It Was Forty Years Ago Today

I wish I could say “. . . It was 20 years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play. . .”

But, atlas, it was 40 years ago today that John Lennon was shot to death outside his home in New York City and it changed everything. 

The Beatles were a phenomenon that has never been replicated.  Before them, there was Elvis –a true cultural watershed–but after those four, scruffy lads from Liverpool burst onto the seem, we would see nothing like them again.

And John Lennon, a young ne’er-do-well born during the Blitz, was the core of the skiffle band known as the Quarrymen, who would later become the Silver Beatles and then finally, The Beatles.  

The world was never the same after they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, and for me, the world was never the same after his assassination.  

Rest in peace, John Lennon.


  1. Michael Bauman says

    Too bad Maxwell’s Silver Hammer did not come down on his wife and all the Democrats.

  2. As much as I liked his music with the Beatles and solo…it saddens me to say that I think he would have ended up like so many others in the entertainment industry…a Marxist.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      No, George told me he became more conservative as he got older! Don’t know about Yoko, though. She’s an odd duck. This is a snippet of one of her performances. If I hadn’t heard it, I wouldn’t believe it. (Don’t hate me if you listen to it. It’s kind of hard to un-hear!)

      • It has been said that some songs have a sexual connotation.
        Yoko tried to express this in an exaggerated vocal way with practically no musical harmony. I guess many of the viewers appreciated that very much.

      • It was the electricity coursing throught the mike wot dunnit.
        Once it was switched off, she was safe.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Seriously, ordinarily you’d be right. But soon after receiving American citizenship, he registered as a Republican(!).  Remember he lived in NYC and it had become a hellhole and he thought it’d take a tough-as-nails politician to make it better.   Eventually, Giuliani became mayor.

      • Wow! I did not know that. Come to think of it…he was very opposite in many ways to Paul McCartney…and Paul became a raving liberal Marxist.

  3. I was a young girl when Beatlemania hit the US. We went to see a Hard Day’s Night and have no idea what it was about because a theatre full of screaming girls drowned out every single word of dialogue.
    I recall my mother telling me what Lennon said in the infamous interview about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus. That struck me like a thunderbolt and no one needed to explain to me what blasphemy was, I suddenly knew all about it.
    So, no misty-eyed nostalgia from me.

    • I agree. The Beatles were cancer on America, and they ruined the music industry. Morally, while their songs seem mostly clean, it’s all about how the most important thing in the world is the girl you’re currently sleeping with. Then they wrote about eastern mysticism (demon worship) and heroin. Then there’s all of John’s grossly hypocritical political activism out of touch with all reality. He was the first Taylor Swift. Supposedly he would beat Yoko all the time.
      Plus their music was just crap. That “Yellow Submarine” was such a hit is proof that they were more about the name Beatles than the actual music.
      I knew a monk who saw them with his girlfriend when he was 16. She kept screaming, and he told her to shut up.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Wow. Here Comes the Sun, Hey Jude, Let It Be, Come Together, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, I’m So Tired, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, Long and Winding Road, Nowhere Man. . . Gee, a lot of their music wasn’t about a girl. (And what’s wrong with music about a girl, anyway?) Tell me how many of the songs represented here were about a girl.

        You obviously weren’t an impressionable teen when the Beatles hit the Ed Sullivan stage. I was 11. A “tweener,” as they say. My mother kept trying to get me to come out of my room to see them. I was listening to Red Rubber Ball by the Cyrcles on my turn table in my bedroom and whatever my mother thought I would like, I knew for a FACT I wouldn’t!

        But, finally, I relented and came out of my room as they were playing, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” That song later had a special meaning for me.

        A kid I knew in 6th grade was picked on because he was poor. Kids can be so mean. His name was Cecil Byrd and I felt sorry for him so I would talk to him in class. He told me something that would later keep me up at nights. He told me his older brother terrorized him by throwing a ball into these giant water pipes and while he was in there fetching the ball, his brother threatened to set him on fire.

