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John Lennon, 1940-1980
December 8, 2005 6:06 AM   Subscribe

It was twenty-five years ago today. John Lennon was murdered in front of the Dakota building in Manhattan. While there have been many conspiracy theories surrrounding it, most reasonable people agree that his assassin was simply deranged.

Rest in peace, John. We'll keep imagining in your absence.
posted by cerebus19 (151 comments total)

 
Recent article. Grumpy sod; genius also.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:15 AM on December 8, 2005


It was the darkest of dark days.
posted by caddis at 6:27 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by JeffK at 6:27 AM on December 8, 2005


Anyone in San Francisco?
posted by oxala at 6:27 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by Pendragon at 6:36 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by interrobang at 6:38 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by Afroblanco at 6:38 AM on December 8, 2005


Lennon-Chapman.com is an exhaustive site, bordering on the obsessive, on the circumstances, coincidences and possible conspiracies that brought John Lennon and Mark David Chapman together.

Rest in peace, John, and know that you are remembered as more than a mere musician.

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posted by Faint of Butt at 6:38 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by interrobang at 6:40 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by Plutor at 6:41 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by NationalKato at 6:47 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by prostyle at 6:50 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by Miko at 6:53 AM on December 8, 2005


I was going to mention the Meatmen's "One Down, Three to Go" but then I figured people would get mad, so I decided not to.
posted by scratch at 6:58 AM on December 8, 2005


scratch, could be worse. You could have mentioned Lennon wrote Happiness Is a Warm Gun.
posted by Fat Guy at 7:01 AM on December 8, 2005


Has anyone else ever noticed a particular page in the booklet that comes with "The Magical Mystery Tour" in which John is standing in front of a sign that says "The Best Way to Go is by M&D Co." (MDC --> Mark David Chapman)?

Freaky.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:02 AM on December 8, 2005


Conspiracies, eh? Who was the only person who actually benefited from John Lennon's death? Who inherited millions, as well as his share of the lucrative Lennon-McCartney catalogue? Who inherited (unmerited) his fame, the respect of the world, and a large, valuable apartment at the Dakota? Who lost a troublesome, creatively burned out, junkie husband in the process? Ronald Reagan? Cherchez la femme, my friends. Even Paul McCartney's afraid of her.
posted by Faze at 7:04 AM on December 8, 2005


It's no conspiracy. Sadly, all it took to take John away was one mentally ill individual.

That said, I still maintain that the only reason John is widely believed to be the genius behind The Beatles, is because he died before he had the chance to write and publish dross. His musical catalogue will never be tarnished with a Frog Chorus or Pipes of Peace.

Who inherited the Lennon-McCartney catalogue? No one... it was sold to Michael Jackson.
posted by jonthegeologist at 7:09 AM on December 8, 2005


"I don't believe in Beatles – I just believe in me."
posted by shoepal at 7:09 AM on December 8, 2005


Sister, there's a wind that never dies
Sister, we're breathing together
Sister, our love and hopes forever keep on moving oh so slowly in the world

They gave you sunshine
They gave you sea
They gave you everything but the jailhouse key
They gave you coffee
They gave you tea
They gave you everything but equality


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posted by matteo at 7:09 AM on December 8, 2005


I still miss the cranky old hippie. I remember when he died, my old man grumbling how ridiculous it was that Lennon's death got more attention than Sadat's.

In college, I dated a girl who was a big Beatlemaniac and we'd go to Strawberry Feilds today and on Lennon's birthday hang around with other fans drinking beer, smoking dope and singing songs. Most of the people were cool, but there were a couple slightly off folks like the dude who wore the collarless Cardin suit and circa-64 moptop and a wiggy expression.

It's not every artist who can attract that, which is both a blessing and a curse, I guess.
posted by jonmc at 7:14 AM on December 8, 2005


Jesus, Faze. That's pretty raw. Let it be.
posted by warbaby at 7:19 AM on December 8, 2005


Yeah, Faze. Hear warbaby's words of wisdom, and let it be.
posted by unreason at 7:21 AM on December 8, 2005


Is this post anything but a contest between Lennon fans to see who's the biggest among them? I'll show them! I'll remember him first! *rushes to FPP*

I still say move on. The Cult of Lennon is what causes people to think using "Imagine" in commercials is a good idea. Listen to his music, don't deify the man. Despite quotes about his size relative to Jesus, I doubt that's what he'd want. In fact, Jesus has the same problem. People doing things in his name seldom stop to think what he was actually about. Jesus wasn't about spreading his own name, he was about doing good and loving your fellow man.

Lennon had his time. It's your time to make a change now. I've said my good-byes to those who've gone before; what's keeping you from moving forward?

What I have to say is not popular, I know, but I speak my mind earnestly and honestly. Flame at your own risk.
posted by Eideteker at 7:23 AM on December 8, 2005


Snopes has a decent explanation of who owned/owns publishing rights to Beatles tunes.
posted by biffa at 7:24 AM on December 8, 2005


Listen to his music, don't deify the man.

Good point. By all accounts, Lennon the man was no angel and never presented himself as such. He'd be a bit bemused by his own canonization.
posted by jonmc at 7:25 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by Mr Bluesky at 7:27 AM on December 8, 2005


Interesting interview here.

Warning: asshole alert. "I am a genius" and "genius is pain" statements within.
posted by interrobang at 7:31 AM on December 8, 2005


Why is the Frog Song disparaged? They had a screening of the cartoons McCartney had a hand in at a theater in NY a few years ago. Cute, but nothing special.

I named my Lab bitch Lennon (although a lot of people thought I meant the communist).
posted by brujita at 7:32 AM on December 8, 2005


jonmc: My problem is with the last line of the FPP: "We'll keep imagining in your absence." That's exactly the problem. John didn't want people to simply imagine. He wanted them to do; to make these things happen. Too often people get wrapped up in hero worship and forget that they themselves can, must, should be the heroes of the next generation. This is precisely the reason that I'm not Christian anymore; I have too much respect for Christ.

Sorry:
posted by Eideteker at 7:32 AM on December 8, 2005


His musical catalogue will never be tarnished with a Frog Chorus or Pipes of Peace.

