2008-12-23

John Lennon and brown rice

(from Memories of John Lennon, edited by Yoko Ono)

When Desmond Morris asked John Lennon, in 1969, to look back on his previous experimentation with meditation and drugs, he said:

Well as for drugs and meditation, occasionally I'll meditate and perhaps occasionally I'll take some pot if somebody gives it to me, but it's not a big thing in my life. I'm on another kick now, which is brown rice, which does what meditation and drugs did for me with less hassle.

Then during his macrobiotic (and househusband) days, Lennon demonstrated to his close friend Klaus Voormann the proper way of cooking brown rice:

"Now, watch me very closely." Out of one of the cupboards, he pulled out a pot, in which he poured in a few hands full of brown rice. "And now comes the important part!" John's face was serious when he filled me in to the art of rice cooking. "Now you have to put your hand on the rice. Like this, you see?" ... "Now you pour the water over your hand, but please wash before you do that!"

... "You only pour as much water into the pot until the back of your hand is covered with water. Now watch me closely - like this." He slowly let the water run over his hand.

"... Now you add a little salt, like this, and then you let the whole thing simmer and when the water has evaporated, then the rice is ready to be eaten."

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On the same subject, here is what Yoko Ono said in a recent interview (Philip Norman, Mail Online, 4/10/08) about John Lennon, drugs and brown rice:

She was startled by the quantity and variety of drugs in his possession. 'Next to his bed, he had a huge glass jar of pills, acid, Mandrax. He used to grab a handful at random.'

She could do nothing about this nor his heavy consumption of French Gitanes cigarettes.

She was more successful against the junk food he mainly lived on and put him on a macrobiotic diet. Cutting out sugar and preservatives gave him a surge of energy and well-being. He could not get over how 'brown rice and a cuppa tea are the biggest high I ever had'.

So, you could say that Lennon was only telling half truth to Morris, since brown rice only took the place of junk food, not drugs, in his "diet".