Monday, October 09, 2006
Today would have been the 66th birthday of a true music legend. Of course the name is John Lennon. He was born on this date, October 9th in 1940 in Liverpool, England. John's writing was full of both pain and hope. His melodies were at times beautiful and sometimes very dark. In 2002, the BBC conducted a poll asking Britons for a list of the 100 greatest Britons of all times: this included kings and queens and prime ministers named Churchill. Guess what? John Lennon came in 8th place. His father abandoned young young John when he was five years old and he was raised by a maternal aunt by the name of Mimi. Aunt Mimi and Uncle George became for all intents and purposes his parents. His natural mother simply did not have the financial means to raise him. He was born during an air-raid of World War II-- kind of appropriate for a man who make such an indentation on the world! Aunty Mimi was strict with John while Uncle George was softer teaching him to paint and buying John his first mouth organ. Uncle George died suddenly in 1955 and his natural mother, Julia was killed by a drunken driver, off-duty police officer in July of 1958. Lennon wrote the songs "Julia", "Mother" and "My Mummy's Dead" in honor of her and named his first born "Julian". It was Aunt Mimi we who bought him his first guitar. She was very skeptical of his dreams sometimes. one time saying "The guitar's all very well, John, but you'll never make a living out of it" Years later when the Beetles were the amazing success destiny dictated they be, John presented her with a silver platter that bore these very words as it's subscription. His mother's death was the factor that cemented his relationship with Paul Mccartney whose own mother had succumbed to breast cancer in 1954. John was usually considered the leader of The Beatles as he founded the original group inviting Mccartney who in turn invited George Harrison. The one event that stopped the beatles cold was the "more popular than Jesus" controversy in March of 1966. "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I don't know what will go first, however, rock'n roll or Christianity. We're more popular than Jesus now. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me" Nothing happened for five months-- until an American teen magazine called Datebook reprinted the quote on its front cover! The Beatles were banned, concert venues were cancelled and conservative groups called for all of their records to be burned. The Beatles made another great mistake by replying as a group "They've got to buy them before they can burn them! "= that was the beginning of the end. John was murdered on December 8th, 1980. In cold blood. But his influence on music will be forever. Long after this century the world will continue to sing his songs-- which is something every song writer dreams of.