The 70th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon, on Saturday, will be remembered around the world with memorials, music and merchandising. Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow and guardian of his legacy and music business, will lead the tributes from Iceland, where she will light the Imagine Peace Tower in memory of Lennon, and will play with Sean, the couple’s son.
In Liverpool, the city where Lennon was born, his first wife Cynthia, and her son and Lennon, Julian, should inaugurate a monument dedicated to the artist, funded by the Global Peace Initiative, which involves young artists.
“Nowhere Boy,” the film about the early years of Lennon before his fame and fortune with the Beatles, will reach theaters in the U.S. on Friday and on Saturday the documentary “Lennon NYC” will be exhibited in New York, where the ex-Beatle was murdered on December 8, 1980.
The thirtieth anniversary of his death, at age 40, should launch a new wave of Lennonmaniac in December.
“It is a phenomenon a bit strange but true: the Beatles are probably more popular today than ever before,” said Jerry Goldman, managing director of the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool.
“Lennon is the greatest Beatles icon. But his activities with Yoko for peace may not contain as much as his music,” he added. “‘Imagine’ is an anthem worldwide, as ‘Give Peace a Chance.” Whenever people gather to protest, you probably will hear them singing a song by Lennon. More than anything else is the music, and nobody came close to Lennon in recent years.”
Few would argue about the musical influence of Lennon. As half of the duo’s main composition of the Beatles, alongside Paul McCartney, Lennon was responsible for a lot of songs of the band’s catalog, including hits key as “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “A Hard Day’s Night.
As a solo artist, after the Beatles broke up in 1970, Lennon created songs like “Imagine” and became a symbol of opposition to the Vietnam War.
His legacy also represents big business. Critics accuse Yoko Ono and others to profit from his memory and betray the ideals of a man who sang “imagine no possessions.”
Ono has been organizing the launch of digitally remastered works of Lennon, including eight studio albums and several titles recently compiled by the label EMI Music. The Montblanc produced a pen related to Lennon, decorated with sapphires and diamonds and is being sold in luxury stores for anything less than $ 27,000. Ono defends the decision to authorize use of the name Lennon for promoting products, saying that is the most effective way to keep his name and music alive.
Despite all the critics, the coming and goings of rock, everybody reveres the work left by this great musician and lyricist. Many were raised listening Beatles, introduced to rock and roll music and, when teenagers noted the strong personality of this man from Liverpool.
Happy Birthday Lennon! ♥