If you were alive and old enough in December of 1980, you probably remember where you were when you heard the news.
“John Lennon was shot and killed tonight outside his home on the Upper West Side of New York City.”
At least it was a madman who did it, killed John Lennon, of all people.
When I was eleven, a few years after my father’s death, I’m a Loser, the Beatles hit written by John Lennon, became one of my most cherished songs.
Alone in our apartment, I would sing along at the top of my lungs as tears trickled down my cheek, “I’m a loser. And I lost someone who’s near to me…”
John Lennon was born October 9th, 1940 while a World War II bombing raid was in progress.
His mother couldn’t handle raising him. He was raised by his aunt Mimi.
He was expelled from school for misbehaving when he was five years old.
I’m a Loser, Nowhere Man, and Help are biographical songs based on John Lennon’s personal experience.
He saw his father for the first time in 17 years in 1964.
“All art is pain expressing itself,” he once said.
He kept a light on while he slept because he didn’t like the dark.
Without glasses he was legally blind.
Supposedly he was dyslexic.
“Part of me suspects that I am a loser, and the other part thinks I am God Almighty.”
He may have been a petty thief, enjoying a bit of shoplifting now and again, when he was a teenager.
He ate very little after a reporter labeled him the ‘fat Beatle’.
He didn’t like his voice and often asked his producers to change how he sounded on recordings.
“My defenses were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn't know how to cry. Simple.”
In 1970 John and Yoko checked into a hospital for wealthy addicts.
“Temperatures rising, fever is high, can’t see no future…can’t see no sky,” is a lyric from his song Cold Turkey.
John Lennon signed his autograph for Mark Chapman six hours before Chapman shot and killed him on December 8th, 1980 at around 10:50 p.m.
“If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliché that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that's his problem. Love and peace are eternal.”
John Lennon wrote Imagine, which is now the official song of the human rights organization Amnesty International.
Along with Paul McCartney, John Lennon is considered one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century.
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.”
The Beatles have sold an estimated 1,000,000,000 plus records worldwide. Sales continue to go strong.
“And we all shine on, like the moon, the stars, and the sun…”
Remember John. Do what you have to do, though it’s not always easy. And shine on.Namaste.
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