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Sunday, March 21, 2010

A pedant sees "Nowhere Boy"

Watching "Nowhere Boy" I realise that all those years spent obsessed with music have left me with a pedantic nature that makes it impossible for me to just enjoy pop biopics. I can't buy the young John Lennon pinching 45s from a rack in a record store in 1954 because even if I believed that 7" singles were widely available then I suspect they certainly weren't racked out where you could pinch them. Having stolen them John Lennon is disgusted to find they are all jazz and throws them into the Mersey. One thing I remember about the 50s is that nobody threw anything away. Records of any kind were unbelievably precious. They never threw anything away because they had no money. That's why I can't take the idea that he stops his mother in the street and gets her to give him five pounds to buy his guitar back. If anybody was carrying that much they wouldn't hand it over. Once that string is un-tuned the false notes in the script come one after another. The sex wouldn't have been anything like as easy as it's depicted and the swearing wouldn't have been as casual. Having been suspended from school for having a copy of a girlie magazine Lennon wouldn't have called it "pornography". That's a 70s notion. Teddy boys might have had flick knives but they didn't wield them on suburban streets in broad daylight. John and Paul wouldn't have formed a rock and roll band. They would have started a group. His mother wouldn't have picked up the banjo and said "think Bo Diddley". Would Mimi really have picked up the phone and dialled instead of asking the operator for the number? And on and on in that vein. It's a curse. You'll be like that one day.