ATribute to John Lennon
I think in my lifetime there stands three moments in which time stood still; one of those moments that becomes indelible in our minds and our souls. I am sure we can all remember exactly what we were doing that exact second when we heard the words: “Our President, John F Kennedy has been shot”; “John Lennon has just been shot in front of the Dakota, and died on the way to the hospital”; and the incident that changed the world, hearing “A plane has just hit the Twin Towers” – the day of Sept 11. It is these three tragedies that caused within me a fear, heartbreak, numbness that I will always carry with me.
Today, December 8th, marks the 30th Anniversary of that tragic evening when John Lennon, returning from a late night of recording, was gunned down in front of his home, The Dakota, with his bloodied glasses and a copy of his just released album Double Fantasy, which he had just signed for “a fan”, laying next to him. How ironic that all he ever wanted was Peace, as he sang “Give Peace a Chance”; or “Imagine” asking us to “Imagine there's no heaven, no hell below us, above us only sky, Imagine all the people living for today…” – it was all he ever asked for, only to be destroyed against all that he was asking us to believe in.
Born in Liverpool, England, on October 9, 1940 during a German attack with air sirens all around, everything had grounded to a standstill almost destroying most of Liverpool that night. It wasn’t long after that that John took up the guitar to fill the void of loneliness in his life. Although we always think of John Lennon as the fighter and the rebel of the Beatles, within, he was truly shy and very self-conscious. Never really wanting the fame that brought him to us and which ultimately took him away from us. In New York he found the quietness he was seeking, and where he retired from writing and performing; living the sheltered, peaceful life he was always seeking. It was only 3 months before his death, that a renewal of life took over and he start recording his first album in years “Double Fantasy” – I always thought it ironical as I listened to that album over and over that day, that the main song was “Starting Over” singing… “Our life together is so precious, our love still special…it’s just like Starting Over again”. It is almost like he had a premonition of what was to come.
In an interview just weeks before his meeting with John Chapman, John Lennon spoke these words: “You know..give peace a chance, not shoot people for peace. All we need is love – it’s damned hard, but I really believe it. Were not the first to say “Imagine no countries, or give peace a chance, passing it on from generation to generation”…”I’ve never claimed divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answer to life. I can only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can, but only as honestly as I can – no more – no less”.
“You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one – I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.” May he find the peace and tranquility in the heaven he was seeking all his life.