What can I say about the man who inspired me so much, the man I wanted to look like, sing like, act like, and live like.
I began liking the Beatles as a young child, on the farm, in Cluster Springs, Virginia. I, as any child, loved cartoons, and when
the animated Beatles movie came on occasionaly, I was not only facinated by the animation and the music but, the character
with the glasses and thick moustache. He sang to the Nowhere Man, and I grew up, I came to realize, the nowhere man was ME.
I knew a few Beatle songs in 1980. For the past three years, I had been a super Elvis fan but, had grown tired of the whole
Elvis mania that had been going on since his death. Then in October 1980, I heard a song on the radio while in the car with my brother, David.
David is my older brother and arch enemy. He is nine years older than me. I knew John's singing voice immediately, not yet even a hard
Beatle fan. I exclaimed, "That's John Lennon!". He said, "I don't know who it is but, it's not John Lennon!". David is so ignorant for someone who is
a master building contractor. Later, I learned that I was correct. The song I heard was, Starting Over, from John Lennon's latest album,
Double Fantasy. I liked it well enough to begin listening more to the Beatles. Beatles music mezmorized me. It made me, "Imagine".
Then, one cold day in December, we watched the news, as always because that's all my father ever wanted to watch. I heard that
former Beatle, John Lennon had been murdered. I was 12 years old.
John Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 during a bombing raid on Liverpool, England by Nazi Germany. His mother was named, Julia.
His father was some sort of merchant sailor and was never around. John's mother died when he was very young. She was struck by a moving
vehicle in the street. His Aunt Mimi was his closest friend as he grew up after his mom died. When John was teenager in the 50s, he loved
American Rock and Roll, and had a skiffle band called The Quarrymen. After many member changes and name changes, that band
became the Beatles.
John was the wild one, the rebel, the unruly one. Wearing leather Jackets, smoking cigarrettes, and playing guitar was his passion. He also loved girls.
He married Cynthia Powell when they both were teenagers and they had a son named Julian, named after John's mother, Julia. John attended
art college and played with the Beatles all over Liverpool.
Then the Beatles went to Hamburg, Germany to play in the clubs there. Hamburg was like a German Las Vegas but much more raunchy.
John and his band mates became fine tuned musicians there, sometimes playing for 12 hours at a time. When they returned to Liverpool,
they had attained some local fame. A kid went into a local record shop looking for a record called, My Bonnie, which was by Tony Sheraton
who was backed up by The Beatles. The manager, Brian Epstein, couldn't find it and wanted to know more about the Beatles. The kid told
him to go to the Cavern Club and see the Beatles. Brian went and he was in awe of these four rough looking kids in leather, smoking and cursing
on stage. He watched the reaction of the crowd and the sound coming from the beatles was unique. Soon he asked the Beatles if he could, manage them.
Reluctant at first, John Lennon questioned Brian as to why they needed a manager but, eventually, he and the other Beatles were convinced.
Brian cleaned them up, gave them suits and sold their image to all of England. The Beatles were even loved by Queen Elizibeth who awarded
them with Great Britain's highest honor, The MBE.
Within two years of meeting Brian, The Beatles became the most popular rock group in the world. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were fine song writers.
Over the years, John became an actor, a poet, an artist, an author, and an activist. He spoke out for peace against the Vietnam Conflict.
He met avant garde artist, Yoko Ono and together they had a passionate love affair. John divorced his wife Cynthia and married Yoko.
The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and became studio artists and their level of expertise increased greatly with the assistance of
producer, George Martin. Brian Epstien had died and The Beatles slowly grew apart, preferring solo careers and married life.
John had experimented with LSD and marijuana and his music reflected that but, also his music was influenced by his ideas and opinions.
He was also well read and one of his favorite authors was Charles Dodgeson, aka Lewis Carroll. You can hear this influence in the song,
I am the walrus, a song half written on acid trips, half written about the Lewis Carrol story, The Walrus and The Carpenter.
In the 1970s, John pursued his solo career. A brief seperation occured with Yoko Ono but they resolved their differences and tried to start a family.
John's most famous ballad, Imagine was created during this time which is the song heard on this page. Yoko had several miscarriages but, eventually they had a son named Sean.
For about five years, John experienced a writers block and his solo career languished while John became a House Husband. Then in 1980,
John began writing again and made the album, Double Fantasy. A crazed man, who thought HE was John Lennon was angry at the real John.
He thought the real John Lennon was an imposter. He sought out John Lennon and shot and killed him in front of his home in New York City.
That crazed man was Mark David Chapman. Forever be cursed his name. John Lennon died.
I had heard it on the news. The next day, I heard more kids in school talking about it. Hell we were in sixth grade, most of us born after the Beatles became popular.
I wasn't even born until 1968. My interest in The Beatles and John Lennon increased dramatically after that. As I grew older, I was teased by my school friends for liking
the Beatles. They were all into Hard Rock of the 1980's and early Rap. How ignorant they were not to realize that the very music they listened to and the recording techniques
used to make it were all pioneered by John Lennon and The Beatles. After I got older, I became interested in other forms of music. In the 1990's, I became a fan of
"true" Heavy Metal and Alternative. I like some wild stuff. Metallica, Nirvana, Marilyn Manson, and Type O Negative, as does my sister Ruby. Big departure from the Beatles huh? You'd be surprised at
the amount of Beatles influence I hear in that stuff. Especially Nirvana. Kurt Cobain was a fan of Lennon's and like John, he died a tragic death even though it was by his own hands.
Much of Nirvana and The Foo Fighters music sounds like the Beatles to me. If you saw me at a Metallica concert, would you know I was a die hard Beatles' Fan?
Well,...you don't see a Metallica page here do you?
To this day, The Beatles are in my very soul.
John Lennon whispers in my ear and challenges me,...
A Nowhere Man,...to...Imagine.