“40 years here – 40 years gone”
By Shannon MacDonald

Like the Kennedy Assassination or 911… December 8, 1980 froze us all in a catatonic menagerie of disbelief and unforgettable shock. They say time heals all wounds – but every year around this time the deep cuts from that day reopen and bleed out reminders that we are all truly mortal and extremely fragile…no matter who we are.

We cycled through anger, hatred, confusion, heartache, and divine doubt…but mostly it always returns to plain and simple grief. One violent act of one with “no accomplishments”… removing from the world “one with amazing accomplishments”. The unaccomplished robbed us all of something we could grow old with and nurture as if a gift of our own. Whether a fan or just a bystander in the storm…John Lennon was in our lives one way or another… and then one day he was not. And it doesn’t matter who you are… we all felt it.

John is revered as a hero of our time; a legend, a god of music. There are statues, plaques, and portraits all over the world representing him or him and his childhood mates… Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They compare him to Jesus, Moses, Gandhi, and Mother Theresa. If here today, and in front of a microphone, he would look us dead in the eye and say with conviction and exasperation, “You’re all daft! We were just a little Rock and Roll band from Liverpool who became extremely popular. I’m no different from any of you – I’m just lucky.” Ahhh, to hear his wit and tongue-slashing once again would be pure and raw bliss rolled into one.

One year before his death, The Clash sang “Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust”. The death of John Lennon reenforced the tarnished mania that was so bright and brilliant in the 60s. Beatlemania, once again, became strong and shines like a super neutron star today. Any new upcoming band trying to punch the clock of musical accomplishment is always compared to The Beatles. Obviously, the Fabs are still a force to be reckoned with almost 60-years after they started the undeafening ripple from across and in the pond. The accomplishments of the Lennon-McCartney writing team has become a household name and a “cross on the wall” of musical venues, recording studios, and record companies the world over.

So how does one move forward after such an outrageous tragedy? The answer today is now 40-years old. We listen to his music; we turn on the younger generation to his sound and vivaciousness; we watch and share videos of his movies, antics, and shocking display of peacenik revolution; we laugh at his constant quick wit and humor, and we honor him with Beatle-like festivals all over the world. Most of all we embrace the forever echoing theme of his Little Rock and roll band from Liverpool, England….”All You Need Is Love”.

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make. John Lennon… gone… but surely not forgotten.

The 7 Faces of John - original artwork by Shannon MacDonald
The 7 Faces of John – original artwork by Shannon MacDonald