There are many unanswered questions in the world of popular music, such as "why do fools fall in love," "where do you go to my lovely," "who put the bomp" and "how did Oasis get away with it for so long?" Mr Ian Wishart, in the current issue of Investigate, poses another question which may not have occurred to us hipsters: "is John Lennon in Hell?"
It makes you think, doesn't it? It makes you think "how can Wishart hope to retain any credibility when he prints crap like this?" But then, he knows his readership better than we do. They love crap.They love Hi-Fi as well: Investigate always carries advertisements for expensive stereo systems. I am not sure how gullibility and high fidelity go together, but they do.
Anyway, back to Hell. Apparently a group of Colombians who had recently converted to Catholicism (I have my doubts about this detail: surely everybody in Colombia is Catholic by default) were rewarded for their faith by none other than Jesus himself: He took them on a guided tour of Hell and Heaven. He is that sort of guy. And what was even better about this tour is that they didn't even have to leave Colombia: Jesus gave them a collective vision, so they could have the whole Heaven and Hell experience without leaving home; and, better still, they didn't have to bother stopping off at Limbo, since that doesn't exist anymore (I wonder what happened to the inhabitants, all those unbaptised babies and pre-Christian worthies; perhaps they were upgraded to First Class, after what seemed like an Eternity and would have been, if God hadn't changed his mind recently).
So I expect you are wondering what Hell is like. Unfortunately, the Colombians cannot remember much. It's not that they weren't paying attention, just that Heaven was so good it made them forget most of the details of Hell. What they do remember is that it was really nasty in a carefully stratified bureaucratic way, much as it was when Dante wrote about it. Some things never change, although these days society does have a very different attitude to a grown man having a huge crush on a fourteen year-old. Unfortunately, many Roman Catholic priests have yet to catch on to this aspect of moral relativity.
Anyway, it turns out that John Lennon is in a department of Hell where he is forced to fall to bits and then pull himself together, then fall apart again, over and over again. This constant disintegration and reintegration is rather irksome with Lennon, who pleads with Jesus for mercy. Jesus, who obviously has not got over the whole Yoko Ono thing, turns his back on Lennon.
And that is about it. The Colombians have nothing to say about anybody else in Heaven or Hell, it seems. Their only memorable encounter was with a rock star who once asked us to imagine a world without either Heaven or Hell. Apparently they did not notice or cannot remember what happened to all the really important people; useless tossers.
Some might say (some really cynical people, that is, who probably have a section of Hell specially reserved for them) that all this Heaven and Hell business is just a revenge fantasy. They might say that Hell is just a place where you wish all the other people who are different from you would go. These people would draw attention to the photographs which accompany this article, showing John and Yoko doing leftish things like protests and sleep-ins. They might say, those cynics, that Mr Wishart is a dreamer, who imagines there's no lefties, that they will all have gone to special places where they will suffer for their sins, for Eternity. But he's not the only one; Internet is packed with fundies describing their visions of the Last Judgement, where all the atheists and pinkos and queers and weirdos will get what they deserve.
The whereabouts of Linda McCartney remain unknown.
Here's Nick Lowe: