Lennon's death 25 years later

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by MacNut, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    John Lennon's Music Still Shines On
    By Dean Goodman, Reuters


    LOS ANGELES (Dec. 7) - Time has been kind to John Lennon, the former Beatle who was killed 25 years ago on Thursday just as he was starting over.

    Despite some erratic solo work and questionable political alliances, the "smart one" in the Fab Four has been canonized by music fans as a thoughtful songwriter, courageous activist, and devoted father -- to one of his sons, at least.

    His songwriting partner Paul McCartney lived long enough to receive a knighthood, but sainthood has been more elusive. The "cute one" is viewed by some as the lightweight half of the pair, and has achieved the near-impossible feat of making his nemesis, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, look slightly sympathetic.

    Credit the imbalance to a handful of tunes that will never go out of style as long as there is war and injustice, anthems like "All You Need is Love" and "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine."

    McCartney may have sold more records, been just as politically active and written "Yesterday." "Helter Skelter" and "Let It Be," but Lennon is the Working Class Hero.

    For Rolling Stone magazine editor and publisher Jann Wenner, who put Lennon on the cover of his first issue in 1967, the Paul vs. John debate is no contest.

    "What are you going to remember?" he asked, citing some of their respective songs. "'Silly Love Songs' or 'Give Peace a Chance'? 'Band on the Run' or 'Imagine'? 'Helen Wheels' or 'Whatever Gets You Thru the Night?"'

    "EXTRAORDINARY SINGER"

    Others take a more diplomatic stance, perhaps mindful that his song "Forgive Me (My Little Flower Princess)" or the album "Two Virgins" are not exactly classics.

    "If John were alive, he might be saying, 'Hogwash, it's all just a bunch of good songs,"' said Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler, whose band covered "Come Together" in 1978.

    A good voice also helps, and Lennon's was arguably the greatest in rock 'n' roll, said Interscope Records president Jimmy Iovine, who helped record the Lennon albums "Walls and Bridges" and "Rock 'n' Roll."

    "It never gets talked about. That guy sang his ass off," Iovine said. "He was an extraordinary singer, very, very spontaneous, never needed a lot of takes, but always with such feel. This is as if he was completely straight, or, not!"

    Lennon was not afraid to share his inner turmoil, singing about such painful chapters as the death of his mother, the demise of the Beatles or his turbulent relationship with Ono.

    Influenced by Bob Dylan, Lennon also thought he could use his talent to try to change the world. After the Beatles broke up in 1970, Lennon and Ono famously took to bed to promote peace. The Nixon administration spied on him and tried to get him deported.

    His pacifist songs gave way to more strident tunes like "Power to the People." But not everybody was buying it. His 1972 album, "Sometime in New York City," featuring the ironic single "Woman is the ****** of the World," was a flop.

    If he were alive today, "I bet he'd like hip-hop," Iovine added with a laugh, "because of the potency of the lyrics. What was ever going on in his head, in his gut, in his life, in somebody else's life, he sang it."

    "RODE LIFE LIKE A SURFBOARD"

    Iovine said few modern-day rock stars have followed Lennon's lead, citing U2's Bono, Trent Reznor of techno band Nine Inch Nails and Jack White of the blues-rock duo White Stripes as the rare singers who conjure up a primal honesty in their songs.

    "(Rapper) Eminem is, attitude-wise, closer to John Lennon than most rock singers are today," he said. (Interscope represents U2, Nine Inch Nails and Eminem.)

    Lennon's final album, "Double Fantasy," issued just before he was shot dead outside his Manhattan home at the age of 40, found him in a more reflective mode, happily facing middle age ("Watching the Wheels"), and singing about his love for Ono ("Woman") and their son Sean ("Beautiful Boy").

    "He rode life like a surfboard," said Tyler, "and then when he got to the shore, instead of paddling straight back out again to catch the next wave like I did, he sat there for a while and wrote it down, and then went on to something else. And I love that about him."
     
  2. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    Hard to believe it's been 25 years. My friends and I were in the local bar when word began to spread. The whole place was eerily silent as we watched the news reports. Many began crying and then someone played a Beatles song on the jukebox (Let It Be) and everyone was singing.

    I'm going to play my Beatles (group and solo works) playlist all day at work - 96 songs 5.1 hours.
     
  3. Dagless macrumors Core

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    I worship the fella everyday, if my iPod is kind to me i always get at least 1 Beatles song playing. I reckon about 50% of my mini is Beatles.

    Fantastic guy.

    Anyone read his books? My dad bought one decades ago- John Lennon - in his own write. A really insane book full of cartoons, poems and prose. He was a genius. extremely creative man.

    Thing is... would he have such a legendary status if he was still alive today? look at the rest of the surviving Beatles now, they're all fallen stars. would Lennon just give up and hide away too?
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

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    Not really Paul is still doing stuff but ya Ringo is fallen
     
  5. hvfsl macrumors 68000

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    #5
    I think some of you guys are looking at Lenon through rose tinted glasses. He was not as nice a guy as some of you make out, he used to beat his first wife and get into drunken rages.
     
