Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Lennon

I wonder if John Lennon is my generation's JFK. Too young or too non-existant to remember where we were when the President was shot, perhaps we all remember where we were when John Lennon was.

I was at home, in Ilford. What I do remember is that we were doing the Christmas play the following evening at school and I would miss the BBC screening a Beatles' film in memorium. I forget which one, not Yellow Submarine (which I never really liked, even being a cartoon), so I'm thinking Hard Days Night or Help. Funny. Hey, I was only ten. It's only with time that I realised that what had been lost was more than an opportunity to see a movie on TV!

It probably affected my Dad more. Growing up our music was the Beatles, Elvis (I remember his death too), Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in their solo incarnations, and The Association. I'm going to guess he was more a Lennon fan than a McCartney fan; he would always say he was "born in 1941, the year after John Lennon" and tellingly not "the year before Paul McCartney".

Later, when I "inherited" my father's record collection (he's still with us) I found copies from all of these artists, including some old mono albums made of thick, thick, vinyl, from Elvis and the Beach Boys. It pains me I have lost track of those during the intervening years. One of the albums I found was 1975's Shaved Fish, a compilation of Lennon's solo work. I listened to this a lot as a teenager. I preferred Side#2, Imagine, Mind Games, Whatever Gets Your Through The Night, #9 Dream to Side#1; Give Peace A Chance, Cold Turkey, Instant Karma. What does that say about me? Or my dad? Or both of us?

I remember driving somewhere with my Dad when I was an undergrad; four-hours on the road, and listening to Abbey Road on 8-track! Yeah, he still had one in his car in 1990! The cassettes were Beatles, Association and the like! Man, what a trip!

As we have grown older, it is my brother who has had generated his own Beatles stories, contributing directly to the Beatles story as a graphic designer on the aughties re-releases'. Which is pretty damn cool.

Actually, I've been watching Across The Universe recently too, a musical set to Beatles songs. I know it sounds corny, but maybe listening to the Beatles on-and-0ff for my whole life makes it somewhat less so.

Gotta go now, need to get down to some serious listening...


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