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Episode Thirty – C.G. Ramone

In which Young Southpaw looks into the theories about the great psychoanalyst C.G. Jung’s time as a member of The Ramones, detailing the band’s part in the whole Construction Time AgainAppetite For Destruction cycle while calling bull on Freud’s Louisa May Alp-cott speculations, and much else

Taking in the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks, Live Aid, The Clash, Young Frankenstein, David Bowie, Eurythmics, R.E.M., Subhumans, Sonic Youth, etc.

“Lotsa people be like ‘Southpaw, you crazy! Talking bout Jung’s influence on the 80s records while skippin’ over his whole involvement with the punk movement like that. As if the Spirit of 77 never even happened. But people have been asking this question since the dawn of time – who was Carl Jung’s favourite OG punk band?’

I mean Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks you know seem more Freud’s cup of tea. I’m not saying he had tea made out of…male members, not even pandas though I’ve heard, I’ve heard that’s an aphrodisiac… But I just don’t know how that would have any bearing on who Freud… or anyone’s favourite punk band was… Unless it was like Never Mind The Bullocks just put, ya know, the other thing…in a cup a tea

But punk was rebelling against all that! Or so they claimed. I mean Buzzcocks, that’s your caffeine hit right there. But we can’t just sit around drinking tea all day – no matter what it’s made out of – to try and figure out where Freud’s punk allegiances lie. I mean maybe he had his own underground band goin’ on in Vienna, ya know. That although it stayed true to the spirit of punk, it was a bit too avant-garde for them to be invited on the Anarchy In The UK tour. Then some people even claim that, fed up with this lack of commercial success, despite wishing to at the same time remain true to his artistic ideals – I mean you can see where psychoanalysis came from –  well some claim that, with all this going on, Freud actually became a founding member of Ultravox

But then ya know with Live Aid and everything, We Are The World, I mean what a throwing down the gauntlet to Jung. I mean if anything We Are The Collective Unconscious

But I mean Jung’s punk bands – woo! – I mean you’d prolly think of The Clash first of all, right? With all that stuff going on underneath the surface of consciousness, all you have to reconcile. Or maybe the Clash should have been Freud and Jung’s supergroup, ya know, after their famous split

But I’m just gonna say it. I mean though I have no documentary proof of this, I think it was The Ramones. I mean let’s look at the facts

Young Frankenstein comes out in 1974. I mean obviously they couldn’t spell it with a J, it’s an American film. But ya know, it takes place over there around Central Europe. Ya know right near Jung’s native Switzerland. The alps ya know, like ALP in Finnegans Wake and ya know Joyce is buried in Zurich. Louisa May Alp-cott, ya know… Not quite. I mean Little Men and Little Women, Freud you can’t be usin’ that, that wasn’t her name. But ya know Alps, the Sound Of Music ya know, predictin’ punk rock! And Julie Andrews’ film before that was Mary Poppins ya know – pop, pop music. I mean no wonder so much punk just sounded like pop songs played real fast, ya know…

But back across the ocean, over in New York City in 1974 the Ramones are forming. And you know David Bowie always knew what was really goin’ on. I mean next year in 1975 he goes and releases Young Americans to let us all know…that this up an coming punk band…are probably gonna be the famous Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung’s favourite punk band. Bowie was hip, man

Then there’s the whole thing that people claim Jung was actually in the Ramones for a while. For a lot longer than you’d expect too. I mean the arguments about this go back and forth, and prolly will for aeons ya know. But the story goes that when the Ramones released Pleasant Dreams, Jung felt it was time to speak up. For dreams, can be anything but pleasant. It was a conversation he would also later clarify with the Eurythmics… And so during the European leg of the Ramones tour in November of that year they found the time to meet up, at a Burger King – Jung’s suggestion, thinking it might force some sort of unconscious confrontation with the lyrics of Oh Oh I Love Her So – and, sources say, here Joey Johnny and the gang were so impressed that they just immediately handed Jung a leather jacket and jeans. Magically just his size. And from there on out, they got down to some serious work. C.G. Ramone paving the way for C.J. to come thru in ’89. The band honouring Jung right before this happened with naming their greatest hits collection Ramones Mania. And then when C.J. joined the first album is called Brain Drain?! That’s almost enough for me to rest my case

But let’s look at the facts. Right after this little talk at the Burger King – some say it was in Spain and that Mondo Bizarro points to this, others claim it would’ve without a doubt been in Germany – but anyways the next Ramones album was Subterranean Jungle. Jung’s name right in there. And what a better metaphor for the collective unconscious than a subterranean jungle. My goodness, those boys were onto something. And what’s the big hit off of Subterranean Yungle or Jungle however you wanna pronounce it? Well only Psycho Therapy!

