Saturday, October 09, 2010

How Terribly Strange To Be 70

John Lennon would have been 70 years old today. We've been hunting for a Mexico connection, but without a lot of luck.  Despite writing a book called A Spaniard in the Works, and having multiple run-ins with US Immigration, Lennon had no real connection with Mexico.  Even his maid was from Spain.  We can't find any Mexico references in the Beatles' lyrics - that one Spanish-sounding verse in Sun King is actually just some made up bullshit. (And don't get us started on Besame Mucho.)

The Beatles had in fact planned to play Mexico City in August 1965, but the city's regent, Ernesto Peralta Uruchurtu, decided they were a bad influence and canceled it. Lennon's visit to Oaxaca to see Maria Sabina is unconfirmed at best, but there is a John Lennon Street in Ocampo, Michoacan. And of course, one of Mexico's swankiest department stores is called Liverpool (obviously named by marketers who have never been to Liverpool. (Actually, the name Liverpool opens a lot of doors in this country.)  Still, Lennon's ghost shows up in the strangest places here:

Last Sunday, the mayor of Santiago, Edelmiro Cavazos Leal, while leading festivities for World Youth Day, made a special request... Can you play Imagine, by John Lennon? he asked, to which the guitarist readily agreed.

At 11:20 p.m., the mayor left the town square, less than an hour later he was abducted from his home by a group of armed men. Fifty six hours later, his lifeless, broken and battered body was found dumped along the road less than 5 kilometers from where he was abducted.

Heartwarming, no?

Anyone with a radio is probably sick of hearing the real John Lennon today, so here's some Banda-style Beatles:

Or some Mexican marching band Beatles:

Or Mariachi Beatles:

John Lennon, cut down at age 40. A tragedy, yes, but one that spared the world the sight of him frolicking half-naked on a Mexican beach - unlike some Beatles whose names we could mention.


Los BeTeles said...

Mexican Banda and Rancheras suck, no mattter what they are playing.

But the Mariachi version of Sgt. Pepers Lonely Hearts rocks.

Anonymous said...

The store Liverpool was named "El Puerto de Liverpool" back in 1847 by a French immigrant Jean Baptist Ebrad, the name was chosen because it was a store that sold imported goods, that came from Europe through the port of Liverpool in England.

In nearby Celaya there is a small department store named "Los Precios de México" because all the goods in there where brought from Mexico City, and here in Queretaro where there is now a Modatelas (next to Plaza de la Constitución) there was a department store named "La Ciudad de México", it was custom to have stores named after the city the goods were brought.

Burro Hall said...

I would expect to see a lot more store with Chinese names here very soon, then.

Paul Roberts said...

I was told on very good authority by someone who had met him in Mexico that John Lennon visited Maria Sabina in Huautla de Jiménez

For more see:

Burro Hall said...

Hi Paul. You'll note that your story is the one I linked to. I'm just not sure that "including it is said, John Lennon," really nails it down for me. Of course, I'd love for it to be true, so I'll probably just leave it at that...

Anonymous said...

Actually, I heard that the Liverpool chain store is very very old, as old as the 1800's old (but don't take my word for granted on that), where rich mexican people went to Liverpool, England and bought clothing et al. (why Liverpool and not Manchester or Everton, I have no idea).
Liverpool was actually a store that was then created intended for rich people to buy clothing supposeddly from Liverpool, however most of the clothing was not imported from Liverpool (or so they said).