        The day he told me that story, I saw him peeking behind the food isle in a convenience store and the song, I Want to Hold Your Hand was playing over the intercom. He saw me and we smiled at each other.

        The next day, there was a sad article in the paper and my mother wanted to know if I knew the kid in the story because he went to my school. It was Cecil Byrd. He was killed in a water pipe where tumble weeds mysterious caught on fire in the pipe and kill him.

        I vowed I would remember him and I Want to Hold Your Hand would be our song. To this day, I stop what I am doing and pray for him when I hear that song. But these days, when I see him in my mind’s eye, he is smiling. God is good.

        • Johann Sebastian says

          Red Rubber Ball is a great song.
          On the other hand, a lot of what the Beatles put out was, just, bizarre. And not tastefully so. Hit-or-miss, really. I Wanna Hold Your Hand was early work, when they were still tame.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            That’s right! It’s “I Wanna Hold You Hand,” isn’t it?!

            • Johann Sebastian says

              I’ll admit though that there was a lot of nice-to-listen-to-and-intrinsically-musical popular music from that time. Just too bad that those who turned it out were torchbearers for the cultural revolution.
              When I do listen to it, I tune out the lyrics. Hell, I often can’t even understand them.

            • Johann Sebastian says

              I think the Monkees were better.
              Start singing Help! and end up singing Last Train to Clarksville.

        • I meant that their early music was about new romance as the highest good. Their later songs were darker, but subtle enough where most people don’t notice.
          “Strawberry fields forever” is about heroin. “Norwegian Wood” and “I’m so tired” are about adultery. “Happiness is a warm gun”, I think is pretty obvious.
          And they acted so horrified about Charles Manson and “Helter Skelter” and then wrote “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”. Their whole thing was hypocritical and pretentious, and it’s what happens when your mother doesn’t love you so you run away to another country to play in strip clubs and sleep with prostitutes as soon as you turn 18.
          And really, most of their later songs are about nothing. What exactly is “The Long and Winding Road” about? Or “Octopus’s Garden”? What’s with this 60s trend where bands would write a bunch of gibberish and people would call it deep?
          The album Sgt Pepper’s is awful from start to finish. The whole thing was over-produced and over-indulgent. Pet Sounds was superior on every level, and most importantly, Pet Sounds is actually about life experience. Really, everything the Beatles did, the Beach Boys did better, except for selling records.

  4. The real tragedy is that he died before people could realize how washed up he was. Now he’s a rock n roll martyr forever.
    I doubt he’s resting in peace.

  5. Guy Snedeker says

    If only we could make everyone listen to “Revolution” at least three times for every time they quote the lyrics to “Imagine”…

  6. George Michalopulos says

    Also, yesterday, the man with the original Right Stuff, Chuck Yeager, passed away.

    Rest in Peace.