This was in 1983 too, tying into the whole theory broached last episode that the great cycle of the world can be seen in the movements between that year’s Construction Time Again and 1987’s Appetite for Destruction. 1985 being the midway point, the center of it all, where the craziest things can happen. Like David Lee Roth leavin’ Van Halen. And that precisely did occur. R.E.M. was hip to this early on too, man. Again an issue of dreams not being so sweet. Psychic TV, woah, there ya go. But they had that album Dreams Less Sweet released in 1983 same year as Sweet Dreams are made of this who am I to disagree etc.

But R.E.M. right smack in the middle of the whole Construction/Destruction cycle, right there in 85 go on and release Fables Of The Reconstruction! Trying to hip the world to the fact that there’s a better way, the synthesis the sages have known for ages is coming. I mean look at some of those songs too – Maps & Legends, Life & How To Live It…foooo!

The Subhumans too! Another choice for favourite punk bands. I mean they broke up in 85 but they knew what was up back in 83, released From The Cradle To The Grave to point to the start of the cycle all over again

I mean it was a crazy world in 1985. Especially at the beginning with the proposed balance approaching, Freud planning Live Aid from the afterlife and all that. I mean it was all too much for Carmen Sandiego. And to show you how crazy it was, no one was really asking the question ‘if Carmen Sandiego is anywhere else in the world besides San Diego then what is really going on?’

But the Ramones knew. Especially with ol C.G.’s help – the C.G. I in the triangle as some were calling it – I mean they knew what was coming and prepared for it, openly declaring in 1984 that they were Too Tough To Die. Knowing that things often don’t survive such transitional phases as the switch to the Appetite side of the spectrum. They even went so far as to piss off Freud with Mama’s Boy, making sure they weren’t asked to participate in the Live Aid proceedings

1985 saw no new album from the Ramones

But 1986 with Animal Boy saw them heading back towards the primal, Mental Hell off that album further evidence of the Swiss doctor’s behind the scenes workings

And then, most tellingly, 1987 rolls around – the year we hit peak Appetite For Destruction. And we get Halfway To Sanity. I Lost My Mind and I Wanna Live bold proclamations of the journey they were on

And then as boldly as it began, it all seemed to scatter. A Slothrop-like fading out of the narrative… Was this an effect of the cycle? Or something else? Some claim they couldn’t have a C.G. and a C.J. both in the band while others were all for this balancing the J’s of Johnny and Joey, and with Jung’s role never being clearly defined or at least not made public, it made things all the more problematic. Especially with his last name startin’ with a J

Some look for him going on into the future, providing inspiration for countless other bands. I mean Sonic Youth? C’mon – Jung, Youth. I mean as if Expressway to Yr Skull and Schizophrenia weren’t enough they only go and release Goo in 1990. Carl Goo! Though people will point to Confusion Is Sex putting them more in the Freudian camp. This debut of course coming out in 1983. And thus the great cycle continues”







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Episode Twenty Four – FaceTiming With Ian Curtis, Spectral Mini-Golf Fanatic

Young Southpaw recalls sitting in a hot tub on the eve of Live Aid, Facetiming with Ian Curtis about his love of mini-golf in the afterlife, poses the all-important question ‘did Sartre ever see Joy Division’, conjectures about worlds made entirely of soup and songs, etc.

