It was 30 years ago today

John Lennon was murdered outside his apartment building in New York City 30 years ago today. Tributes can be found all over the internet; I was moved by noweasels’ account of that night.

I have loved Beatles music as long I can remember. Although I’ve always been more of a “Paul” person, some of John’s songs are among my favorites, especially in the early Beatles catalog.

slightly edited from a post written on December 8, 2009

“Help!” still sounds so fresh:

“Norwegian Wood” isn’t one of my personal favorites, but it was a very influential pop song because of the way it incorporated non-western musical elements.

Revolver is probably my favorite Beatles album. I prefer Paul’s songs, but John’s contributions to this album, especially “She Said She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows,” made this album one of the “very first psychedelic LPs.”

“A Day in the Life” is a phenomenal track. No wonder it was number 1 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 best Beatles songs. There is no way Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band would have had the impact it had without that song. The album isn’t one of my favorites, and I’ve never been a big fan of  “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” but “A Day in the Life” is just perfect. A few years ago I saw the performance artist Brian Olsen paint a huge Lennon portrait from beginning to end while “A Day in the Life” played. I wish I could find a YouTube of that, because it was so fun to watch.

I don’t think Magical Mystery Tour is anyone’s favorite Beatles album, but “I am the Walrus” has had a lot of staying power.

The “White Album” was uneven in quality, in my opinion, but “Revolution” is right up there with the Beatles’ best records.

I heard somewhere that Lennon didn’t care for the Abbey Road album. That used to be one of my favorites. “Come Together” and “Because” are the most memorable Lennon tracks.

Lost of people don’t care for the Let It Be album. I don’t think it’s that bad. “Across the Universe” is one of the highlights.

Lennon released about a dozen albums outside of his work with the Beatles. “Imagine” is clearly his most influential composition, but I’ve always preferred “Instant Karma”:

Please share your own thoughts or memories about John Lennon in this thread.

  • One of the worst days in my life...

    As I was being prepped for surgery on the ninth following a pretty catastrophic injury, I heard the news over the radio in the hospital.   It was my birthday and I was a couple thousand miles from home, and alone.

    The nurse doing my chart and prep work suddenly looked up and said, “Well, happy birthday, kid”.

    And I dig pretty much everything Beatles. John, Paul, and George definitely had some serious synergy going on.  

    I know it’s a controversial dub and mix, but “The Long and Winding Road” is still my fave.  

  • It was 20 years ago today...

    that Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play!

    (Thought I’d try and lighten the mood a bit!) 🙂

  • Perhaps you would like 'Norwegian Wood' if

    you knew that the original words were ‘Knowing She Would’?

    I have tried to look for a confirmation of that online and see nothing. First read that back in the late ’60s.

    There were a few songs whose lyrics they messed with to get them played on the air.

    Remember this was pre-FM, pre-internet days.

    The other I remember that was changed was ‘A Day in the Life.’

    The section on Alert Hall originally referred to the number of holes in Albert Halls arm.

    ” I read the news today, oh boy

     4000 purple holes in Albert’s arm

     And though the holes were rather small

     They had to count them all

     Now they know how many holes it takes to fill up Albert Hall”

    These lyrics make much more sense to me. Try singing those songs and make those changes and they flow better.  

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