Upon further research, it appears that I confused John and Yoko’s April 1 appearance on the “Today” show, hosted by Eamonn Andrews, with their appearance today on The Eamonn Andrews Show. I can easily forgive myself for this mistake, as it is a confusing situation.

It was actually on today’s show, not the previous one, that John and Yoko met Jack Benny. Says Derek Taylor in his book As Time Goes By,

Jack Benny was on the show with John and Yoko and there was one very fine dramatic moment when he stood up and said, “I wouldn’t get involved in this row for a million dollars,” all of this with that famous clasping of his hands which, in their splendid theatricality, almost, but only almost and not really, obscured Benny’s real commitment which ran right down the line faithfully from Bob Hope, hopeless in his emigrant-patriot paranoia, solid with the forces of Light Freedom and Truth against the Red Hordes, wheeling in from the East in Chariots of flaming shit. 

(And can I take a moment here to say that over the course of this project I have become quite fond of the late, great Derek Taylor? The man had style and a way with words.)

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was also on the show, and disagreed with John and Yoko’s absolutist pacifism, asserting that killing was necessary in some circumstances. Given that

He performed for Allied soldiers during World War II and, accompanied on the piano by English composer Benjamin Britten, for the surviving inmates of a number of concentration camps in July 1945 after their liberation in April of the same year, most famously the Bergen-Belsen. (Wikipedia)

One might be inclined to yield him the point. But John argued back. According to Derek Taylor,

He asked Yehudi if Jesus had said anything about certain circumstances when it was necessary to kill. Yehudi says that is not the point. John says “What did Jesus say? Did he say anything about killing?” [Ed. Note: Menuhin was Jewish.] Yehudi coughs and says, “No, Jesus didn’t but he didn’t say anything about staying in bed at the Hilton in Amsterdam.” It is then John’s cue to say that nowhere in the New Testament (nor, for that matter, in the Old) is there anything about violins, but he doesn’t say this because already the audience are applauding Yehudi Menuhin, the violinist, for his wit. It was a dumb daft nothing-solved evening on the Eamonn Andrews Show.

That’s a pretty strong statement from the debonair drug aficionado, but on balance I believe him. If you wish to read a detailed transcript of John’s confrontational exchange with Eamonn Andrews and his audience, I refer you to The Beatles Bible. Otherwise, you are dismissed. Not too long from now there will be some actual Beatles music to discuss, and won’t that be nice?

0 0 votes
Article Rating