pepera raspad se naslućivao. Sve više su pisali pesme potpuno odvojeno, Lenonova poezija je postajala teža i ciničnija, često fokusirana na politiku, Harison se sve više okretao istoku. Teme Narednika Pepera su nestale. U celoj njihovoj karijeri postojao je samo taj devetomesečni period pesama o kući. Otkud taj kratki i briljantni san o Engleskoj?

Avgusta 1966, Bitlsi su odsvirali svoj poslednji koncert u San Francisku. Posle skoro tri godina života na turnejama, oni su postali svesni da više na sceni ne čuju sebe od vrištanja publike. Dešavalo da su, maltene, bežali sa Filipina, posle navodnog vređanja Imelde Markos, ploče su im u Americi spaljivane posle Lenonove izjave da su popularniji od Hrista…bili su iscrpljeni i bez ikakvih iluzija….i želeli su jedino da se sakriju. Mekartni je govorio da će sledeću ploču snimati njihovi alter egoi. U avionu koji ih je vraćao iz Amerike, Harison je rekao: “To je to. Završeno je. Više nisam Bitl”.

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Sergeant Pepper je, dakle, ploča koju su oni snimili pošto su se vratili svojoj kući i videli je prvi put posle dugo vremena, sem što ta Engleska u 1966. godini teško da je mogla da bude svet narednika Pepera i njegove grupe. Ako pogledamo unazad u ogledalo, Penny Lane je raskršće u predgrađu gde su se Lenon i Mekartni sretali kao tinejdžeri pre nego što bi se popeli u autobus za Liverpul, a Strawberry Fields je sirotište blizu kojeg je Lenon živeo kao dečak… pesme Getting Better i Good Morning prepune su fragmenta nesretnih školskih dana. Sa tim vremenom u svojim rukama, njih dvojica su dopustili sebi da, začuđeno i radoznalo skliznu u prošlost.

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Lenon je sa tadašnjom ženom, Sintijom, živeo na svom imanju odlučan da što više vremena posveti sinu. Taj porodični život je za njega bio teško iskušenje: uzimao je drogu skoro svaki dan i, kako ona svedoči, bio je”nepovezan, potišten, udaljen i nepredvidljiv”. Novembra te godine, sreo je Joko Ono na njenoj izložbi u Londonu, na kojoj mu je ona, navodno u prolazu, dala kartu na kojoj je pisalo “Diši” . Bilo je turbulentno doba u kojem je on napisao neke od svojih najboljih pesama.

Mekartni se, u međuvremenu, petljao sa music hall-om, vrstom pesama koje mu je nekad njegov otac svirao na klaviru. Sergeant Pepper je na mnogo načina i iz mnogo razloga Mekartnijev album, ali Lenonova uloga, mada sekundarna u postavljanju koncepta, ipak je bila ključna. Bez njega ploča se ne bi izdigla izvan starovremenskih melodija i hirovitih živahnosti.

Lenon je taj čiji je euforični uzdah na početku Lovely Rita, onaj koji je napisao strofe o prebijanju žene u Getting Better i čiji je stih da “It couldn’t get much worse”.  Dok Mekartnijev duvački orkestar živahno maršira ulicama, Lenon je izgubljen ispred iskrivljenih vašarskih ogledala, između razigranih stvorenja i lutaka sa staklenim očima. „Don’t you think the joker laughs at you — ha ha!” Uvek kada su Bitlsi postajali previše slatkasti, Lenon je bio tu da doda neku oprečnu notu.

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„The Hendersons will all be there, late of Pablo Fanques Fair“ – doslovno je preuzeo reči za Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite sa postera viktorijanskog cirkusa koji je pronašao u nekoj od londonskih antikvarnica. Pesma je tako narkotički hipnotizirajuća da su mnogi u njenim stihovima o Mr Kite koji se uzdiže visoko i  Henry the Horse koji igra valcer, nalazili šifre o heroinu. Ne, odgovarao je Lenon….to su samo reči sa postera.

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Takođe, tvrdi, da  Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds nije skraćenica za LSD jer je to ime koje je njegov sin, Džulijen, dao jednom od svojih školskih crteža. U to je teško poverovati, naročito zato što je Luis Kerol, kome je Lucy in the sky… omaž,  bio teški opijumski zavisnik. Ali Lenon kaže, narkotici samo otvaraju ono što je u čovečijem umu. Čamac plovi niz reku, duž koje su ljudi na drvenim konjima – ljulaškama, sa cvećem koje raste neverovatno visoko, gde su predeli izobličeni, ljudi od plastelina oživljavaju a nebo je od marmelade…..To su halucinacije svakog, pa i engleskog detinjstva.

