What if John Lennon were alive?

7 May

What John Lennon might have looked like at age 70

When I randomly expressed grief on Twitter that John Lennon was no longer with us, my mysterious friend @DoctorOddFellow challenged me with this:

I randomly wonder what he’d have done w/ himself by now. Would he still be w/ Yoko? Would he be as relevant as Paul is nowadays?

Hmm.  Too much for 140 characters, that’s for sure.

The tricky thing about John is that he transforms himself.  Or more specifically, that he allowed himself to be transformed by outside forces when it suited him.  Stu led the way with the Beatle cuts, Brian turned them into “clean cut lads”, Yoko turned him into an artist.  What else would catch his fancy so much that he would allow himself to be transformed by it?  That’s what I wish we could have seen.

The other thing that was happening throughout his life was that he was growing and, in my opinion, healing.  Part of the awful thing about his assassination was that it happened at a time when he was finally finding himself, and getting comfortable with who he was.  A mentally healthy John Lennon would be pretty cool.  Hopefully it would emphasize his playful, spiritual side and minimize his self-destructive habits.

Which brings up the question of Yoko.  Would they have stayed together?  I’d like to think so.  I’m sure they’d have some magnificent fights in there, but I hope they’d pull it together.  My only fear would be Yoko’s reputation for being controlling.  Now, John wanted to be controlled, but I wonder as he grew if he’d become less tolerant of that.  But maybe they’d grow together.

How about Paul?  I don’t think they’d ever do a reunion, to be honest.  They’d probably talk about it and then when George got sick, that would be the end of it.  But they would be friends – although I think they’d’ve hit a rough patch when Paul married Heather Mills.  I can’t imagine John having much patience with her, and I know he wouldn’t have kept his mouth shut about it.  But they’re brothers; even if they fight, they still love each other and will forever.

He’d still make music.  He couldn’t stop doing that.  Since he wasn’t much of a fan of performing, I think he’d stay in the studio.  Maybe continue to produce, too.  I think all the new advancements in recording technology would have been like a candy store for him.  I think he’d’ve loved the internet. I imagine he’d have a blog, when he could be arsed to update it (I imagine there’d be six weeks of prolific posting, and then months of silence).  I think he might be against DRM.  It would be interesting to see if all the Anthologies and Beatles Rock Band and Love would have come out with him around.

I’m sure he’d have a lot to say about politics.  He’d have a lot to say about September 11, especially as a New Yorker.  And everything that came after, and all the excitement that’s going on now.  I would love to hear his point of view.


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