  6. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    #6
    What i find annoying is that im "expected" to view Lennon as some sort of God, instead of simply a very talented Scouse musicain with bad taste in women.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

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    I think a lot of the hype surrounding Lennon's persona is due to the James Dean factor - Lennon died before he got old and fat and sold out like Elvis. :rolleyes:

    People like Kurt Cobain, Brad Nowell (from Sublime), Tupac and others who died young and at or near the peak of their careers are usually seen afterwards in ways that downplay their failures or failings and embellish their successes. The tragic nature of their deaths contributes to this image.
     
  8. rosalindavenue macrumors 6502a

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    That Reuters piece angers me. I never understand why everyone feels the need to bash McCartney in every Lennon piece. I know that the two of them didn't always get along; and I know that Lennon is generally the more appealing rock and roll figure-- I find Lennon more appealing myself.

    That should not obscure the fact that Paul McCartney is also a genius. He was Lennon's equal as a composer during the life of the Beatles (note how the article compared only solo work). In fact, as the Beatles progressed, McCartney became the dominant writer of the two (read the Philip Norman book, "Shout," or "Revolution in the Head" by Ian McDonald). McCartney was also an incredible musician-- arguably the best bass player in rock music, also a superb guitarist (he played a lot of the lines in the records attributed to Harrison), drummer, keyboardist and horn player. He could really sing too. The competition between Lennon and McCartney was what made them both great.

    Nonetheless, McCartney is still alive; he was not murdered. Plus, he clearly went a little sappy after his first solo album ("McCartney," which is essentially a Beatles record). I will even concede that he showed bad judgment in late Beatles records (Ob-La-Di, Maxwell's Silver Hammer"). Thus, every two bit no-talent hack like Jann Wenner feels compelled to slag him, unfairly and unjustly.

    Sorry; had to rant; McCartney bashing is a pet peeve of mine. :rolleyes:
     
  9. fklehman macrumors regular

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    #9
    I was only 1 year old when Lennon died, so I don't remember anything about it. I became a huge Beatle fan later, although I don't have an opinion about whether Lennon or McCartney is most talented. I think they appeal to me differently depending on the mood I'm in at the time. Only having seen McCartney in action during my own life, the man strikes me as an egomaniac obsessed with enshrining his place in music history, as if he had to work at it. I enjoy all of his Beatles stuff and about half of his solo stuff, but it drives me crazy to see him play the same 3 songs at every special concert: Let it Be, Hey Jude, and the Abbey Road finale (The 2005 Superbowl was a welcome exception to that rule, although there he was doing everything himself, as if he couldn't bear to be seen with a backing band). It's gotten to the point where I can't stand to hear any of the 3, which shouldn't be the case because they are great songs. He seems arrogant even around other musicians, and even though he probably has a right to be arrogant it still comes off as unseemly. I do, however, like his music, so don't take my personal criticism as artistic criticism.

    I think George is my John, since I remember everything about it. It was very sad to see him die, because he, unlike Paul, was clearly a musician whom other muscians genuinely liked (not just respected). His willingness to work with other big names as an equal in the Traveling Wilburys led to some truly incredible music, and you could tell from the Concert for George that he had thought of himself as part of the music community rather than as someone above it. I can't imagine Paul working as part of a group like that again, and I can't imagine him thinking of himself as an equal even if he did. And although both Paul and George wrote some great songs after the Beatles, it seems to me that George's solo batting average is a bit better--he released fewer solo albums than Paul, but almost all of them were good.

    I like some of John's solo work, but sadly it seems distant to me in a way that the other Beatles' solo work (and even John's Beatles songs) does not. Maybe it's because I wasn't alive during that time. Imagine is a great album, but beyond that there are only 1 or 2 songs on each of his other albums that I regularly listen to. I do respect him for thinking big in his music, something that I don't see Paul doing as often. Who knows, maybe John would have turned schmaltzy too in his old age, just like Paul. We'll never know.

    Beatles songs take up about 15% of the library on my 60GB iPod: 269 songs, 12.4 hours. I doubt I'll get to them all today :) I may, however, have a look at In His Own Write. My folks bought me an original edition for Xmas a few years ago, but I keep a reprint reading copy around.
     
  10. yoak macrumors 65816

    yoak

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    #10
    I was 7 years old, but still remember it clearly.
    My father is a huge fan and I grew up with the music.
    I was playing on the living room floor, my father was in the shower and the radio was on. Then I heard that Lennon was shot, I knew my father liked beatles so I told him when he came out of the barh room.
    I still remember his face of disbelief and shock.

    As for the argument; It was a healthy cometitive relationship that helped them write great songs. They would probably not have been as good on their own or paired with someone else IMO
     
  11. evilernie macrumors 6502

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    #11
    John Lennon was not the only person killed on this date.

    Dimebag Darrell Abbott. One year ago today. :(
     
  12. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #12
    While Dimebag was talented hes not to the caliber of what Lennon was, time will tell if people celebrate his anniversary in another 24 years, then we will know Dimebag's impact.
     