  7. I was very young when John Lennon was killed, so it’s a little bit of a different perspective.  By the time the 15th anniversary of his murder came around, for me, it was already as though the event was forever ago because as far back as my memory stretches, that’s the way that it was.  
    I absolutely love the Beatles’ music, and it reached me in a place hard to find in the difficult life of an inner-city teen.  That being said, especially as I got older, I came to understand that John, in his personal life, probably wasn’t a very nice person.  However, he was a man with incredible talent who happened to team up with other very talented people, and with a little luck wrote music that touched the world.  No small feat indeed!
    In his own songs, Lennon admitted to some bad things.  “Norwegian Wood” was basically not only an admission that he had cheated on his first wife (Cynthia) but that he had cheated on her so many times he couldn’t even keep count.  “You Can’t Do That” and “Run For Your Life”, though, are more or less warnings that she shouldn’t get any ideas of doing the same.  In “Getting Better” the lines “I used to be cruel to me woman/I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved” was him admitting that that’s what he did to Cynthia.  And to hear interviews with his son from this marriage, Julian, especially at the end of the 1990s was heartbreaking.  
    On the other hand, I do believe that he had a gift with music, and I believe that he did have some sense or curiosity that translated this into lyric and melody.  There’s the song “Revolution”, which, ironically, doesn’t call for revolution, but says he won’t be participating.  There’s a longer quote from a publication where he delves deeper into this, talking about what ‘revolution’ has done in the history of the world, bringing up the Russian Revolution among a couple others as an instance, how it always goes, how the biggest destroyers of the system become the ones in charge of the new system and will destroy anyone who steps out of line with it.  
    New York City, in the late 1970s was certainly one of the centers of the creative world, which is why he wanted to be there, but it was also hard, gritty, and sleazy.  I think he liked it that way.  Not that he didn’t live in opulence himself, but the hardness reminded him of Liverpool.  Being New York, though, he actually had some freedom – one of the themes that’s noticeable in the Beatles’ late work, the idea of “home” and removing oneself from the craziness that they had been the center of in the 1960s.  (After the Beatles’ breakup,  Paul McCartney ended up on a property in Scotland for about a year and a half that didn’t even have running water, IIRC.)  
    By 1980, sure, a lot of rock’n’rollers had already died.  Drugs, alcohol, accidents, lifestyles had all caught up with a good number of the rockers of the 1960s and 1970s.  Even despair.  However, very few were murdered.  Even fewer in such a bizarre attack of John Lennon.  And this was, too, at a time when a lot of people were realizing that “don’t trust anyone over 30” had morphed into “hey, 40 isn’t really old at all”.  The hard acrimony of the Beatles’ breakup was fading, and people kind of were wondering if they might want to do something together again.  Paul McCartney, once visiting John Lennon in NYC while Saturday Night Live, (when it may have been actually funny) which had the running gag of offering a whopping $600 or so if the Beatles would get back together, apparently brought it up to John that maybe the two of them should show up at NBC studios to claim the reward.  John, actually living in NYC, declined, since he was trying to keep a low profile there.  
    Then it was just over.  You do your business, spend a day with your wife, come back home to one of the poshest addresses in the city, and with two bullets, it’s all over.  Like the Gospel in the Bible from this past Sunday – tonight your life will be required of you…  The plans, the larger barns, the bigger storehouses, do nothing to prepare the soul for that time.  Ironically, one of the solo songs that John Lennon is most remembered for today is “Beautiful Boy”, which includes these lyrics “Before you cross the street/Take my hand / Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…”  
    So yes, it’s a complicated legacy.  Rush Limbaugh has a saying about “talent on loan from God” and I think that this very often gets to the heart of the matter.  There are people who have great talent & run with it & seem to be able to create things bigger than they themselves understand, and I think this is a case here.  

  8. Sean Richardson says

    I was raised on the Beatles … and I mourn the tragedy of violence and the corruption of “The Cacher in the Rye” …. 
    I hope for so much more … I pray for soooo much more

  9. The Beatles never performed one of their best songs, Eleanor Rigby, in public. 
    Think about the song and think about why they said it was not a song to sing in a concert.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I understand (or I heard) Eleanor Rigby was based on a real person. It’s one of the saddest songs I think I’ve ever heard. When I first moved to California by myself, I kind of felt like her. It was the first time I had moved somewhere where I knew no one.

      • “… in 1989, music therapist Annie Mawson who ran a charity called Sunbeams Trust, wrote to Sir Paul about her work with children with disabilities and adults with brain injuries, asking for his support in opening a purpose-built centre, and offering her experiences about how music therapy enhanced quality of life and supported recovery.
        Shortly afterwards, in June 1990, Annie was delighted to receive a response from Sir Paul – and astounded by the contents. Inside, she found an ancient parchment containing a scroll of names and a list of wages from 1911 from a hospital in Liverpool.
        Down the list was the name E. Rigby who had signed for the amount of one pound three and 11 pence. A scullery maid born on 29th August 1895, Eleanor Rigby married Thomas Woods on Boxing Day 1930 and died of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 44 in 1939. ”

        • Gail Sheppard says

          Poor Eleanor Rigby. Not much opportunity for happiness there. You realize this song is going to be playing over and over in my head now!

