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Scott Lax Blog

Remembering John Lennon

I was and remain a huge fan of the Beatles, and of John Lennon, who died thirty years ago. He was murdered by a sick and twisted and murderous young man that held a copy of one of the great novels in American 20th Century literature, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. That man and the bullets in his handgun forever changed American culture for the worse. Anything in art can be twisted, even literature. Lennon and McCartney's "Helter Skelter" was likewise used by the sick and twisted twisted and murderous Charles Manson, who also forever changed the face of American culture for the worse.

The night John Lennon was murdered was a snowy night in Northeast Ohio, like it was this year on the night of Dec. 8, the 30th anniversary of John's death. There was a white-out blizzard and I as heard the news while I was driving I felt devastated by the news of Lennon. Talk about your end of innocence; a cultural touch-stone was gone with the pull of a trigger; not just Lennon, but the group that influenced so many of us.

In many ways, I don't think the music world has ever fully recovered from it, nor has the culture of celebrity. Though we lost many - Hendrix and Sam Cooke and Otis Redding and Janis Joplin and Buddy Holly and the list goes on and on, Lennon's murder, as seemingly random and starkly cruel as it was - given that he was on his way home to his home, to his young son, after a day's work recording an album that cemented his personal transition to a domestic yet artistic persona, shook popular culture and music to its core.

I want to remember John for being a man who knew he was flawed, however talented or even brilliant he was; a man who knew he blew it with his earlier child-rearing and wanted so badly to make up for it with his son, Sean. A man who had finally come to terms with being a husband and father, as well as an artist.

So I send my sympathy out to his family and to his fans. One thing about John is that he wanted to live a long time; he said so in his last interview. But he didn't make it. To honor his art and his memory is to live life as well as we can, always trying to improve, always loving as best we can, always being honest with ourselves. That's John Lennon's legacy to me.  Read More