It is hard to believe that it has been 35 years since one of the beacons of light that shined upon our consciousness and our world was extinguished. John Lennon touched the lives of so many people with his music, his strong views about peace, and stopping war. He was willing to expose all parts of himself the good and the not so good. Yet, he always remained true to himself.
For those who do not know John Lennon, here is a brief scenario (John Winston Lennon), October 09, 1940 – December 08, 1980. Born in Liverpool, England John was a member of the Beatles, a prolific songwriter, and also had a successful solo career. He was shot and killed as he entered his apartment building in New York City. He was 40. John Lennon was the first celebrity assassinated.
I was twelve years old when the Beatles came to America, and I was immediately drawn to the humor of John Lennon. He demonstrated his intelligence in any interview given. The music of the Beatles was magic at that time, and it certainly lit a fire under me that has not extinguished to this day. I followed the Beatles faithfully until their breakup and from there I continue to follow each one’s music. But as always John seemed to be expressing the feelings that I had. I was fortunate to see the Beatles perform live three times fortunately I was close to the stage the last time I saw them, and it was indescribable. It was a lasting memory.
John was always the most outspoken, and, at one point in 1966, he was condemned in the United States because of stating that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. He was not saying that they were greater than Jesus but just that their popularity extended farther. It was the truth at that time. From then on he received death threats and was told that he would be assassinated during their 1966 United States tour. This is one of the main reasons the Beatles stopped performing live.
Fame was a great pressure on John, and he looked for other avenues to explore having conquered the world. He discovered LSD and used it to open up his creativity. From there he discovered meditation and went to India to practice and learn from a master. He met Yoko Ono, and they fell in love even though they were both married at the time. He felt Yoko was his soul mate, and they were together until the end of his life.
They started a movement for peace and love. He gained new world recognition for his peace movement and his views against all wars. He expressed his views through his music and many people paid attention. His goal was to have people get along and follow the path of love and peace. For a time John went into seclusion, but in 1980 he was making a comeback with a new album, the first in five years, and ready to get back into his many causes.
Unfortunately there was a man who was jealous of John’s fame and success and decided that he could obtain some fame by killing John Lennon. And on a cold December night he did the unthinkable.
December 08, 1980 I was at the Los Angeles Forum watching the Los Angeles Kings play a hockey game. Suddenly, during the game, I heard a voice tell me to leave the building quickly. I knew there was a reason and I decided to leave right then and there. 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.
Rather than dwell on his murder I want to remember all that he did in his short 40 years. He definitely kept me aware of what was going on in the world through his music and his peaceful demonstrations. He gave a voice to the consciousness that so many were feeling and unable to find the words or ways to express it. John did.
Ironically he was killed on the birthday of Jim Morrison, singer, songwriter, and poet of The Doors, who if he would have lived would be 72 years old this year. So many brilliant men have gone, but their words and music live on.
Each year new people discover John Lennon for the first time. In Havana, Cuba, they have a wonderful bronze statue of John Lennon sitting casually on a park bench as though he is observing those who pass by. Recently a teenager asked me if I knew who John Lennon was. I just had to smile at that question.
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 75 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.
Worldwide he is loved. His legacy will never be forgotten.
Thank you John for everything,
May John’s Message Reverberate Throughout The World!