Listened to John’s music all day, both Beatles and his solo stuff. 30 years ago today tragedy was about to strike. It was a Monday, and many people heard that John Lennon had been shot from Howard Cosell, who was announcing Monday Night Football at the time. I didn’t hear about it until the next morning, when my Mom came in my room and told me. I was in the eighth grade.
Thought about going over to Strawberry Fields in Central Park today, but knew it would be mobbed. When John was killed, New York City was only a place I knew about from movies and songs; it was almost a dream place. Now I walk by the very spot where he died on a fairly regular basis. It’s only six blocks from our building. Weird.
Years ago Joshua and I did go to Strawberry Fields on December 8th and the scene was amazing. Flowers and candles 2 feet deep all over the Imagine circle, surrounded by a group that fluctuated between 30-40 people and two guys with guitars playing John’s music. Everyone was singing along. I remember being struck by the fact that a lot of the people there were too young to remember that awful day in 1980; maybe they weren’t even born yet, but they still knew his music, knew all the words, and were there to celebrate him. While Joshua and I stood there, someone passed around chocolate chip cookies, and after every song ended a great cheer would go up. It was a fitting tribute, and I thought that if he was listening, John would be pleased.
What would John Lennon think of the world we live in today? We certainly have not made much progress toward a shared world where everyone lives in peace. In that regard I think he’d be disappointed in us. We can’t seem to imagine anything beyond ourselves and our own immediate needs, most of the time. Luckily we still have his music, and it is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it. Maybe more so.
So if you have a moment in your busy day, take that moment to imagine the world as it might be. As John said, “..you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”
John Lennon 1940-1980