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Friday, October 8, 2010

Remembering John Lennon: An Objective View











   If John Lennon were still alive, he would be turning 70 tomorrow (October 9th).   As John is one of the greatest icons in the history of popular music, there has been a lot of media coverage about that, and some people will be celebrating his birthday tomorrow.


  EMI has released some new recordings, taking advantage of the event.


  Yoko Ono has organized an Imagine Peace Tower event in Iceland, tomorrow, which can be watched live via imaginepeacetower.com, starting at 1pm EST.  People may tweet messages for peace by sending them to IPTower.  See twitter.com/IPTower and twitter.com/YokoOno.



 In New York City, a documentary will be shown in Central Park at 7pm.  

 In Liverpool, Julian Lennon and John's first wife Cynthia will be presenting a monument in John's honour.

 Finally, there will be a celebration in Hollywood at John Lennon's star on the Walk of Fame.



 It's obvious that John Lennon was a man who touched millions of hearts.  These celebrations, nearly thirty years after he was murdered, are a testament to the impact he had on the world.

  I'm in a good position to provide an objective view on John Lennon, because I'm not a Beatles fanatic, but I have an appreciation for John's music with and without the Beatles and his impact on popular culture.  

  So my view isn't:

  •  John Lennon was godly, perfect, and could do no wrong.
  • That horrid witch Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles! or
  • Crazy hippies like John Lennon have corrupted society!




  In my opinion, gathered from being an obsessive student of pop music, and having read lots of well researched books on the Beatles, John, and Yoko Ono, is that John Lennon was a tremendously talented artist and musician, but he was far from perfect as a human being, because we're all imperfect and we always will be.  

  I've extensively dated a couple of musicians in the past.  (I don't think either knows about the other.)  The later one, especially, has a few personality traits in common with John Lennon.  

  A lot (maybe not all, but most) of male musicians are great people to have and friends or 'friends with benefits'.  But male musicians, more so than the general population, find it difficult to live in monogamy.  Some of them THINK they can, but they can't.

  And that holds true a lot of the time, with or without fame and fortune.  

  There's a lot of documentation of how John treated his first wife, Cynthia, and his first son, Julian, quite badly.  He got married and had a kid when he wasn't emotionally ready.

  Just before Lennon's murder in December 1980, Julian had reconciled with his father.  So, I think John realized some of the mistakes he made in his life, and it was a shame that his life was cut short.

  At this point, I don't think there's much animosity between Cynthia and Yoko, and it certainly seems that Julian and Sean (John's son with Yoko) are on good terms.  Half-siblinghood is tough!  I should know...

  I'm really inspired by how Yoko has taken her position as an opportunity to promote world peace.  We follow each other on Twitter, and I think it's great how she constantly puts an effort to reach out to the public- on the Internet and through her music and art installations.

  She certainly doesn't HAVE to do any of that.  I think Yoko has a good heart.

  Her life wasn't as easy as you may think, for someone who was born in wealth.  World War II was especially devastating to her and her family.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoko_Ono 

  When those experiences are kept in mind, it becomes obvious why Yoko works so hard to promote peace.

  And it really annoys me when people STILL blame her for breaking up the Beatles.

  If John hadn't met Yoko, he would've been bringing ANOTHER woman into the recording studio for the last Beatles recordings.  And SHE would've been a scapegoat.

  At that point in John's life, he cared about sex, romance, and his own creativity a lot more than he cared about the Beatles.  "I don't believe in the Beatles."

  With or without Yoko, the Beatles would have broken up around 1970, anyway.  With their tremendous success, making money was no longer a motive and they felt they had nothing left to prove- as a group.

  They couldn't keep recording together.  They felt stifled.   John, Paul, Ringo and George all launched post-Beatles musical careers.  They all wanted to demonstrate to the world that they could make good music without the other Beatles.  

  Yoko-hating Beatles fans should keep this in mind- because of her share of the Beatles intellectual property and licensing rights, her decisions could make or break merchandising deals, recordings or movies.  For all of Yoko's wealth, I think making money stopped being a motive for her quite a while ago.  Yes, there are fat cat CEOs who feel like they have to keep on making more and more money no matter what, but I think Yoko has a very different mindset.  She certainly lives quite modestly for a billionaire.

  All of the Beatles licensed recordings and merchandise that have come out after John's death (including the Rock Band: Beatles video game) got Yoko's approval because she believes John's creativity and legacy should be shared with the world.

  I'll be Twittering my message of peace for the Imagine Peace Tower tomorrow.  I hope you'll be doing the same.





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