Thursday, December 08, 2005


I was going to mark today as the three-month anniversary of BillyBlog, but a more pressing need arose.

Today is the 25th anniversary of the death of John Lennon. It was a senseless, sad murder then and, in retrospect, a huge loss to our culture. Imagine, what a man of such talent and moral conviction would have accomplished in the last twenty-five years. Imagine the music that was never written. Imagine.

Lennon's death was a landmark for me, as a 13-year old growing up in Hawai'i, a state far away from New York, but linked to the murderer.

I still recall waking up on the morning of December 9, 1980, getting ready for school. I did not turn on the TV, but I did retrieve the morning paper, The Honolulu Advertiser. I do not recall the exact headline, but it was something like "John Lennon Killed by Former Honolulu Man." It was still dark outside.

I had only really begun to understand who The Beatles were. A group of my friends at 'Iolani were very much into them. Me, not so much. I ran to school where we talked about how sad it was.

It was only through Lennon's death, and the ensuing worldwide emotional outpouring, that I became a fan of the Beatles. Those that knew me then could recall that I hurled myself full-force into their music, pretty much listening to nothing else until 2 years later when I began listening to metal. Those were formative years, and I listened to as much as I could, read every Beatles book I could find, annoyed dj's at school dances by requesting they play Beatles' songs. My family would even pray, while playing Trivial Pursuit, that I not get any Beatles questions.

It is sad that, only through his death, did I discover the greatness of John Lennon's music. Would I have discovered it eventually? Most likely. Would I have become such a huge fan? Not necessarily so.

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph


Jenise said...

I remember that day too. I couldn't beleive anyone from our wonderful Aloha cutlure could do something so cruel and without even seeming upset. I had listened to the Beattles my entire life (thanks Mom, for being a flower child!) It was like someone from our family had been taken away. I didn't really have a concept of just how far New York was but it seemed like a million miles away, another planet entirely.

I remember being terriblly sad because just the day before we had had all the Pearl Harbor anniversary things that happen in Hawai'i. It seemed like the world was being shattered, one piece at a time.

Lennon was truly talented and had found who HE was. That is a challenging thing for anyone in the public eye. I hope that his son has found his place as comfortablly as his father seemed to have found his.

Lyric Mezzo said...

"It was only through Lennon's death, and the ensuing worldwide emotional outpouring, that I became a fan of the Beatles."

Yup - sounds familiar. My sister and I would sit around and sing old Beatles tunes. I still listen to Lennon's last album. I wasn't thrilled about the songs by Yoko Ono on that album, but I really felt and feel that every song he sang was extraordinary.

I may not be the fan that you are, but I love the Beatles. They are mentioned in music history text books for a good reason! Now, if I could just convince my husband....