Oh yeah? His musical catalogue was definitively tarnished by (Just Like) Starting Over; Imagine; Watching The Wheels; Jealous Guy; Instant Karma!; Stand By Me; Working Class Hero; Power To The People; Oh My Love; Oh Yoko; Nobody Loves You When You're Down And Out; Nobody Told Me; Bless You; Come Together (Live); New York City; I'm Stepping Out; You Are Here; Borrowed Time; Happy Xmas (War Is Over); Woman; Mind Games; Out Of The Blue; Whatever Gets You Thru The Night; Love; Mother; Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy); Woman Is The Nigger Of The World; God; Scared; # Dream; I'm Losing You (Anthology Version); Isolation; Cold Turkey; Intuition; Gimme Some Truth; Give Peace A Chance; Real Love; Grow Old With Me.
I was getting ready to download Lennon's greatest hits one day, and I went over this list, and realized there is not a single one of these tune that I ever want to hear again --except for "Imagine," which I'll need to refer to every time I want to be reminded of what a vacant human being Lennon had become by the time "she-who-shall-not-be-named" got through with him.
Think about the sight of those two bozos lying side-by-side at their "bed-ins" -- him with that idiotic beard... In the course of six months in 1969, John Lennon went from being the coolest man in the world, to the world's biggest... ah, what's the use. Listen to "Live Peace at Toronto," and you'll hear the whole thing.
posted by Faze at 7:35 AM on December 8, 2005


(It's worth noting that MDC is now an evangelical Christian.)
posted by Eideteker at 7:35 AM on December 8, 2005


Dimebag Darrell was killed onstage a year ago as well. This will always be a sad day in music history, for multiple reasons.

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posted by First Post at 7:36 AM on December 8, 2005


John didn't want people to simply imagine. He wanted them to do.

Action without imagination makes people into drones.

But I agree with your move on point, Eideteker.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:38 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by trip and a half at 7:41 AM on December 8, 2005


Faze, we get it. You hate Yoko. You hate John's solo work. blah blah blah.
posted by NationalKato at 7:42 AM on December 8, 2005


We've all been enriched in some way by the man.

I miss him.

This 1980 Playboy Interview reveals as well as anything where his head was at right before he departed this happy world.

-r
posted by rmmcclay at 7:42 AM on December 8, 2005


Faze is still upset about Yoko. He also hasn't gotten over the cancellation of The Honeymooners either.
posted by jonmc at 7:43 AM on December 8, 2005


Oi, Faze. Come Together and Working Class Hero are both great songs.

I agree the rest suck though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:43 AM on December 8, 2005


Cold Turkey, Well Well Well, and a live version of Dizzy Miss Lizzy (old school rock and roll was where Lennon's rocks really came off, God bless him) are great as well, but stuff like Power To The People does sound embarassingly naive today.
posted by jonmc at 7:47 AM on December 8, 2005


Faze, your point about the decline of Lennon's work may be a good one, and the Yoko point may even be worth discussing... but not in this thread.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:47 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by xammerboy at 7:49 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by cookie-k at 7:52 AM on December 8, 2005


Imagine that this song will one day be played on soft rock stations all over the nation.
posted by iamck at 7:52 AM on December 8, 2005


I didn't count Dizzy Miss Lizzy because it isn't really a Lennon song. Cold Turkey I'm ambivalent about. I used to rate it, but the lyrics sound like banal doggerel to me now.

Not that that prevents something from being a great song, mind you. Look at Louie Louie/Woolly Bully/etc.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:56 AM on December 8, 2005


I still think Paul is the more interesting songician.* Still, I remember being sad when Lennon died--I was only 10, so it wasn't as clear to me what it meant. The Beatles were the soundtrack of my childhood, not my coming of age. But don't hate on Sir Paul, he's a well meaning guy that writes pretty songs.

And fuck-you to all the Yoko haters. None of you knows what their life was like together, what she went through, nothing. You just buy the hype that she cause the Beatles to breakup or whatever shit conspiracy you buy into. John was a big boy, and knew what he was doing. He chose his life, and he chose to be with Yoko. And you know what? I bet it really sucks to be her every December 8th.

* pronounced song-jishun. My preference for Paul was once analyzed by a friend as being the root of my own musical shortcomings. I believe the line was that I made the error of valuing Paul over John, which led me to prefer bands like the Cure over the Stooges (a charge I still deny). How this affected my own musicality I'm not sure, but we were pretty fucking high at the time.
posted by illovich at 7:58 AM on December 8, 2005


Think of John Lennon for a moment, His songs, his life, your general feelings and knowledge of him. Now, think of Ashlee Simpson. Think of John Lennon walking past Ashlee Simpson on the street.

The sick feeling in your stomach is what we cannot explain, and why he will always be missed.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:02 AM on December 8, 2005


jonmc -- Don't mention the Honeymooners and "she-who-shall-not-be-named" in the same breath. The people who made the Honeymooners actually had talent, worked hard, and added something wonderful to the world. They were artists, for heaven's sake. Like John Lennon was before he met... ah, forget it.
posted by Faze at 8:06 AM on December 8, 2005


Still a pretty major bummer.

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posted by fenriq at 8:07 AM on December 8, 2005


The Jesse Helms -- Ashlee Simpson actually has a few good songs, which is more than "Mr. Imagine" ever had in HIS solo career.
posted by Faze at 8:08 AM on December 8, 2005


jonmc -- Don't mention the Honeymooners and "she-who-shall-not-be-named" in the same breath.

I'm not a huge fan of Yoko either and I'm not comparing the two. I'm saying that maybe it's time you moved on.
posted by jonmc at 8:12 AM on December 8, 2005


Elvis died. Lennon died. Jimi died.

I think its a generational thing, the revalence of his life and death. For me, born in '79, I just see him as one more dead, albeit talented, popular musician. From my experience, the majority of my peers seem to hold the same position. I'll have to agree with the earlier poster's father, Sadat's death had a greater historical impact.
posted by Atreides at 8:14 AM on December 8, 2005


I'll have to agree with the earlier poster's father, Sadat's death had a greater historical impact.

Of course it did. But, it still irked me when the old man dismissed Lennon's murder, but I've grown up to almost as cynical as him, so it's cool.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on December 8, 2005


After a lifetime of thinking ill of Yoko, I skeptically went to see a comprehensive show of her art at the SF MOMA. Surprise: it was one of the most beautiful and thought-provoking shows of contemporary art I've ever seen. (In particular, I remember a chess set in which all the pieces, and all the squares, were white.)

