I have mixed emotions about posting a Happy Birthday entry every year for John Lennon. This year is a little harder because I'm having some mixed emotions about John himself. Don't get me wrong. I've always admired the man, his strengths and weaknesses alike, but as I get older (and 19 years older than he was when he was assassinated), I'm able to see into him a bit more clearly. I have no allusions...
Plus, wishing him a Happy Birthday every year is just so darned painful. I, like so many others, wonder what he might have accomplished, where his music had gone if anywhere, and even what he would think about Google's banner today. Would he have gotten a kick out of it, or would he blow out an impatient stream of smoke and say, "Look, I'm not yer fookin' hero!" Something in me likes to imagine him in the kitchen at the Dakota, his laptop on the table, looking at the banner video and smiling. Most likely, however, he'd grumble that Yoko wasn't depicted in it. Grumpy old sod.
So what would John be like at the age of 70? Judging from Ringo and Paul, I think it's safe for me to reply, "Not that different!" Would he look something like the picture above? Would be anything at all like how he's portrayed in this article? These are questions we'll never have answers for. But there is one question that will be answered in time: How will John Lennon be remembered after the last Boomer on earth is gone? I hope that he will be remembered as a brilliant musician and a man of peace, despite his human frailties. I for one love him all the more for them.
Happy Birthday John.
(9 October, 1940 - 8 December, 1980)