December 8

I’d been planning, for quite some time actually, to write a long post about John Lennon and his death for today. Specifically, it was going to be about his actual death, the real tragedy of it. The real tragedy, for those who are curious? Just how much he wanted to live.

But now one of my best friends is dead and has been for less than two weeks. And so that’s just a little too much for me to write right now. And I think those of you who know the specifics of her death will understand that best of all, why I can’t sit here and write today about how someone who impacted my life profoundly but who I still did not know is pointlessly dead despite a desperate sense of wanting to live. That irony is just too much for me. And I think you’ll understand why I’m tearing up right now, and I wasn’t expecting it to be for someone other than John.

But still, I feel his loss. I do. Every year. And though I never knew him, indeed though I never lived on the earth at the same time as he did, I miss him. And I miss my friend.

So instead, I will play her favorite Beatles song, which because she was a smart woman, just so happens to be a John song. It’s not my favorite, and I don’t even particularly feel that it’s one of his best. But it’s not for me. Well, not entirely anyway.

[I even went and did you kids a favor by finding the mono mix. Trust me, trust me, trust me, if you can get your hands on it, the mono version of all of Sgt. Pepper’s is ten billion times better than the stereo. I promise.  Most of it’s on YouTube.  Or try searching torrents for “beatles” and “purple chick” and then thank me profusely later.  Again, just trust me, because doing so has just about made my life.]

Yoko has asked you to share your memories of John here. This was mine. Please leave yours, and feel free to also do so in the comments here. What are your favorite John songs? What did his music and his life mean to you?

UPDATE: More here.

0 thoughts on “December 8

  1. Cara Post author

    Okay, no comments. What gives? Either all of my Beatles fans readers are very busy eagerly downloading, or you’re all a bunch of damn fools too silly to know when someone has just given you a link to spectacular bootleg Beatles remasters.

    Or maybe you’re all just super up on the online Beatles fans rumblings and have known about them for sometime (I’ve known about them for a year, finally found them in July) and therefore are far from being excited. But I’m doubtful :/

    Reply
  2. AG

    Got a comment for you, Cara – Tonight I’m remembering doing a seance in high school with my Beatles-fan friend in 1990 to call John’s spirit and say hello. We sat in my basement with 9 candles and asked if he missed Yoko. Only 1 of the candles started flickering like crazy! The rest remained still. We got scared and called it off. But I still remember sending John peaceful wishes, and have done so every 12/8 since.

    My favorite JL (solo) song is Watching the Wheels. So sad that the song is inextricably linked to his death [you know about that, right?].

    You’re right about the mono mix – just sounds more organic than the stereo, like SPLHCB was supposed to be.

    Reply
  3. Cara Post author

    So sad that the song is inextricably linked to his death [you know about that, right?].

    ? I don’t think I do.

    Though if it has anything to do with his killer, while feel free to tell the story, please remember that WE DO NOT USE HIS NAME HERE.

    Reply
  4. AG

    Thanks for the warning – I don’t like to use it myself, so it was a good reminder!

    When that man was trying to figure out whose life to end (am blanking on the other well-known targets), he listened to Watching the Wheels and became irate that John was squandering his life baking bread and no longer riding on the merry go round and letting his talent go to waste. John was a “phony” (Catcher in the Rye, the book he obsessed over while planning the murder). He felt that it wasn’t fair to the world that John wasn’t using his gifts to help others. And in this mind, such wastefulness necessitated murder.

    I no longer have the book where I got this story from – it was probably “Lennon.”

    To me, Watching the Wheels reflects a clearing in John’s life, a groundedness, and a passion. He had weathered the storms of Beatlemania, heroin, destructive relationships (esp. with himself), and loss and confusion. I feel so positive when I hear this song, and like to believe that if given more time on earth, John would have pursued this line of peacefulness.

    Reply
  5. Cara Post author

    Ugh, I didn’t think it was possible to hate that man any more.

    And yes, I think that John was probably at his happiest and most peaceful point in life when he died. Again, the real tragedy. He was doing so well. He was really enjoying his life. And he really wanted to live it.

    Reply
  6. Paul

    He was only 40 when he died with about 40 years left if things had gone differently and MDC had never touched the world

    i wonder how he would have dealt with the Reagan Era and the rise of the “Moral Majority”

    i doubt he would have done that Beatles reunion that everyone wanted – probably would have playfully mocked “Live Aid” – not the aims but the execution

    Reply
  7. Chris Dashiell

    I grew up with the Beatles (I’m 53), and John felt like a big brother to me. I loved the song, “I’m a Loser,” and later as an adult I realized how rare it was to hear such words in a rock song, rather than the usual, “I’m such a tough guy.” John had that honesty in his music and personally. He explored the edges and helped liberate my mind and sensibility. He publicly praised and exalted his lover’s genius, too. I grieve every Dec. 8, and I am grateful ever Oct. 9. Thanks for providing this opportunity.

    Reply
  8. hexy

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Cara.

    My favourite Beatles moment is actually a collection of moments. As a pre-adolescent, I always had that thing that pre-adolescents do, where I was convinced my mum was the most uncool person to ever be uncool. That started changing when she started sharing her Beatles music with me. I loved the music, and every album came with a story about her time as an INSANE Beatlemaniac, including her laughing relating the time she nearly got arrested trying to climb up a laundry shoot in a hotel they were staying at.

    The Beatles made my mum cool 🙂

    Reply

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