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

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