Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans – John Lennon
We could pick any number to define our times as we mark John Lennon’s 8Oth birthday this week. Suffice to say his was a life lived.., and how.
We’ll never know for sure how he would have spent the last 40 years since his murder outside the Dakota Building in NY.
But it would be safe to assume he would have been at the forefront of all the great struggles of our day.
The Fall of the Wall, Apartheid, Black Lives Matter, Freedom from Covid.
Lennon bestrode his world, leaving his imprint, and still does.
And as his adopted New York celebrated his legacy by turning the Empire State Building blue, here are four Lennon cities.
Liverpool Lou Lennon
Oh Liverpool Lou, lovely Liverpool Lou, why don’t you behave like other girls do?
And we have Yoko Ono to thank for knowing this, that John would sing this song, his Mum’s fave, around the house.
Growing up in Hamburg
I didn’t grow up in Liverpool, I grew up in Hamburg.
Not that John was dissing his home city, it was just that he was giving an honest reply to a reporter.
Lennon and the boys (five of them then, with Stuart Sutcliffe on board and with Pete Best instead of Ringo Starr) lived in Hamburg between 1960-62.
And Stefanie Hempel’s Beatles Tour Das Original will take you all over their favourite haunts.
John was his favourite and she had his poster above her bed.
She will take you to the St Pauli door where he posed for a shot later used for the Rock ‘n’ Roll covers album and much, much more.
John’s New York
If I’d lived in Roman times, I’d have lived in Rome. Where else? Today America is the Roman Empire and New York is Rome itself
While we all know that John died in NY let’s dwell on his life in the Big Apple.
John loved its vibe, its people, its energy and put it down in song on New York City off the album Some Time in New York City.
Dakota Building and the Strawberry Fields memorial where the music never stops are obviously on the itinerary.
For the rest, check out this video.
The Lennon wall in Prague
The Lennon Wall, Prague
What to make of it when you’re told that the Lennon Wall in Prague now has ‘Fuck Trump’ messages on it?
It put off my Czech guide who remembers the wall well from the days when it was an organic centrepoint of protest against the Communist.
‘Appen though John would approve.
And let’s not let Amsterdam and Montreal lie
Of course, this is where John and Yoko had their Bed-ins for Peace.
And I hope that John would approve as I find myself compiling my thoughts here bolt upright in my bed.
While waiting to get back out there travelling again.