Likewise, a number of the songs that Faze mentions -- such as God and Come Together -- are brilliant, and anything but "naive." (By comparison, Bush's speeches are truly naive and disconnected from the way the Real World works, as becomes more evident every day.) I would have loved to have heard Lennon's musical commentary on the current domination of the US by people like him.
posted by digaman at 8:19 AM on December 8, 2005


Ashlee Simpson actually has a few good songs

Wait, you're saying Ashlee Simpson's solo career has more merit and musical talent than Lennon's? Now I really know you have no clue.
posted by NationalKato at 8:20 AM on December 8, 2005


Say what you will about his solo career... the man wrote Ticket to Ride, Help, Norwegian Wood, Come Together, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, Dear Prudence, Strawberry Fields Forever.

As we all know, the list could go on and on. Is it worth pointing out that all of the above were written BEFORE HE WAS THIRTY? What have you done since you woke up today, Faze?

(As for Yoko - John loved her. He wanted to be with her. 'Nuff said, as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, more Beatles albums would be great, but judging by the movie Let it Be, Paul McC was not a lot of fun to have as a bandmate. Nor, I suspect, was Mr. Lennon.)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:20 AM on December 8, 2005


Think of John Lennon walking past Ashlee Simpson on the street. The sick feeling in your stomach is what we cannot explain.

Someone get that creepy tramp dude away from my Ashlee.
posted by cillit bang at 8:20 AM on December 8, 2005


Faze, you're bumming us out. John would have wanted you to let go.
posted by faceonmars at 8:22 AM on December 8, 2005


Elvis died. Lennon died. Jimi died.

True, but Elvis and Jimi killed themselves with drugs. John Lennon was murdered. That makes a difference.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:40 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by blendor at 8:47 AM on December 8, 2005


What Atreides said.

I like most of Lennon's music. But I just think of as a pretty good musician and lyricist, not some icon. I never understood why his death was on the "make a big deal about it on its anniversary" level.

The idea that a rock star, even one who was pretty pioneering (although black musicians were doing the rock n' roll thing when the Beatles were still in diapers), should be revered in this way never really resonated with me.

There are a lot of other historical figures (Sadat included) whose deaths affected the world more or were more tragic and untimely.
posted by TunnelArmr at 8:48 AM on December 8, 2005


Faze, I agree with the thrust of your argument, but name another celebrity of Lennon's fame who has had the balls to publish something as revelatory as "Jealous Guy".

Yoko Ono is cool: she was the first riot grrrl. and, Faze, "Oh Yoko" is a wonderful love song.
posted by matteo at 8:48 AM on December 8, 2005


i'm going to be a little controversial and say that perhaps it's just as well the beatles broke up when they did ... aside from their feeling that it was the thing for them to do, the work that other bands from that era did during the 70s and 80s isn't what i'd call real consistent ... and at times, it was embarrassing ... they broke up before they could tarnish their catalog with later works that wouldn't have been anywhere as good

in other words, faze, get over it

lennon's death was a tragedy ... i think it's likely that he would have embraced some of the newer things that came along and put his own twist on them ... i don't think he would have put out mediocre product for the sake of putting something, anything out ... he had sense enough to quit for awhile when he realized the well was running dry
posted by pyramid termite at 8:50 AM on December 8, 2005


At the time, I was living downtown at the Y in Milwaukee. I usually left the radio on all night while I slept; in the wee hour of the morning, I woke up to hear the announcer on a local rock station (or it might've been a Chicago one) sobbing incoherently on the air. He finally composed himself enough to resume talking about the event, and I gradually realized what had happened. Not a good thing to wake up to in the middle of the night...
posted by alumshubby at 8:54 AM on December 8, 2005


There are a lot of other historical figures (Sadat included) whose deaths affected the world more or were more tragic and untimely.

Well, (and this is just a theory), Sadat was a politician, and a controversial one. And while I condemn it, I can get my mind around why someone would want to assasinate one. Lennon was just a musician, so the whole thing made less sense.
posted by jonmc at 8:55 AM on December 8, 2005


To my everlasting chagrin, I first heard about this, as did millions of people, from Howard Cosell.
posted by Danf at 9:02 AM on December 8, 2005


Oh Yoko" is a wonderful love song.

matteo, you know, I actually agree with you. It's the best of his post-Beatle career. Too bad it's about you-know-who, and therefore unlistenable.

People here keep saying "How can you rag on Yoko. Didn't John love her?" -- Haven't any of you ever been in a horribly neurotic, unbearably depressing, life-destroying, unending, coil-of-death relationship, or known anyone who was in one? Haven't you ever heard of relationships where both parties hate each other's guts, yet make constant protestations of affection -- to the point of unbelievability? Haven't you ever met one of those couples who are so hideously and psychotically intertwined that you think that only death will get one or the other out of it? Why would any man married to the love of his life, whom he adored as much as he claims in "Oh Yoko" become a junkie? Why would he stop creating, dead in his tracks? Why he let her bury his beautiful talent in her hideous screaming?
The man was on a quest for self-obliteration, and unfortunately, he found a master obliterator to be his partner.
posted by Faze at 9:02 AM on December 8, 2005


In the spirit of what I said 25 years ago: So some celebrity millionaire got bumped off. Big deal. He made and sold a corporate product not raised the dead, and he was lucky enough to die before being a regular on Match Game 2006.
posted by davy at 9:03 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by ScotchLynx at 9:06 AM on December 8, 2005


I'm usually alone in thinking that Yoko released some of the most interesting records of the early seventies: Fly, The Plastic Ono Band, Approximately Infinite Universe, not to mention Season of Glass, a record every bit as haunting and harrowing as P.I.L.'s Second Edition.

The early LP's are similar in feel to krautrock (think CAN), and alternate as a great way to piss blowhards like Faze off.
posted by item at 9:09 AM on December 8, 2005


I remember where I was when I heard about John's passing - much like I remember where I was when I heard about JFK's passing. For many of us, his murder was an act akin to assasinating a president; for some of us, who genuinely loved and appreciated Lennon and his music, it was even more profound. A local radio station was running a tribute to him this morning and without warning, tears welled up when they started playing "Imagine," which wasn't my favorite Lennon song, but certainly poignant both then and now. As long as his music lives, John Lennon will never die.
posted by Lynsey at 9:10 AM on December 8, 2005


Faze and item are either father and son, or a comedy act called the Reactionary Twins.
posted by jonmc at 9:12 AM on December 8, 2005


Daddy?
posted by item at 9:13 AM on December 8, 2005


and I'm your drunken uncle with an urge to bang your heads together, so both of you stifle yourselves, savvy?
posted by jonmc at 9:16 AM on December 8, 2005


Saying the Unthinkable by Lester Bangs.

