On the 30th anniversary of his death Wednesday (December 8), fans participated in Lennon tributes across the globe — including a diverse lineup of Lennon’s high-profile acolytes and members of his family who shared their thoughts about the game-changing activist and musician.
“RIP JOHN LENNON. ONE OF MUSICS GREATEST,” Bad Boy mogul Diddy tweeted.
Fellow British musician and Kinks frontman Ray Davies recalled learning of Lennon’s death from a reporter just days after running into the superstar’s widow, Yoko Ono, on the streets of New York. Davies said Lennon’s sound had always inspired him to pursue his own career. “I thought back to when I was a 17-year-old student in the recreation room at art college and heard John sing ‘Twist and Shout’ on the record player, and how I was blown away by his directness,” Davis wrote in an op-ed piece for The New York Times. “How his voice cut through all the nonsense and sent a message to me that said, ‘If I can do it then so can you, so get up off your backside and play some rock ‘n’ roll,’ as if to throw down a musical gauntlet.”
In her own tribute to Lennon, Ono blogged about an intimate moment she and her husband shared laughing about the fact that he had been preparing their tea incorrectly for years.
“On this day, the day he was assassinated for being a truth seeker and a communicator, what I remember is the night we both cracked up drinking tea,” she wrote on her website, ImaginePeace.com.”They say teenagers laugh with a drop of a hat. But nowadays I see many teenagers angry and sad at each other. John and I were hardly teenagers. But my memory of us is that we were a couple who laughed.”
Lennon’s son with Ono, Sean, tweeted his appreciation for the messages of support from fans. “Thank you for all the kind words. Let’s all just pray for peace on earth,” he wrote. “That’s what he cared about most.”
Ono echoed a similar sentiment in her letter, reminding fans that Lennon’s ongoing efforts to effect change were central to his mission while he was still alive.
“The most important gift we received from him was not words, but deeds. He believed in Truth, and had dared to speak up. We all knew that he upset certain powerful people with it. But that was John. He couldn’t have been in any other way,” she wrote. “If he were here now, I think he would have shouted so we can all hear it. That truth was important. Because without knowing all the truth of what we did, we could not achieve world peace.”
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