  13. rock6079 macrumors 6502

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    no one's perfect, and i dont think anyone was trying to say that. yes it is true lennon had many faults, especially in his younger years. but taking a simple quote from "Getting Better" off of Sgt. Peppers you can see the he recognizes those faults:


    I used to be cruel to my woman
    I beat her and kept her from the
    Things that she loved
    Man I was mean but I’m changing my scene
    And I’m doing the ebst that I can.

    while paul may have sung that, lennon contributed to the writing of this song and i wouldnt be surprised if he contributed to those lines.

    it is not important to scrutinize every action of a person, rather it is more important to look at the reaction to the things they have done. and looking at they you clearly see that lennon, and by no means will i exclude the rest of the beatles, influenced a generation of people and in some cases my immesurable means. looking at the life of lennon in that perspective can probably give you a better understanding of why his life and his work seems so worshiped, as it should be.

    on that note, im gonna go listen to some beatles...
     
  14. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #14
    And in the cases of the three you mention their failings (drugs, depression, gangsta image) contributed to their early demise. Less so for John, he was definitely far from perfect had plenty of failings, but was gunned down at a time when he seemed to be getting his life together.

    While I lean slightly to a preference for John's works, both in the Beatles and solo, Paul and George (solo, Beatles, Wilburys) were both excellent in their own right and each have a decent number of 5 star tunes in my Library.

    B
     
  15. hvfsl macrumors 68000

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    My mate actually met Paul in real life (he was working at the hospital when he had his last baby) and he said Paul seemed like a very nice guy. He was being friendly and joking with the staff, plus he has done a lot for different good causes around the world like cancer research.
     
  16. millar876 macrumors 6502a

    millar876

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    Read it all first f4 you flame me 4 line 2

    i dhink it was Denis Leary who said...

    "John lennon takes 6 builits in the back, Yoko Ono is standing right beside him, Not one freekin' builit. Why god, why?"

    And while some people may agree with that statment, and find it funny (many Dont), it WAS a trajedy, they WERE in love, she WAS forever emotionaly scared, the world MAY (although probaly not) have changed and the beatles would probably have split up anyway if john and yoko never got together. (im not beatles bashing i have 1, 1962-1966, 1967-1970, A hard days night, Abey road, Anthology 1, 2 & 3, Beatles for sale, EP collection, Help!, Let It Be, Let It Be sessions, Live at the BBC, Magical Mystery tour, Past Masters Vol 1 & 2, please please me, Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt Pepper, The Alt Sgt Pepper, The White album, With the beatles, and yellow submarine)

    John is mised, and will continue to be along with all the departed beatles, but thier music will live on.

    in short, get overt it. And ELVIS IS DEAD TOO

    Im not hartless its just my opinion. the last thing id want if i was Paul or yoko is people rubbing salt in after re-opening old wounds every year for 25 years (+) let them grieve, sure everyone likes to know their dear departed was loved by so many, BUT people need space, i doubt the poor wooman could get peace to grieve in piece anywhere today, let alone somwhere quiet to sit and have a quiet cry and watch TV due to the ammount of press coverage.

    For Shame.
     
  17. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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  18. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    I think a lot of people hold Yoko responsible for the Beatles breakup, And for that matter Linda McCartney might of had something to do with it to. But I think the Yoko/Paul rift is still deep.
     
  19. Edge100 macrumors 68000

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    Let us remember the brilliant mind, the extraordinay songwriter, the wonderful singer, and figurehead of world peace.

    We need to be careful, though. History has been VERY kind to John. He was, by all accounts, a vitriolic personality with tendancies to be out and out mean and nasty.

    RIP, John. Thank you for the music and the inspiration.
     
  20. Doctor Q Administrator

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    Lennon's 1964 song "I'll Be Back" hasn't come true, but he's still with us in many ways. I've been by the Dakota in New York and John's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and they are both still destinations for many fans.

    Two hopes for John Lennon's music:

    1. That Yoko/Paul would stop feuding (it diminishes both of them) and finish and release "I Don't Want to Lost You", the last Beatles track, with Ringo.

    2. That Apple/Apple would make a legal settlement (probably with a payment by Apple Computer to Apple Corps) and proceed to get Beatles music and Lennon's solo work into the iTunes Music Store.

    The last few released albums of Lennon's music have had disappointing sales. The material might not have been as good as Imagine and Double Fantasy, but someone should tell Yoko that there's another reason as well: locking out the people who buy music online. Her efforts in preserving John's legacy and in promoting interest in him from the next generation aren't served by ignoring the market shift toward online music.

    While we are waiting for those two things to happen, we can go read a book.
     
  21. barneygumble macrumors 6502a

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    The day pearl harbour was attacked and not one thread on it, instaed we get this, i know who i will remember

    RIP
     
  22. Doctor Q Administrator

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  23. Verto macrumors 6502a

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  24. fklehman macrumors regular

    fklehman

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    #24
    Ought to call himself barneygrumble instead. That's what the thread starter is for, you rube!
     
  25. camomac macrumors 6502a

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    very sad day indeed. i just realized it was the 25th anniversary last night.
     

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