John Lennon would have been 79 today.
I can’t help his being one of my heroes.
It’s despite myself.
I’ve read enough about Johnny to know that he wasn’t always a nice guy. I know he treated some people very badly.
Yeh, he treated some people very well!
But he left scars.
We hadn’t a clue back then that he was up to his eyes, almost literally, in drugs. The more I read about that era, the more I realise they all were. Even the ones we thought weren’t!
I suppose, looking at the Club of 27 – Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Mama Cass, Al Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Pete Ham, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse and many more who died at 27 years of age, it’s a miracle Johnny lived as long as he did with the way he lived.
But look what he left behind!
Music, songs, words that will never been forgotten.
Abbey Road, an album that hit Number one again this week, 50 years on. I like much of today’s music but I just can see any of it being number one in 2069.
Anyway, many years ago, I almost, maybe, possibly, might have had a chance to interview John. And I’m glad it didn’t happen!
I was in New York in 1980. John was living in Dakota Buildings and had just released Double Fantasy.
Yes, like an eejit I hung around Dakota a few times hoping he’d pop out and we’d have a chat. I was young.
He didn’t, of course.
So I found a name for a lawyer who was doing something or other for him. I couldn’t get a name for a manager or anyone useful or appropriate.
I called the lawyer.
I told some guy at the other end of the line who I was and what I wanted.
He was half Irish and sympathetic and said it might be possible which was either true or a lie.
I called back a few times, nothing.
And then, because I was being paid for by the Indo (we were looking at new technology and I was on the union delegation) time was up and I had to go home.
Maybe the lawyer rang my hotel, maybe not. Makes no odds.
Ten weeks later or so, John was dead, shot outside Dakota on December 8.
How come I’m a bit glad I didn’t get the interview?
Well, I would not have been able to resist, at some stage, mentioning the Beatles and reunions and all that stuff.
And he probably would have told me to f*** off.
And I would hate to have that in my memory, pushing its way to the front every time his name was mentioned or every time I heard his voice.
Happy birthday Johnny,