Not Cease from Exploration

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Day The Music Died

It was 30 years ago today that John Lennon was assassinated by man named Mark David Chapman outside of his apartment in New York City.  At the time he was 40 years old.


I'm sure there will be plenty of articles out there today on Lennon and his legacy, so I'll just move past the desire to link to something.  


As for my thoughts on all of this, I'll be the first to admit that I'm more of a "Beatle Paul" kind of guy, even more so back in 1980.  That noted, over the years I've grown to appreciate just how brilliant John Lennon was, both as an artist and as a person. There was a certain rawness to the guy that could be difficult to listen to; Paul was the light, happy guy...the guy that could write "We Can Work It Out"; John was the one screaming for "Help".  You couldn't ask for a more stark contrast.  The combination was brilliant.


Over the years I've become more of a Lennon fan, not that I didn't enjoy his work in the past.  I think though to truly enjoy Lennon you sometimes have to feel a certain amount of pain.  Listen to "Mother" and try not to feel the raw, visceral pain in his voice and in the lyric.


Mother, you had me, but I never had you
I wanted you, you didn't want me
So I, I just got to tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Father, you left me, but I never left you
I needed you, you didn't need me
So I, I just got to tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Children, don't do what I have done
I couldn't walk and I tried to run
So I, I just got to tell you
Goodbye, goodbye

Mama don't go
Daddy come home





Raw pain on display for the world.  That's genius.


Where was I when Lennon was assassinated?  At the time I was 16 years old and I didn't hear the news until the next morning while watching Good Morning America.  At the time I remember thinking that this somehow changed things in music.  30 years later I still have that same thought.  Even more frightening?  I'm now 6 years older than Lennon was when he died.  


I'll end this with my all time favorite John Lennon song, #9 Dream.  "So long ago, was it just a dream?".  As an adult sometimes I think it was.


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