Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remembering John Lennon (1940-1980)

30 years ago today, the world mourned the loss of a music legend.

Former Beatles co-lead singer John Lennon was assassinated by a deranged fan, Mark David Chapman, who had obtained Lennon's autograph some hours earlier. The incident garnered far more media attention than the passing of Elvis Presley some 3 years earlier. Howard Cosell broke the news during Monday Night Football, perhaps the most important moment of Cosell's tenure at ABC.

Lennon, they say, was taken far too soon at 40. He had the foresight, however, to have plenty of music recorded for future release, and the double album, "Double Fantasy", went straight to number 1, producing the hits, "(Just Like) Starting Over", "Woman", & "Watching the Wheels", all of which either hit #1 or landed in the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

To me, Lennon's biggest single was 1971's "Imagine". Although I would debate the point of some of his lyrics, in truth, Lennon was postulating what life would be like in a perfect world. Here's the video:

I wasn't that big a Beatles fan growing up, but it did become an acquired taste as an adult. I wonder, though, what John Lennon would've thought if he knew that some of his songs, such as "Revolution", have been licensed to use in commercials (Nike) in the intervening years since his passing. I guess we'll never know.

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