Sunday, December 06, 2009

It was twenty nine years ago today

And in the end,
The love you take
is equal to the love you make
from "The End" Lennon McCartney

People gather at Strawberry Fields on hearing of the death of George Harrison, November 30th 2001. You can see the Dakota in the background.
In two days it will be the 29th anniversary of John Lennon's untimely death. And last month it was the eighth anniversary of fellow Beatle, George Harrison's.

I would not have remembered if it hadn't been for a rather maudlin article by a Bob Greene (whoever he is when he's at home) titled "A place haunted by Lennon's murder". It's on CNN. You can see it here.

It starts off with, "Maybe if you're a New Yorker, you grow accustomed to the sight". Referring to the Dakota building, which sits directly across the road from Strawberry Fields - Yoko's dedication to Lennon in Central Park.

Greene then goes on to say how spooky the Dakota is, referring to Lennon's shooting outside it, and to the use of its facade in Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby". He waxes maudlin about Lennon's final hours and Yoko's memorial. Enough already yet, I mentally screamed.

John and George Remembered - Strawberry Fields
I pass the Dakota often. My therapist's rooms are nearby. And I don't get spooked. I'm sure Mr. Greene would say it is because I'm a New Yorker, which I would take as a compliment. Therapist? Central Park? Yes she really IS a New Yorker I can hear you thinking. Well, that's what I think whenever I'm down that way. "You know you've made it in New York when ... " sort of thing.

But even when I wasn't a New Yorker I didn't find The Dakota ghostly. It's just a rather New Yorkish looking apartment building for the very rich.

Of course John Lennon was the most talented of the Beatles and his death was untimely, senseless, and a huge loss to the music world.

"The Beatles were FUN!" said my phone confidante Peg last week when we were discussing the music of the Gen-Xs and Gen-Ys. "Life was fun." "My son thinks that Kurt Cobain did more for music than the Beatles," I told her. "Oh no," she groaned. "And he was just a heroin junkie," I added, thinking that I was pretty sure that Lennon was once one too, but what the heck. Poetic license ....

Speaking of poetic license, I'm no longer really sure what it means. A man I once knew emailed me a while back complaining about how I portrayed the Melbourne University scene of the sixties. I emailed back saying of course I had exaggerated, poetic license blah blah. And he replied with a "I realised on reading your 'offending' piece that you were taking poetic licence (sic) but was not prepared to grant it to you ..." Can people deny one poetic license. More to the point, can people who cannot even spell "license" deny it???

But back to John, and I can't help thinking that Lennon at least was spared the horrors of rap, George W, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in that order.

And dear god, at least he missed Bob Dylan making a complete idiot of himself with his Christmas song album.

Rest in Peace John Lennon, one of music's greats.

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