Happy Birthday, John Lennon – An Unforgettable Life

John Winston Lennon: October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980

Today would have been John Lennon’s 70th Birthday. What a travesty he is not around to celebrate it and the world will never experience the music he would have created in the last thirty years.

Like with President Kennedy (Elvis and Princes Diana, too), I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when John Lennon died. I was driving home and listening to the “Mighty Met” (KMET in Los Angeles). Only John Lennon and Beatles songs played. I thought it was some kind of Beatles Marathon programming.

Inside my house I flipped on the stereo and plopped in a chair in the den. More John Lennon music. And then the news. It was horrific. Made me sick to my stomach. I thought about his two sons. Made me cry.

I don’t remember the dj that talked about what had happened to John Lennon. Maybe it was Jim Ladd, who was said to be friends with Lennon. I remember the word “shot.” I remember thinking that this was the day the music died.

I put on the Double Fantasy album and listened to it over and over into the night…(best song: Watching the Wheels.”)

John and Paul - Two happy Beatles.

John Lennon was my favorite Beatle. He was the smart one; the clever one; the coolest one. I also thought he was more handsome than Paul. I used to have tons of Beatles memorabilia. Too bad it all burned up at my Mom’s house (in the Anaheim fire of 1982). But at least I still had the tunes —the most important part.

I love all the Beatles’ music. It has more meaning for me as a Baby Boomer than any other group. It’s also music for ALL generations. That’s an amazing feat. (Favorite Beatles song: “In My Life.” Such a wistful, poignant love song. Gets to me every time I hear it.)

I loved what the Beatles represented to my generation politically and socially. They were shaking things up! I think John more than the other three was the impetus behind the Beatles’ pop culture influence. He dared to be “radical.”

Plus, anybody who was on Nixon’s Enemy List high enough to have a deportation order issued and FBI surveillance must have been popular enough to threaten the TPTB.

John Lennon - The "scary" Beatle?

As mentioned MANY times on this blog and FW site, my favorite word is “dream.” Having a successful writing career is my dream. When people give me crap about it, I sometimes think about Watching the Wheels:”

People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing,
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin…

People say I’m lazy dreaming my life away,
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me…

John Lennon Memorial in Iceland. "Imagine all the people living life in peace." Imagine that!

Here’s to you, John Lennon. Thanks for enlightening me, for being a dreamer, and for giving us a voice for the ages.

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