Thursday, December 08, 2005

Imagine There Were Never Any Beatles (It's Easy If You Try)

Today is the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's murder. That would have made me six when he was killed. I have no memory of this event. I have a distinct memory of the Americans held hostage in Iran in 1980 -- asking my parents why they couldn't just go home to their families -- not understanding, but being very frightened by, my first exposure to evil. I even have a distinct memory of being in preschool right after New Year's Day in 1980 (I remember thinking wistfully about how the 1970's were gone, and also realizing at the same time that when I sat cross-legged in a skirt, my underwear would show). So, it is not that big news stories did not yet register in my young mind -- it must have been the fact that my parents were not Beatles fans. God bless my folks for going against the grain -- counter-counter-culture. I'd bet that a lot of people around my age do have memories of the day John Lennon was killed -- most of my schoolmates knew all the words to all the songs by the Fab Four, having been weaned on those mop-topped Liverpoolians. I'm still hazy about which songs were theirs and which belonged to the countless imitators that swarmed across the pond during the British Invasion of the 1960's. And I have still never learned to like Beatles songs. In fact, I find most of them very annoying.

So, I'm sad that John Lennon was murdered, especially since he left some small children behind. That must have been tough for them and also for his wife. But this big to-do over the loss of his genius leaves me cold. I know that his music touched many people, but I cannot join in this communal outpouring of remembrance and grief. I cannot regret the music that never was, since I do not care for the music that actually was.

(I never got Elvis either. Hunka-hunka-burning-yuck!)

P.S. If you are a big Beatles fan (or even Elvis fan), and you would like to set me straight as to why I am so wrong in dismissing these musical legends, feel free! I'm always open to considering the opinions of people I respect. For instance, I've heard that the Beatles were incredibly innovative from a purely musical standpoint. Is this true? Examples? I'm much more of a lyrics person myself, so if I find lyrics inane, it is hard for me to get past that.


Amigo said...

When I heard the news that Lennon had been shot and killed I didn't really feel much. I thought his moment in the sun had pretty much been over. But some people I worked with were pretty shook up.

CrazyJo said...

I've never got the whole Beatles or Elvis manias myself. A world without them wouldn't really change my life any. I've always tended to like less popular music. Now a world without Enya or Josh Groban would be very sad. ;)

Arielle said...

Josh Groban picks songs that make him sound like a metrosexual weenie, Jo! I'll have to post on that some time. =D

I also didn't like Elvis or the Beatles. I think it's pretty sickening how people idolize dead people like Princess Diana, Kurt Cobain, Elvis, John Lennon, etc. As if they're the only people that have died tragically.