John Lennon is Dead.

We know that. He died upteen years ago tonight. I was at a theatrical production called In Praise of Wine, with my friend Helen, and I praised wine too heartily. As we were leaving the theater we learned that Lennon had been killed. It was terrible, and then I went to sleep.

In the ensuing days it was hard not to troll the Lennon mourners. We thought they were sentimental, and they didn’t care about us at all. Drinks were thrown.

And I’m pretty sure that nothing constructive happened. Except maybe we all, even the most hippieish, thought that Imagine was treacle.

Which is why, on this anniversary, I land on Instant Karma. It’s an insistent song, but the words are as limp as those of Imagine or Revolution. It seems to be the tune that the rockarazzi have settled on as John’s legacy. Whatever.

But it really isn’t that good a song. It’s a slow slog through angry retribution, and while I would hope it introduced the concept of Instant Karma to the world, Google instant karma and you see no John Lennon song for pages, the world has passed it by.

Which leads me to the 45 I bought when the Beatles broke up. It’s meta to a fault, but it’s way more fun than Instant Karma or Imagine or How Do You Sleep, the songs that make me regret poor John.

Okay, a little more fun, because of the beat.

2 thoughts on “John Lennon is Dead.

  1. I was in college and working at Laneco in the record department when Lennon was killed. We couldn’t keep “Double Fantasy” on the shelves. People – and I’m talking many, not just a few – thought Lennon’s death would make the record a collector’s item.

    As if with John Lennon dead, they couldn’t press any more records.

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