My name is Mike. I live in Lancsater County. I used to live in Hawaii. i like Burritos, Guitars and Stuff.
One of the first things you learn when you become a fan of The Beatles, is that “she” does in fact love you, yeah yeah yeah. You also learn the importance of the philosophy of peace and love which was running rampant from the mid sixties through today, delivered no more eloquently than by John Lennon. He was clearly an enlightened individual with remarkable tolerance, and wisdom for as young of a guy as he was when he first started spreading these messages.
I try to marry my teachings of Lennon along with what I’ve been able to glean from the good book in my day to day life. But this morning it was difficult for me. I try to erase from memory the dates where friends and family died. I think they would like for me to remember them as they lived and not how they died. This time is sullen for Beatles fans because they mark the dates of death for two of the three fallen Beatles. November 29, 2001we lost George Harrison. While he knew the end was near, that made the loss no less tragic and sad. George was at peace, seemingly ready to begin to reap the rewards of his life’s spiritual quest. And the loss of George is big one. On December 8, 1980 John Lennon was just trying to get from his car, to the door of the Dakota apartment building on 72nd street overlooking New York City’s Central Park West.
We all know this story, fan approaches for autograph, comes back later and kills Lennon. No replay of this makes sense other than the fact that Mark David Chapman was toys in the attic.
I admired John of course for changing the way music was played and written forever, but also for the guy he was. When I was a kid, and thought of my aspirations for fame and fortune as a musician, John had all of that. He was one of the biggest, along with the rest of the Beatles, and Elvis. Their notoriety personified “Rock Fame”. His quest was simply to make the most honest music he could. He walked around Manhattan with Yoko, not as celebrities but as New Yorkers. Seemingly approachable to a fault. He showed me the map I wanted to chart was wrong. Instead of wanting the lifestyle and it’s spoils, I should strive for the honesty, and emotion in a song that was written with regard to the self of the writer and not the barometer of the pop charts.
That’s always a work in progress. There is no finish line to cross there, unless the writing process starts, or death, either natural or instigated steps in.
Another one of John’s quests was to descend from celebrity to being among the living. He sang “I was the walrus, but now I’m John”. I’ve always taken pause at that line. It seemed that he wanted nothing to do with celebrity. In my line of work, in a very small dose, I have had the word celebrity attached to me. Some have said “I have never met a celebrity before”, and my reply has always been “Maybe one day you will”. I want no part of it either. And lets face it. Most people in my line of work, are not celebrities anyway. We might be able to go to a night club and be noticed by a few people. But no more than nobody else who shows up there regularly. And when we cross the state line and go to the nightclub, we are unnoticeable.. Charlie Sheen.. He’s a celebrity. I’m not.
The part of this anniversary that I am having an internal argument with myself over is, with my mantra continuing to be “Love everybody” and to “forgive everyone”, seek peace both inner and outer, I logged onto my personal Facebook page, and composed a rather unflattering two word message to Mark David Chapman this morning. Probably the most unflattering of two word messages. One that I cannot remember saying in recent memory, especially while trying to keep my feet grounded, and my heart in love, and mind in peace. I still said it. And I’m not sorry.
Last year we went to New York City. I needed to see Strawberry Fields, and I got to visit the Dakota. I took a moment to put my hand on the building where John Lennon lived. I felt the electricity that you feel when you hug someone you truly love. And felt the energy of the prescience. This morning I’m listening to John’s music hoping to feel that today.
While I’m here, John loved Yoko. She encouraged him to be John, and not to be the “walrus” anymore if he didn’t want to be one anymore. She has taken a beating over the years. I don’t think he’d like to hear us talking badly about her. Yoko didn’t break up the Beatles.. The Beatles broke up The Beatles.
I miss John Lennon, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe. I pray for Mark David Chapman’s soul, and hope he too finds peace. But he’d better hope I never find him.