Wow. Where does one begin when they want to talk about John Lennon? So influential. Creatively and politically. I put him up there with Michael Jackson, even though their music seems very different, but fundamentally they do the same thing — they have universal appeal. They reach millions.
I don’t listen to John Lennon often, but you better be sure that when I do, something big is going on in my life. Transformations. And transformations are by no means easy, but they are worth their troubling aspects. Because when you reach a certain stage, you know you can’t go back. And therein lies human growth through transformation.
Lennon is one of the finest songwriters around. His lyrics ring true. There is nothing phony about him. He was who he was. A brilliant musician and poet and political activist— and more. Not an easy combination to find other than on very rare occasions. Working Class Hero is my favorite song of his. In that song he goes through a litany of false beliefs we hold about ourselves, then lets us strip them away. I especially like his commentary on religion. And I love the line. “Til the pain is so great, you feel nothing at all.” Such perfection! We have become numb, he says, as human beings. And in such a society who is really the worthy one? The working class hero? (At least that’s what I think he means.) He refers to religion as dope. How appropriate. How many human beings hide behind the veil of religion to conceal their hatred for others?
What John Lennon had to say wasn’t sweet or pretty.
But John Lennon was real.