On the day that we have the inauguration of someone who seems intent on damaging the planet for profit I thought it might be good to have a day of Lennon and some plain speaking honesty mixed with idealism. Just my cup of tea!
The Beatles were Lennon’s band. He was the driving force that got them to the top. Lennon had a tough streak and could be highly acerbic and even cruel. But he had wit, charisma and a sharpness of mind that was displayed to good effect. He also had musical genius and a team of three other equally talented musicians.
I don’t know what music would have been without the Beatles. The music business, under pressure from government in the USA, had gone for bland, chirpy, clean-cut, middle of the road Pop songs. It was only the Black R&B and Blues markets that were producing anything worthwhile. We were Pat Booned, Johnny Tillotsoned, Bobby Veed, Cliffed, Adamed and Billyed into a saccharine submission of teen pap.
Fortunately behind the corporate world of safe pop there was a thriving club scene playing good, loud, exciting R&B. The cities were rockin’. The kids were getting their kicks.
When the Beatles broke through they blew it wide open. They were raw and exciting. And although the Biz tried to tidy it up with suits and twee Merseybeat the genie was back out of the lamp. The Beatles were followed by the Stones, Yardbirds, Downliners Sect, Kinks, Animals, Pretty Things, Who, Smallfaces and a host of others and there was no way of getting it back. Music was free, loud and wild again.
The Beatles changed the world.
When they broke up Lennon found it liberating. He felt he was free again. The Beatles had become claustrophobic. Now he could speak his mind and say what he wanted. What followed was a few brilliant albums, some singles and a lot of crazy political activity and artistic creativity that was mighty weird and different.
Then the mojo seemed to dry up. A couple of mediocre albums and a lack of creativity. A break and a stuttering restart.
His assassination put a stop to any possibility of a reunion. We can only wonder at what might have been.