December 8th, 2003

emu

John

23 years ago I was just discovering real music. I had been playing my parents old 7-inches, listening to the charts and trying to sing along in English, a language I couldn´t understand as a 10 year old. `Just like Starting over´ was one of the songs I liked. I found out that John Lennon had been a Beatle, that he had made some good songs on his own as well.

Nerd as I was, I was adding the weekly charts, so I knew the final top 100 over the whole year before it was even published. Then the charts were interrupted for the message of John´s dead. I sat on my bed silently for a while, not knowing how I should react. At age 10 one does not know much about death. I had lost my grandparents a few years before, yet was too young to realise. Lennon´s dead hit me harder, especially in the years after that, when I got to know more of his music, read about his life, thought about his ideas. Only last summer I took half a day in Havanna to sit next to a statue of him on a bench in the parc named after him there on Cuba. His music unites more people than any politician will ever manage.

I became an even bigger fan of Lennon in the years when I started to think about life myself. He was a great thinker. He had ideals after 30 and he knew that this isn´t normal, but certainly not wrong. He is the living prove that it is not necessary to change from left to right when you get older. And he made some great music.

The cynic in me at some point realised that it must have helped his fame and status that he was killed. He could have ended up a boring musician who tries but fails to impress (Paul) or the sad one who never outgrew the sixties (Dylan). Instead by getting killed he was guaranteed to become a legend.

Yet I still miss him. I´m sure he would have had some great idea´s about the world we live in. He would have made some records, half of them great. He would have been Lennon, like he was in the seventies.

Today 23 years ago I was a child and didn´t know how much I would become a fan of the man that just got shot.

`Imagine all the people, living life in peace...`
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