Sunday, 30 May 2010

John Lennon: Randolf’s Party (In His Own Write, 1964)

time for some weird poetry again. i am sorry for being so quiet these days concerning the blog, but some things just didnt work out easily for me and im having a difficult time. but what could fit better into such a mood than a satirical, anarchical poem by dear john, who will be thirty years gone this year. though this poem is related to christmas and you – depending on where you live – might be enjoying a beautiful summertime right now, i thought i might post it because it might appeal to anyone feeling sad or lonely right now, or just to make one think; because, as always, johns poetry isnt only black humoured and disturbing, but has a deeper meaning behind it. in this poem it is the lesson that one has to learn, that your friends might not always be who you think they are. it is about false illusions, self-deception for the sake of ones own peace of mind and the loneliness of individuals left behind by society. those who lack knowledge of human nature, but are naive and idealistic about the ‘good in men’. i wont go on speculating if john wrote this in an autobiographical sense, but obviously this again is a harsh criticism on society and its lack of humanity. harsh in that shocking way of johns that we are all too familiar with.

It was Chrisbus but Randolph was alone. Where were all his good pals. Bernie, Dave, Nicky, Alice, Beddy, Freba, Viggy, Nigel, Alfred, Clive, Stan, Frenk, Tom, Harry, George, Harold? Where were they on this day? Randolf looged saggly at his only Chrispbut cart from his dad who did not live there.
“I can’t understan this being so aloneley on the one day of the year when one would surely spect a pal or two?” thought Rangolf. Hanyway he carried on putting ub the desicrations and muzzle toe. All of a surgeon there was amerry timble on the door. Who but who could be a knocking on my door? He opened it and there standing there who? but only his pals. Bernie, Dave, Nicky, Alice, Beddy, Freba, Viggy, Nigel, Alfred, Clive, Stan, Frenk, Tom, Harry, George, Harolb weren’t they? Come on in old pals buddys and mates. Witha big griff on his face Randoff welcombed them. In they came jorking and labbing shoubing “Haddy Grimmble, Randoob.” and other hearty, and then they all jumbed on him and did smite him with mighty blows about his head crying, “We never liked you all the years, we’ve known you. You were never raelly one of us, soft head.”
They killed him you know, at least he didn’t die alone did he? Merry Churstchove, Randolf old pal buddy.
Labels: , , | 10 Comments


  1. avatar Aaron Goldberg said:

    The poem is about Pete Best.

  2. wow, i didnt know that. but certainly this makes it even sadder :-(

  3. avatar Aaron Goldberg said:

    Yes, Pete Best’s middle name was Randolf and his father abandoned him around 1960. Best has said that he was always most hurt that John Lennon never spoke to him again. Best attempted suicide in 1965, and I can’t help wondering if it wasn’t because he had read this poem…

  4. avatar RayG said:

    Hi Sarah,

    Pete Best is still making pretty good music, at least was as recently as 2008; I’ve heard parts of Haymans Green on Little Steven’s Underground Garage radio show, and it sounded pretty good to me.
    I’m still listening to those three big comps you made a few years ago (Acid Rocks, etc). Thanks again.

    Not sure where I found this, but there’s a pretty good internet radio stream at called Beyond the Beat Generation. Site is . “1964-1968 Music Library” “The undiscovered area of 60’s underground”.
    Ah, you probably know it already.

  5. hi ray,

    yes i know that stream, i listen to it every day at work. this year i met the guy wo created it at the record fair in utrecht, netherlands. nice guy, he knows an incredible lot about 60s records.

    i’m glad to hear you still like my compilations. its a sad thing i had to stop posting these, but you probably know how dangerous it has become for music bloggers to post actual music.

    i’ve heard some of the stuff pete did in the 60s with his pete best combo – nice, solid beat music (has never been released back then, i think it only came out on CD).
    what’s new music like?

    best regards,

  6. avatar RayG said:

    It’s pretty 60s sounding to me. You can hear some of it at the Little Steven show archive:

  7. Pingback: RANDOLPH’S PARTY by JOHN LENNON | Dave's Book Group

  8. avatar Steeplejack said:

    Yes, I’ve read that it’s about Pete Best as well — whose first name was actually Randolph. Pete said in his book Beatle!! that of all the members of the band, he’d always gotten along with John best, so this must have been a real stab in the back even more than the abrupt booting he got. “Hayman’s Green” is a fine album and doesn’t wear with listening. Very Beatle-esque in style in some parts, and a pretty good musical history of his days with the band in Hamburg and Liverpool. It came out roughly the same time as Ringo’s “Liverpool 8” and was easily the better album. Pete seems to be having the time of his life at the moment as the 50th anniversary of the early days of the Beatles are (is?) currently ongoing, and he’s been sought out as a kind of elder statesman for his memories of events. He also travels the world with his Pete Best Band — Chile, Mexico, Russia, Japan, the US, Peru — have all been recent, or upcoming stops. And he packs ’em in. So in the end, he seems to be getting at least some credit and acknowledgement for his role with the band.

  9. He just could never leave Pete Best alone, could he, but then being diplomatic was alway’s Lennon’s short suit. In fact he didn’t have any one of those cards in his hand, ever.

    I’ve been listening to Mark Lewisohn’s “Tune In” on audio, and he goes into the Beatles’ early period at great length. According to this, just about every other musician or producer who came into contact with Pete, from Tony Sheridan to Bert Kaempfert to George Martin and his assistants declared him hopelessly bad as a drummer.

    If this is true, then the question isn’t why Pete was sacked, but rather why it took the Beatles so long to do it. And the reasons given, like “There weren’t any drummers available”, or “We had a gig tomorrow”, ultimately come off as variants of “It was inconvenient for us to get rid of him just then.” In other words, lame excuses.

    Although Pete promised to stay with the band until the end of the week, he naturally didn’t show up, and Epstein brought in Johnny Hutch to fill in for him. Hutch hadn’t played with the Beatles since the Larry Parnes audition over two years previously, but presumably he and the three Beatles who played that night managed to get by together. If a seemingly random drummer could be pulled in at a moment’s notice to substitute for Pete or Ringo, and at that one whose own band was quite different from the Beatles, then it would have worked just as well in 1961 or even 1960, after the first Hamburg trip.

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