A song from the album “Revolver” (or, in America, “Yesterday and Today”), “Doctor Robert” is a somewhat autobiographical song about the way that the Beatles’ touring schedule was somewhat fuelled by drugs.
Somehow, it doesn’t seem to get much airplay.
It started off small – although by 1964 standards, 2000 people gathered outside the American Consulate in Prahran, Victoria probably seemed like a lot more. There’d been anti-war and anti-nuclear protests before now, but this was the first one that was specifically about the Vietnam War. Mounted in response to U.S. aerial attacks on North Vietnam in the wake of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, it called less for an end to the war than for a re-convening of the Geneva Conference.
In the years that followed, the Vietnam War would become less and less popular with the Australian public. The numbers at protests would grow, especially after the introduction of conscription in November of that year. And more than eight years later, a newly elected government would announce the withdrawal of the last Australian troops in Vietnam.
Was it suicide? Was she killed? Or was it an accidental overdose, like the death certificate claimed?
Marilyn Monroe was found dead by her psychiatrist, Dr Ralph Greenson, at some point between midnight and four thirty or so on the morning of August 5, 1962. He called another doctor, Hyman Engelberg, and Monroe is certified dead. Only then are the police called.
The proximate cause of her death was poisoning – an acute barbiturate overdose, as the coroner put it. But there were a number of inconsistencies in the nature of the dose and the apparent method of its consumption. Furthermore, in the course of the investigation, witnesses made a number of contradictory statements (in some cases contradicting not just each other, but also reality), and the evidence – what little there is – is ambiguous.
It is widely believed, even today, that she was murdered, but no charges have ever been brought for that crime.