Today is the 35th Anniversary of John Lennon’s death. It’s a terrible moment in NYC history that still rings loudly in the minds of those who were of an age to experience and remember it happening. I was a sophomore in High School at the time and I remembered hearing it on 1010 WINS news and that it had made my parents very upset. My young wannabe musician self at the time had trouble grasping with the fact that a fan had apparently taken this great musician from the world. What a sad, sad shame I recalled. Friends at school sported black arm bands but I did not since I was unaware that any were going to do this and thinking back on this pre-Internet point in history, I probably would have never found a black arm band at 7am in the morning. Today probably in five minutes as the answer was likely a text message or Facebook post away.
The other day I took a museum trip with my friend Skeleton Pete and as we walked past The Dakota (where this incident had actually happened) he pointed out that Strawberry Fields was just across the street a little ways. Oddly enough I had never ever been there before and since our journey was one aimed at photography in the first place, there could be no better first stop than the “Imagine” mosaic at Strawberry Fields in Central Park.
The small space of Strawberry Fields is listed as being a quiet zone with no musical instruments allowed but that didn’t prevent the dude with an acoustic guitar singing “Imagine” at all. He was pretty good I will admit and its probably the most respectful number to offer up in this area if you had to think of one. The sunlight was not on my side when I stopped here and thanks to a mostly overcast sky was vexing my phones camera but I snagged these and feel they did the trick perfectly. The mosaic is beautiful in its simplicity don’t you think?
John Lennon’s image does well for the vendors right outside of the park with his name and face on buttons and t-shirts and whatever else they had up for grabs. One has to love how popular that particular Bob Gruen photo of Lennon in the New York City shirt is after all these years but as the master photographer noted on CBS This Morning, he sees none of that profit and the design is massively cloned. Ahhh commerce.
Where were you when you heard of John Lennon’s death if you are of an age to easily recall the news and how it affected you. I welcome all topical thoughts to this brief narrative which comes at a time when we should remember that he asked us all to “Give Peace A Chance”. When you couple that request with the words he once sang with his mates in The Beatles loudly in “All You Need Is Love” the world feels like a much better place. I think so at least.