Wednesday, December 8, 2010
It's hard to believe, but it's been 30 years since John Lennon was murdered. I'm now the age Lennon was when he died - 40 years old.
While most fans that mourned Lennon at the time were in their 30's and 40's, I mourned alongside them as a 10 year old in elementary school. At my school we had a pretty amazing music program and we were exposed to the Beatles music and history. My connection to the Beatles in 1980 was just as strong as any kid growing up in the Sixties. The whole school was just obsessed with their music. We were all excited that Lennon's new album Double Fantasy was about to be released and had already begun hearing the first single "Just Like Starting Over" on the local AM radio.
Lennon was the first celebrity figure assassinated during my young lifetime. Attempts on the lives of President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II soon followed. All these events are seared into my memory and kind of co-exist in the same shocked place.
My appreciation of Lennon has only grown and matured over the years. I realize more and more the musical and personally political legacy that was ended way too soon.
One of the best documentaries I've ever seen on Lennon is the new film LENNONYC, airing on American Masters on PBS. Fortunately the entire film is streaming on PBS.ORG. The use of audio from behind the scenes of the Double Fantasy recording sessions was particularly insightful to me. The film's main page on the PBS website also has lots of extras and outtakes.
For Lennon and Polaroid lovers I also recommend checking out May Pang's book Instamatic Karma.
And Photographer Bob Gruen (who photographed Lennon in the iconic New York City t-shirt) has an extensive archive viewable on his website. He also has a great book John Lennon: The New York Years.
I'll never forget you John.
- Lydia Marcus 12/8/2010