The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

25 Years Ago Today


swac said...

Christ that picture gives me the chills.

Perry Middlemiss said...

The big question always used to be: where were you when you heard that Kennedy had died? Which meant nothing to me - I was only eight at the time, living in country Australia without television. I guess I heard about it from the paper the next day or from my father.

But the death of Lennon was different. I know exactly where I was on that day - working in an office building - and how everyone came to hear of it - someone rang work from home and the news got around the building in, what seemed like, five minutes; by word of mouth only.

Lennon's death was one of the defining moments of my generation.

Tom Sutpen said...

I was toying with soliciting comments (sonething I think I've only done a couple times) from our visitors, asking where they were when this epochal event transpired.

Might be a good idea.

Myself, I was 15 and watching Monday Night Football, of all things, when the sorrowful voice of the late Howard Cosell informed the nation of the tragedy . . . word of which had practically fallen into ABC's lap (the story wasn't even moving on the wires at this point)since a reporter for WABC radio in New York happened by sheer chance to be in the ER when they brought Lennon in, Dead On Arrival.

Strange thing is, I wasn't much of a Beatles or Lennon fan at that point (that would come soon). I didn't particularly like or dislike either. Yet I found myself both puzzled and disturbed by the story. And I didn't sleep a wink that night.

Where was you all, folks?

Vanwall said...

Scary to think of how long ago it happened. Had to blog about it finally.


Brent McKee said...

As I mentioned in my blog I wasn't watching Monday Night Football. I'm pretty sure that I was watching Johnny Carson. And yes, it was a shock even though he'd pretty much been out of the public eye for about five years and with respect there wasn't much of what he did between the time the Beatles ended and his temporary retirement that stands up. There were some brilliant songs, like Imagine but often it was like he couldn't find a new voice. Still you can't help but wonder at how he would have reacted to various events, like the original Gulf War (against it) and the World Trade Center.

swac said...

My sister came and woke me up and told me about it. I guess I was 13 at the time. I was a huge Beatles fan, but had been severely disappointed by Lennon's latest record Starting Over, and to this day I still don't see very much that's good in it (although some later stuff that came out after his death like Nobody Told Me was more promising). I remember feeling profoundly sad, both at his death and the fact it came after a sign that his powers were declining as an artist (I wasn't overly familiar with his '70s work at this point...I suppose the album might have been an improvement). The thing that really bothered me though, was how all the people at school who thought I was a freak for liking the Beatles all of a sudden became Beatles fans overnight, while I couldn't bear to listen to them anymore. I was already listening to punk rock, so I threw myself into that with abandon, as well as The Kinks, early Rolling Stones and, around the same time, jazz performers like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and, an underrated favourite, Art Pepper.
These days, probably the only Lennon solo record I can abide is Plastic Ono Band. Maybe I should make a personal compilation from the other ones, I'm sure there's a good album lurking in there somewhere.

slyboots2 said...

I was doing homework with the radio on in my room. They played 4 Lennon tracks in a row, and I began to wonder what was going on. Then the DJ came on and announced the news. He was crying. I went and told my parents. I remember it as being horribly sad. I was 14. Then we turned on the tv and saw the news coverage. Yeah, I'll always remember that night.