When I heard the news the baby and I went to bed. I don’t know how … but we both fell right to sleep. Perhaps it was the shock.
Before John Lennon formed The Beatles, entertainers were brand names to be marketed and sold. The words they spoke were fed to them based on careful calculations. A really good example of what I’m talking about is the Netflix movie “Mank.” It’s about the early days of Hollywood when the public was fed stories about their favorite stars and those stars were expected to play the roles assigned to them. For example, the story that Mary Pickford was a forty year old virgin was a joke in Hollywood but apparently believed by her adoring public. Screenwriters were generally established writers slumming it for a few easy bucks. If asked to write a script for a political ad that deliberately mislead voters, they were expected to comply or risk being ruined both financially and professionally. However, when a writer knowingly deceives his readers, he generally calls it fiction.
Anyway, like the Mank character, John Lennon, whether you liked him or not, showed us that honestly over time is the only thing that gives art meaning. It’s just a damn shame he’s not here to lead us all into old age.
24 thoughts on “It’s a Damn Shame”
Did you watch the ABC 20/20 Special “John Lennon: His Life, Legacy, Last Days” on Hulu?
I really liked it.
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Thanks Layton – I’ll check it out
Oh. I remember that day like it was 10 years ago. Was it really 40? There will never be another John. Such a unique being, and what a tragedy. It will always be a shock to know he’s gone and how it happened. Earlier today, Mike asked if I’d read anything about the 40th anniversary and why the presses weren’t making more of a big deal about it. I said I think the f*cking pandemic is dominating everything right now. But that’s a tragedy too. Reflection is so important. Thank you for writing this, Jan.
It IS a tragedy. We mustn’t forget.
Thanks Mary. I’ll never forget that day even though the baby just turned 40!
His death was tragic.
I’d just heard Starting Over on the radio and I remember saying to my husband – “that’s John Lennon!” and he didn’t believe me. I think most people don’t remember that he’d been quiet (musically) for about five years.
He was murdered, violent and shocking. I don’t remember where we were when we heard the news but hubby does we were in bed in the house we lived in before this one and it was announced on the radio.
I was never a Lennon fan, though I admit he could write Lyrics. No one deserves to be killed though , that was a tragedy. 💜
I think he would have been the first to admit that he was no where near perfect! I liked him because he broke the old mold of what a rock and roll artist should be.
Yes indeed, just a shame he met YoKo Ono ….
Hi. I totally agree with the last sentence in your essay. Lennon was so smart, and had such interesting thoughts and insights. A unique person.
And he was funny too. That I probably miss the most.
That was devastating news.
It was kind of like falling off a cliff for those of us who grew up with him.
Such a tragedy. I often wonder how many more wonderful music he would have given us .
We’ll sadly never know.
I was to young to remember this news, but my mother does remember it, of course.
Thanks for marking this sad anniversary, Jan, and I couldn’t agree more, Rare beings like John Lennon can actually think and feel at the same time, then turn it into wisdom and insight. We could sure use him now, with the whole world staggering through such dark times. On the other hand, thinking of John, and how much he gave us already–more probably than we deserve–I’m kind of glad he’s “off the hook.”
May his music, compassion and passion always educate and inspire us.
Yeah – I’m glad he went out on top … but do miss his vision and sense of the absurd.
Humans are tragic creatures. When the last human dies, will she look back at the eons of humanity and think “it was worth the bother”? That the comings and goings of hundreds of billions of humans will have been tragic, purposeful, pointless or inconsequential?
Good question – I do not know.
That day really shocked the world, I remember it well. Your tribute to John Lennon here is appreciated, Jan.
Thanks Jet – think in many ways I’ve been in shock since then.
Although I also completely remember the day, I was too young philosophically speaking to really appreciate him at the time. Only as I grew older did I realize what he had to offer.