You always wonder how you will react to these things, but I can't say I was all that surprised when NBC broke into "The Tonight Show" to say that John Lennon was dead. I always thought that he would be the first of the Beatles to die, because he was always the one who lived the most on the existential edge, whether by diving knees-first into left-wing adventurism or by just shutting up for five years when he decided he really didn't have anything much to say; but I had always figured it would be by his own hand. That he was merely the latest celebrity to be gunned down by a probable psychotic only underscores the banality surrounding his death.

Look: I don't think I'm insensitive or a curmudgeon. In 1965 John Lennon was one of the most important people in the world. It's just that today I feel deeply alienated from rock 'n' roll and what it has meant or could mean, alienated from my fellow men and women and their dreams or aspirations.

I don't know what is more pathetic, the people of my generation who refuse to let their 1960s adolescence die a natural death, or the younger ones who will snatch and gobble any shred, any scrap of a dream that someone declared over ten years ago. Perhaps the younger ones are sadder, because at least my peers may have some nostalgic memory of the long-cold embers they're kneeling to blow upon, whereas the kids who have to make do with things like the _Beatlemania_ show are being sold a bill of goods.

I can't mourn John Lennon. I didn't know the guy. But I do know that when all is said and done, that's all he was--a guy. The refusal of his fans to ever let him just be that was finally almost as lethal as his "assassin" (and please, let's have no more talk of this being a "political" killing, and don't call him a "rock 'n' roll martyr"). Did you watch the TV specials on Tuesday night? Did you see all those people standing in the street in front of the Dakota apartment where Lennon lived singing "Hey Jude"? What do you think the _real_--cynical, sneeringly sarcastic, witheringly witty and iconoclastic--John Lennon would have said about that?

John Lennon at his best despised cheap sentiment and had to learn the hard way that once you've made your mark on history those who can't will be so grateful they'll turn it into a cage for you. Those who choose to falsify their memories--to pine for a neverland 1960s that never really happened _that_ way in the first place--insult the retroactive Eden they enshrine.

So in this time of gut-curdling sanctimonies about ultimate icons, I hope you will bear with my own pontifications long enough to let me say that the Beatles were certainly far more than a group of four talented musicians who might even have been the best of their generation. The Beatles were most of all a moment. But their generation was not the only generation in history, and to keep turning the gutten lantern of those dreams this way and that in hopes the flame will somehow flicker up again in the eighties is as futile a pursuit as trying to turn Lennon's lyrics into poetry. It is for that moment--not for John Lennon the man---that you are mourning, if you are mourning. Ultimately you are mourning for yourself.

Remember that other guy, the old friend of theirs, who once said, "Don't follow leaders"? Well, he was right. But the very people who took those words and made them into banners were violating the slogan they carried. And their still doing it today. The Beatles did lead but they led with a wink. They may have been more popular than Jesus, but I don't think they wanted to be the world's religion. That would have cheapened and rendered tawdry what was special and wonderful about them. John Lennon didn't want that, or he wouldn't have retired for the last half of the seventies. What happened Monday night was only the most extreme extension of all the forces that led him to do so in the first place.

In some of this last interviews before he died, he said, "What I realized during the five years away was that when I said the dream is over, I had made the physical break from the Beatles, but mentally there is still this big thing on my back about what people expected of me." And: "We were the hip ones of the sixties. But the world is not like the sixties. The whole world has changed." And: "Produce your own dream. It's quite possible to do anything...the unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions."

Good-bye, baby, and amen.

-Los Angeles _Times_, 11 December 1980
posted by klangklangston at 9:18 AM on December 8, 2005


Of course, it wasn't much longer till Lester got to go where Lennon went.

*sniff*
posted by jonmc at 9:20 AM on December 8, 2005


Jeebus, Faze, shut up.
posted by jokeefe at 9:21 AM on December 8, 2005


don't sweat him, jokeefe, I think he ate some bad sushi and holds a grudge.
posted by jonmc at 9:23 AM on December 8, 2005


Right up there with the death of Elvis for crying folks all over the radio.
posted by HTuttle at 9:26 AM on December 8, 2005


Oh yeah. I was at a friend's house, chopping onions, because we were making dinner here on the West Coast. I can still remember the sight of those onions sitting on the cutting board, and the look her husband gave us when he answered the phone, listening, and turned to face us with tears in his eyes.

For a while I thought there was something a bit wrong with me because I was relatively unmoved, but for people even just a few years older than I, it was devastating, and I remember that well. I felt something of the same the day I turned on the Seattle news at lunch in 1994 and heard the news about Kurt Cobain.

And Yoko is underrated.
posted by jokeefe at 9:26 AM on December 8, 2005


don't sweat him, jokeefe, I think he ate some bad sushi and holds a grudge.

bwa ha ha ha.

mmmmm.... sushi.... how much longer till lunch, anyway?
posted by jokeefe at 9:27 AM on December 8, 2005


Wait, so Yoko Ono shot John Lennon?
posted by iamck at 9:28 AM on December 8, 2005


The killing of Sadat, Gandhi, and JFK were (check one) 1. More tragic. 2. Less tragic 3. Just as tragic than the killing of John Lennon.

There isn't a reasonable answer (though there are reasoned and rational arguments).

But, somehow (and I graduated H.S. in 1970, so I naturally feel more strongly about this) it just seems so much more fucked up for a musician to be the victim of an assasination.

I'm not saying possible death is in the job description of a politician....but, still...
posted by kozad at 9:29 AM on December 8, 2005


and a large, valuable apartment at the Dakota?

Not to mention the building, too.

Checking iTunes, I see I ripped Instant Karma, Imagine, (Just Like) Starting Over, Watching the Wheels into mp3. Imagine is of course a colossal piece that few people will top wrt artistic and philosophical impact. The latter two have more to do with me first getting into music seriously, ca. 1980.

The sadness of a person's loss comes not from what they have done, but what they have not done. So wrt Sadat, no big loss; Lennon, not necessarily the case.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:32 AM on December 8, 2005


actually, my Dad-although a baby boomer-was much more of an Elvis/doo-wop guy* and I remember him saying that him and his freinds hated the Beatles back when they came out. So it probably wasn't political sophistication talking just a musical grudge.

