Each of us has certain dates on the calendar that we just can’t forget. Whether it is a birthday or anniversary, sometimes just seeing the date pop up on our cell phone or calendar brings back to us a rush of memories. Now I have never been one who could be described as good with dates, but today’s date is one that will always conjure up a feeling of sadness for me no matter how many years go by. December 8th was the day John Lennon was killed.
Last year I had the opportunity to return to one of Manhattan’s great pubs, the Ear Inn on Spring Street. Besides centuries of history, the Ear was also reported to be a regular haunt for my boyhood hero John Lennon. Each time I go, it’s almost like a pilgrimage to find something about Lennon that perhaps I could relate more closely to. Even though I am too young to recall Beatlemania, Lennon and the Beatles hold a special place in my memory. They were my first “favorite band” and Lennon was one of the reasons I wanted to become a musician. His murder was perhaps the first such event to awaken me to the world outside my suburban home.
Thanks to something called “Rockband”, which has been described to me by kids I coach in soccer as something of a video game involving famous musicians, the Beatles have moved back to their rightful place atop the collective consciousness of popular music. Sure I may have to settle for watching a digitized cartoon version of the boys from Liverpool, but the music is the same. And to have a 15 year old ask me what Beatles album I think they should get for Christmas warms my heart and gives me hope that their influence upon Rock and Roll will never fade.
by Dave McBride