(And for those of you who say it was 25 years ago yesterday…whatever…I was running late for work and couldn’t post earlier)
When I was schlepping through the microcosm of middle school, going from class to class, one thing was a constant: the music of The Beatles. I became immersed in their lyrics, their life stories, the basic DNA of each member. While I enjoyed the music and wore out many Beatles t-shirts, only John Lennon stood out to me. As Paul wore out the songwriting lexicon of love until it was threadbare, John grew from writing the same type of wistful romantic tunes into a master wordsmith who married genius composition with smart, literate lyricism.
Listen to “Strawberry Fields Forever”. Listen to “I’m So Tired”. Listen to “I’m A Loser”. “Yer Blues” is a powerful blast of raw energy. Then you get to his post-Beatles music. Just utter brilliance. “Working Class Hero” should be the national anthem. Of course we all know the big ones: “Imagine”, “Instant Karma (We All Shine On), “Give Peace A Chance”, and the annual “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”, never more timely than now.
To just think of all of the great music we’ve been denied, the political activism John would have been a part of, really makes us miss him even more. Five bullets severed our tie to one of the most commanding and real musicians of this or any century. John Lennon is gone; through his music, his writings and his words he will continue to inspire the mind and inflame the soul.