It's hard to believe December 8th marks the 32st anniversary of John Lennon's murder. Today, he is considered one of the most influential musicians of all time and in 2010, alone, he sold over 14 million records in the United States.
I was four years old when Lennon died. I don't remember it. It didn't have a great impact on my life. Yet it still saddens me, maybe because I wonder what would have happened if he had survived the shooting. Would he still be making music? If so, what kind of music would it be? Would he still be considered one of the most influential musicians of all time? Would the Beatles have got back together?
So many questions spring to mind that will never be answered.
I first discovered The Beatles when I was 8. I had to write about something for Primary School and for some reason I decided to write about four guys from Liverpool. If you asked me what I wrote, I couldn't tell you. But I can remember pulling out the White Album with its four photos of the Beatles and asking my Mum who was who. My mum was a huge Beatles fan and still considers her photo of John, Paul, Ringo and George with Tikis around their neck - coming off a plane in New Zealand - one of her most treasured possessions. Well, that and her Elvis Presley signature.
It's weird how you recall certain things. In deciding to write about The Beatles – which I think I wanted to do because my mother loved them so much and that meant something to me – I also have my first memory of The Beatles. My mother played the White Album for me and in complete silence we sat there and just listened.
This is memorable to me for a number of reasons. For one, it was my first connection with my mother over music and instantly reminds me that my love of music definitely comes from my mother's side of the family. Before my mother met and married my father she worked for EMI in Wellington, New Zealand.
Secondly, sitting there listening to 'Back in the USSR,' 'Rocky Raccoon' and 'Helter Skelter,' I got my first introduction to the wonder of music and some truly amazing song writers. (To this day 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' and 'Here Comes the Sun' are two of my favorite songs).
Like Kiss, John Lennon and The Beatles carved a path in my life and a direction and gravitation towards Music Journalism, for which I will forever be thankful.
Even on the 32nd anniversary of his death, we all have a lot to thank Lennon for. Many of our own favorite artists and influences were carved through Lennon and his music. If John Lennon had not existed where would music be today? Would The Beatles have even existed and would they have the phenomenon they were? Who would our own favorite musicians worship and be influenced by?
So, here's a salute to John Lennon for influencing some of the biggest musicians in the world - who in turn have influenced many other talented musicians.
Here's to John – who, together, with Ringo, Paul and George formed one of the influential bands of all time. And here's to John again for leaving us with hits such as 'Instant Karma,' 'Happy Xmas (War is Over),' 'Woman' and, who could forget, 'Imagine.'
Frankly John, I couldn't imagine a musical world without you in it and neither do I want to. Thank you for the music.