Today marks a significant day in terms of music history and two specific music icons who had a very big personal effect on me in my formative years.
First up is Jim Morrison’s birthday. Jim would have been 69 today if he hadn’t died at 27. It’s odd to think that he was only born 2 years later than my dad. The Doors were huge for me when I was in college and I spent many nights listening to their albums.
Much more important to me, though, was John Lennon, who died 32 years ago today. I grew up with the Beatles playing in the house and My parents had bought the Double Fantasy album just a little while earlier. I remember being six years old and sliding the album out of its wrapper and putting it on the turntable. I must have scratched the shit out of that record, but I remember listening over and over again to (Just Like) Starting Over, Watching the Wheels, and my favorite, Woman. So when John was shot, I remember watching the news and my parents’ reaction and feeling like, in some way, I knew who this man was.
My relationship with John Lennon only became stronger as I got older and delved into both The Beatles and his solo work. He will always be one of my musical heroes and an example of how to be an activist and how to fight for peace.
I may have mentioned this before, but after he died, my mother took out the picture of John that came with the White Album (there was one for each Beatle) and she taped it to the back of her station wagon window. It got torn and battered, too, but I still remember sitting in the car and seeing so many people flash her a thumbs up, or beep or just nod their heads to her flying her flag.
I miss them both today.