On this day in 1980, John Lennon was slain by Mark David Chapman outside the Dakota Apartments in New York City.
The man, as a Beatle and as a solo artist, created some amazing music and helped forge a sense of political and social activism that few rock musicians had shared up to that poet (sure, you had folk artists doing it). His peace anthem "Imagine" continues to rally people worldwide. His love songs, his family songs, his artsy songs ... They all form a musical fabric that have colored and enriched so many of us.
One can only wonder what kind of music would have been released in the last 21 years had he lived. Would the Beatles have reunited? Would "Free as a Bird" or "Real Love" have been released? Would "Milk and Honey" have been released, at least in the form it took? Would John and Yoko still be together? Would John have gotten closer to Julian?
These questions, and more, can never be answered.
But the music lives on, and for that we can be grateful.
I have a lot I can say about Lennon. I was born in July of 1980, so I was too young to care about his music before he died. But the Beatles were very important to my young life, and continue to be now. His solo works provide important, interesting material that continues to inspire (and confound, at times). But my words pale in comparison to Lennon's own. So ...
Here's one of my favorite John Lennon songs, "Instant Karma!" We all shine on ...
RIP, John Lennon.