In the days that followed John Lennon’s death on December 8 1980, the television and radio airwaves were filled with John Lennon sound bytes, stories, analogies, quotes and of course, John Lennon music.
The sound byte that I remember best is one that I heard over the radio. It was recorded in a series of promotional interviews for DOUBLE FANTASY, his new record album which was released only three weeks before he was murdered.
John Lennon’s exact words were:
“Weren’t the 1970’s a drag?”
At the time, I assumed he was referring to the music of that decade.
Having lived my teenage years in the 1970’s I was dismayed to hear him say this. Mind you it was only 1980, I was 21 years old and still rather fresh out of the decade.
What did I know?
Having now lived through several more decades I see that John Lennon was right after all.
Looking back, the only songs that ever make me cringe are the ones that came out out of the 1970’s pop scene, like AFTERNOON DELIGHT and SEASONS IN THE SUN.
I remember a grade twelve school chum telling me he was visiting his buddy and playing cards while listening to the radio. Everything was fine until the music station played what music history would call some the worst songs ever recorded, all three in a row. That was when his buddy got up from the table, unplugged the radio and smashed it against the wall.
The songs the radio station played were: THE NIGHT CHICAGO DIED by Paper Lace, BILLY DON’T BE A HERO also by Paper Lace and Captain and Tenille’s LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER.
Who can blame the poor guy?
If I remember correctly the 1980’s ushered in The Cars, The Knack, Van Halen, OMD, just to name a few. Followed by a new generation in the 1990’s.
I loved it all and have the hundreds of records and CDs to prove it.
In our home, John Lennon’s videos and music are still regularly played. We regard it as genius and ahead of it’s time.
So that leaves me asking the question:
Why didn’t I just believe John Lennon in the first place?
The same John Lennon who according to Wikipedia, Rolling Stone magazine ranked as the 5th greatest singer of all time, and who along with with Paul McCartney formed the most celebrated song writing partnerships of the twentieth century.
Recently, it occurred to me that John Lennon could also have been referring to the events of the 1970’s such as the Vietnam war, Kent state, Middle East crisis just to name a few heartbreaking stories that never seemed to end.
If that was true, he would be right again.
Yes, the 1970’s were a drag and I see it now.
I regret ever doubting the great John Lennon.
Whatever was I thinking?
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