It’s Johnny’s Birthday,
Would You Care to Join Us? (*)
* John Lennon would’ve been 70 Saturday and New York – where his widow Yoko Ono and son Sean live, and where he was assassinated in 1980 – led the celebrations, along with his birth city Liverpool. Screenings, shows, exhibitions, the relaunching of his and the couple’s albums, and a variety of events marked the former Beatle’s life and times around the world.
Yoko herself went to Reykjavik, Iceland, to perform with the Plastic Ono Band at a peace concert and, as she’s been doing for some time every Oct. 9, light the Imagine Peace Tower ceremony. And pretty much every Beatle fan and Lennon’s relative turned the day into a special occasion one way or another.
* Media coverage in almost every tongue known to man has reached saturation levels and, with all the above plus analysis, interviews, articles, critical portrayals and adulatory tributes going on in the past few weeks, there’s no need to add anything else, except to share something short, exclusive and, most likely, obvious.
What were you doing when you heard that John Lennon had been shot?
By now, few doubt that this was one of those events powerful enough to disrupt the fabric of the plausible reality and immediately bend it, wrapping everything else around it.
Some memories turned quickly into oblivion, while others got a hold of all recollections of that moment when, suddenly, there was a world without John Lennon out there.
* Our band had a busy week ahead. Before getting back onstage on that Wednesday, we had two days to tour the local radio stations to preview the upcoming concerts. Before going out, though, there were some calls to be made at the bass player’s house. His mom served us some coffee and crackers, before commenting, ever so casually:
– Have you guys heard? Lemon, that guy, was killed in New York.
Somehow, we were not surprised. We were in our diapers when “Some Like It Hot” was out in theaters.
– Oh, Jack, Jack Lemon? What happened? Actually, how old was he?
Again, we were thinking, shouldn’t she know about him, you know, the 1950s and all that. Instead, what she said next demoted our so important week to a crimp of time when nothing else happened thereafter.
– No, no, no, the Beatle…