On my generation - chapter four

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Reviewing Ursula reopened the memories drawer. She was Duilio’s lover, today the Banda Larga’s barman, but who at that time was John Lee D, the rock king of our neighbourhood. 

He was the king and she was his queen. They only went out in night-lights, along with a convoy of plastic-dressed people. Everybody looked straight ahead, and that coloured train, in our eyes, was as a phosphorescent locomotive that running to the future.

In that future, John Lee D lost the throne because time, despite being less fast than rock and roll music, is a more constant element and doesn’t makes you to reign for eternity. The musical virtuosity is indispensable to resist and Lee D’s iron riffs, did not win over his era. They rusted, and John was no longer king, as Ursula was no longer his queen.

I was the guitarist of the Fax and I thought John's group was pleased only with his appearance, while the Fax just loved music. We enjoyed experimenting with different genres and I think we had bases. I enjoyed a decent musical culture even though my mind was a liver full of stones to remove. 

One of the events that influenced my life was John Lennon’s death. John’s existence, for me, began with its end. Not having lived him as a contemporary, it was a cultural gap. I spent time in libraries looking for anecdotes, and biographical stories that I did not know. I just wanted reduce distance and years had separated me from that period.

I often reflected on what it would have been of me if John had never existed, but a guy like John would never have passed in vain.

Even Ursula worshiped him more than anything else.

The fanaticism brought me to tell her about my theory on Lennon’s death. In ‘71, John left England for live in New York. In America he’s not the good guy, he attracts radical extremists, he takes part in marches for peace, and this to the government of the United States, doesn’t like. John’s phone is under control and the FBI is following him.

He writes Gimme some truth, against Richard Nixon. Official documents testify John’s ideas are clear to the White House. Moreover, American Institutions are urged from King Elvis to take measures against Lennon.

In ‘75, John wins his battle with the United States Immigration Office. In the following year, receives permanent residence permit. In October, Yoko Ono gave birth Sean, and John retired to private life.

Up to the 80’s, Lennon lived a quiet life. John was pleased, but time passed, his son grew up, and maybe even boredom came. It was time starting over. In November 1980 came Double Fantasy, the first album after five years of inactivity. On the night of December 8, John and Yoko returned home. John is called. He turns. It will be his last moments of life.

Mark David Chapman was a Beatles fanatic. He worked as a security guard in Atlanta and got experience with guns. He moved to Hawaii where he was the victim of a depletion that led him to the brink of suicide. In ‘79 he married an American girl of Japanese origins in Honolulu. His fanaticism for Lennon was obsessive. In October 1980 he left his guard work in Honolulu signing with Lennon’s name and reaching New York after acquiring a calibre 38 for $ 169. The night of December 8 at the Dakota Building, Chapman ended its obsessions.

This is the story. My theory, however, was contorted and pretentious. Despite the excellent relationship between Lennon and President Jimmy Carter, following Nixon government, John’s past was uncomfortable. Despite political alterations there are, side-by-side powers with political forces, composed of military structures and secret services supported by an indissoluble patriotic spirit. 

Hence my speculation that Lennon was doomed. He got killed when he knocked the door for returning to the scenes. And whoever performed the act, was one who had already given signs of imbalance. Such a kind of man with a gun in his hand can do anything: and if he had admitted his mind was so ill? If he had said to get led by an unknown puppeteer, he would be believed? Doesn’t he seem the perfect person to push for a similar case?

For everyone I was a myth maniac but nobody took me seriously like Ursula. From that moment on, for a long time, we were indissoluble.

Liverpool was my second hometown. There was not a day I did not dream of going there. I knew that the port area was revaluated over years with the opening of a subsidiary of the Tate Gallery on the docks next to the Maritime Museum. 

All I saw of Liverpool, photographs and films, was fascinating in its desolation. I still keep an old black and white postcard by Fax’ pianist, which resumed the harbour as it once was. Behind the postcard, there was the greetings and the caption Stevedores, Albert Dock 1945. In the end, a message from my old friend: Oh my God!

This dream came true. We left, Ursula and I, and we arrived in Liverpool. They were the most beautiful days of my life. The virtual presence of Beatles was a real suggestion. We walked through Matthew Street, and entered on pubs. Narrow lanes, brick buildings and all those colours seemed to recreate a lost picture over time and they would remain indelible. Beer also had a different taste. We briefly passed the Albert Dock. I was enthusiastic and I could to die in serenity. We stared at the Mersey River thinking of John’s melancholy when he saw passing the ferries to New York City for reminding him of his hometown.

From that moment on, Ursula became my bride. John Lee D was again Duilo and there was no room for losers. All this was only in my head; space was restricted also for me.


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 © ENRICO MATTIOLI 2017





© Enrico Mattioli 2017