To anyone too young to have experienced the Beatles first hand, does the brutal assassination of John Lennon back in December 10, 1980 forever deny them of the joys of Beatlemania?
By: Ringo Bones
To any music lover still a few years shy of 40, the 10th of December is somewhat of a contentious part of the year and it is not just because of the Christmas shopping rush. It always makes me feel that I’ve been cheated from experiencing first hand one of the defining cultural phenomena of the 20th Century – namely Beatlemania. This time of the year only reminds me that I’m only left with growing up with the cynicism of the 1980s – though Punk and Metal were very good, I do sometimes wonder how popular music today would look and sound if John Lennon is still alive.
Even though – like most sensible Beatle fans – I still harbour the perception that the “teen idol” aspects of early Beatlemania is as quaint and as namby-pamby as the present-day equivalent. It was only when John Lennon’s youthful cheekiness turned to harshness aspect of the Beatles that I finally notice that the Beatles is ultimately destined for greater things.
As John Lennon began examining openly his own inner turmoil and his growing social and political conscience, it ultimately led the Beatles in their experimentation with mind-altering drugs and Eastern Mysticism – especially Eastern Mysticism – and as the first one to make overt political statements by returning his Member of the Order of British Empire Award in protest of British policies like the Vietnam War. John Lennon inadvertently made the Beatles immortal.
Nonetheless, what John Lennon achieved at 40 – namely a sane and healthy maturity in spite of the fame and fortune that is now and since seen by Generation X and Generation Y folks with envy – is truly remarkable indeed. I and the rest of humanity will probably be forever saddened every time the anniversary of his brutal assassination rolls around again, but the testament of his views and beliefs that’s forever etched in his music still captures me and every veteran Beatlemaniac and the odd new fan or two. Imagine that indeed.