Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Imagine: This Old Brit And John Lennon ...

06 December 2005

Imagine: This Old Brit And John Lennon ...

It must have been a long, long time ago when This Old Brit was first told that time flies faster as one gets older, since he can't remember who he first heard say so.

But he can remember as though it were only yesterday, that dismal day one full quarter of a century ago - this coming Thursday 8th - when John Lennon was murdered, by a madman in New York.

Lennon was local lad. By which is meant that the [then young] Old Brit and John Lennon were both scousers - or for the benefit of our foreign friends - were both, born & bred Liverpudlian lads.

It wouldn't exactly be true to say that This Old Brit 'knew' John, but he did meet, mingle and mix with Lennon and his musical mates, several times. Naturally, that was before John and the other boys in the band made the big time as The Beatles, and when they were playing regularly at the [yet to become] famous, original Cavern Club in Matthew Street.

Of course the only real thing This Old Brit had in common with Lennon and the other fab-fellahs, was trying to put their best chat-up-line talents to the test, on some of the lovely, local Liverpool lasses. And there's no need to tell you who turned out to be best at that. Huh; bet you can easily guess.

Well ...... y'see, This Old Brit hadn't yet gotten round to growing his hair that long, nor to combing it in that - what was at the time - real weirdo way. Nor did This Old Brit ever wear any way out, studded & buckled black leather gear. Leather cost a lot of lucre, way back then.

But This Old Brit comes here today to remember John Lennon rather than to praise him. Since to be completely honest, although he eventually had to admit to admiring Lennon's soon to become self evident, super-special talents - he viewed the aspiring scouse artiste as not much more than just another young local yokel. And, the Brit's bound to tell, a bit of a big-headed bugger, to boot.

However, as This Old Brit's always believed in being one of the first to give all credit where it's due, and has never been one to speak ill of the dead, this seems a good point to pack up the personal reminiscences - and let it be.

Though he won't - nay, can't - ever forget those famous words which follow, further down. Since to most folk, they must surely have been seen as Lennon's finest hour. Because like it or not, this wonderful piece of work definitely did help change the, even then, war torn & weary world --- particularly from an American perspective.

What a pity that change didn't prove to be as permanent as so many millions of us all across the globe, had hoped.


Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.

Well, whether you just want to learn a little more about the late John Lennon or rather to remember him -- along with his wonderful works and times at the top, This Old Brit really recommends reading these two web pages.

[And by the way, there's a fascinating video clip well worth viewing at the B.B.C. link].

B.B.C. "On This Day" John Lennon Link. including video.

Martin Lewis remembers Lennon in a particularly personal piece, at The Huffington Post.


Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

A student living with us helped John buy a puppy at Macy's (where she ran the pet shop) for his little boy that same week. John called a cab for her and when she came home, she collapsed into my arms yelling, "I just spent three hours with John Lennon and his kid, alone!" for they closed Macy's to let them in (crowd control!). Two days later, he was murdered.

Sue fell apart.

I went with her to the Dakota to mourn, didn't want her hurt. But then, she found her friends there so I left her in good hands.

What a wasteful murder.

John was beginning to grow again, artistically. He was getting out of his shell, going into the public more which was how he got murdered. It is so sad on so many levels. (I knew Linda McCartney when I was a kid because her family lived near mine when they wintered in Tucson!)

1:37 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Sorry Richard - I am a little distracted today - I am dashing over the follow the Liverpool/Chelsea game on guardian unlimited. I will go on a looting spree after the game no matter who wins. I have a couple of cases of Harp by my desk so I am set. Nice piece about John Lennon. Got to dash

8:11 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Richard and Elaine ~~ you big name droppers, you.

Loved the post though. It brought back many memories. Phew, 25 years. It has passed quickly.

9:24 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

Not too much excitement at the Liverpool game and I am tired of tossing my empties over my cubicle so I am back.

I certainly appreciate John Lennon's talent and still love and listen to his music yet there were some aspects of his character that were unappealing. I think he could be quite cruel to those closest to him i.e., Brian Epstein (who clearly loved him) and his first wife. But there again he was a real human being. I know that growing up in the Beatles era shaped my life. I totally admit to still having a soft spot for Sir Paul (though I haven't quite forgiven him for the Botox job -he didn't need to do that)! Enough sentiment for the day it's time to pick a fight with a co-worker.

9:46 pm  
Blogger D.F. Facti said...

'Remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. Thanks for this entry, Richard. Lord, the British invasion - - - I remember it well. My cousin and I used to ry to call the Beatles on the telephone. Were we ever that young?

10:23 pm  
Anonymous Mark Abbott said...

What an enormous loss John's death was for us all!

I was hooked on the Beatles (and especially Lennon and his lyrics) from the first time I heard them -- which was at least 6 months before their "invasion" of American airwaves, because one of the Top-40 radio stations in my hometown (Orlando, Florida -- then a quite small city, nothing like the mega-destination it's become since Disney arrived) was a test-market for new groups and their releases. (Which I found out only many years afterwards.)

It was in June or July 1963 that I heard the d.j. on WLOF-AM (950 mhz) spin one of the Beatles' tunes, prefacing it with remarks on the band's name ... he had to spell it on the air so that we listeners could get the pun!

The station played Beatles tunes very sporadically through the next few months, until mid-to-late December, when the market-promo / publicity machine fully cranked up in the USA. Coming a respectful few weeks after the shock and horror of JFK's assassination, their new sound -- bouncy, hummable AND danceable tunes -- were a most welcome change to American teens.

And the rest is history.

11:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can't remember what the guy who killed him was called ... but he's walking around free now someone said ......... is that true?

2:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh......was it chapman?

2:39 am  
Blogger Richard said...


Yep, such a wanton waste. Linda would have still been Miss Eastman in those days, eh?


Case of Harp? Heh - I hope you're not one of them larger-louts - heh. As for the game, I didn't miss much by the sounds of it - but we finished top of our group, so all's well that ends well.

Paul was always the #1 'ladies-man' of the bunch, from the outset.

anon, Ha. Just call us a couple
of poseurs, eh?


Those were the days, eh. I had a period of about 16 years that I packed at least 30 years living into, if you know what I mean. ;^)


They certainly placed Liverpool on the map, too. Prior to them, any scouse stars/personalities/celebrities whatever, used to mainly try to 'hide' the fact. After the Beatles being a Liverpudlian became 'high fashion'. Lots of atrtistes of various disciplines 'made it' in great part due to their scouse-appeal.


Mark Chapman was the 'cold-blooded' killer. And to think that he's know walking around amongst us/you, on the loose again is so galling. But he's not alone in that respect of course.

11:35 am  
Anonymous bluey said...

Thanks for the memory. You brought many things back to me - including this old one by that Welsh girl Mary Hopkin[s]?

'Those were the days my friend - we thought they'd never end ......

2:02 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Oops! Chapman is NOT out yet. He goes for parole again, next year.

On the same Lennon/Chapman topic - this piece on an intended, imminent related TV progamme is well worth a read.

Anger at Lennon killer programme

The tapes reveal Chapman's self-confessed compulsion to kill Lennon

John Lennon's oldest surviving relative has condemned Channel 4's decision to broadcast tapes of his killer.

Lennon's cousin Stanley Parkes, from Scotland, said Thursday's programme - to be aired on the 25th anniversary of his death - glorified a murderer.

Mark Chapman shot Lennon in New York on 8 December, 1980, after having the former Beatle autograph an album.

Channel 4 defended the programme and said that neither Chapman nor his family had received payment.

The tapes were recorded in 1990 by Chapman's biographer, Jack Jones, and will be aired in the Channel Four documentary 'I Killed John Lennon'.

See here.

4:12 pm  
Anonymous Rex said...

If only someone had thought ahead to plan a big demo for today.

Imagine - massed choirs marching and singing together in the streets - imagine.

5:41 pm  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

What a nice post...and yes, I admire his works, his wriitngs, and I have a feeling that he was difficult to be sharing of the limelight. But Imagine does indeed Say It Best....And I think with the passing of time the Beatles and Lennon remain a part of us, not a time capsule. When My son was 12 and got his iPod,one of the first groups that he asked to download was the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac, I can't tell you how happy that made me....And thank heavens you were not part of the Leather thing- would ruin your Spencer Tracy Image....imagine...If we all had learned from vietnam....Hugs to you for remembering him...

3:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another report about John from DemocracyNow! with video


5:08 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


Thanks for that. It was well worth reading. I Wonder what kinds of things are written in those missing 10 pages from the F.B.I/Lennon files? I doubt we'll ever know, eh?

8:16 pm  
Blogger Richard said...


That was a nice post you did yourself yesterday, on John. Sadly though, there are always those who will NEVER learn, and ever sadder is that it's always others who pay the price for them.

8:20 pm  

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