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What Would John Want ? / 2 Sides To His 70th


John Lennon's 70th Birthday inspires global celebration and reflection.

The day serves as a reminder of what John stood for - Peace, Music, Love and Charity.

In light of all that John Lennon has come to mean and represent in the world, it's a fascinating study in contrasts - and human nature - to view 2 sides of how such a major milestone in the life he would still be creating is being observed.

John would certainly have smiled at wife Yoko Ono's trip to the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, where - for the 4th year running - she and son Sean send out a Light of Peace to the world.

He would have laughed - if with whimsy - at the dedication of his statue in his home town of Liverpool, with first wife Cynthia and their son Julian there in his honour at the new Beatles Story Museum. There is an excellent chance that he and Yoko would have made sure to match the $350,000 cost of the statue with funds for Peace and other worthy causes. 

John would have been delighted at the open air showing - on a glorious early autumn night in Central Park - of the upcoming PBS Documentary "LENNON NYC" , a vibrant look into his growing love for - and creativity in - the city he came to regard as home. He and Yoko always viewed daily life as performance art, its special qualities to be shared as creative expression with the world as audience. 

"Imagine There's No Hunger" - a 4-day "pop up" Exhibition in Soho - is exactly the sort of event that John would have seen as ideal. With over a hundred of his drawings, sketches and lyrics - both Beatles and solo songs - the instant gallery is filled to overflowing with the quirky, hilarious and sometimes very poignant elements of John's nature and creativity. With prices going to tens of thousands at the top end, John would have taken some satisfaction that a percentage of funds for the Exhibit - now in the 20th year of its rolling tour - are directed to worthy community causes, in this case New York's Citymeals - on Wheels.

"Nowhere Boy" - a biopic that takes some liberties with the story of his youth - debuts in tandem with John's birthday, but does - at least - attempt to build a bridge between generations, of which he certainly would have approved.

On the flip side of all the sharing and creativity are the Montblanc pen - at $27,000 - and 3 Gibson Guitars, priced from $4,700 to $15,000.

While these items may be very beautifully crafted, they bear no relation to John Lennon and / or his very special day.

Even the most casual Lennon / Beatle fan - and, absolutely - those of us eternally devoted to him, and to them, around the world - would declare that there is no possible way - ever - that John would have sanctioned such exploitation and greed connected with his great name.  

The Beatles ended their classic, final album - "Abbey Road" -  with the parting message :  "And - in the end - the love you take is equal to the love you make."

For so many the word over, the Beatles words - and those of John's "Imagine" - are his greatest, most enduring and inspiring birthday gift.



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