By Jane Muller
It’s a common trait for members of the baby boomer generation to remember what they were doing and where they were when they heard the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. That date was November 22, 1963. I was only five but I recall being in the kitchen with my mom, seeing her shocked reaction to hearing the news on the radio.
Elvis fans will have the date that he left the planet etched in their mind. He died of a heart attack on August 16, 1977 at the age of 42. Admirers were shattered, so much so that the rumour that he did not actually die, managed to live on for years. Being at the latter end of the baby boom spectrum contributed to the fact that the sudden exit of the King didn’t send me to the Heartbreak Hotel.
As a Beatles fan, it was the murder of John Lennon that struck an emotional blow. Since it was 1980 (December 8 at 10:50 p.m.) there was no social media to deliver the news post haste. It was the next morning on my drive to work that I heard the announcement on the radio. Co-workers at the Milton newspaper where I was a reporter were equally as shocked.
He was 40. It was nine years after he wrote “Imagine”. The song was ranked third on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s 2010 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. At the top of the list was Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” (a little bias there?) and number two was the Rolling Stone’s (another coincidence?) “Satisfaction”. Lennon wrote the “Imagine” one morning at the white grand piano that occupied his bedroom at his estate in Ascot, England. Lennon said it was as good as anything he had written with the Beatles. It’s definitely one of the best songs ever in the humble and fully subjective opinion of this ardent fan.
There is a 2.5 acre designated quiet area in New York City’s Central Park called Strawberry Fields, A Garden of Peace, that commemorates Lennon and features an “imagine” mosaic. The John and Yoko cover feature in this issue includes an image of the mosaic to which fans often add floral tributes.
While John and Yoko asked us to “Give Peace a Chance” it seems that their life was not always so peaceful. Still, John helps us to imagine a peaceful world, with those beautiful piano chords and 21 lines of lyrics.
Date to be announced.