The Michigan Daily
Wednesday, October 12, 1988.
BY BRIAN JARVINEN
LAST Sunday would have been
John Lennon's 48th birthday, had he
not been assassinated eight years
ago. Over the last week, the Ameri-
can media have marked the event in
every marketable way imaginable.
This seems puzzling at first - I al-
ways thought the number "9" would
have been a more important
4nniversary for documenting
Lennon's life. The reason for all the
S TATE O1F THE
hoopla is, of course, Albert Gold-
man's new book, The Lives of John
Ignnon (William Morrow). The
controversy surrounding the book
and the tie-in potential has spawned
a Rolling Stone cover, a Newsweek
cbver, several cable specials, radio
specials, a flashy new documentary,
Imagine: John Lennon, and even a
new U2 song, "God Pt. II."
Beatles have been a hot
journalistic topic ever since they
regularly graced the cover of the first
fanzine in the world, Mersey Beat.
So much material has come out that
' the only way to get any attention
and make money is to be as sensa-
tional as possible. The Goldman
lPook is certainly sensational; it
charges that Lennon was bisexual,
gnorexic, and a murderer, as well as
a drug addict, something Lennon
admitted himself as early as 1969 in
h1is song "Cold Turkey." The book
has been attacked for using dubious
sources and containing many errors
Of fact documented in a recent
Rolling Stone cover story. Gold-
mian charged Lennon ignored his
second son Scan; Rolling Stone
countered with a cute picture of
Designers (set and lighting)
wanted for Basement Arts production
of The Exception and the Rule.
Contact Andrea McCallum at 663-
8754 or Tanya at 761-9741.
Stage manager needed for Hill
Street Players production of Hold Me
at the Performance Network. Produc-
tion dates are November 10 and 14.
Contact Carolyn Caldwell at 995-
---Wednesday, October 12:
Auditions for Women and Wal-
lace, written by Jonathan Marc
Sherman, at 7 p.m. in the Frieze
Building Arena. For further informa-
Unlverslty of M
p Isno se
inspiration for "Lucy In The Sky
With Diamonds"; many people had
anagrammed the title and concluded
the song was about LSD use. John
explains that his son Julian drew a
picture containing the imagery de-
scribed the song. When John asked
him who was in the picture, Julian
replied with the song title. Unfortu-
nately, this controversy receives the
most in-depth treatment of the many
One of the biggest misconcep-
tions about John's life is that Yoko
Ono broke up the Beatles. This is
simply not true. Lennon and Mc-
Cartney had grown so far apart that
most Beatle biographers agree the
group was doomed after the recording
of Sgt. Pepper. Yet the film glosses
over this, using Lennon 's quote
about wanting a divorce from the
Beatles and a short clip of the Beat-
les' publicist giving vague answers
about the breakup. When George
Martin, the Beatles' producer, is in-
terviewed, he tellingly reveals that
Yoko wasn't even introduced to him
when she moved into the studio with
John. Yoko and John certainly didn't
make it easy for the band to deal.
with them, but their relationship
didn't cause the breakup, and yet the
film fails to make this clear.
John Lennon was a human with
an amazing talent for translating his
experiences into lyrics. His songs
pointed out the hypocrisies in West-
ern Society, in his friends, and in
himself. John would have been the
first to tell anyone about his faults.
Whether he was anorexic or bisexual
has no relevance to his work. The
murder charge stems from a fight
Lennon had with a sailor in Ham-
burg in the early '60s, but no one,
including Goldman, has any evidence
that the man died. If you really want
to know John Lennon, Imagine will
give you a visually and musically
interesting, if somewhat hollow, ac-
count of his life;The.Lives of John
Lennon is too full of dubious re-
search to recommend. The best way
to know him is through his music.
Lennon put his life into his songs,
and that is the best place to find
BY ELIZABETH ESCH
According to many believers in
law and order, the thin blue line is
what separates order from anarchy,
and the thin blue line is maintained
by people in uniforms called police.
Though tenuous, this blue line is
one which must be impenetrable and
unwavering if we are going to live
in an ordered and civilized society.
When the blue line is broken, and
the police are proven to be vulnera-
ble, order and civilization are threat
According to people who have
witnessed an execution, the thin blue
line describes the line of electric
current used to kill people by elec-
trocution. It is the line which is used
by the state to kill people who have
been sentenced to death.
In the extraordinary film, The
Thin Blue Line , director Errol Mor-
ris forces us to challenge the societal
assumptions which view the police
as ultimate defenders of justice and
keepers of order and which view the
electric chair as the ultimate weapon.
Described as both docudrama and
non-fiction theatre, Blue Line
examines in particular the 1976
murder of a Dallas, Texas, police
The film links individual testi-
mony with dramatic re-creation as it
attempts to portray the incidents
surrounding the murder of Officer
Robert Wood, and the way in which
"justice" was carried out.
The story turns on key testimony
provided by Randall Adams, the man
who was convicted of the murder of
See Line, Page 8
Although John Lennon's relationship with his son, Sean, has been questioned of late in the
most recent slam-an-ex-Beatle book, father and son seem to be getting along well in this
John, Yoko, and Scan on a sledding
outing. The truth lies somewhere in
between these accounts.
Imagine comes close to this elu-
sive middle ground of objectivity,
but ultimately avoids the controver-
sial issues raised by Goldman. A
rock documentary is already a
cliched, boring concept, as Spinal
Tap proved so well. When the pro- taries; it avoided it so well that I
ducer is David Wolper, the man re- have no idea how long the film is.
sponsible for bringing 200 Elvis The opening credits reveal the first
impersonators to the Statue of Lib- .key to the film's success: "Narrated
erty Centennial Celebration, a doc- by John Lennon." The narration,
umentary on John Lennon is a scary taken from the zillions of interviews
concept indeed. Lennon gave during his life, keep
Fortunately, Imagine avoids the the film in perspective and let the
plodding style of most rockumen- subject speak for himself. The other
successful ingredient is the 200
hours of Lennon footage Yoko Ono
made available to Wolper. John
tuni ies .
Lennon spent his entire adult life in
October 18-21: the media's eye. This made him very
Auditions for Langston Hughes' familiar with the camera, lowering
Black Nativity 6-11 p.m. October his inhibitions to the point that he
18 & 19; auditioners should perform was filmed making love to Yoko,
one gospel song of their choice. allowing us authentic glimpses of
Dance auditions Thursday, October Lennon living and working.
20, 6-9 p.m. No preparation neces- The first controversy covered in
sary. Call backs Friday, October 21, the movie is the trivial matter of the
tion, call Fred Adler at 996-1422 or
David Turner at 769-8204.
Auditions for two original one
acts titled Submarines and Night-
sound, in Room 2547 of the Frieze
Building. Prepared pieces are pre-
ferred, but not neccessary. Major
roles for three women, two men, and
several smaller roles for both. Scripts
available in the theater library.
---Thursday, October 13:
Young male cigarette smoker
needed for paid role in 16 mm student
film. Auditions at 7 p.m. in Room
1004 of the Frieze Building.
...Tuesday and Wednesday,
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TOBE R 24, 1988
the University of Michigan
School of Education
for graduate studies
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Room 1322 (Tribute Room)
School of Education Bldg.
Faculty and staff will be available to answer
questions about programs, financial aid
opportunities, and admission requirements.
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Office of Academic Services
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Monday thru Friday 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m
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Wednesday October 12, 1988
3:30 P.M.-7:30 P.M.
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