          • “All the lonely people, where do they all belong?”
            The Church.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              Eleanor Rigby
              Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
              Lives in a dream
              Waits at the window
              Wearing the mask that she keeps in a jar by the door
              Who is it for?

              Father McKenzie
              Writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
              No one comes near
              Look at him working
              Donning a mask in the night when there’s nobody there
              What does he care?

              I want to go back to the 60s! Not only did we not wear masks, we did not wear shoes!!! Just ask Linda Ronstadt. She never wore shoes.

              • What did the sixties bring, children?
                DALEKS. Croak-voiced DALEKS
                who are now well on their way to complete control
                and extermination of six out of seven billion people.

              • Johann Sebastian says

                She also “marched to the beat of a Different Drum.”

                If I remember correctly, part of the lyrics went something like this: “I’m not in the market for a boy who wants to love only me.”

                Sexual revolution, indeed.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Gail, forgive me but the 60’s was the time of masks. The beginning of self-created identities as a way of life: everybody a con man.   If you don’t like the way just drop a tab, tune in, turn on, drop out.  
                An absolute refusal to engage oneself.  
                All of us thinking we each of us lived in our own “Yellow Submarine”.  Constantly looking for a fake God, fake intimacy and fake, fake culture.  Eschewing authenticity and stability and truth.  
                Bill Gates and the other tech Lords market that to this day.  The only hope: technology.  Technology brings salvation. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.  
                All that has been done is to make our masks visible.  
                The only way to the true self and our true unique personhood is knowing Jesus Christ as Incarnate Lord God and Savior.  Fully God and fully man. Instead of “you will be assimilated” we are told “Repent, the Kingdom of heaven is at hand”
                Lord have mercy.

                • Gail Sheppard says

                  Yeah, it doesn’t sound like you had too much fun in the 60s. That’s too bad. I met a lot of wonderful people back then, too.

                  Gates, et. al came in the 80s and early 90s. My then husband was one of them. He was responsible for the first affordable PC (under $1000), and invented streaming music (Audioramp).

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Gail, the 1960’s were never enjoyable, light hearted nor amusing to me. It was dominated by the Viet Nam War, the work and assasination of  Martin Luther King, Jr., and JFK; the Presidency of Lyndon Johnson, the Corrupt, my own mental and emotional angst, a bout with the Hong Kong Flu which hit me like Kung Fu.

                    Favorite song: ‘Sounds of Silence’; I had a room mate who liked playing The Fugs especially their heartwarming, lighthearted ballad about cocaine use “Coming Down” and their amusing little ditty “Boobs A Lot”. Plus a couple of other near psychos as room mates that gave me a practicum in abnormal psychology but I was not amused.

                    I spent my senior year (69-70)reading, by assignment, Nietzche’s works and writing a paper on him as an historian which counted for my whole grade (I aced it but what a entertaining way to spend a year).  I did however meet Jesus on a hill in 1968 because of what I thought of as an existential crisis. While that ended up life altering I would not call it fun.  

                    Never liked the Beatles –the word purile comes to mind.  Better than the Fugs. My roommate played them so often I still remember them (although the lyrics for Boobs A Lot were pretty repetitive).  But I was a bit of a pretentious ass too.

                    That was not full of lightheartedness for sure but Jesus did let me know He is real despite all that (because of?). There is only one person I knew from the 60’s that I would ever want to see again but no enduring friendships. Sadness is what comes to my heart as I think of them because they were all just as screwy as I was or even worse. Transient and insubstantial.

                    In general “fun” has always been low on my priorities. But I still may be a pretentious ass.  Still Jesus cares about me and mine and He has given me a woman after His own heart so I am blessed.

