Friday, October 8, 2010

I Wouldn't Be A Fan...

If I didn't make at least a humble attempt at a tribute to John Lennon tonight, I wouldn't be able to sleep at all.

As I am sure you know by now, John would have been 70 today, had he lived so long. That to me is impossible to imagine. To me he will always be the young teddy-boy rebel that I remember him to be. That's the first reason I took to him. Not even his music. Not yet. Not when I was 12 or so. It was the look in his eye that captured my young heart. When I was that tender age, in the US, adults took some sort of perverse pleasure in assuring every child that no matter what their background, they could attain all they wanted in life. Abraham Lincoln was trotted out constantly as a reminder of this fable. I'm sure they meant well by imparting this clap-trap, maybe even hoping that it would inspire. But it wasn't really true. We all knew it, really. Then came John.
If ever there was a kid that shouldn't have made it big in this big ugly world...it was him. Not that his boyhood was that rough. His father missing, his mother dead...but hey, a lot have it tougher. It was that he was "one of us"... so to speak. He made no bones about it. Working class hero? Nah, I don't think he saw himself that way.
But that was a time when many barriers were coming down, and he helped to start it. Barriers between rich and poor. Educated and ignorant. Politically acceptable and rebels. Even though he and the other three Beatles rank among the most packaged acts in the history of music...he remained just John. I never heard him speak anything for someone else. He always spoke his mind. In his music and elsewhere. He wasn't perfect. He wasn't always right. But he never failed us. That is a tough thing to accomplish. He NEVER failed us...his public.

This summer I stood in his Aunt Mimi's house in Liverpool and absorbed that middle-class atmosphere in which John grew to be a man. I was even interviewed by the BBC for a special radio 4 tribute that aired this week(you have to guess which one is me). It was a thrill for me obviously. But it was more than that...the "celebrity" of it all. It was for me, an affirmation of his commonness. A kid we all knew and loved and he never really changed. That's big for me. Not changing.

Of course growing up "with" him...we got to know him. I learned that he had no love for the jewish money-mill that promoted the Beatles and later screwed with his solo career and personal life. Well, that made sense to me. And of course made me love him all the more for his common sense and the backbone to express it.
I haven't even touched on his music. But that is for another time. For now, I am just remembering a kid from Liverpool that made it big. Big in the heart of the world. He will never grow old.
Happy Birthday, John.

9 comments:

veritas6464 said...

Hey Timster,...That was fabulous, what a real bonus, I have been a fan of Lennon forever, my parents were Beatles fans; the week that John was murdered, about three or four days I guess, my father (unlike him at the time) brought home the Double Fantasy album right out of the blue - I was as shocked as I was pleased. I had been bragging about and showing everyone that came to our house an original 'Apple label' single of Imagine (I cannot remember the 'B' side, go figure.) that I had ratted out of the some dusty boxes on the floor of an old second-hand record store.

Well, fancy having a chat with Alexei Sayle in John Lennon's house. I have been a fan of Sayle since the 'Young One's'.

My mum still to this day does not know chapman's name or anything about him, my mum swore in tears, upon hearing the news that he (chapman) had murdered John so that he would become famous; never to know his name.

So melancholy yet such an uplifting reverence pervades that tragic event.

Like watching a distant familiar Star go Supa Nova.

Great stuff Timster.

veritas

Indiana gave it away, the other guy sounded like a gay school teacher. Geez, I hope I didn't guess wrong! Haa ha.

Timster said...

Veritas - Damn. First guess too! Yeah, Sayle is a neat guy. I didn't know who he was, but he was funny on the bus out to the house. I remember the day John died...I just sat down and cried. End of an era. "Like watching a distant familiar Star go Super Nova." Very well put, sir!

Anonymous said...

Was John Lennon Jewish? Liverpool has a very large Jewish community. If listen to his song "Image" you can relate to what is happening in the today's world. I think he is part responsible for the mess that we are in today.

Anonymous said...

Poor John Lennon. He did,nt know how deranged the Bush crime family is. Using a 2nd cousin, they assassinated him. They have a long history of such hijinx. But to them its just for sport. So if you think that if you are rich and famous that the global elite will welcome you to their little club, think again. Sorry.

Timster said...

Anon@9:07 - Uh...no...that would be Richard Starkey(Ringo). If you are referring to Lennon's song "Imagine", I don't understand your conclusion? It is truly sad that anyone today can not appreciate John and his message to the world. Perhaps you should listen again?

Timster said...

Anon@11:44 - You are so right. He was never welcome.

Anonymous said...

Mama told me there,d be days like these.
I once had a cousin who used to get up in the gazebo in public square and give fiery speeches railing about the murderous ways of bankers. This was back in Ohio in the depression. He was committed to an insane asylum for life by the Republican townspeople and his family. We were,nt supposed to talk about it but whenever we did it was rumored that he was a socialist.

njt said...

some ignorant damned fool wrote "I think he is part responsible for the mess that we are in today."

I think if he hadn't been assassinated, the world might be a remarkably better place today. Every time I hear the song "Imagine" I think to myself "this is why they killed him"

just found your site, good stuff!

Timster said...

NJT - Thanks and welcome!