It is a little know fact that during the John Lennon’s hiatus from making music (1975-79) he not only cared for his son full time but took up an activity that he had secretly longed to do during his career as a Beatle.
Unlike dreams or star signs, other people’s problems are endlessly fascinating. When John was on the road with The Beatles he became obsessed with reading The Marjorie Proops Agony Aunt column in “The Daily Mirror”.
John was touched by these simple stories and was often moved to tears by the simple common sense espoused by Proops and others who could use the media in such a personal and useful way.
Ringo recalls John telling him about a touching and personal piece about a girl who felt unbearably self-conscious because she had unequal labia. Proops advised the girl this was perfectly normal and nothing to worry about at all.
While recording “The White Album” John said to Ringo:
“All this Beatle shit is useless – look at this. Proops has truly changed this girls life for the better with this one sentence. All we do is take drugs and make up ditties for people to sing along with. This is truly personal and political art.”
It was not surprising that when John had more time on his hands that he took up his new art form full time. Secretly From 1974 until his tragic death John wrote the “Dear Prudence” column for “The Dagenham Post”.
Below is one of his final and most touching pieces.
Dear Prudence, I’ve been happily married for more than 10 years to a great woman, and we have two amazing kids. I still find my wife very attractive, and I enjoy our intimate sessions. There’s one thing that I don’t know how to address. My wife works out frequently and has a great body for a mom of two. However, she has a significant amount of cellulite in her thighs, mostly in the back and some on her buttocks. I know she’s got an issue with it. If she’s undressing in front of me or is in the bathroom naked, she always turns to make sure I’m not seeing her thighs. We have never discussed this in all our years together. Her thighs are a bit of a turnoff, but not a deal killer. We can afford treatment to remove the cellulite, but I’m unsure how to best approach this option or create a space for her to come to the conclusion on her own. Or should I just ignore it?
Dear Unsure, You have come to the right place, because I have solved the problem of cellulite-ridden thighs and buttocks! My solution has been not to look at myself in a three-way mirror from behind for the past 10 years. I have no idea what’s going on back there. I’ll share another secret with you: Almost every woman has cellulite, the degree to which is partially genetic. It would be a relief for both of you if instead of covering herself in shame your wife could joke, “Do my thighs make you think of Pebble Beach?” But since she is uncomfortable about this, I think you should gently bring it up.Say something like: “Sweetheart, I get the feeling you’re self-conscious about your thighs. You shouldn’t be. I hope you know you look incredible.” You’ll notice I skipped over your suggestion for getting her treatment for this totally normal condition. That’s because while there are plenty of treatments available, there is no guaranteed safe and effective one. In the years you and your wife have been together, perhaps your own hairline and waistline have shifted. But she’s probably done you the favor of accepting that while you’ve inevitably changed, you still look good to her. Instead of trying to fix her, embracing her, thighs and all, might make her feel more comfortable about her body, and that should turn both of you on.
Such was the simple wisdom of John Lennon who found peace in his final years by helping others.
The ukulele version of Dear Prudence is directly connected to Lennon’s secret art form.
Ben Pollock is a masterful visual artist, bass player, singer and percussionist who arranged this version of “Dear Prudence”. Ben also writes an advice column for a newspaper.
Ben requested that I do not reveal his pseudonym for obvious reasons.
There is no art form more universal and personal. We salute Marjorie, John and Ben for making the world a better place.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Cecily’s songwriting and vocal style comes from a nostalgia for foreign lands and by gone eras of smokey jazz bars and traveling vaudeville shows. The result: A cocktail of folk, cabaret chanteuse, jazzy chords, gypsy missives, and Flamenco flourishes supplied by fellow guitarist Tom Grundman. This January she teamed up with double bass player, visual artist and secret agony aunt, Ben Pollock to work on rearranging and deranging ‘Dear Prudence’ for The Beatles Complete On Ukulele, with further collaboration from saxophonist, producer Brian Hargreaves.
Cecily Pearce: Vocals, guitar, ukulele, zither, arrangements
Ben Pollock: Double bass, backing vocals, percussion, arrangements, production
Brian Hargreaves: Percussion, production
Tom Grundman: Zither