PLAYBOY: „Where did ‘Lucy in the Sky’ come from?“

LENNON: „My son Julian came in one day with a picture he painted about a school friend of his named Lucy. He had sketched in some stars in the sky and called it ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ Simple.“

PLAYBOY: „The other images in the song weren’t drug-inspired?“

LENNON: „The images were from ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It was Alice in the boat. She is buying an egg and it turns into Humpty Dumpty. The woman serving in the shop turns into a sheep and the next minute they are rowing in a rowing boat somewhere and I was visualizing that. There was also the image of the female who would someday come save me… a ‘girl with kaleidoscope eyes’ who would come out of the sky. It turned out to be Yoko, though I hadn’t met Yoko yet. So maybe it should be ‘Yoko in the Sky with Diamonds.'“

Više nego od bilo koje druge pesme sa ploče, za Lusi na nebu sa dijamantima je smatrano da je inspirisala hipi pokret. Ali, može se dokazati da je manji deo Britanaca bio dotaknut decom cveća, slobodnom ljubavi i swinging Londonom. Zemlja je postajala bogatija, ali dve trećina ljudi je i dalje sebe smatrala radničkom klasom i živela na svojim kućnim imanjima sa polovnim automobilima. Zato je i bila moguće da “Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away; Waiting to keep the appointment she made; Meeting a man from the motor trade.”

Šezdeste su ipak promenile Britaniju, kao što su promenile i druga mesta. Ali, na Naredniku Peperu, Lenon i Mekartni su zakoračili u svet donje srednje klase koju su poznavali i pripadali kao deca. To je svet gde su stariji parovi mogli iznajmiti vikendice na ostrvu ukoliko to nije bilo preskupo, gde se mladić udvara devojci, pijući čaj sa njom na sofi, budno praćen pogledima njenih sestara.

Odmah kada Harison završi filozofiranje na Within YouWithot You, njegov sitarbiva pokriven Mekarnijevim klarinetima i jednostavnim zamišljanjem ““When I get older, losing my hair …“  Vraćamo se u zemlju “devičanski nevinih”….

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Na ovaj način narednik Peper se suprostavio uobičajenim pravilima u najvećem delu pop muzike. Rok zvezde se, po definiciji, kreću unapred. Na početku otelotvoruju duh ulica i gradova odakle dolaze. Kako postaju poznatiji gube tu vezu sa prošlošću.  Opterećeni slavom, živeći po hotelima, bivaju uvućeni u nerealni svet u kojima samo najbolji mogu i dalje da pišu kvalitetnu muziku.

Ali Lenon i Mekartni su, naravno, bili izuzetak…Do tada, pišući malo o lokalnom životu, delove 1966. i 1967. godinu su posvetili tome. Svi slojevi Narednika Pepera vuku ka porodičnom ognjištu i  vrednostima, ali sa jasnim znacima da je nešto potisnuto iza takve fasade.

O tome Mekartni peva u Penny Lane…koja je iskrzana fotografija sređene, pristojne Engleske koja nestaje. Bolničarke prodaju suvenire a vatrogasci se brinu o kraljičinom portretu. Dok berberin brije još jednu mušteriju a bankar čeka u redu za potšišivanje „the fireman rushes in, from the pouring rain, very strange“. Nešto je pogrešno i trulo..

To je niz engleskih protivurečnost….onih koji su  rođeni, kao i uvek, u nepodnošljivoj udobnosti običnog života. To je Alica koja čita knjigu na rečnoj obali pre nego što siđe u zečiju rupu, krtica koja u proleće čisti svoje tunele da bi izašla u svet  …hobit u svome domu pre nego što patuljci i čarobnjaci zakucaju na njegova vrata ali i poslanik parlamenta odeven u ženski donji veš….

PLAYBOY: „‘When I’m Sixty-Four.'“

LENNON: „Paul completely. I would never even dream of writing a song like that. There are some areas I never think about and that is one of them.“

PLAYBOY: „‘A Day in the Life.'“

LENNON: „Just as it sounds: I was reading the paper one day and I noticed two stories. One was the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash. On the next page was a story about 4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. In the streets, that is. They were going to fill them all. Paul’s contribution was the beautiful little lick in the song ‘I’d love to turn you on.’ I had the bulk of the song and the words, but he contributed this little lick floating around in his head that he couldn’t use for anything. I thought it was a damn good piece of work.“

Za vreme snimanja Narednika Pepera, Lenon je čitao The Daily Mail, jedak glas engleske srednje klase. Bogati naslednik je poginuo u saobraćajnoj nesreći, a na sledećoj strani je priča o potrebi da se zatrpa 4000 rupa…. „I read the news today, oh boy“ – Lenon je pisao A Day in the life sa otvorenim The Daily Mail-om ispred sebe na klaviru.

