Thirty years ago, John Lennon was shot down in front of his apartment, a death mourned around the world.
I wasn’t born until three months later.
I had some idea who The Beatles were in my early life, my mother having been a teenager in the 60s, but I couldn’t have told you much about them or their music until I was about 13. For that birthday my mother, for whatever reason, decided to gift me with a copy of the movie Help! which I immediately fell in love with. Seriously. I watched it literally every day for weeks. From there I bought the movie A Hard Days Night, which I can still just about recite line by line, and proceeded to amass every Beatles’ album on CD.
At first Ringo was my favourite, he was a bit goofy and I appreciated his childlike ways. The older I got the more attached I got to John Lennon.
I grew up trying to be an artist in every way I could think of. I love to write, I used to draw and sketch quite a bit, I took photography classes and carpentry classes, I loved to sing even though I knew I wasn’t actually very good at it. John Lennon was a truly gifted artist in so many ways. He was one of the greatest songwriters of all time, he published books with his own illustration, he acted – even outside The Beatles’ own movies. He also had a soul that I admired. He was peaceful, and he believed that others could be changed. He imagined it. I wanted to have his outlook. I wanted love in my life like what he felt for Yoko Ono. (And, by the way, I think if you’re going to blame Yoko for the band’s breakup, you can lay just as much blame on Linda McCartney, but I’d rather blame all four band members who just needed to break out of their own after spending so much time together).
To this day it makes me sad that I never got to live in the same world as John Lennon, that I missed him by just three months. I wonder if our world now would be different if he was still alive.
I must try to remember John Lennon and inject a little bit of hope into the world as hard as it can be sometimes. If we all do maybe we can all shine on.