October 09, 1940 one of the great voices of the world was born. John Lennon always spoke his mind and was a true voice that we needed so many years ago. His words are still valid today.
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. 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.
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 see the Beatles perform live three times and luckily I was close to the stage the last time I saw them, and it was indescribable. It was a lasting memory. 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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 36 years since John was assassinated, but his legacy will live forever 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 76 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.
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.
So Happy Birthday John and thank you for everything you gave us. You will always live in our hearts.