Music has a way of separating the mortals from the gods. Wherever they're from, whatever their nationality, belief system or their upbringing, the music brings them from obscurity to stardom. The spotlight isn't always the draw. It's an escape, a feeling unlike any other. The simple pleasure of seeing someone smile while they bop along to something you've written is unparalleled.
Seeing someone's eyes light up when they hear the opening riff to their favorite song, is the closest thing to God I'll ever see.
John Lennon understood those sentiments, and brought thousands of people along with him on his journey to peace and love. But tragically, that dream was cut short due to the psychosis of a man who wanted to be tied to Lennon forever.
In light of the recent events in San Bernardino, Paris, Syria and across the globe...I can't help but think about Lennon's message. As if it were a lost cry over a forgotten battlefield.
On December 8th, 1980 Marc David Chapman, a crazed "fan" bought a gun legally in the state of Hawaii and tracked John Lennon down outside his home at The Dakota along the Upper West Side of New York City's Central Park.
Since Chapman had a permit, and no criminal record, the clerk couldn't block the sale. If there was a mental evaluation, then well...Lennon would still be alive today. I'd be willing to make that argument over and over again. It's not hateful or an attempt to disarm our people, it's common sense. A safety measure that would prevent innocents from being slaughtered. It could save lives.
Chapman flew from Hawaii to New York, stowing the gun in his luggage. Something that would never happen today. He would have been apprehended at the airport, remembered as some crazed lunatic who tried to smuggle a gun on to an airplane, not as John Lennon's assassin.
However, today, in the United States, air travelers can bring a gun on board, as long as they declare it, lock it in a hard case, unloaded with all safety features on and no ammunition anywhere near / on their person.
It's hard to believe, and doesn't come up that often, but is completely legal in the United States.
John Lennon was an icon for many reasons, but the biggest one was his philosophy. Yes, music got him great notoriety, but his artistic spirit took over after The Beatles called it quits in 1970.
Releasing one of the most famous songs to ever hit our ears, "Imagine" in 1971, Lennon cemented himself as a legend and humanitarian. Fans and casual listeners alike hold him in high regard, as one of the most enigmatic and charismatic celebrities of all time.
However, he doesn't live on because of the number one singles, or the songs, the biggest band in the world or the most legendary quotes. He lives on because somewhere deep in our psyche we still believe in the purity of peace.
We believe that the terror attacks in the US and abroad won't define our generations. We believe that someday our kids, no matter who they are or where they come from can prosper, as long as they are good people. We believe in the idea of choice and independence of spirit. We believe in hope. We believe that Lennon's ideas and philosophy can come into reality.
No matter how dark it gets, we can hear that song... "Imagine" ringing in our ears. It emerges when things seem darkest. Just look at what song was played after the tragedies in Paris:
There's a reason why we won't forget John Lennon. Because to us, he represents something pure. Something we can all look to as an ideal.
We love him for the music and the art, for the beautiful moments of love, for his worldliness and his rock and roll attitude, but we remember him for his ideas.
So as you hear of violence and terror, actions so unspeakably evil that you don't believe they're real: remember to continue to give peace a chance. Do little things every day that will bring you closer to personal happiness. Help people even when it's not convenient for you.
And above all else: don't blame entire groups of people for the actions of few. Live steadily, do not judge based on representation or the actions of few, create relationships based on personal interaction and experience. Do not fear the actions of radicals, create positivity for yourself.
"If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that's his problem. Love and peace are eternal." - John Lennon