Taking in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Van Halen, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the Chinese Zodiac, New Order, Love Vigilantes, Dr. Who, Phil Rudd, and much more…

“Speaking of Live Aid last time, I remember it was the eve of that great event, and I was sittin’ in a hot tub FaceTiming with Ian Curtis. It was weird, there were like two days in 1985 when like all this stuff that we now know and take for granted was available back then, just came out of nowhere and everybody had everything. It was like those scenes in Buffy when her little sister appears and there’s all this crazy stuff like ripping and tearing open the sky and these giant beasts would just burst into view. It was like that for like 48 Hours, not the film, that came out a couple years before though you could actually see the sequel Another 48 Hours that came out in 1990 for these two days in 1985. It was playin’ at all the cinemas. And of course Buffy was available then so of course everyone was just watchin’ Buffy all the time. And then like everything disappeared so that’s like why it wasn’t that far-fetched, why it seemed familiar to Buffy when her sister came back like that…

But it was weird man cause I was like sittin’ there, lookin’ at Ian Curtis over there in the afterlife, you know. And he has no idea even who New Order is. He’s just too busy playin’ mini-golf. I mean they have crazy mini-golf tournaments you know in the astral plane, as you can imagine. Imagine like a mini-golf set up like the 10 Sephiroth, that would be crazy. Like the Tree Of Life depiction with all the circles and pathways, I mean how would that even go? Ian explained it but like he was using, I mean I understood the mystical terminology of what he was saying but it was the golf talk that confused me. Which reminds me of my favourite joke:

‘What’s a golfer’s favourite number?’

‘I don’t know, I don’t remember how scoring in golf works’

But you know the 10 holes and 32 paths I was right along with. Though I mean maybe this is forbidden for me to even be speaking about. And there’s no way for me to get back in touch with Ian Curtis now cause there’s no way to FaceTime with the dead even today. That’s still comin’. It was just those two days in 1985, ya know the Year of the Ox, the most spiritual of all the Chinese zodiacal animals, you know. Then Buffy the Vampire Slayer the film came out a few years later in 1992, which, speaking of the Chinese animals, was the same year that Tiger Woods made his pro debut. Though of course you could’ve seen it live on tv or even on YouTube during those two days in 1985…

Now that I think about it…this have been a dream…. That I had recently too. I hadn’t even heard Joy Division in 1985. That woulda been weird ya know, had I just been FaceTiming with this guy Ian Curtis, who died in 1980 and is obsessed with Kabbalistic mini-golf, and I didn’t even know who he was, you know! I’m trying to remember the first time I heard Joy Division – Transmission… Novelty… Unknown Pleasures… Well maybe this wasn’t a dream cause those three titles, especially Unknown Pleasures, would definitely sum up the undead playin’ these mystical forms of mini-golf. I can’t think of a, well I’m sure there are plenty of things that are unknown and pleasurable but by the very definition, we don’t know about them. Well, I’m sure I could have asked him had we more time back in this spectral window in 1985, the day before and day of Live Aid. And the thing is like unless you started watchin’ Buffy like the first night and got real obsessed, you know the whole second day this window was available, everyone was watchin’ Live Aid…

It was a weird time, man. I mean Roth had left Van Halen so you knew somethin’ like this might happen. But you could never tell where nor when to expect it. You know now that you could just be livin’ your life and at any given moment things like David Lee Roth no longer being in Van Halen could be not just a possibility but a reality…

That’s weird that after Ian Curtis…departed, you know…that New Order then went on  to become this crazy synthpop band and…Van Halen did the same thing now that I think about it. Just like on Joy Division’s ‘Closer’ there were also hints of it on ‘1984’. The writing was on the wall as they say. Perhaps the very wall that David Lee Roth has his back against the record machine on in Jump, ya know…

And then ‘Why Can’t This Be Love?’…Why Can’t This Be Love Vigilantes, ya know?! Well, there are many, many answers to that question, you know I mean cause that song is like the first time Bernard Sumner ever wrote like a direct lyric and that’s, that’s what it’s about? Still freaks me out to this day. And you know like plain and simple, even if you don’t know who New Order is, or the song – I assume everyone knows who Van Halen is, I mean that’s probably the one safe assumption anyone can ever make – but even if you don’t know about New Order, the answer to Why Can’t This Be Love Vigilantes is either going to be ‘because it’s something else’, because Love Vigilantes already happened… I mean I can’t imagine a world where literally everything in it was the New Order song Love Vigilantes! Like even soup?! How would that work? I mean songs in soup form…would be…pretty amazing actually, man. You take a mouthful and it all just starts vibratin’ at the right frequency and you’re in heaven. Like that Pixies song ya know… I know it came from Eraserhead! But Eraserhead and soup, that’s terrifying! I mean Eraserhead was a terrifying enough film already. But you think about like puttin’ a spoonful a soup in your mouth and then someone comes with some form of eraser than can erase liquid! Would that just be a vacuum? Imagine tryin’ to eat soup with someone just jammin’ a vacuum hose in your mouth. I mean that should be an Olympic sport, ya know. Man & soup versus vacuum. It’s symbolic, really, ya know, of Life itself… The whole primordial soup and the vacuum of space…WOO! I mean maybe it shouldn’t be an Olympic sport, be too heavy ya know. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother trying to eat soup. But then of course he is heavy philosophically speaking and of course a little heavier physically too with the added weight of the soup to his mass. This is getting all too much and well, if it was a dream or not, I coulda asked Ian Curtis about this. I mean is this coming? Will there be a time when life just consists of people trying to eat soup cause it’s…Love Vigilantes by New Order…but then there are like these vacuuming forces… Like the Daleks, I guess. This is prolly what Dr. Who was really tryin’ to say. But they had to get it around the censors as television is much closer to a vacuum than it is to soup. I mean when you go to the doctor when you’re sick, what does he tell ya? He tells ya to eat soup! Ya know, give your stomach a rest. Let your digestive system take a little break and let everything heal itself of its own accord. Dr. Who just made this all the more cool. Imagine if the Tardis was full of soup. That would be rad! Ya know like this…gigantic hottub. It doesn’t look too big on the outside but once you’re inside it’s just full of soup…that you can bathe in and eat – I don’t know if I’d wanna do that…I mean that’s as wack as that Van Hagar song ‘Inside’ that closes out 5150, ya know. Maybe they do it all on the time on Gallifrey. All those giant turtles, ya know, just swimmin’ through the soup. But I’m not sure I’m ready…

But I mean if this was a dream, maybe I can ask…ol’ Jean-Paul Sartre…what was really goin’ on. I mean he was prolly there lurkin’ in the back of my dreams like he almost always is. Quite frankly I’m surprised he and I haven’t discussed Live Aid before. But he might remember ya know – oh yeah, you were FaceTiming with Ian Curtis. I mean I hope he’s not bitter than I wasn’t FaceTiming with him. I actually have no idea what Sartre was doing during those two days when all of technology was possible. Well maybe he was right there in the hottub with me. I should keep my mouth shut, I don’t wanna offend him by not remembering…

Sartre is all about those New Order songs. Loved Joy Division too. That Les Bains Douches live album that later came out, recorded in Paris. I mean maybe Sartre was there. Did Sartre ever see Joy Division? And if he did…is that what gave birth to my psyche? It’s a question every man asks himself from time to time. Ya never can tell with these things. I mean I trust ol’ Jeanny-Paul to tell me the truth. And like ‘Dreams Never End’, that’s the first song on New Order’s first album. Maybe this whole thing was a dream. So it doesn’t much matter whether I was FaceTiming with Ian Curtis in a hottub or not. The hottub was not filled with soup, I can clarify that. If there’s one thing I know…is that when I was FaceTiming with Ian Curtis on the eve of Live Aid…whilst in a hot tub…that the hottub was not full of soup… It was a regular, regulation hot tub – just like Rub-A-Dub-Dub Reggae Hot Tubs, ya know. I do not know what Phil Collins was doing at the time, or any of the Concord employees. I’m not sure it really matters. But you didn’t even have to pay for FaceTime, it was the same as it is now. It wasn’t like Skype where you had to pay to make a phone call and ‘the afterlife’ just appeared in that long list of all the countries. And anyways it was a video call…

Now that I think about it, he was playing mini-golf while we were, while we were Facetiming. So was he like…or like maybe his caddy – you don’t have caddies in mini-golf, but maybe you do, maybe in the afterlife you just have a caddy like – like you know how Phil Rudd from AC/DC always had a spare snare – that’s a fun phrase to say, spare snare – but he always had a well here we go again – spare snare with his pack of smokes and a lighter on it sitting next to the snare he was using. I wanna say he had a beer on it too but that seems like it would spill real easy, ya know. And with that EasyBeats team producin’ them, they prolly would have none of that. But maybe Ian Curtis’ caddy is like that and he just had his laptop open so he could get his however many holes in while we were talkin’. We still haven’t really solved that old how many holes does Kabbalistic golf have conundrum? Well I guess we should clarify too that it’s Kabbalistic golf in the afterlife cause it might be different up there but then again isn’t that world a reflection of our own? But it could be distorted you know. Do they even call them holes? Ya know like that Mercury Rev song, and then you got Mercury governing the Sephiroth of Hod which sounds like hole so maybe there ya go…”