                    AND although they came later, the Tech Lords marketed the solipism of the 60’s and have made billions and garnered seeming control. 

                    George is smarter, more handsome and better educated than I. Probably got more money.  While I get joy from that, it is not amusing or entertaining but can bring a certain amount of lightheartedness.  He has too much integrity and conscience to be a tech lord BTW.

                    The mercy of the Lord endures forever.

                    • Gail Sheppard says

                      Michael, you’re breaking my heart!

                      In the future, I’m going to make it my mission to get you out with no other agenda than to see you have a little fun. I don’t know Mary well, but I’m sure she’d be up for it. We’ll turn this situation around. George can afford to let his hair (what’s left of it) down a little bit, too. – So, today, I want you to watch this to the end. I expect a little smile form you. Even if it’s the tiniest, littlest one. It’s from the 60s.

                      Then I want you to watch this one:

                      As soon as Mary’s health permits, I want you to tell me when you and Mary can come down a few days for an adventure. AND I want you to bring me some elderberry wine like we talked about.

                      We’re going to fix this!

                    • George Michalopulos says

                      Michael, Don’t argue with the lady!  

                    • You can’t fully appreciate the beauty of that Andy Griffith clip unless you’ve seen the whole episode and understand both why that family is in the courthouse and why that old man is peering through the window.

                    • Gail Sheppard says


                    • “George is smarter, more handsome and better
                      educated than I. Probably got more money.”

  10. “…..John Lennon was shot to death outside his home in New York City and it changed everything.” Are you kidding?  Tell me how and for whom.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      I had a friend who was able to find a certain salt and pepper shaker set in an antique store. It was the same set his mother and father had when he was growing up. He was so excited to find them because of the warm memories they evoked of his mother and father gathering around the breakfast table.

      A few years later, one of the shakers fell and was shattered. He was devastated. . . over a salt shaker! To anybody else, this would seem absurd. But to him, it “changed everything.” He no longer wanted the pepper shaker around because it was a painful a reminder that the salt shaker was gone, as were his parents.

      John Lennon was part of a set, too, and the Beatles formed the backdrop of our collective memories: that first kiss, falling in love, rebellion, enlightenment. . . all the things we associate with growing up in the 60s.

      None of this makes sense to the logical mind because, in fact, the Beatles had broken up a good 10 years before, but as long as John, Paul, George and Ringo were alive, the Beatles were alive.

      When John Lennon was shot, all that changed and the magical era we associated with the Beatles was no more.

  11. I came of age in the ’80s and ’90s, and, as such, knew that the Beatles had some good songs, but they were essentially meaningless to me.  My parents are/were not music people, and the Beatles were meaningless to them as well.  Of my peers who claimed to “love” the Beatles, it was only because they heard their parents play the music.
    I wonder what my generation’s (Gen X’s) parallel would be?  The death of Princess Diana in 1997?  Michael Jackson’s death? (I always found Michael Jackson weird too, as well as Prince.  Call me a misfit — I’m much more like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Herbie the elf who wants to be a dentist!)
    As a cultural phenomenon, wonder if these glorifications of movie stars, musicians/singers, politicians, and athletes are more prevalent phenomenon in the post-Protestant West, where worship of Christ/God is far less common, than elsewhere in the world where faith plays a much more central role in public life (such as in the Christian East, in the Muslim world, in the Hindu world, etc.). 
    The old adage that if you’re not worshipping Christ or whomever you define as God, then you’ll end up worshipping something else.
    I remember a couple of months ago when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, seeing how people thronged around her casket in the Capitol Rotunda.  Though an erudite woman, she was just a woman, like billions of other women. 

