Dec 08 2010

Remembering a Music Legend and Pop Icon

Imagine thirty years.  To some of us it doesn’t seem like such a long time ago.  To others it is history.  Thirty years ago today was the day we lost a legend in the music industry and  one of the greatest pop icons ever.  Thirty years ago today we lost John Lennon. Lennon and wife Yoko Ono’s peaceful domestic life on New York’s Upper West Side with their son Sean was shattered this day in 1980 at the hands  of 25 year old Mark David Chapman.

Chapman, who was deemed borderline psychotic was instructed to plead insanity, but pleaded guilty to murder instead, still remains behind bars today at Attica Prison in New York State after being denied a parole hearing in 2000 by New York State prison officials.

Even though Chapman is jailed. We’ll never be able to bring back the genius of John Lennon…or will we?

Growing up in a house with a mother who had a Major in Music from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and a father who was by no means a musician but still had a love for music, I was exposed to the music of John Lennon and The Beatles from an early age.

I have fond childhood memories of listening to The Beatles classic “I Want To Hold Your Hand” from the original 1964 release “Meet The Beatles” on vinyl that my mother most likely ran out to purchase the day it was released like so many other then teenage girls.  I knew every song on the record, track-by-track, A-side and B-side.  The whole album was genius and it was Pop music at its’ finest.

One of the men behind the music, scratching and popping its way through my orange-colored Fischer Price turntable’s tiny speaker was John Lennon.

Lennon’s genius and influential music is still obvious today.  From the first days of the musical “British invasion” and the release of The Beatles’ album “Please Please Me” in 1963 to the most recent Beatles compilations releases…and the very recent addition of Beatles music to online music giant iTunes, the music of John Lennon and his fellow Beatles bandmates (Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) as well as his solo and other projects continue to live on, inspiring countless others who appreciate music.

I was not born yet when Lennon died.  I’m only the tender age of 28 at the time of this writing.  It’s sad to think that I, and so many others have grown up in a world without a musician as influential as John Lennon, but it’s comforting to know that his music lives on and will through the ages. And personally I think the world is a better place because John Lennon was once in it.

For more on the life and legacy of John Lennon, visit History.com…or CLICK HERE to watch the video to Lennon’s song “Imagine.”

Share your memories of John Lennon and The Beatles…and where you were and what you remember from the day Lennon died below in our comments section.


Logan Carmichael is Editor in Chief and Publisher of MarionCountyMessenger.com, and a longtime Chattanooga area radio personality.  He worked for several years at WEPG-AM in So. Pittsburg, TN as Program Director and Operations Manager as well as at WSKZ-FM (KZ106) in Chattanooga.  Now, in addition to his duties with MarionCountyMessenger.com, he works as Production Director and Program Director for Brewer Media Group in Chattanooga.