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Imagining John Lennon December 8, 2010

Posted by Nina Rosenstand in Art and Music, Culture, Current Events, Nina Rosenstand's Posts.
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Today we should commemorate another passing, but this one lies 30 years in the past. Dec.8, 1980, John Lennon was murdered. For my generation it is a date we remember, always, because of Lennon’s standing as a cultural personality, as well as the symbolism of his passing. Now Rolling Stone Magazine has published his final interview with audio clips. For those of you who were around on that winter’s day in 1980, it may remind you of how so many of us felt. For those of you for whom this is ancient history, maybe this will give you a bit of a feel for why Lennon was such a significant person—even a philosopher, as some would call him, and why his death was so devastating for an entire generation. Some of us see the world through different eyes now, but that doesn’t mean his words have stopped resonating, because they came from the heart of a great artist.

Here is what MTV has to say today:

It was 30 years ago today that former Beatle John Lennon was murdered by a crazed fan outside his home in New York. To mark that tragic event, fans around the world are planning commemorations of the singer’s life and legacy on Wednesday (December 8), remembering his message of peace and love and paying tribute to one of the premier songwriters of the modern era.

As part of that celebration of Lennon’s life, Rolling Stone magazine has devoted its final 2010 issue to a nine-hour interview the singer did just three days before his death on December 8, 1980. Select excerpts from the interview writer Jonathan Cott conducted with Lennon ran in a tribute issue put out by the magazine in January 1981, but the full talk sat on a shelf in Cott’s closet for nearly 30 years.

In audio excerpts from the interview on Rolling Stone‘s website, Lennon laments, “I cannot live up to other people’s expectations of me, because they’re illusory,” he said of his efforts to include positive messages of hope and togetherness in his music and the pressure to live up to his legacy. “Give peace a chance, not shoot people for peace … I only put out songs and answer questions … I cannot be 18 and a be a punk … I see the world through different eyes. I still believe in love, peace and understanding, as Elvis Costello says.”

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