*ironically, so were the Beatles.
posted by jonmc at 9:34 AM on December 8, 2005


I'm sure that many stations have specials on today. BBC 6 music is worth checking out - they archive all their stuff and you can stream over the net. They have a JL day today -
On Tom Robinson's Show
1900: Roisin Murphy talks about her favourite Lennon track - A Day In The Life
1930: Gene Vincent talks about his favourite Lennon track - Be Bop-A-Lula
2000: Yoko Ono: In Her Own Words - Give Peace A Chance
2030: Cover version by Duke Special of Don't Let Me Down
2100: Andrew Purcell reports from New York - Instant Karma


On Nemone's Dream Ticket

2200: Beatles Session - Rock and Roll Music
2230 Rob Brydon talks about his favourite Lennon track - Glass Onion
2300 Beatle session - I'm A Loser
2330 Andrew Purcell reports from New York
2400 Beatle session - I Feel Fine
2430 Yoko Ono talks about John's Legacy - Imagine
Times are GMT, but irrelevant for the next 7 days, if you go to the archives. There's more, I just don't want to bogart the screen.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:43 AM on December 8, 2005


Gene Vincent talks about his favourite Lennon track - Be Bop-A-Lula

Dyslexics Untie!
posted by jonmc at 9:44 AM on December 8, 2005


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posted by dig_duggler at 9:46 AM on December 8, 2005


"So we're just saying ... anybody interested in peace just stick it in the window, it's simple but it lets somebody else know that you want peace too, because you feel alone if you’re the only one thinking ‘wouldn’t it be nice if there was peace and nobody was getting killed', so advertise yourself that you’re for peace if you believe in it."

-- John Lennon, David Frost Show, 6/14/69

.
posted by anastasiav at 9:49 AM on December 8, 2005


Howard Cosel told me Lennon had been shot. I was watching Monday Night Football at the time. Way before the internets or even CNN, we actually had to wait until the paper came out the next morning for details.

Lennon and Chuck Berry on Mike Douglas show.
posted by fixedgear at 9:55 AM on December 8, 2005


R.I.P Darby Crash
posted by thirteen at 9:57 AM on December 8, 2005


Man, it's been 25 years already, get over it. Some hippie got shot. Whooop-deee-dooo.
posted by b_thinky at 9:58 AM on December 8, 2005


Wow. Another one out of the park, b_thinky. I can always depend on you to make the little posts that give me that churning, vertiginous feeling that the world is about to be drowned in a tsunami of glib, proud ignorance. You never disappoint, do you.
posted by digaman at 10:03 AM on December 8, 2005


.
A co-worker of mine was living on the same street as the Dakota building at the time, and was in fact recording himself singing (he was an opera major) when the shots went off; he didn't notice, because apparently the kids next door used to set off fireworks all the time. The next day, when he finally found out what had happened, he went back and listened to the tape. In between him practicing scales, you can hear 5 gunshots.
posted by 235w103 at 10:09 AM on December 8, 2005


235w103 wins for creepiest story.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:11 AM on December 8, 2005


Yoko Ono is cool: she was the first riot grrrl.

No, that was Aphra Behn.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:12 AM on December 8, 2005


b_thinky likes to show how his interests are more important than other peoples' interests. thanks for stopping by, b_thinky!
posted by NationalKato at 10:14 AM on December 8, 2005


Man, it's been 25 years already, get over it. Some hippie got shot. Whooop-deee-dooo.

mark, the parole board isn't going to like that at all
posted by pyramid termite at 10:29 AM on December 8, 2005


.
posted by DemeterMaid at 10:29 AM on December 8, 2005


Yoko Ono is cool: she was the first riot grrrl.


No, that was Aphra Behn.


No, that was Wanda Jackson.
posted by Faze at 10:31 AM on December 8, 2005


Haven't any of you ever been in a horribly neurotic, unbearably depressing, life-destroying, unending, coil-of-death relationship, or known anyone who was in one?

I think we're all missing a subtle point here, which is:

At some point in his life, Faze was dumped by Yoko Ono.
posted by quantumetric at 10:39 AM on December 8, 2005


Lennon was just a musician, so the whole thing made less sense.

I see what you're saying, jonmc. That's also why people who get killed prematurely get remembered more than the ones who die of natural causes in the autumn of their years. I guess I just think that there have been lots of senseless deaths, including plenty of celebrities, but it's not like Gianni Versace's death is commemorated every year.

Maybe I'd feel differently if I'd grown up on his music, but I dunno. I can't think of an artist from my youth whose assassination I would truly freak out over.
posted by TunnelArmr at 10:50 AM on December 8, 2005


I never freaked out over it, but I am...bummed that he hasn't been around making music for the past 25 years.

(oddly one of my favorite songs by another artist contains this verse:

June 1st, 67
Somethin' died and went to heaven
I wish Sgt. Pepper
Never taught the band to play...

make of that what you will)
posted by jonmc at 11:00 AM on December 8, 2005


digaman: I saw the same SF MOMA exhibition and my opinion for Yoko notably improved.

As for Faze, the man's entitled to his opinion. If he hates Lennon's solo work and has legitimate reasons why, then either ignore him or engage in a discussion with him.

I happen to think "Cold Turkey," "Isolation," "Woman is the Nigger of the World" and "Working Class Hero" are all punchy tracks that steered Lennon closer to lyrical and political candor (although I prefer "Mother" to "Cold Turkey"). But it would be a mistake to discount Plastic Ono Band, arguably Lennon's best album and one of the most unexpectedly caustic records released during the time.
posted by ed at 11:02 AM on December 8, 2005


Though I was too young at the time to comprehend the magnitude of losing John Lennon, or even the concept of death (I was seven), on this date 25 years ago I vividly remember seeing my dad -- the US Marine, the Vietnam vet, the stoic working class hero with hands like rocks, and perpetual grease under his fingernails, the toughest tough guy I've ever known -- standing in the kitchen...

And he was crying.

Something in me immediately understood that a thing terrible beyond words had happened. That's what I remember. I was a child too young to grasp anything so profound, except seeing my father in tears.

It was a sight he'd never let me see before and would never let me see again, not even as he faced his own death.

The meaning was not lost on a seven year old boy.
posted by edverb at 11:04 AM on December 8, 2005


After all those "."s, I'll go to hell for this, but John Lennon's death always reminds me of the tasteless joke "You know what would make the Beatles complete again?" Now that George is dead, only TWO more bullets.

I kid.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:05 AM on December 8, 2005


But it would be a mistake to discount Plastic Ono Band, arguably Lennon's best album and one of the most unexpectedly caustic records released during the time.

Oh yeah. Some of the toughest pre-punk rock ever is on that album.

