I'm not really old enough to remember John Lennon when he was alive. My earliest memory of him was my Mom on the phone with my Aunt Kathy crying her eyes out and me having no idea why. She had just found out he died. That's the impact he had. People who had never met him and weren't in the least bit impressed with celebrity were upset like they'd just a lost a member of their family. In a way they had.
In an era where the "voice of a generation" tag is thrown around to every newcomer with a hit single, Lennon truly was. From the early days of Beatlemania through the Vietnam War and onto his self imposed exile in the 70's; his music, style and politics echoed the sentiments of almost everyone tuned in enough to tune out.
I came along about 25 years too late to have grown up along with him, but his music has had an impact on my life that I can't begin to overstate. One of the greatest things about music is finding a song that says exactly what you're feeling. Someone putting into words what you can't. I've yet to find a situation or emotion where one of his songs didn't fit perfectly.
How someone who brought so much joy, love and most importantly peace to so many could die such a violent and tragic death is the biggest shame of all.
34 years later and gun violence is at an all time high. If there's anyone's death who should be politicized, it's his. It's what he would've wanted. I don't give a fuck about your second amendment rights. Innocent people are dying and we're doing nothing but hiding behind a law that was written 2 hundred+ years ago under completely different circumstances. The fact that -name redacted-* could buy a handgun and kill one of the most amazing people this world has ever produced should've been enough to make things right three decades ago. Instead we just bury our collective head in the sand and let the gun lobbyists decide that more people should die.
Imagine all the people indeed.
*I subscribe to the theory that the callous, cowardly bastard who killed him's name should never be repeated. He did it for fame. Using his name only gives him what he wants.