    As someone who experiences worship at Christ’s tomb every Holy Week, viewing the “worship” at RBG’s tomb seemed artificial and bizarre, a manufactured display of emotivism.  Not that she or anyone doesn’t merit mourning when they pass away, but she isn’t God.
    Such is what happens when cultures forget about God.  I remember my fantastic OCA priest of blessed memory saying during a sermon in the late 1990s that “our culture has forgotten about God.”  Man, what would he think about us now?   We’ve gone from simply ignoring Him to, on a cultural level, actively rejecting him.  Sad. 
    As we continue to reject Him, we can expect this cultural worship of movie stars, musicians/singers, politicians, and athletes to skyrocket.  (Case in point: witness the “worship” of politicians Pres DJT, of hidin’ Biden, of BLM, of Obama, of HRC, etc. I am not a strong political man, but while I could never in good conscience vote for a lying/cheating/morally bankrupt Dem (and I fully believe that they cheated big-time to manufacture a “win” in this year’s presidential election), you will also never find me at a DJT rally.)

    Tragically, so much of non-Orthodox Christianity in America these days (in the modern Catholic and pathetic protestant world) is political emotivism dressed up as faith.

    Those of us who don’t get riled up to worship movie stars, musicians/singers, politicians, and athletes will continue to be labeled as misfits – a label I will happily wear. Standing before the candlelit icons of Christ, His Mother, and some saints at midnight, as my wife and children sleep, brings me such overwhelming comfort, peace, joy, and love. Worshipping Pres DJT or John Lennon or some athlete will never do that. Not even close.

  12. Robert Koch says

    Austin, you’re a rarity.  Yes, rock kind of killed music. In October 1958 Jo Stafford made what  I think is the most accurate assessment of rock. 
    “Rock and Roll is an economic thing,” says “pop” singer Jo Stafford, quoted in Billboard, October 13, 1958. “Today’s nine-to fourteen year old group is the first generation with enough money given to them by their parents to buy records in sufficient quantities to influence the market. In my youth if I asked my father for 45 cents to buy a record, he’d have thought seriously about having me committed.”   
    She goes on to point out the lyrics are just above nursery rhyme.  I saw an interview with Skitch Henderson (go ask your grandparents) discussing popular music since the 40’s.  He pointed out that there is no melody.  Try to whistle or hum anything heard on TV.  Also, nothing but 8th notes.  No one attempting to sing can hold a note for two beats.  What Jo Stafford observed was and is true.  The musical taste of the 9-14 year old took over.  And it never grew up.  That “taste” has persisted, there are now 70+ year olds who know nothing else as music.  Notice, rock has only decayed with age.  Many years ago Artie Shaw said rock is about anger, about ugly.  He said LIFE is ugly, music is supposed to be relief.  It doesn’t offer anything.  Rap, anyone?

    • Johann Sebastian says

      If you think popular music since the ’40s is bad, look at classical (I mean, “art”) music since the ’20s.
      At least popular music has preserved something of tonality and, when well-executed, observes the conventions of common practice. It may be dumbed down considerably, but the elements are still there.

    • Let me rephrase what I said. The Beatles ruined rock n roll. Before the Beatles, rock n roll was something you practice in your garage and put on a local label. The Beatles neutered it. Rockabilly died. Surf rock died. Complex, five-part harmonies died, or at least drastically changed. Suddenly everyone wanted guitar pop music begging a girl to hold your hand instead of threatening to kill someone for stepping on your blue suede shoes. It was weak and effeminate, and you can tell that they never experienced the love of their mothers.
      The British Invasion also almost entirely removed the gospel element from rock n roll, which was really where it derived from. Without a gospel root, the music was no longer an authentic cultural item and became just something you make in a studio because you know it will sell.
      The local label died with the Beatles. Sun had only one hit in the 60s (“Wooly Bully”). Now rock n roll wasn’t a local cultural thing or something you have to trade around for — it was a global product where everyone listened to the same thing. 60s rock was made in LA, New York and London. (In the 70s this sort of started swinging back with southern rock.)
      I’m aware that some of these changes were already nascent before the Beatles. I’m speaking in generalities.
      Elvis didn’t do everything right, but he always remained humble. So did most of the early rockers from the American South. It’s an element missing in British rock, because British rock doesn’t come from experience.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        Oh my goodness, you’re an Elvis fan. You must me older than me!

