Remembering John Lennon
Remembering John Lennon is not an easy task.
For starters, he’s one of the most iconic musicians of all time.
Then there’s the fact that many of the people celebrating his life are multiple generations removed from the ex-Beatle’s lifetime.
The sheer impact that Lennon has had on fans, the music industry and the peace movement is incalculable and still growing.
Beatles albums like Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band revolutionized music production, while later albums like The Beatles (White Album) served to really develop the band as innovative songwriters and musicians.
But Lennon’s legacy extends far beyond the realm of Beatlemania. His solo work distinguished Lennon as a spokesperson for world peace – a message that remains intimately linked to his memory.
Oct. 9 marked what would have been the Liverpool lad’s 70th birthday and friends, family and countless fans of Lennon attempted the daunting task of paying tribute to the man who once urged the world to “give peace a chance.”
The largest of the celebrations took place in his hometown of Liverpool and his adopted home New York City, though Yoko Ono held another special service in Iceland.
His widow traveled to Iceland to premiere a documentary about the building of the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavik, which was resurrected in Lennon’s honour on Oct. 9, 2007.
This was followed by a performance featuring the Plastic Ono Band, former Beatle Ringo Starr, Ono and Lennon’s son Sean.
Back in Liverpool, Lennon’s first wife Cynthia and their son Julian unveiled a sculpture for the Global Peace Initiative titled “Peace and Harmony.”
Strawberry Fields (a part of Central Park near the Dakota Hotel where Lennon and Ono lived) was crowded with thousands of devoted fans, wishing to pay their respects with cards, flowers and numerous renditions of Lennon’s songs.
Additionally, most of Lennon’s solo works were remastered and re-released last week, including a new compilation Gimme Some Truth.
The most obvious and probably most viewed of any celebratory nature, however, was Google’s Lennon-inspired homepage that remained online for two days.
Featuring a famous doodled self-portrait of Lennon with the option to play “Imagine” in the background, the temporary redesign shared his ongoing legacy with millions.
While the impact Lennon has left on the world is impossible to assess, it is undeniable that his music and messages have reached millions around the world.
Whether you know the man for his contribution to the Lennon/McCartney songbook or his famed bed-ins to promote world peace, one thing is certain – John Winston Ono Lennon’s legacy will be one that affects us all for years to come.
Digitally remastered versions of Lennon’s works were released last week, including John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Some Time In New York City, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges, Rock’n’Roll, Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey.
A greatest hits compilation entitled Power to the People: The Hits was also released.
A film about Lennon’s childhood directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, Nowhere Boy will be released in select cities in the upcoming weeks.
This PBS documentary examines the New York City years spent with Ono and their son Sean. It will air on Nov. 22.