Paying Attention: John Lennon was assassinated on 8 December 1980, thirty-five years ago.  He was shot outside of his apartment in New York City–a place he had moved because he believed he could have more “freedom” than in England. In New York, John Lennon could become anonymous…but not anonymous enough. The irony is powerful and unmistakeable. His final album “Double Fantasy” had been released three weeks earlier; not  surprisingly, it was one of his very finest musical productions.  Pete Hamill, who did a landmark interview with Lennon in 1975, once called John Lennon “the dark side of The Beatles” and that he certainly was: he was direct, critical, quick, judgmental, creatively dangerous, rebellious, egotistic, talented, and an audacious risk taker who fought for what he believed in. Lennon was not the most beloved of The Beatles and there were–and still are–many who despised him for whatever reason (maybe it was because he had a habit of challenging the status quo in almost every area of culture). His popularity or personality, however, should not form the basis for our appreciation or disapproval  of him. It should be the art he created: his music, drawings, poetry, writings. He was an artist and he had an artist’s temperament. He was one of the founders and leaders of the most commercially popular and culturally influential music group in history. Period. Only four people knew what it was like to be a Beatle and only those four knew what the experience could do to someone. Everyone else–even those closest to the band–did not have a clue. Tonight, we remember John Lennon the very best way: by appreciating his work and imaging what might have been if he had not left us so soon. Below, the lyrics to perhaps his most famous song. Above, the video he produced for the song. Enjoy both.
” Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one..
The Fine Print: Songwriter: John Lennon. Published by and Lyrics (C) SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC. The video, embed via YouTube from JohnLennonMusic. All rights reserved by the respective rights holder. We thank everyone for sharing. 


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