Thursday, December 8, 2011

John Lennon It's Been 31 Years

As a Woman of a Certain Age, I remember where I was the night Lennon was shot.  I was newly divorced, living in my favorite city, San Diego, working a job I loved and had just returned from Hawaii with my best friend.  I was beginning to sort out my life as a single woman with a career, no children and the failure of my marriage which, in fact, haunted me.

The weather was good,  It's always good in S.D.  And I was struck by the impermanence of life when we learned Lennon was murdered in cold blood at point blank range in front of his building, The Dakota.  As I recall, he was shot right around 8pm EST making it 5pm PST.  I either heard it on the radio while driving home from work or via the evening news.  It was shocking.  There would be no Beatles reunion now.


John Lennon  meant a great deal to a great many people.  But to Boomers, he was an icon.  He represented Peace, Love, Protest, the First Amendment.  He was willing to be turned away from the U.S. on the strength of his beliefs.  He openly advocated marijuana use, was busted bringing it into the country.  He walked the walk.   He had his bed-in with Yoko.  He wrote his incredible poetry which, as songs, inspired my generation and more to follow.  

I don't consider it a stretch to say he was influential on a world-wide scale when he protested the war in Viet Nam.  His death was unnecessary, insane andthe ideals many of us carried died a bit with him.  

As a Beatle and a solo artist, he wrote many incredibly thoughtful lyrics on a myriad of subjects.  

Some of my personal favorites:

Back in the USSR
In My Life
Ballad of John & Yoko

and my favorite..."Happy Xmas War Is over".  The following is the officially sanctioned music video by John & Yoko.  It could have been shot yesterday in Afghanistan, Pakistan et al.

Imagine if he had lived.



Pearl said...

I remember that day. I had never considered that someone could just walk up and kill someone that was so loved.

Greetings from Mpls,


injaynesworld said...

What a lovely tribute. Yes... Imagine. Such an extraordinary human being. His influence scared the crap out of our government. Like you, I lived through the tragic deaths of so many who may have made the world a much different place had they lived. Thanks for writing this.

California Girl said...

Pearl: Yes. It's unimaginable. But there is so much tragedy in the world.

jayne: thank you. He did "scare the crap out of our government", didn't he? That's an accomplishment in and of itself.

DJan said...

I remember walking down the street when a moment of silence was declared for John. It was completely silent on a busy street in Boulder, Colorado, until a motorcycle came by, blaring "Strawberry Fields Forever." I cried and cried.

California Girl said...

Djan: We remember the moment of impact the news made upon us because they changed our lives: JFK, MLK, RFK, JL.

Mary Ellen said...

This video is so powerful.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I hadn't been paying attention to his activities for a few years, so the impact of his death didn't hit me until some years later when I watched a documentary that filled in some of the blanks. He was so gifted, and brave.

Glenda Beall said...

That video should be viewed by Congress and those who make war, over and over again, and perhaps some of the horror might reach them.

Anonymous said...

Where to celebrate Christmas advise?

lisleman said...

My favorite is in your last line - Imagine.
This Christmas song is a real thinking reflective one.  I don't remember where I was that sad day but I was shocked by the whole event.  Not long ago I watched an excellent documentary on him.  Two things from it that will stick in my mind forever:
1)  He had ups/downs and he was really starting to pull his life back together just before he was killed.
2)  Tricky Dick Nixon feared him as a threat and sent the FBI after him.

Abeerfortheshower said...

I'd have never wished it upon anyone, but it's terrible that it happened to John. Even if he did die before I was born, he's always been my favorite. A famous artist who tried to use his notoriety to change things for the better. It's a rare thing.


by Cole Scott