"Caros audiophiles, this week I wish to add to recent posts by JdB and PCP by also commemorating John Lennon.
Millions of words have been spoken and written about him and I cannot really add anything more inspired.
A few years ago I happened to be in New York on an anniversary of his death, not a particular one like the 30th just passed, and so decided on that cold winter evening to walk along Central Park to the Dakota building where he had lived and to look for the Strawberry Fields garden memorial nearby. I did not expect that there would be much activity, perhaps a few admirers, some bouquets of flowers, some messages of love and thanks. But actually there were at least 300 people, some with guitars singing together, some holding candles, praying, remembering, bringing a heart-warming sense of communion and community. I suppose I should not have been surprised, especially in the city where he made his life after The Beatles and where he was killed.
The Beatles had been a phenomenon, still remain so. But John Lennon tried to burst the balloon of this global mania, to claim that they were just four ordinary but talented guys from Liverpool who had been very very lucky. He wanted to move away from this thing called "The Beatles" constructed around them. And so, it seems to me, after the Beatles, he came back down to earth, to find a life more personal, more spiritual, yet still using his influence to try to fight for the things he believed in.
This capacity for reflection and rebellion was already apparent during The Beatles in songs such as Help and Revolution, and the first song I choose is In My Life which he himself considered to be his first serious song, a meditation on his past life experiences, which of course now sounds a little fatalistic and most poignant in the light of his own death.
I think John Lennon's sincerity, his willingness to express his own feelings into his songs (whereas Paul McCartney prefers to create abstract stories), his rebellious spirit and his humanity are the characteristics which make him so loved, as a human being as much as for his music.
Elton John composed a wonderful eulogy to his good friend, which captures the essence of the man and our sense of loss:
And finally, since Christmas is around the corner, here is John Lennon's eternal Christmas wish for love and peace in our hearts and around the world:
I wish you and your families um Bom Natal.