I also think Rock And Roll deserves a nod, since it's John playing the straight ahead old school rock and roll that first lit his fuse as a kid. Whenever he played stuff like that he always sounded like he was having an unadulterated blast.
posted by jonmc at 11:05 AM on December 8, 2005


Well, TunnelArmr, maybe that says something about John Lennon, and the quality of his work, and the timing of his work, and the quality of the work that happened subsequently. I was born after the Beatles broke up (by a few months), but nonetheless they are THE musical force in my life. I still love, have obsessed over, and have studied a wide range of other musicians, but looking at the cultural landscape, it's tough to deny that the Beatles occupy a pretty unique place. And judging by the consistency of their music, it's tough to argue that it's not deserved.

So yes, John Lennon was at times infuriating, some of his work is vastly overrated, and he is not worthy of the blind devotion that he receives. But he was also a musical revolutionary who had a hand in most of what pop music and culture was to become in the following - what, 20 years? 30 years? Who knows? And the music has stood the test of time for 40 years.

In the brief history of pop music, I'd call that unique. So I'll take a moment to remember him today, and I'll listen to his music. That's not really too big a deal, is it now?
posted by fingers_of_fire at 11:06 AM on December 8, 2005


Right on lester bangs.....

It's depressing to think how far we are from any of the (cheesily expressed) but ultimately noble ideals that "imagine" talked of - and the fact that we're moving further from them every day.

Way to go homo frikking sapiens.
posted by lalochezia at 11:07 AM on December 8, 2005


235w103 wins for creepiest story.

What's creepier is that I bet there are fans who would want to hear this, or own it, just to have as an artifact.
posted by jokeefe at 11:19 AM on December 8, 2005


John Lennon's death made a difference because the influence of his lyrics. Some of us respected his poetry and his attempts to use his influence for good. (And his attempts to get rid of those who would follow him blindly.)

As for his death meaning we'd not hear his dreck...you've not listened to Revolution #9? Missed his "acting" in the Magical Mystery Tour? Lennon and McCartney didn't hit a home run every at-bat, but they have some of the longest hit balls ever. (Sorry about the sports metaphor. MLB team meetings are underway.)

I'm in the middle of the The Beatles: The Biography by Bob Spitz. If he is to be believed Yoko set her sights on John long before they got together. Faze would love the story of how she forced herself into his life, helped him get on heroin, forced herself into The Beatles in the studio, and generally make a lost soul become totally dependant on her.

If it hadn't been Yoko it would have been TM or Magic Alex or drugs. John Lennon was ripe to do anything to get out of "the Beatles." The toppermost wasn't what it was cracked up to be.
posted by ?! at 11:24 AM on December 8, 2005


Oh...and Julian Lennon's comment for the day:

“Dad was a great talent whose music and ideals are an inspiration to millions. Yet I have always had very mixed feelings about Dad. He was the father I loved who let me down in so many ways. Who knows how our relationship might have developed if he had not been murdered … it's painful to think that his early death robbed me of the chance for us to know each other better. What can never be taken away are his words and music, that's his legacy for me. It's in my blood for a start. Like Dad I became a musician too, and as with many other artistes in this world his words and music continue to influence me today and probably forever more.”
posted by ?! at 11:28 AM on December 8, 2005


Oh, fuck it. All I've got is

.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:41 AM on December 8, 2005


I remember when Lennon was killed. The day after, my kindergarten teacher was very sad. She kept crying for most of the day, and all of us kids couldn't understand why she was so sad. All she would say was that "John Lennon has been killed." We didn't really know who he was, but we all knew that "killed" was different from "died".

For the next few weeks we were probably the best behaved kindergarteners ever. Especially after she got to the point where she would play Beatles records for us during quiet play time and sob at her desk.

In fact, everytime I listen to the album Revolver, I can still smell paste, crayons, and that weird slightly damp, warm kid smell you got in old schools with radiators.

When I went home and asked my mom, she told me that John Lennon was a musician, like Elvis, and although he was a hippie a lot of people loved him. It wasn't until my teens when I really got into the Beatles that I fully understood.

Whereever you are, I get it now Miss Westbrook. I get it.
posted by teleri025 at 12:06 PM on December 8, 2005 [2 favorites]


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posted by petebest at 12:29 PM on December 8, 2005


I was so hysterical (at the ripe old age of 11) when it happened that my parents let me stay home from school that day. The next day, my hippie-ish 6th grade teacher Mr. Linton took me aside and confessed that he'd spent most of the past day crying himself.

25 years later, and I spent this morning crying in the car on the way to work. God, John was a cranky ol' bastard in a lot of ways, but we were lucky to have him all the same.
posted by scody at 12:42 PM on December 8, 2005


Sigh. Yet another generation of 20 somethings who think they are better than their parents. Seriously don't you realize how unoriginal you are? Don't you realize your parents thought the same thing about their parents? Doesn't your predictability and inability to examine your own responses make you feel ashamed and inadequate?

This place constantly makes me feel like I am back at school.
posted by DirtyCreature at 12:43 PM on December 8, 2005


Sigh. Yet another generation of 20 somethings who think they are better than their parents.

Oh Mommy! Oh Daddy!
Oh Can't you see that it's true?
What The Beatles did to me,
I Love Lucy did to you.

-The Residents
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:46 PM on December 8, 2005


Sigh. Yet another generation of 20 somethings who think they are better than their parents.

?? Did I miss something in this thread?
posted by caddis at 1:08 PM on December 8, 2005


.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 1:54 PM on December 8, 2005


here's an article about a relic of the event.
posted by crunchland at 2:06 PM on December 8, 2005


--------------------------------------------------
- More fun for the conspiracy minded -
DEAD SILENCE IN THE BRAIN: The CIA Assassination of John Lennon
comic strip on the subject by cartoonist Mack White
--------------------------------------------------

posted by Peter H at 2:12 PM on December 8, 2005


Interesting man spiritually speaking, he was goin' somewhere with it, we'll never know where.
posted by scheptech at 2:32 PM on December 8, 2005


The Beatles were the first band I liked when I was a kid, and John Lennon was always my favourite Beatle, though I've no idea what made him stick out in my young mind. His murder was the first death of a famous person that I can remember actually meaning something to me (I was 7).

.
posted by kumonoi at 3:35 PM on December 8, 2005


I think I have Asperger's. No media death has really meant that much to me so far. It seems I can always think of mitigation; eg. the Columbia astronauts died living the dream, Princess Di died in the backseat of a Mercedes in Paris -- boo-hoo, etc. The first big media death I can remember is Elvis, bfd.

