October 9, 1940 — December 8, 1980
I missed John Lennon’s birthday in my roundup! He would have been 70 years old today.
Lennon left us before I was born. I said hello hello to the world a few months after his death and just before the Reagan assassination attempt, which was also around the time of the posthumous release of Lennon’s “Watching the Wheels.” So I always remember that milestone instead of his birthday and death.
Here is Yoko’s birthday message to John, via the johnlennon youtube page. And, the lovely “Lucy” track released by Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook last December. From wikipedia:
The song is a sort of follow-up to The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, originally inspired by a drawing by a then four-year-old Lennon given to his father. The drawing was inspired by Lucy Vodden, a child friend of Lennon, and this song is dedicated to her.
An AOL exclusive interview with Sean Lennon published yesterday: “Sean Lennon on Singing John’s Songs, Making Music and Yoko Ono’s Legacy.”
From gather.com, yesterday as well:
The fingerprints of John Lennon of the Beatles were going to be up for auction tomorrow in New York, but it looks like that’s been stopped by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The fingerprints would have sold for quite a lot of money as well, over $100,000 if the had gone to auction. However, that’s not going to happen because they may be “part of Lennon’s file” with the FBI.
“Lennon’s legacy in his own words,” via the Vancouver Sun:
Lennon’s politics, as evidenced by Revolution, written in 1968 as the Vietnam War dragged on: “The lyrics stand today (1980). They’re still my feeling about politics. I want to see the plan. I want to know what you’re going to do after you’ve knocked it all down. I mean, can’t we use some of it? What’s the point of bombing Wall Street? If you want to change the system, change the system. It’s no good shooting people.”
Violence toward women and the lines “I used to be cruel to my women/I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved” from Getting Better: “I used to be cruel to my woman. I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster.”
The BBC’s Lorna Gordon reported this about an hour ago:
A sculpture in honour of John Lennon has been unveiled in Liverpool, on what would have been his 70th birthday.
The event was attended by the star’s first wife Cynthia and his son Julian Lennon, who said it was not a day to be morbid, but one to celebrate his music and his message of peace.
Finally, this from Alternet, cross-posted at Tikkun Daily, a couple brief excerpts from a piece entitled “Instruments of Peace: St Francis, John Lennon, and Us” by Valerie Elverton-Dixon:
More than seven hundred years later, a British rock star wrote anthems of peace. John Lennon (1940-1980 C.E.) could not be more different from St. Francis. He was born to working class parents who left him to be reared by an aunt and uncle. He became a member of one of the most important rock bands in the twentieth century. He was adored and reviled. He wrote songs that made people think and feel, laugh and cry. He was brave enough to expose his own vulnerabilities, and he challenged a nation over its militarism. He submerged himself in his own hedonistic excess for 18 months, a period he called his “lost weekend” and re-emerged with a fresh commitment to his family, to the cause of peace and to his art.
St. Francis emerged from a room naked and free. John Lennon was also willing to expose is naked self, to go where his person truth led him and in so doing he was also free. It is this personal sense of liberation that can lead us to peace. And this has nothing to do with the things we so often think are important to life. This peace born of freedom is a kind of generosity. It is a sharing. It is an offering. It is authentic holiness.
Peace is more than a dream. It is a real possibility for humankind and for creation. St. Francis gave us a prayer and John Lennon gave us songs to aid our commitment and our vision. Peace is possible. Imagine.
Happy Birthday John.
Incidentally, as I mentioned in my roundup this morning, we just got news that the Arab League is giving the US another month to save Middle East peace talks.
I know it’s a long shot, but I’ll be Watching the Wheels and hoping against Hope… consider this an open thread, enjoy, and share your own picks: