Friday, December 09, 2005

The Day The Music Died

"When The Music Died"- Time Magazine
December 22, 1980

25 years ago Time Magazine borrowed this famous line from Don McClean's "American Pie". McClean originally wrote it to describe the shock he felt when Rock pioneer Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. Time now used it for a front cover eulogy to John Lennon.

The epitaph was accurately cruel in it's description of the loss felt after Rock's most articulate and revered icon was shot to death outside his New York hotel. Lennon's ability to connect to the masses while writing and singing about deeply personal and spiritual subjects was unrivaled. Following his death, tributes to Lennon in the form of candlelight vigils sprang up worldwide.

The Beatles took Rock music from it's raw and primitive, teeny bop infancy and shaped it into a cerebral and sublime art form. They evolved beyond singing about stereotypical Rock And Roll subjects such as youthful angst, love and heartbreak. Like no one before, Lennon used Pop Music to express political views, expose hypocrisy and injustice, challenge the status quo and encourage enlightenment.

Lennon and McCartney's concise and beautifully simple lyrics revealed universal, complex truths that anyone could relate to. Listening to a Beatles song made you feel like you knew Lennon. And he knew you.

Lennon became more than a Beatle, a Rock Star or a celebrity. He was a spokesperson for humanity. When he was suddenly taken from us, we lost ourselves.

But John will always be with us as the legacy of his music lives on.

U2 paid tribute to John Lennon last night (December 7) during their concert at The Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut. They performed one of his most loved songs, 'Norwegian Wood'. The group also played Lennon solo track 'Instant Karma!' in the encore, though this has been a regular in their set since they performed it with Patti Smith at New York 's Madison Square Garden on November 21.

- DJ Craig

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