Now, JFK & RFK, now there were a pair of deaths with some real emotional import, JFK was beginning to back out of SVN, and of course RFK would have left SVN in a stronger state than Nixon did (hard to see how he couldn't have) with less loss of life all around. MLK was more or less indeed the Moses figure he so presciently alluded to, he got close enough.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:55 PM on December 8, 2005


Truly, an influential visionary...
posted by pompomtom at 3:59 PM on December 8, 2005


There isn't any ambiguity about what Lennon was thinking - Don't follow leaders, believe in yourself.

Anyway, the post a few days ago, John Lennon: The Wenner Tapes, deserves a look.

John: ... Big bastards that's what the Beatles were. You have to be a bastard to make it, and that's a fact. The Beatles were the biggest bastards on Earth.

Yoko: How did you manage to keep that clean image?

John: Because everybody wants the image to carry on. The press around with you want to carry on because they want the free drinks and the free hoors and the fun. Everybody wants to keep on the bandwagon. We were the Caesar, shoomp. Nobodies gonna knock us when there's a million pounds to be made. All the handouts, the bribery, the ----, the hype, you know. Everybody wanted in, you know, that's why some of them are still trying to cling on to this. "Don't - don't take it away from us", you know. "Don't take Rome from us, not a portable Rome. Where we can all have our houses and our cars and our lovers and our wives and office girls and parties and drink and drugs. Don't take it from us", you know. "Otherwise you're mad, John, you're crazy. Silly John wants to take all this away."

You know, other people, all those - Dick James and the Derrick Tailors and all of them, they think they're the Beatles and Neil and all of them. Well, I say fuck'em. And you know they all, after working with genius for ten fifteen years begin to think they're it, you know. So, they're not!

posted by Chuckles at 4:09 PM on December 8, 2005


John Lennon was an idiot. This mass outpouring of "love" over such an addled person is just depressing. Can anyone explain precisely what he did that supposedly endeared him to so many people?
posted by davidmsc at 6:05 PM on December 8, 2005


An idiot always shows up in threads like this.
posted by caddis at 6:27 PM on December 8, 2005


Several of them, yes. And they don't deserve responses.

---

.
posted by petebest at 12:29 PM PST on December 8


Now, this post caught my eye.

---

Like many of you, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing 25 years ago tonight. How could it be 25 years already?That night, every radio station on the dial, just about -- even the stations that didn't play music -- played Beatles music for hours. Is there any musician now who would generate the same response if he was murdered?
posted by litlnemo at 6:45 PM on December 8, 2005


It was fashionable to bash "Revolution #9" when it came out as undefendable "self-indulgence" compared to the band's snappier numbahs, but after several decades of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, John Cage imitators, Radiohead, sampling, Tom Waits, and what not, the track sounds -- and I mean you have to listen to it now, not just think about what you felt about it then -- way ahead of its time.
posted by digaman at 7:31 PM on December 8, 2005



John Lennon was an idiot. This mass outpouring of "love" over such an addled person is just depressing. Can anyone explain precisely what he did that supposedly endeared him to so many people?

Jesus, Dave. He had his addled moments to be sure, but so do all of us, and he sure as hell didn't deserve to be murdered outside his home in front of his wife by some psycho.

What did he do to deserve the love? Created a fuckload of incredible music and inspired sountless others to do the same. I've heard Beatles songs cover as soul, jazz, opera, easy listening, bluegrass, blues and even by your beloved Frank Sinatra (Ol' Blue Eyes did a good cover of "Something,"). It's not every songwriter who can do that. Show some respect.
posted by jonmc at 7:31 PM on December 8, 2005


and Dave, in college I dated a certified Beatlemaniac, who said I reminded her of John Lennon. At the time it pissed me off because Paul was her favorite, but now that I look at it, I'm proud of the association.
posted by jonmc at 7:32 PM on December 8, 2005


and as a devout atheist you should checkout his song "God". I think you'll discover common ground with the man.
posted by jonmc at 7:38 PM on December 8, 2005


jonmc: "...sure as hell didn't deserve to be murdered.

Amen, Jon -- his murder truly was horrific. I'm not implying that he deserved to die -- Chapman should burn in hell for his crime.

And I'll grant that Lennon was involved with a few good songs. But the man was not some sort of saint, which is what the coverage these last few days has seemed to imply.

My biggest problem with Lennon is the "...all we are saying...is give peace a chance..." nonsense, which is what has been played over & over on the "25 Years Ago.." mini-series of reflections by Graham Nash (?) on the radio.
posted by davidmsc at 7:54 PM on December 8, 2005


From the Playboy Interview linked upthread :

PLAYBOY: "What is the Eighties' dream to you, John?"

LENNON: Well, you make your own dream. That's the Beatles' story, isn't it? That's Yoko's story. That's what I'm saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself. That's what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshiped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There's nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can't wake you up. You can wake you up. I can't cure you. You can cure you."

posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:01 PM on December 8, 2005


My biggest problem with Lennon is the "...all we are saying...is give peace a chance..." nonsense,

Idealistic maybe, but I wouldn't call it nonsense. Wouldn't it be great if everybody from GW Bush to Osama Bin Laden dropped their stupid grudges? And Lennon, from my reading, seemed smart enough to know that probably wasn't going to happen, but that there was no harm in hoping otherwise and saying so.


And I'll grant that Lennon was involved with a few good songs

C'mon, he created a body of work that could stand with just about any other songwriter of his time. Give credit where credit is due.

But the man was not some sort of saint,


as I said upthread, he would be bemused by his own canonization. He was no angel and never pretended to be. He was a drug abuser, a womanizer, a corrosive cynic and aoften a difficult guy to like. And he seemed to know it. In other words, he was human, and he never pretended not to be, which is part & parcel of his charisma.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 PM on December 8, 2005


Well, the flipside to "give peace a chance" is then pummeling the beeyotches if it don't work out.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:57 PM on December 8, 2005


Can anyone explain precisely what he did that supposedly endeared him to so many people?

he was in the most popular rock and roll band of all time ... the 60s without the beatles is unimaginable ... they utterly dominated the music of their time in a way no one has since or before ... when they released a single or an album, it was an event

you could never understand it if you weren't around at the time

as for myself, i actually preferred the rolling stones and motown then and do now ... but that takes nothing from them
posted by pyramid termite at 9:01 PM on December 8, 2005


Idealistic maybe, but I wouldn't call it nonsense. Wouldn't it be great if everybody from GW Bush to Osama Bin Laden dropped their stupid grudges?