Ko zna šta pesma znači? Umetnici stvaraju slike a slušaoci zamišljaju. Stara Engleska je nestala, svetla su se promenila..a da to mnogi nisu primetili.« Nobody was really sure if he was from the house of lords” Engleska je dobila još jedan rat, i narod se vraća kući. Dve godine kasnije, Lenon je vratio svoje kraljevsko odlikovanje zbog britanske umešanosti u vijetnamski rat.

To je njegova pesma a Mekarnijev je živahni srednji deo: budilnik jednog običnog čoveka raspršuje Lenonove fantazije. Mekartni izgovara reči prepune uspomena na školske dane. Ali to podjednako može biti opis i srednjovečnog bankarskog ili bilo kojeg drugog službenika, koji se užurbano češlja ne bi li uredio svoju proređenu kosu. Šoljica, kaput, šešir…nema vremena za razmišljenje dok trči i penje se u autobus i…„and somebody spoke and I went into a dream“.

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Muzika pluta iznad crvenih poštanskih sandučića i čistih, vlažnih ulica ali su reči jasne: usamljene duše sanjaju o ljubavi. Mekartni je taj koji je napisao neodlučne i čežnjive stihove  u kojima  je buntovnost šezdesetih ostala zaključana unutar engleske rezervisanosti : “I’d love to turn you on”. Ako je “A Day in the Life” njihova najveća pesma to je zato što su njihove suprotne vizije sjajno usklađene. I to više nikad nisu uspeli.

Mekartni se 1969. godine oženio Amerikankom, Lindom Istman…ali je ostao u Engleskoj. Čak i u dobi posle “When I’m 64” ne pristaje da ostari pored kućnog kamina, kako je tada zamislio.

Lenon se oženio sa Joko Ono i postao Džon Vinston Ono Lenon, sa srednjim imenima koja su izražavala njegovu ambivalentnost koju je osećao prema domovini.Četiri  godine kasnije, napustio je Englesku i otišao u virtuelni egzil u Njujorku, da se više nikad ne vrati. Narednik Peper je njegova poslednja, gorko-slatka oda Engleskoj.

Ili možda nije. Možda je to samo skup pesama. Mnogi su utrošili puno vremena pokušavajući da protumače navodne poruke u Bitls pesmama, puštajući ploče unatrag i još koješta. Kasnije je Lenon pevao -„here’s another clue for you all“. Na omotu albuma njih četvorica se pojavljuje kao članovi grupe ali i kao plastične, Madam Tiso, figure. Tipičan engleski kič. Na unutrašnjem omotu, Lenon ima prišiven na rukavu Kraljevski grb Ujedinjenog Kraljevstva. Podrugljivo ili sa poštovanjem….prosudimo sami.

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A dotle…ostanimo na preslušavanju Narednika Pepera kao celine. Ne postoji ploča, kao ova, koja zahteva od slušaoca da bude saslušana cela…od grozničavog početka predstavljanja alter ego grupe, hladnog odjavljivanja pa do finalnog, klavirskog E akorda u A Day in the Life….Za razliku od Lenonovog ubeđenja da je idealna ploča ona koja u sebi ima što više hitova, ovde se kao takva može posmatrati samo “Lucy in the sky…” Sva vrednost Mekartnijevog koncepta i pesama, Lenonove gorke ljubavi i razočarenja spram Engleske i bekstva u najranije luiskerolovske dane svih naših detinjstava , Harisonovih sitara i Ringovog zbunjenog Bili Širsa, jedino se mogu dokučiti ako je saslušamo od prvog do poslednjeg tona…Toliko im dugujemo…jer ova ploča je kulurološko-muzičko-umetnički udar sa koji se mogu meriti samo nekoliko pojava u dvadesetom veku. To priznaju ili moraju priznati i oni koji ih ne vole…

Uostalom, neko je već rekao da onaj ko ne voli The Beatles taj i ne voli muziku.

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Boban Savković

 

PLAYBOY: „How about ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’?“

LENNON: „Strawberry Fields is a real place. After I stopped living at Penny Lane, I moved in with my auntie who lived in the suburbs in a nice semidetached place with a small garden and doctors and lawyers and that ilk living around… not the poor slummy kind of image that was projected in all the Beatles stories. In the class system, it was about half a class higher than Paul, George and Ringo, who lived in government-subsidized housing. We owned our house and had a garden. They didn’t have anything like that. Near that home was Strawberry Fields, a house near a boys’ reformatory where I used to go to garden parties as a kid with my friends Nigel and Pete. We would go there and hang out and sell lemonade bottles for a penny. We always had fun at Strawberry Fields. So that’s where I got the name. But I used it as an image. Strawberry Fields forever.“

