Thin Line Between Stupid and Clever

Opining on Whatever

Happy 70th Birthday, Greatest Songwriter of All Time…

This post was intended to be some long rambling on how much John Lennon means to me personally; but as I thought about what to write, I realized how impossible it is for me to imagine him still alive.  John Lennon would have been 70 years old tomorrow.  That is 3 years older than Mick Jagger who is still rooster strutting somewhere as we speak, but it’s hard to picture Lennon that way.  Try to imagine Lennon as a 70-year-old man in New York City.  What would he possibly be like?  Would he be constantly bitching about his place in music history like Pete Townshend?  It’s hard to imagine that.  Lennon was always aware of how good and important he was.  Would he be cranking out album after album of crap like the former lead singer of Zeppelin?  Maybe.  He did have some crap in his post-Beatles years, but he also had “Imagine.”  Robert Plant has not had anything approaching  “Imagine.”

Everyone’s favorite “what if?” scenario has always been the big Beatles reunion tour.  I would’ve sold almost any bodily limb to see such a thing, but I’m also kinda glad it never came to pass.  Lennon is one of the few heroes in my life that I have a pure image of.  I don’t have the same tainted images of him that I do of Axl Rose panting his way through a VMA performance of “Paradise City,” or Elvis as fat Elvis, or The Who embarrassing everyone who likes The Who during this year’s Super Bowl.  With Lennon it’s the picture of the Beatles playing on the roof of Apple, or him playing that white piano in the “Imagine” video, or him laughing his way through a horrible set/screamfest at Shea Stadium.  He’s always playing music, damn good music,  and in a way I’m glad that’s the only image I have.

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One thought on “Happy 70th Birthday, Greatest Songwriter of All Time…

  1. James S. on said:

    I completely agree with you. Although I’d give almost anything to still have him alive, the fact that we never got to see him grow old is what keeps the image of John Lennon pure. The same thing goes for someone like Jimi Hendrix. We never got a chance to see these legends go past their prime; we never got to see them go through that awkward phase that so many great musicians go through when they transition from youthful genius to middle-aged fart. When I think of John Lennon, I’ll always see him in that fur coat on top of Apple Studios singing “Don’t Let Me Down.” What a badass.

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