Τετάρτη, 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

THE DAY JOHN LENNON DIED.

30 χρόνια σήμερα από τον θάνατο του Lennon. Θα μου πείς τόσοι πέθαναν κατά καιρούς με ακόμη χειρότερο τρόπο (όχι ότι να σε πυροβολήσουν είναι light) και οι οποίοι πέρασαν μια ζωή με πολλά περισσότερα βάσανα από τον Lennon. Έχει κάποιο νόημα να ξεχωρίζουμε τους θανάτους των ανθρώπων; Εντάξει μωρέ, έτσι είναι όμως με τους καλλιτέχνες που αγαπάς, τους νιώθεις λίγο δίπλα σου λές και τους ήξερες και νιώθεις έστω και αναδρομικά κάποια απώλεια. Σε καμμία περίπτωση δεν μου αρέσουν οι υπερβολές και οι φανφάρες με τις οποίες αναμφίβολα θα πλημμυρίσει το ίντερνετ σήμερα, αλλά η μουσική του κατάφερε να με αγγίξει και τον εκτιμώ για το ότι με την δύναμη που απέκτησε προσπάθησε να αφήσει κάτι καλό πίσω του.

Οπότε ένα μίνι αφιέρωμα σήμερα σε δύο μέρη. Καταρχήν θα ασχοληθώ με αυτό που πάντα τον έβαζε σε μπελάδες, το μεγάλο του στόμα.
Κατά καιρούς ενοχλούσε πολλούς, για κάποιους προκαθόρισε και την τελική του μοίρα. Ανατρεπτικός, ευφυής και περίεργος, έλεγε πάντα την γνώμη του και είχε πάντα το ανοιχτό μυαλό να είναι πρόθυμος στην συνέχεια να την αναθεωρήσει. Τα αγαπημένα μου 12 quotes του Lennon.

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life."

"You have to be a bastard to make it, and that's a fact. And the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth."

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity."

"My defences were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn't know how to cry. Simple."

"We're trying to sell peace, like a product, you know, and sell it like people sell soap or soft drinks. If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That's what's insane about it."

"Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty."

"I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong."

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted."

"The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility."

"You make your own dream. That's the Beatles' story, isn't it? That's Yoko's story. That's what I'm saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself."

"I don't intend to be a performing flea any more. I was the dreamweaver, but although I'll be around I don't intend to be running at 20,000 miles an hour trying to prove myself. I don't want to die at 40."

Και για κλείσιμο, επειδή άλλοι τα έχουν γράψει πολύ καλύτερα απ' ότι θα μπορούσα, ένα κλασσικό κομμάτι ροκ δημοσιογραφίας. Το κείμενο του Lester Bangs την επόμενη μέρα. Κατά πάσα πιθανότητα ο μόνος επικήδειος που θα γούσταρε ο Lennon...

Thinking the Unthinkable About John Lennon - Lester Bangs

You always wonder how you will react to these things, but I can't say I was all that surprised when NBC broke into "The Tonight Show" to say that John Lennon was dead. I always thought that he would be the first of the Beatles to die, because he was always the one who lived the most on the existential edge, whether by diving knees-first into left-wing adventurism or by just shutting up for five years when he decided he really didn't have anything much to say; but I had always figured it would be by his own hand. That he was merely the latest celebrity to be gunned down by a probable psychotic only underscores the banality surrounding his death.

Look: I don't think I'm insensitive or a curmudgeon. In 1965 John Lennon was one of the most important people in the world. It's just that today I feel deeply alienated from rock 'n' roll and what it has meant or could mean, alienated from my fellow men and women and their dreams or aspirations.

I don't know what is more pathetic, the people of my generation who refuse to let their 1960s adolescence die a natural death, or the younger ones who will snatch and gobble any shred, any scrap of a dream that someone declared over ten years ago. Perhaps the younger ones are sadder, because at least my peers may have some nostalgic memory of the long-cold embers they're kneeling to blow upon, whereas the kids who have to make do with things like the _Beatlemania_ show are being sold a bill of goods.

I can't mourn John Lennon. I didn't know the guy. But I do know that when all is said and done, that's all he was--a guy. The refusal of his fans to ever let him just be that was finally almost as lethal as his "assassin" (and please, let's have no more talk of this being a "political" killing, and don't call him a "rock 'n' roll martyr"). Did you watch the TV specials on Tuesday night? Did you see all those people standing in the street in front of the Dakota apartment where Lennon lived singing "Hey Jude"? What do you think the _real_--cynical, sneeringly sarcastic, witheringly witty and iconoclastic--John Lennon would have said about that?

John Lennon at his best despised cheap sentiment and had to learn the hard way that once you've made your mark on history those who can't will be so grateful they'll turn it into a cage for you. Those who choose to falsify their memories--to pine for a neverland 1960s that never really happened _that_ way in the first place--insult the retroactive Eden they enshrine.

So in this time of gut-curdling sanctimonies about ultimate icons, I hope you will bear with my own pontifications long enough to let me say that the Beatles were certainly far more than a group of four talented musicians who might even have been the best of their generation. The Beatles were most of all a moment. But their generation was not the only generation in history, and to keep turning the gutten lantern of those dreams this way and that in hopes the flame will somehow flicker up again in the eighties is as futile a pursuit as trying to turn Lennon's lyrics into poetry. It is for that moment--not for John Lennon the man---that you are mourning, if you are mourning. Ultimately you are mourning for yourself.

Remember that other guy, the old friend of theirs, who once said, "Don't follow leaders"? Well, he was right. But the very people who took those words and made them into banners were violating the slogan they carried. And their still doing it today. The Beatles did lead but they led with a wink. They may have been more popular than Jesus, but I don't think they wanted to be the world's religion. That would have cheapened and rendered tawdry what was special and wonderful about them. John Lennon didn't want that, or he wouldn't have retired for the last half of the seventies. What happened Monday night was only the most extreme extension of all the forces that led him to do so in the first place.

In some of this last interviews before he died, he said, "What I realized during the five years away was that when I said the dream is over, I had made the physical break from the Beatles, but mentally there is still this big thing on my back about what people expected of me." And: "We were the hip ones of the sixties. But the world is not like the sixties. The whole world has changed." And: "Produce your own dream. It's quite possible to do anything...the unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions."

Good-bye, baby, and amen.

-Los Angeles _Times_, 11 December 1980

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