        One doesn’t just associate Elvis with gospel. There was all that “hip” action going on, too. Plus, he married a child, though I don’t think they had much of a relationship. He and Ann Margaret had a thing, though.

        So, talking about 60s, the Beatles really didn’t have center stage. There was Hendrix, the Doors (I saw Jim Morrison hauled off to jail for taking his clothes off), Crosby, Stills (a cousin of mine by marriage) and Nash and of course Neil young. There is no one who can sing the blues better than Janis Joplin. Then there was The Who and the Stones. The 60s wasn’t just about the Beatles.

        This is kind of funny. My daughter came home from school one day wearing a Bob Dylan t-shirt. I suspected she didn’t know anything about him so I said, “Jessica, you haven’t been home in months. You’re like a rolling stone.” She said, “I’m sorry, Mom, I’ll try to get home more. It’s just that school keeps me so busy.” I said, “It’s alright, don’t think twice.” To which she replied, “Mom, I’m sorry!”

        I couldn’t stand it anymore so I yelled, “Take that shirt off right now!!!” She said, “Mom, what is wrong with you?” I told her she couldn’t wear Dylan if she didn’t know Dylan and she failed the test. – A few months later, she sent me a picture of her sitting on the bow of a boat. It was going at a pretty good clip because her hair was all over the place. She was wearing the same t-shirt. But this time she said, “Look, Mom. I’m blowin’ in the wind.” – All was right with the world again.

        • As a Dylan-appreciating millennial, I think that this anecdote is fantastic. Restoring cosmic balance.

        • Oh Gail. I believe in Elvis like I believe in sunrises and Donald Trump. It’s a spiritual experience. No other singer reaches down and touches you in the heart like Elvis. 
          (And I was only born in 1990.)
          The Rolling Stones is the only classic rock band I still actively listen to. Mick Jagger’s 2001 album “Goddess in the Doorway” is just about the greatest album I’ve ever heard, but I’m familiar with their entire catalog, and I’ve read Richards’s memoirs.
          I always tell Beatles fans to listen to “Let it Bleed” and compare it to any Beatles album and tell me what’s better. I remember one time I left a monastery after a very bad visit and listened to it probably half a dozen times on repeat. Of course Papa Trump has made generous use of the last track, very appropriately, I feel like. It’s an album about resignation and acceptance. It was the perfect way to close the decade. Nothing the Beatles put out ever summarized the times.
          Because as Elvis himself sang, “There must be lights shining brighter somewhere … Strong winds of promise that will blow away the doubts and fear.” And that’s kind of where we’re at as a nation right now. And as a Church.
          In high school I was a big Bob Dylan fanatic, and I still respect him from a distance. John Wesley Harding was his best album by far. But I almost never listen to him anymore.

  13. Michael Bauman says

    George and Gail, I might consider your invitation if you invite Misha too and he accepts.  That would be fun.

  14. Michael Bauman says

    Gail, on the first video:  beautiful and the performance was exquisite but it would not be fun for me then or now to be there.  I do not like crowds.  
    While still in college I went with my girlfriend to see Simon and Garfunkel perform in a big gym at Northwestern.  Few people were there sparsely scattered in the bleachers at one end of the basketball court. They, however, were wonderful. Their performance and the ease and precision with which they communicated astounding. They created intimacy and feeling across a large gap. At the time and now it is the most perfect performance I have ever seen.
    My girl friend, Linda, had honey hair so their song ‘For Emily’ was special.  She is the one person of the 60’s I would want to meet again.  “What a dream I had….” 
    Still not fun though. Rather full of quiet joy touched with just a tinge of sadness.

  15. Michael Bauman says

    Brendan, not Soros. Come on. The GEORGE, master of this manor.