John Lennon would have been 71 today. Paul McCartney got married again today. My mother passed away on this date in 1999. An ordinary Fall day that has several significant events associated to it, some personal and some of worldwide interest.
Do we think about John on a regular basis? I listen to his music, have books and pictures, LPs and DVDs…I collect Beatles. I watched the George Harrison documentary this past week on HBO, Living In The Material World, and there was John in the midst of it. You don’t have one without the other three, and history wouldn’t have been nearly so impacted if it hadn’t been four Beatles.
Yoko is lighting the Peace Light in Iceland in honor of John. I imagine there will be candles and flowers at the site in New York where he is memorialized by the Imagine motif. Without even being fully aware that it was his birthday, I pulled out A Hard Day’s Night to watch John and the band play at being movie stars. It still resonates today, for me as an adult. John was living the dream right about then.
I’ve written about John Lennon before, pointed out his zeal as an activist, and his brilliance as a songwriter. Not today, though. I’m just watching his movie, listening to the movies. We all know what he did, and if you don’t then go googling and pull up your itunes. In two years we’ll be celebrating Fifty Years of Beatlemania in the US. Europe can start a little earlier, the UK should already be at it.
The remaster of 1, the Beatles number one hits, has already eclipsed everyone else, again. The world will never grow weary of the group that created popular music culture as we know it. When all of the current fuzzy music moments have passed into obscurity, another generation will be discovering the Beatles’ music, and John Lennon’s legacy will have another chapter written into what remains one of the great stories of the 20th Century.
Happy Birthday John Lennon. Happy Birthday to Us. We’re the winners here, because we still have John among us as we watch and listen, read and enjoy the fruits of his talents.