Happy Birthday, John Lennon

John Lennon in Puerto Varas

John Lennon would have turned 75 today. Some are taken from us much too soon.

Some remember where they were when they heard of JKF’s assassination. I heard of Lennon’s murder while watching Monday Night Football as a pimply 15-year-old. It’s the only remaining memory I have of Monday Night Football.

Lennon is one of those universally loved and respected figures whose image you can find in most corners of the planet. The photo above was taken in at a small arts market in Puerto Varas, Chile, in March 2013; the one below just a few weeks earlier in Los Antiguos, Argentina, where I wondered which songs Lennon and Che Guevara would play if they agreed to perform a three song set. (There’s no cosmic connection but it does bear noting that Guevara was killed on this day in 1967.)

Jam session - John Lennon and Che Guevara.
Picture on a wall at the Viva el Viento Restaurant, Los Antigos, Argentina, 17-Feb-2013

Here’s a still I snapped of his video taped performance at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and below that footage of the entire segment from one of the best 80,000-plus singalongs I’ve had the privilege of being a part of.

That performance of Imagine was as strong a testament as any to the evolving attitudes and changing times that real world politics and most political leaders never quite manage to keep up with. When the song was released in 1971, its message was considered an idealistic, even radical notion, words penned by a man who was as reviled as he was revered; 41 years later it’s a hymn universal enough to be performed –sung and signed– by a children’s choir on the world’s largest stage as the centerpiece of the Olympic closing ceremony.

Symbolic? Of course.

But I can think of worse symbols than one honoring a man who sang of working class heroes and whose most remembered work challenges us to imagine a world without religious division and war fueled by hatred and fear. We’re still far away from that world. But a few steps closer nonetheless thanks to people like John Lennon.

John Lennon at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremonies in London
John Lennon at the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremonies in London



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  1. 2e0mca says

    That’s an amazing pnotograph you found there Bob! I guess Lennon is different in that he was killed by a fan… But among those I felt left us too soon are Rory Gallagher, Alex Harvey and James Dewar.

  2. mcarnes811 says

    Beautiful “Imagine all the people living life in peace”It is mind boggling! RIP John Lennon Thx for your post and video.

  3. bahelberg1 says

    Great image! It’s good to remember those who tried to convince us to love one another…

  4. emilievardaman says

    Thanks for this.

  5. Anabel Marsh says

    Thanks for your recent visit. Great post. John Lennon’s death is one of those “I’ll always remember where I am” moments for me too. Strangely, I mentioned him in my own post yesterday without realising the significance of the day.

  6. Lilka Raphael says

    Great post. Lennon is one of my favorites…timeless.

    1. Bob R says

      Indeed timeless. He’ll be remembered long after we’ll all gone.

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