This statement is exactly as naive as that song is.
posted by interrobang at 9:11 PM on December 8, 2005


Can anyone explain precisely what he did that supposedly endeared him to so many people?

Perhaps the Japanese term "sensei", which literally means 'one who has gone ahead' might work. He was the pioneer who took the arrows and opened up new psychocultural (?) areas for exploration.

I respect his respective artistic and business acumen to get where he got to in 40 years, and the roads he took to get there.

John Lennon, Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill, people who busted their ass and pushed the envelop in creating inspirational excellence with the cards they had been dealt in life. They are/were producers, not consumers or recyclers.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:13 PM on December 8, 2005


interrobang: yeah. Lots of important forces live in the millieu above individuals, the aforementioned "psychocultural" sphere I guess.

Churchill's arguments of the 1930s are essential reading for people of the "give peace a chance" AKA appeasement approach. That didn't work out very well. In 1986 I was slightly befuddled by the airstrike on Libya, but apparently that was the correct medicine to apply to move relations on a saner long-term track.

Vietnam is tough because there was a good war inside the bad war. Just as there is a good war inside the crap the US/UK pulled in Iraq.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:22 PM on December 8, 2005




Just give me some truth....

.
posted by infomaniac at 9:51 PM on December 8, 2005


John Lennon was an idiot. This mass outpouring of "love" over such an addled person is just depressing. Can anyone explain precisely what he did that supposedly endeared him to so many people?

As a self-confessed objectivist, it's difficult to take your question seriously but I will have a go in the name of self-interest, reason and capitalism. Consider the historical context. The parents and grandparents of John Lennon's generation had just put the world through the worst war ever known to man and were simply proud of themselves for being on the winning side. John Lennon rode a wave of feeling instigated by the children of the war generation that the world could be a different place where people loved and respected each other. To many, John Lennon's murder signified the death of this utopian ideal of a loving, peaceful world.
posted by DirtyCreature at 9:53 PM on December 8, 2005


Interesting perspective, DirtyCreature. I recall seeing interviews with a few notables on the subject of Lennon (I think Joe Strummer was one of them), and a common refrain was that, after WWII, during which British culture mandated a stiff upper-lip, John Lennon was the first person to talk about his feelings. "I think I'm gonna be sad," and so on. I think that's kind of powerful.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:07 PM on December 8, 2005


Can anyone explain precisely what he did that supposedly endeared him to so many people?

On the one hand, there's Rubber Soul, and Revolver, and The White Album, and Let It Be, and Abbey Road. (And this without mentioning Sgt Pepper or Help or We Can Work It Out.)

And then there's his solo career, and I'm no musician but I might be willing to cut anyone some slack after "Instant Karma."

And there's a patch of grass in Central Park in New York City that's called Strawberry Fields, and a little public square nearby with a mosaic that says "Imagine" that with any luck will still be part of Central Park long after you and I are dead.

I've wasted more time on this response than the query warrants, because I think that highly of the deceased.

Sorry, what the fuck was your question?
posted by gompa at 2:15 AM on December 9, 2005


.
posted by gompa at 2:15 AM on December 9, 2005


This statement is exactly as naive as that song is.

Well, duh. I kind of prefaced the whole commentwith the acknowledgement of that fact, but we're all impressed that you figured it out, too.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 AM on December 9, 2005


After reading, in a BBC report on this, that some guy thinks the CIA killed Lennon because he might be a locus of mass discontent against Reaganism, I find that possible but far-fetched: people made more of Lennon's mutterings on politics and society after he was killed than before, when they focused more on his drug problems and Charlie Manson's misinterpretations.

I think that if some U.S. or foreign government agency put Chapman up to popping Lennon the purpose was to see if the public still fell for the Lone Crazed Gunman theory, testing the waters for the Hinckley thing a few months later. To support this claim one points to a recent U.S. House Select Committee investigation on whether Oswald acted alone, which produced dubious "conclusions" about the JFK and Martin Luther King killings that hinted at conspiracy but pointed at nobody and led nowhere; it was also clear from the recent Son of Sam thing that most of the American public was prepared and eager to buy the idea that a wacko could gun somebody down for no "sensible" reason -- and that anybody who tried to make sense of it could successfully be discounted as a "conspiracy theorist" (as those were who said we should try to take Berkowitz at his word when he spoke of a "Satanic cult" behind his actions).

So the Lennon "hit" showed that if Hinckley shot Reagan and we were fed a load of stuff about Jodie Foster most people would buy the released "story" at face value, and that those who didn't -- who pointed at political, business and personal ties between John Hinckley Sr. and then Vice President (and former CIA director) George H.W. Bush would be derided as "loonies." Despite the fact that the Bush family has itself been a locus of criminality (that oil man Hinckley Sr. has been involved in at several points). Note too that the attempt on Reagan has still not gotten its own Congressional "re-investigation" (that would obviously lead nowhere anyway) and that "the Bush Crime Family" is still at large. Note also that critics of the elder Bush's "arrest" of Noriega said that was timed to distract the public from charges and allegations against Dubya's brother Neil -- who was ("coincidentally") scheduled for lunch with Scott Hinckley, brother of the "lone gunman," the day after Reagan got shot.

But yes, I linked to Google searches above because I simply don't have enough time, energy and interest to make sorting through the charges and allegations against "the Bush Crime Family" my life's work. And yes, I agree that those who are so interested could do a much better job at a post like this than I could -- which is why I haven't made an FPP of this.
posted by davy at 9:25 AM on December 9, 2005


Interesting replies to my comment - much appreciated. I stand by my opinion, although of course it is worth no more and no less than yours.
posted by davidmsc at 5:56 PM on December 9, 2005


davidmsc: Come on " John Lennon was an idiot."?

If you mean "a person of subnormal intelligence" then it isn't an opinion and easily proved wrong.

If you mean "a foolish or stupid person" then you might be able to argue foolish, but I'd like to see your reasoning for that "opinion."

I honestly believe some opinions are worth more or less than others. One snatched from ones colon are worth little, but one reasoned and studied are worth discussing. What led you to yours?

digaman: You know I think I liked Revolution #9 more the less I listened to it. Not my type of thing I guess. But after listening to the album again, I'd really wish I could hear Revolution played by the Beatles the way Lennon originally conceived it.
posted by ?! at 8:10 PM on December 9, 2005


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