Dec 15, 2010

John Lennon

What I'm Reading: "Bachelor Dad on her Doorstep" by Michelle Douglas :)
What I'm Watching: Lillie - old TV series
What I'm Listening to: anything that's not "I Saw Santa Kissing Mommy"
Making Me Smile: Mince pies and Christmas cheer

I cannot believe John Lennon has been dead for thirty years. My earliest memory is eating mangoes with my older sister and her friends then drawing Beatle faces on the pips in tribute to their hairy phase. I came to New Zealand on my first visit soon after he’d been assassinated. It seemed every shop I went into over those three months was playing “Woman.” When I hear the song now, I can still smell the sea on the Cook Strait crossing.

It’s amazing to see my children discover John and his songs. Amazing to hear my international students unite to sing “Imagine” – a song that seems to have travelled to every country. I particularly like the Glee sign language version on Youtube

Some of my favourite Lennon lyrics are not necessarily his most famous. The line that often pops into my head is "Life is just what happens to you, while you're busy making other plans."It reminds me to live in the moment.

One of the things I liked best about John was that he wore his flaws upon his sleeve. When I read Nick Hornby’s Juliet Naked, I wondered if his world-weary rock star finding redemption as caregiver to his small son, was based in some part on John.

I don't usually have heroes in real life but I confess I do have a very soft spot for John.

Any memories associated with Beatle or John songs that you’d like to share?


  1. Zana, that line of John Lennon's you've quoted about "life" is just brilliant. So simple, so true and so important to remember when we get bogged down by worries about what might happen.

    I remember seeing footage of The Beatles tour DownUnder. On black and white TV. I also remember being a bit mystified by the screaming and sobbing of the fans... they looked so distraught and they made it awfully hard to hear the music!

    Years and years later, I met a woman who'd told me she'd been to one of The Beatles concerts on that DownUnder tour. She'd screamed so loudly and for so long that she lost her voice for a while and had damaged her vocal chords.

    So many of The Beatles' songs, the lyrics and music, are very special.


  2. Zana, I have to confess that I know very little about The Beatles and their music (hanging head in shame). Now, ask me about ABBA and I'm a fount of knowledge!

    I do like that sentence you quoted ... I guess I should go off and find the song it comes from and listen to it!

  3. Zana
    I am such a fan of The Beatles and John Lennon his music and lyrics have such meaning. I was about 9 years old when they toured Australia and watched everything I could about them on the black and white TV and of course went to the movies everytime one of their movies was released.
    His music and songs will be with us forever
    Have Fun

  4. Yeah Sharon, what was with all that screaming? I believe it's one of the reasons the Beatles stopped touring - even they couldn't hear themselves play.

    Em, I suspect you might like John though whether you'd see him as competition for Abba is another thing.....

    Helen, glad to hear you're a fan too. It is fascinating to see what music survives and what doesn't. My son knows more about the Rolling Stones than I do.

  5. Oh, Zana, you've taken me back! John Lennon and the Beatles makes me think of the summer holidays. We used to make up tapes to travel to our annual Christmas holiday spot which was a three hour drive by car, and those tapes got played over and over. "Hey Jude" and "All You Need is Love" figured prominently. And at this time of year, who can forget "Happy Christmas War is Over"?

    Off now to play some Beatles :-)

  6. Zana, I'm a Beatles fan. And also of John Lennon's later works. Favourites: Beautiful Boy, Woman, Imagine, and Happy Christmas War is Over.

    The line you quoted about life is one of my faves too, and I often think of it. Thanks for the lovely post!

  7. Great to have 2 Beatle fans signing in! Michelle, what cool memories. I used to LOVE driving holidays. Still do.

    Rach, I'm so pleased we share the same quote :)

    It's so hard to know which music will stay forever, which will disappear. I wonder which singers/bands today will still be household names in 30 years time.

  8. Hi Zana --
    Enjoyed your blog! Like Emily, I really can't call myself a Beatles fan (I was just barely born when Lennon died) although some of their songs are classics.

    Love the line on life and living in the moment.

  9. Hey Anita,
    Great to see a youngster like you pop up. I confess I did write this email out of curiosity to see who still knows John.

    Isn't fame an interesting thing. So many struggle for it but it is so ephemeral!

    Fascinating watching the Oprah Aussie Mania at the moment.

  10. I still remember as a young school girl on the bus going through an underpass with "Lennon lives" graffitied on the wall.
    I too have to confess to growing up with more ABBA tunes playing than the Beatles =)