Thursday, December 08, 2005

Happiness is a Warm Gun - John Lennon

I posted this at the exact date and time John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman. Being a child of the 60s, I experienced the life and death of many musical legends - Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, Jones, Moon, Bonham - they touched me for a time and then I moved on.

So why is it so different when I think of John Lennon? Why can I still listen to Jimi and Janis without a tear at my heart? It is impossible for me to hear a Lennon song or look at a photograph of John or watch "A Hard Day's Night" or "Help" without a chill, a lump, a tear. Anyone who can listen to "Imagine" without some kind of an emotional response must either have a heart of stone or be a republican. (I guess "republican" is redundant in this case).

I think of how much more Bob Geldof and Bono could have accomplished with one of the greatest political activists of our time at their side. I know that John would have spoken to today's youth with the same conviction and relevance as he had in the 1970s.

I am well beyond the "John was the words and Paul was the music" argument. One simple song like "In My Life" destroys that myth. Or the nonsense that Yoko destroyed the Beatles. In order for John to become the political force that he was, the Beatles had to be jettisoned. Yoko inspired John to speak out for peace as passionately as he did. It's only right that the Beatles started and ended with John.

John was always known as the "funny Beatle". Yes, he was. His life and his music shared the same sense of humor, irony, pathos, and most of all, warmth. We will never know his like again.

For more remembrances visit this blog.


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