The anniversary of the killing of John Lennon has brought out some blog posts on John and the Beatle legacy and roused me to comment as well. I, like many of the commenters came of age during the Beatles ascendancy and many of the early songs give me a rush when I hear them again, taking me back to the idealism and energy in the air of the eastern university where I was persuing my graduate degree in the 60's.
The early songs were fresh and the Beatles themselves were appealing, unthreatening and slightly exotic ( being, of course, British). Then they, like my generation, got full of themselves.
The innocence of the early 60's gave way to the pretentious arrogance of the late 60's. The Viet Nam war became political All of the wrongs in the worlds could be blamed on prior generations who had inexplicably made an incredible mess of the world in general and the United States in particular. No one in our generation thought it odd that the wisdom to correct all these failings should be revealed to twenty-somethings and to noone else and no one thought it odd that any means should be applied to correct the world/s wrongs. And the Beatles were right there urging us on, voicing our incoherent thoughts and making them seem so right..
It never rang true to me then, but I wanted it to be true and I carry the results of that weakness with me today in the way I lived my life, raised my sons, honored my parents and loved my wife.
I don't blame John Lennon - or any of the Beatles for what happened to my generation but I don't honor them either. And I am repulsed by their music. The sophomoric lyrics cut deep when I remember how they colored my world as a young man.
ShrinkWrapped, who was a resident at Bellvue the night John Lennon's killer was sent for observation) has a thoughtful post on this anniversary.
I will give the last word to my twenty-one year old son who ocasionally tries to help with my blog.
He said, “Who cares about John Lennon? That was forty years ago.”
And he collects the Stones.