In commemoration of what would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday today, October 9, here’s one of my favorite songs from one of my two or three favorite singers — in any genre — ever, and owner of quite possibly the greatest rock & roll voice of all-time. Hard to argue with the guy who sang lead on “Revolution”; “Come Together”; “Ticket to Ride”; “Tomorrow Never Knows”; “Help”; “And Your Bird Can Sing”; “Yer Blues”; “A Hard Day’s Night”; “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”; John’s first-half opening on “A Day In The Life”; and the post-Beatles solo tracks “God,” “Working Class Hero,” and so many more. Then there’s the early number “Twist & Shout,” one of the most unhinged, throat-shredding vocals of all time (recorded while John’s throat was sore and voice — allegedly — shot from a marathon day of recording the entire “Please Please Me” LP in one fell swoop).
There is much that I’m not certain of in this world because, yes, it’s true that tomorrow never knows. But one thing I am sure of is that true genius that makes its mark on the universe never dies — no matter how many small, insignificant men or organized armies try to snuff, shoot, or silence it. So I remain heartened and convinced, with utter certainty and clarity, that John Lennon’s spirit will never be vanquished and that his strong, singular voice and vision will live now and forever. In celebration of this knowledge, I’m thinking of and listening to you today, John (yes, LOUD!). Thank you for being the soundtrack to my life. I can’t imagine rock & roll without you.
A lovely tribute to John, set to one of his gentlest songs, “In My Life,” right here: