Celebrating John Lennon’s 79th Birthday

Phil Akre

It’s not necessarily hard to predict what John Lennon would think of the world we live in now. He was witty, sarcastic and not afraid to say what was on his mind. In the age of social media and politics presented as sporting events, Lennon likely would have a lot to say.

39 years after his senseless murder, the world still wonders – what would Lennon say? What would he think about modern music, the stars of yesteryear, or the world itself? It’s a shame we got robbed of his thoughts, music and dreams of peace so soon.

I remember walking past the Dakota building as a little kid with my mother, the legendary apartment complex where Lennon lived for the last seven years of his life. She would often say to me, “John Lennon was the type of guy that would stop and take a picture with you, with no security guards around him.”

What a novelty concept that sounds like in 2019, where stars seem harder to reach than ever, despite the advancements of social media interaction. 

Lennon was an outlier in a world that was much simpler. He was an icon, and his contributions to music were both felt immediately and in the present day. Lennon was capable of two things seemingly unheard of for a rock star – he had a dark sense of humor, but was immensely passionate for love and the happiness of others. 

His death still haunts those who were alive when they heard the news. A source of hope, defiance and love had been taken away from the world in a flash. His music resonated with multiple generations, and continues to do so. In the violent, chaotic and increasingly unstable we live in, his messages have only grown.

There will never be another John Lennon, nor will there ever be another group like the Beatles. They say the groups music is timeless, and it surely is. How do we honor the legacy of the fallen icon? Play his music and find peace in the passion he held for it. Just imagine. 

He was just 40 years old when he left the world behind, leaving humanity with perhaps its biggest ‘what if?’ No one knows what he could have accomplished in the 1980’s, the era run by punk rock, electronica and glam metal. 

On what would have been his 79th birthday, we say happy birthday, John. Thanks for everything.