Remembering John Lennon

John LennonI was eight years old when, 25 years ago, John Lennon was killed. I don’t remember hearing about it, and I don’t think I would have known his name if I did. My mind was on treehouses, rope swings, and what the next few hours had in store.

I never saw Lennon perform, and I haven’t even seen him on TV or in a movie. It’s still startling to hear recordings of him speak, because for most of my life—every since 7th grade when I got my first Beatles mix tape from my sister’s boyfriend—all I’ve known was his music.

But the Beatles had such an impact on me. When I felt lonely as a kid, I’d lie in bed with the lights out, listening to “Nowhere Man” and “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” I felt like I was connecting with something incredibly powerful and beautiful. It was during those dark nights, staring at the face of my illuminated alarm clock, that I fell in love with music.

And on September 11, I sat on the front lawn with some neighbors and sang “Imagine,” gazing over downtown Seattle and the empty sky. Despite all the sorrow and fear I felt that day, I was comforted that such a powerful statement for peace existed. It felt strong enough to keep my heart steady, even if the buildings fell around me.

A few days ago I came across lovely fingerstyle lesson for Lennon’s “Imagine”. I’m going to remember him today by learning it.

Comments 7

  1. I was just a little kid when I started hearing the Beatles on the radio. All I knew was I liked that sound. I felt sad when I heard of John lennon’s senseless death… but his work and vision live on.

  2. Good to hear you sticking up for John Lennon(deja vu?) The footprint he left on modern music has changed all that has come ever since his untimely death. It’s just sad that alot of the youth these days don’t recognise what he and the Beatles did for their precious ‘Metallica’ and ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’. Not knowing that without the influence of this guy on today’s musicians, many famous bands wouldn’t exisit.

  3. Wish You A Very Happy New Year.
    I was wondering if u knew anything about the Hawain guitar.You see I had the oppurtunity of leaning it many years ago while I was in college,but later after marriage and various other things I have lost touch with my guitar .Few years ago also I could play some of the songs I had learnt to play ,but after not touching my guitar for quite sometime I suddenly noticed I can hardly play it.I seemed to have forgotten how to read the notations also .I am so ashamed.I tried to find a teacher to teach me ,but alas there r no teachers who teach Hawain guitar,these days.I came across ur comments in one of the blogs written by my daughter and I thought maybe u could guide me in this matter.Do you know of some sites where they teach this type of guitar for free.My favourite song is also Imagine,it is somehow so haunting and I feel tears flowing out of my eyes everytime I listen to it.I wish I could play that song in my guitar.
    well thanks for patiently going through my mail, with regards ,Rama.

  4. Happy New Year to you, Rama. I don’t know any Hawaiian guitar teachers, buy you might try contacting Stacy Phillips, who is a Dobro expert and was the “resident musician” at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop this past summer. PSGW probably has his contact information.

    Also, if you haven’t asked at Dusty Strings yet or looked through their binder of teachers, do that. Their binder has about 50 teachers in it, and some probably play Hawaiian music.

    Good luck!

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