Today marks the 32nd anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination. In my humble opinion, I’m not sure the pop music world has ever fully recovered from his loss.
As John said just after the breakup of The Beatles, we have all of their old records if we need to reminisce and feel good (I’m paraphrasing, here). That’s true, and throughout my life I have turned to the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo in celebration, in heartbreak, in retrospection, and whenever I just need to escape from reality.
It still feels John had several other tunes to share, and we’ll never get a chance to hear them.
George left us 12 years ago, and while I had a hard time coping with that reality for a few years, George was blessed to live an extra 21 years longer than John. From 1980 to 2002, George was able to share some fantastic tunes with the world, which includes his time as a Traveling Wilbury.
John’s life was cut short, and I feel like the world was robbed of at least 20 more years of remarkable musicianship. Just listen to some of the songs from his posthumously released Milk and Honey album, and you’ll realize John had so much more to share with us.
I never get into fights with fellow Beatles fans if they claim that Paul or George were their favorites in the band. Paul wrote some of the greatest popular music songs of the last 50 years, and still keeps producing at least a song or two every other couple of years that are pleasing to the ear. And while the full appreciation for George’s work probably didn’t occur until after his death, the world at least has begun to recognize the pure genius of his work.
But John struck a chord with me. He wrote from the heart. He allowed you inside his mind so you could feel his love, anger, comedic wit, and most of all, vulnerability.
I don’t remember his death because I was only four years old. But for some reason, I feel like I’ve known John Lennon my entire life. I guess that’s why I always have this feeling of missing him.
Here’s Lennon at his best from his debut solo album in 1971. Here’s “Look At Me.”