PLAYBOY: „And the lyrics, for instance: ‘Living is easy…'“

LENNON: (singing) „‘…with eyes closed. Misunderstanding all you see.’ It still goes, doesn’t it? Aren’t I saying exactly the same thing now? The awareness apparently trying to be expressed is– let’s say in one way I was always hip. I was hip in kindergarten. I was different from the others. I was different all my life. The second verse goes, ‘No one I think is in my tree.’ Well, I was too shy and self-doubting. Nobody seems to be as hip as me is what I was saying. Therefore, I must be crazy or a genius– ‘I mean it must be high or low,’ the next line. There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn’t see. I thought I was crazy or an egomaniac for claiming to see things other people didn’t see. As a child, I would say, ‘But this is going on!’ and everybody would look at me as if I was crazy. I always was so psychic or intuitive or poetic or whatever you want to call it, that I was always seeing things in a hallucinatory way. It was scary as a child, because there was nobody to relate to. Neither my auntie nor my friends nor anybody could ever see what I did. It was very, very scary and the only contact I had was reading about an Oscar Wilde or a Dylan Thomas or a Vincent van Gogh– all those books that my auntie had that talked about their suffering because of their visions. Because of what they saw, they were tortured by society for trying to express what they were. I saw loneliness.“

PLAYBOY: „Were you able to find others to share your visions with?“

LENNON: „Only dead people in books. Lewis Carroll, certain paintings. Surrealism had a great effect on me, because then I realized that my imagery and my mind wasn’t insanity; that if it was insane, I belong in an exclusive club that sees the world in those terms. Surrealism to me is reality. Psychic vision to me is reality. Even as a child. When I looked at myself in the mirror or when I was 12, 13, I used to literally trance out into alpha. I didn’t know what it was called then. I found out years later there is a name for those conditions. But I would find myself seeing hallucinatory images of my face changing and becoming cosmic and complete. It caused me to always be a rebel. This thing gave me a chip on the shoulder; but, on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted. Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic musician. But I cannot be what I am not. Because of my attitude, all the other boys’ parents, including Paul’s father, would say, ‘Keep away from him.’ The parents instinctively recognized what I was, which was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their kids, which I did. I did my best to disrupt every friend’s home I had. Partly, maybe, it was out of envy that I didn’t have this so-called home. But I really did. I had an auntie and an uncle and a nice suburban home, thank you very much. Hear this, Auntie. She was hurt by a remark Paul made recently that the reason I am staying home with Sean now is because I never had a family life. It’s absolute rubbish. There were five women who were my family. Five strong, intelligent women. Five sisters. One happened to be my mother. My mother was the youngest. She just couldn’t deal with life. She had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn’t cope with me, and when I was four and a half, I ended up living with her elder sister. Now, those women were fantastic. One day I might do a kind of ‘Forsyte Saga’ just about them. That was my first feminist education. Anyway, that knowledge and the fact that I wasn’t with my parents made me see that parents are not gods. I would infiltrate the other boys’ minds. Paul’s parents were terrified of me and my influence, simply because I was free from the parents’ strangle hold. That was the gift I got for not having parents. I cried a lot about not having them and it was torture, but it also gave me an awareness early. I wasn’t an orphan, though. My mother was alive and lived a 15-minute walk away from me all my life. I saw her off and on. I just didn’t live with her.“

PLAYBOY: „Is she alive?“

LENNON: „No, she got killed by an off-duty cop who was drunk after visiting my auntie’s house where I lived. I wasn’t there at the time. She was just at a bus stop. I was 16. That was another big trauma for me. I lost her twice. When I was five and I moved in with my auntie, and then when she physically died. That made me more bitter; the chip on my shoulder I had as a youth got really big then. I was just really re-establishing the relationship with her and she was killed.“

PLAYBOY: „Her name was Julia, wasn’t it? Is she the Julia of your song of that name on ‘The White Album?'“

LENNON: „The song is for her… and for Yoko.“

PLAYBOY: „What kind of relationship did you have with your father, who went away to sea? Did you ever see him again?“

LENNON: „I never saw him again until I made a lot of money and he came back.“

PLAYBOY: „How old were you?“

LENNON: „24 or 25. I opened the ‘Daily Express’ and there he was, washing dishes in a small hotel or something very near where I was living in the Stockbroker belt outside London. He had been writing to me to try to get in contact. I didn’t want to see him. I was too upset about what he’d done to me and to my mother and that he would turn up when I was rich and famous and not bother turning up before. So I wasn’t going to see him at all, but he sort of blackmailed me in the press by saying all this about being a poor man washing dishes while I was living in luxury. I fell for it and saw him and we had some kind of relationship. He died a few years later of cancer. But at 65, he married a secretary who had been working for the Beatles, age 22, and they had a child, which I thought was hopeful for a man who had lived his life as a drunk and almost a Bowery bum.“

PLAYBOY: „‘Getting Better.'“

LENNON: „It is a diary form of writing. All that ‘I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved’ was me. I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically… any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything’s the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace. I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster.“

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