My entire life changed when I was twelve years old and the Beatles came to America in 1964 which opened up the whole world for me. Their music turned me on so much that it was just like I had gone into another dimension. I understood the music and found it waking me up as though my previous twelve years I had been asleep.
The first time I saw their photograph John Lennon struck me as someone unique. My girlfriends all were in love with Paul McCartney. I was not in love with John, but when I heard him in interviews I loved his wit and I bought his first book, “In His Own Write” and found his humor to be the same as mine.
For those of you who were not alive when the Beatles blasted across America you will not easily understand the significance of their impact upon not only America, but the entire world. They changed our culture. The Beatles arrived in America just under three months after the assassination of President John Kennedy. This assassination had brought America into a massive depression and the fresh lively spirit of the Beatles was exactly what the country needed to boost itself.
I was fortunate to live in Los Angeles and saw the Beatles in person three different times. It was a lasting memory. I followed the Beatles faithfully until their breakup and from there I continued to follow each one’s music. But as always John seemed to be expressing the feelings that I had.
December 08, 1980 I was at the Los Angeles Forum watching the Los Angeles Kings play a hockey game. Suddenly I felt I had to leave the building quickly and as I was walking out one of the guards asked me if I had heard and I thought he meant the hockey score, and I said yes I had heard. When I got in my car I turned on the radio and a Beatles song was playing. When it finished the disc jockey said, “In memory of John Lennon who was shot to death this evening.” I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I kept changing stations to get more information about what had happened. I could not stop crying and all I did was drive home quickly.
It was unbelievable that a man who had tried so hard to stop the war and bring people together with peace and love had been killed by an assassin. Of course I watched the news on television and went to bed with a sense of great loss because John Lennon represented so much of my life.
The next day I went to the Redondo Beach Pier and set staring at the ocean where I said my goodbyes to John for all he had brought into my life, and I released him into love and light knowing that he was already there.
I did not grieve for John because I know that our fate is pre destined. Also I know that there is a spirit world and he is there. I continue to listen to the Beatles and John Lennon’s music and always enjoy it. I am thankful that I lived in the most exciting time there was the 1960’s and I was able to experience Beatlemania full on.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 31 years since John was assassinated, but his legacy will live for ever and that speaks greatly for the man. Because John was only 40 years old when he died he will always be remembered young and I wonder what he would have been like at 70 years of age. He still would have been turning out fabulous music and art, just as Paul McCartney, Ringo, and George Harrison have done throughout the years.
So Happy Birthday John and thank you for everything you gave us. You will always live in our hearts.