Lennon and his dead Mom
SATURDAY, October 9 – I was playing around on Google and YouTube. John Lennon would have turned seventy today. An excuse to surf the net for interesting information about the murdered ex-Beatle. At every click, Jennifer pops up.
She was a Beatles fan and somewhere in the house I should be able to find that special issue of Time Magazine published shortly after his death in 1980. It’s a collector’s item whose cover I can quickly find on-line, with the headline: ‘When the Music Died’. Jennifer once told me about the evening when the news was announced. She cried and cried and couldn’t get to sleep. For days she felt depressed and even talking about his death decades later made her unhappy.
I watch the videos of the coverage: listen to the reporters stationed in front of the Dakota Building in New York, where Yoko Ono still lives. Jenn pointed it out to me and later to the children; the magnificent building bordering Central Park. In the early nineties Jenn lived in that neighborhood and almost daily she walked past the Strawberry Fields memorial.
Our children have grown up with the Beatles. Not long ago I discovered that Eamonn has the same birthday as Ringo Starr. Moseying around Wikipedia, I realize that Jenn was only one year older than Lennon was when he died. What a cold statistic.
Lennon’s childhood was anything but happy, with a father who left for New Zealand, an aunt who raised him, and a mother who was killed on the street by a goddamned cop. Holy shit! The coincidence! The difference in this case being that the cop was drunk. Lennon was seventeen years old then.
He would later write a song called ‘Mother’, that was inspired in part by his therapeutic sessions with the American psychologist Janov, who firmly believed that deep-seated emotions could be dealt with by means of a heartfelt ‘primal scream’.
This makes me curious about the song, and I go to iTunes and listen to it. Good God Almighty, what a piece of shit.