Leslie Cook

Happy Birthday John

In Random Thoughts on October 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm

It’s hard for me to believe that John Lennon would have been 70 years old today. I remember the first time I saw John and the other 3 Beatles. My cousin and I were sitting in front of the television watching Ed Sullivan and screaming…god knows why. I think I was just following the lead of my older cousin. After all, I was only 5 years old. I’ll always be grateful to my cousin for letting me scream with her because it began my life-long love of The Beatles. John was everyone’s favorite. Well, he and Paul. I was more of a George Harrison fan, but I always loved to listen to John sound off against the press. He was always smart and funny. As I grew up, his music became more complex, and more interesting. At the time, we were never sure who wrote which song in the Beatles repertoire. They were always billed as Lennon/McCartney tunes. My friends and I speculated and eventually we found out what the origins of songs like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds were. Paul was usually more melodic; John’s songs were edgy. We loved all of them.

In December of 1980, I remember a movie I was watching being interrupted by a report that John had been shot. Soon after we learned that John was dead. I took it hard. At the time, my father was in the hospital with what we would soon learn was lung cancer, so John’s death has always been connected with my father’s decline in health and death. I cried more than I should have in the days following John’s death.  It was as if a friend had died. And now, I remember John as a complicated person, an inspiration, a bringer of joy. He asked us to image people living in peace. He fought against an unjust war. And today, as I send up a prayer, I wonder what he would say about the world we live in today. I’m sure it would be something funny and inspirational.

Happy birthday John.


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