27 years ago today, John Lennon was murdered. He was only 40 years old.
I am, in fact, a huge fan of John’s. We never existed on this earth together — I was born 4 years too late, and some asshole took him out several decades too soon — but he has influenced my life in a multitude of ways. I consider him to be inspiring, even in his wrongness and naivety, brilliant on every level and most likely the greatest songwriter to ever live.
I’ve chosen a photograph with Yoko Ono because I think that’s what he would have wanted. The treatment and public understanding of Yoko and why it’s a feminist issue is a whole other post. I would have used a photograph with Sean as well, if I had found an equally good one, because that’s what John felt his life was: Yoko, Sean and music. I think that Yoko also serves as an important reminder that John was many things. When he was young, two of those things were a misogynist and an asshole. In his later years, one of them was a feminist. Lennon has always been to me a form of proof that people can change for the better. In particular, it’s not impossible for sexist men to become some of our best allies.
To both fellow-fans and those who know little but want to learn more, I could not more highly recommend the final major interview with John and Yoko: All We Are Saying. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s one of my favorite books.
To other Lennon fans out there, two topics for discussion, both of which John probably wouldn’t have approved, but hey, he was a crank about this sort of thing:
1. Favorite John songs. Mine include Revolution, Day in the Life, Happiness is a Warm Gun, I Want You (She’s So Heavy), Instant Karma, Imagine (duh), and his version of Stand By Me, which knocks the wind out of me and brings a tear to my eye.
2. Tell any of your Lennon experiences. How he or his music influenced you, cool Lennon-related things that you’ve seen/done, etc. And maybe I’ll share some of my own in the comments.
And to make John (and Yoko) happy, here’s an exercise of which they would approve, to be done either in the comments or just in private on your own time: think about the change you want to see in the world and how we can get there.