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Episode Twenty Three – John Lennon Séance

In which Young Southpaw proposes a séance to get to the bottom of who in fact John Lennon thought was the best drummer in The Beatles, what we might find out about Live Aid in the process, and are people who wear a number other than two shoes really badasses?

Taking in Lenin, Van Halen, David Lee Roth, David Bowie, The Beat, symbols, Russian letters, Jabba The Hut, Elton John, Phil Collins, Adam Ant, the astral plane, etc.

“You know that John Lennon quote about Ringo, ya know? When Lennon was asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world or something, and Lennon’s reply was ‘he’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles’ BUT I MEAN WHO WAS?! Ya know? I realize it was intended as, as a humorous statement, but it does raise the question – who was the best drummer in The Beatles? And I guess we’ll never know. We’ll certainly never know who John Lennon thought, unless of course he confided it to someone, well WILL THAT PERSON PLEASE COME FORWARD?! I tell ya, if he did tell somebody who he thought was, well, that person is a master at keeping secrets, someone I would very much like to have as my friend. Though that would complicate things because I would know that he had this information that I sought, and he…or she…would be aware that I desperately wanted this information, and not just me, I imagine the whole world at large would like to know too, ya know. And that would make things uncomfortable for the secret bearer, so that we could never truly be great friends, ya know. No matter how well we got along. Or even if like we perfected like some sort of unstoppable give-and-go basketball play that only we could perform, and like all the major teams were trying to sign us, new leagues sprouting up all over the world in the hopes that we’d be on their starting five but eventually I imagine this rift, this being unable to reveal all our deepest darkest knowledge to one another, would crumble even that. A shame really…

I mean I guess we could have a séance. That might even be the purpose of seances, the real deal, ya know find out, find out the facts, ya know. All the ancient mysteries of the universe that the dead are now privy to – like who did John Lennon think was the best drummer in The Beatles. Hmm, I was gonna say could it have been Stuart Sutcliffe, you know, you gotta lock the bass in with the drums? But he wasn’t in The Beatles when John Lennon made that statement, and he didn’t say ‘who’s ever been in The Beatles’ cause I mean that would have been like really unkind. You’d have all these people, ya know like opium addicts who are trying to set records for crashing hot air balloons, and like pyromaniac hairdressers who now operate in more metaphysical spaces ya know once they’d read Barbarella, all them start claiming they had been in The Beatles for like a day and that song Yesterday was actually about that 24 hour period and they’ve got the minidiscs to prove it. But no one knew what minidiscs were back then…

But I mean what else would I like to know from John Lennon if we were to do this thang? Well like, what did he think of Live Aid, ya know as a spectral being? That would certainly be interesting, I mean what would he have thought of it, 1985, what did he think of David Lee Roth leavin’ Van Halen?! Was it too soon for somethin’ like Live Aid after that catastrophe? Y’all, y’all with me on this? I mean, well what about Lenin? The other one ya know, ol’ Vladdy Ilyich. Do they like hang out all the time together? The other souls gettin’ them all confused, especially with that Back In The USSR song – yes I know McCartney wrote that one but McCartney never found himself in circumstances like these, ya know! And then there’s Working Class Heroes too, if you’re gonna be pedantic about it.

