Sat 9 Oct, 2010 11:20 am
John Lennon would have been 70 today. NPR reminded us of this fact this morning when it broadcast pieces of the Playboy interview tapes.
While of course Lennon was a flawed man . . . who among us is not flawed . . .his humor, curiosity, artistry and his hard won honesty made him an important figure for the Baby Boomers.
Listening to the recorded sound of his voice this morning was a sentimental journey for me that brought me close to tears.
He spoke of fatherhood, baking bread, Yoko, songwriting and more. The issue of Playboy in which the interview appeared was published two days before he was murdered and it is likely that the interview inspired his assassin.
He spoke of being just 40 and mentioned that Paul McCartney was only 38 and that Dylan and Elton John were still young. He saw 40 more years of creativity for all of them.
Elton's writing has become banal. Paul (along with Paul Simon) is, perhaps, more an icon than artist although as he aged and shed his glamor, more of his real talent emerged. Hearing an unfamiliar song of his from a recent album while at work, I barely recognized him although I was taken in by the beauty of his singing voice. Dylan also remains active but despite (or perhaps because of) a grueling performance schedule remains creative although he seems to distance himself from his younger self.
Over the years, there were many times when friends would remark, "I wonder what John Lennon would have to say about . . ." whatever the current issue was. I wonder as well but my thoughts concentrated on who John might have become.
It amazes me that I could miss a person I never knew. I do not miss John Lennon the way I miss two close deceased friends, Mary and Larry. They were people with whom I shared the quotidian details of my life as well as the larger, more dramatic one.
I am sorry, John, that you and our generation could not grow old together.