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  1. #1

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    Looking back at John Lennon

    Looking back at Lennon By Edna Gundersen, USA TODAY
    John Lennon, killed by a deranged fan 25 years ago Thursday, left a towering legacy as a member of The Beatles. But he also enjoyed a fruitful solo career before he was gunned down outside the Dakota apartment building. For those who may be more aware of his Bed-In for Peace with Yoko Ono, his immigration battles or his Mr. Mom retreat to raise son Sean, USA TODAY presents a sampling of essentials. (Related story: The newest takes on Lennon's legacy)

    John Lennon performs live at Madison Square Garden in August 1972.AP file photo

    John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
    Lennon's official solo debut in 1970 is a chilling but ultimately inspiring diary of candid venting. Alternately introspective and brimming with pain-fueled rage, he reveals his disillusionment with stardom, family and colleagues.
    Lennon's last great release (1971) is gentler and more accessible than Plastic, but his ferocity simmers in such rockers as How Do You Sleep, a slap at Paul McCartney. Even the sweet Jealous Guy and peace anthem Imagine can't disguise Lennon's fears and shattered world view.
    Musical mustsLennonís entire solo catalogis now available online at several digital music services. Suggestions for a customized primer album:

    Working Class Hero
    Jealous Guy
    Nobody Told Me
    How Do You Sleep
    Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
    Mind Games
    Instant Karma
    Gimme Some Truth
    Borrowed Time
    Out of the Blue
    #9 Dream
    Rock 'n' Roll
    This marginalized 1975 album may owe some of its reckless charm to the tense, ramshackle studio sessions and Lennon's refusal to take it too seriously. He started with Phil Spector, then took over production himself on breezy and brash recordings of such retro favorites as Be-Bop-a-Lula, Stand by Me and Peggy Sue.
    Double Fantasy
    After five years under voluntary house arrest, Lennon returned to the pop scene in 1980 with sentimental songs about domestic harmony. The tragedy of death waiting at his doorstep casts a sad shadow over his mood of serenity and optimism. Lennon isn't at his peak, and a single Fantasy without Ono's wobbly pop would have been twice as good. A heart-tugging swan song.
    Inside John Lennon
    (Passport DVD, $14.98) An 80-minute unauthorized documentary offers a concise and unfussy overview of Lennon's career. Anecdotes and soundbites include spontaneous and insightful input from his sister Julia, producer George Martin and bandmates from the pre-Beatles Quarrymen.
    Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon
    (Capitol DVD, $22.98) Home movies, rare stage footage, concept films and photo montages create a visual feast that dovetails the original Lennon Legend CD. The sound is superb, and though some of the video is substandard, it's poignant and intriguing (except the John-and-Yoko treacle).
    In His Own Write
    (Simon & Schuster, $15) The Times Literary Supplement called this slim volume, published in 1964, "worth the attention of anyone who fears for the impoverishment of the English language and the British imagination." An equally bewitching book, A Spaniard in the Works, followed in 1965.
    Skywriting by Word of Mouth
    (Harper Paperbacks, $14) Lennon offers a frank, sarcastic and heartfelt account of his transition from The Beatles to solo status and dwells on his struggles with drugs and fame.
    Lennon Remembers
    (Da Capo, $20) In the full transcripts of 1970 interviews conducted for Rolling Stone by publisher Jann Wenner, Lennon is bitter and clearly psychologically strained shortly after The Beatles' break-up. He later disavowed many of his comments. Still, his candor, personal revelations and eagerness to deflate his own mythology are breathtaking.
    Lennon: The Definitive Biography
    (By Ray Coleman, Harper Paperbacks, $21.95) This exhaustive probe of Lennon's life and ancestry explores family relationships and their influence on his personality and music. Particular emphasis is placed on the pivotal roles of women, especially his mother.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Looking back at John Lennon

    Thanks I love him and the beatles

  3. #3

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    Re: Looking back at John Lennon

    From MSN, here's another excellent tribute:

    Lennon Lives

    A season of retrospectives, including the first-ever digital release, "Working Class Hero," celebrates the timeless legacy of the late, great artist
    By Alan Light

    Among the A-list demigods in rock-and-roll history, John Lennon is the most human. Bob Dylan is vaguely otherworldly, touched by grace ("You can just look at him and see that," said producer Bob Johnston in the recent "No Direction Home" documentary). Jimi Hendrix -- R&B road veteran, paratrooper, instrumental visionary, dead at 27 -- was clearly not of this earth. Mick Jagger feels untouchable, whereas Keith Richards remains a perfect cartoon outlaw, brandishing his five-string Fender like a pirate's cutlass.

    But Lennon never seemed out of reach. It's why his image -- and usually, though not always, his music -- has aged so well and why it's still so shocking to think about his murder. He introduced, or at least perfected, the whole idea of humanity, fallibility and individuality to rock songwriting. As far back as songs such as "Help" and "In My Life," he expressed genuine vulnerability -- not just teenage melodrama -- in ways that were previously impossible to imagine. Dylan opened the doors for unprecedented, experimental new lyrical directions, but he adamantly refused to ever reveal himself so directly. Lennon was all about letting us inside his head, and his world. It's no surprise, then, that Lennon craved and thrived on the democracy and chaos of New York City, and, horribly, it's somehow inevitable that such accessibility led to his death at the hands of a self-proclaimed fan.

    This season marks two significant anniversaries. October 9 would have been John Lennon's 65th birthday. On December 8, 25 years will have passed since his murder, absurd and implausible as that sounds. Taking stock of Lennon is always a complicated task, because our human-scale relationship with his mythology renders him impossible to pin down. He tends to reflect whatever you choose to see in him. In Walt Whitman's over-quoted words, Lennon contradicted himself, and he contained multitudes. He was an activist and a homebody, a cynic and a romantic. His legacy is whatever you make it -- and he wouldn't have had it any other way. for the complete article.

  4. #4

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    Re: Looking back at John Lennon

    I love these words:

    Imagine there's no heaven,
    It's easy if you try,
    No hell below us,
    Above us only sky,
    Imagine all the people
    living for today...

    Imagine there's no countries,
    It isnt hard to do,
    Nothing to kill or die for,
    No religion too,
    Imagine all the people
    living life in peace...

    Imagine no possesions,
    I wonder if you can,
    No need for greed or hunger,
    A brotherhood of man,
    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world...

    You may say Im a dreamer,
    but Im not the only one,
    I hope some day you'll join us,
    And the world will live as one.

  5. #5

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    Hanging out at The Attic with Johnny Dakota

    Re: Looking back at John Lennon

    We really need John and his music these days. More than ever.

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