Today (October 9) would have been the 82nd birthday of a little known Englishman who was born to the sound of explosions in Liverpool, and died 42 years ago to the sound of gunfire at the hands of a madman who didn’t understand what he meant. I hope John Lennon is at peace because we need him more today than we did before. I hope Mark Chapman rots in prison for the rest of his miserable life because he was an unknown nobody before he shot and killed John Lennon and he is now infamous for that one act.
I followed the Beatles and got what John was saying about the youth of the 1960’s in Britain. We cared more for rock stars than religion and it was just a question of which would die out first, both are still around today but there are more people going to concerts, buying records and cd’s than attend a church. John was talking to a friend in England about the way he perceived society in England. Of course he mentioned the Beatles because that was his group, he never made any comment about the USA (since the Beatles had agreed (unanimously) to refuse to play live in a segregated venue). They helped the Civil Rights movement in the USA to come to the foreground on the worlds stage, and by association the Apartheid system in South Africa was also laid out for all to see.
The Beatles changed the face of popular culture in the sixties and were at the forefront of the youth counter culture throughout the decade. They were, and still are, the most influential of all the sixties British Groups. If you doubt that just have a look at the viewing figures for the Disney + mini-series Get Back. They are still selling albums today, even though their last album was released in 1970, being the second last one they recorded. George Harrison became a great songwriter because he was competing with two of the best that had ever worked together, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Before you start saying that they hardly ever worked together towards the end of the group, they still influenced each other, Paul McCartney is a better songwriter today because of John Lennon than he might have been had they never worked together.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney gave songs away to other groups (including the Rolling Stones first ever number one single) not just from Liverpool or even England. The message they sent out more than any other was a simple one, Love is all you need. I hope that Macca is around for a long time to come but, even if he isn’t, he will be remembered as long as there are musicians copying and being influenced by the greatest Rock band of all time.