Or is there like a language barrier, like they wanna hang out but all the interpreters are busy trying to interpret just what is going on in the afterlife and are unavailable for mere communicatory purposes. I mean I would assume that everyone there has some sorta like ghostly babelfish allowing them to understand everything, but that might be a dangerous assumption. I mean imagine if during the séance I ask Lennon about Lenin, the one with two n’s and not three, the Russian guy, probably easier to say it that way, and the sadness of him saying that the language barrier is too great is just too much for any of us, including the medium, to bear. You need to plan these things ahead of time…

And I was talking about the Russian Ramones earlier, what about the Russian Beatles, what would they be called? Cause you know they got that rad letter the zheh, they call it the zhaba, I’m assuming that’s where Jabba The Hut comes from, look at all these assumptions today like I’m some sorta hep cat with nine lives and nothing to fear. But it could just be a strange coincidence, but I mean the letter looks like a frog which is why they call it that, and that’s what zhaba means in Russian. But it could also look like a beetle! It’s just a line drawing, a two-dimensional representation of a sound, ya know, but oh man – don’t frogs eat beetles? That’s scary as hell! This thing represents itself and the animal it feeds on. But maybe Lennon and Lenin have a band together that is just this almighty symbol. And Prince is there too. They tour together and it’s, it’s just symbols ya know! WOAH! Maybe it’s conceptual and they’re all just playin’ cymbals… Like the percussion, oh man… Would that then prove that John Lennon himself was the best drummer in The Beatles? Maybe he was referring to himself, the intrigue deepens, man. And ya know, what did he think of David Bowie & Bing Crosby’s version of The Little Drummer Boy? He musta talked about that with Bowie, well maybe, I’m not taking a hat trick of assumptions here, I’m not even wearing a hat! But I mean speakin’ of hats, he and Bowie wrote Fashion together, around the time of Young Americans. Despite neither of them being young Americans. Though they’re both in the B section at record stores. Not the same thing I know but it’s somethin’. And ya know, just to clarify, B as in the letter, not the insect. Though that’d be cool if they kept live bees at record stores. Near the ABBA and Jesus & Mary Chain singles. Walkin’ out with some new cds and a fresh batch of honey, sounds amazin’. Personally I’ve always wanted to name a band Elton John & The Beetles, spelt with two E’s of course so you don’t get sued. I just think that’s a great band name, you know like all those punk bands, the ones who did fight on Saturday nights – not that I’m condoning violence, even for the bees with their stingers ya know – but the Beetles, there’s that English band The Beat too. Their gigs on the Lower East Side, I wonder if that ever confused anybody with the whole LES abbreviation. Fans showin’ up, traveling thousands of miles to see what this Beatles reunion at a club in New York City is all about, and then The Beat, unaware of any possible misunderstanding, still for some reason chose to – for the first time ever – do a set of all Beatles covers? And maybe they do it like playin behind a screen like that PiL riot show, so that everyone leaves still havin’ no idea of what actually went on. Now I’m all confused myself, did this ever actually happen?

And ya know John Lennon imagine there’s no heaven or hell, well a séance would have to include some hard-hitting questions about that. In fact it would kind of back him into a corner…

And come to think of it, what did the whole spectral world think of Live Aid, ya know? And like what happened in the astral plane, you know, when David Lee Roth left Van Halen?! I mean that must have been insane. Atomic Punk, can barely begin to describe what was happenin’ there… Wow….wow…….wow……. I mean did like the whole spectral world like boycott Live Aid because of the name? Hmmm….Undead Aid…was that what wasgoin’ on? Did they have like their own superstar line-up that like far outdid Madonna ya know swearin’ and like throwin’ her shoe or whatever she did ya know? Aw, that woulda been hilarious if like Undead Aid happened the very next day and was just a parody of the whole Live Aid thing. Ya had like millions of undead souls just pretendin’ to be Phil Collins, teleporting from one place to another instead of flyin’ the Concord ya know. And people formed bands called The Shoes as like a dig at Madonna’s whole thang. That woulda been amazin’. Did Adam Ant play Live Aid, ya know Goody Two-Shoes? And what about Goody Two-Shoes? Does that phrase imply that like, the most badasses are like…people who only wear one shoe? OR MORE THAN A PAIR?! I mean that would be insane, you know. How do you wear more than two shoes?! That just seems complicated and uncomfortable. Then again, phrases like Goody Two-Shoes don’t come up for no reason. But everyone’s wearing two sh-, well no, it would be more correct to say everyone who is wearing shoes…is most likely wearing two shoes… Unless they’re in the act of putting one on, or taking one off, can’t rule that out. This whole phrase is a minefield. But I could always ask John Lennon about this at the séance”

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