8 December 2004
Some of what I wrote on 8 December 2000:
It's probably not important to remember where you were, what you were doing, when John Lennon was murdered on that cold New York street in 1980. John would have scoffed at that sort of thing anyway. In fact, John scoffed at a lot of things: men in suits, "thick" Christians, the Maharishi, and other worthy targets of scorn. Eventually he even scoffed at Paul McCartney; you'd almost think he'd had enough of silly love songs.
The three remaining rusty old men continue, mostly separately but sometimes in aggregate; somehow it's not the same without John. Never as strong a melodist as Paul, never as adept a guitarist as George, never as cheerful a bloke as Ringo, he was still John, wordsmith and cutup and searing social critic, the one Beatle you could always count on to be in somebody's face, the idealist in spite of himself, the definitive Sixties archetype. Even if you believe, as cultural historian David Frum argues, that the Seventies are far more relevant to our time than the Sixties, you're still going to have to find a place in your worldview for John Lennon; many of us who've learned that delicate balance between righteousness and cynicism learned it right off the grooves of Plastic Ono Band.
Of course, now it's down to two remaining rusty old men, and link rot has demanded some shuffling, but otherwise, I could have written that today. And I suspect I'll probably write it again around 2010. (You may say I'm a slacker, but I'm not the only one.)