PARIS (AFP) – Former Beatle John Lennon’s profession was lower quick 40 years in the past when he was shot lifeless at 40 in New York – however he lives on within the songs and attitudes of different artists.
Many sing his tunes, some point out him of their lyrics, whereas others query his legacy and even admit… they actually favor his songwriting companion Paul McCartney.
‘Roll on John’
Maybe the best tribute to Lennon lately got here from Bob Dylan, the American folk-rock large who was a private acquaintance.
The closing monitor of Dylan’s 2012 album Tempest was titled Roll On John. The seven-minute dirge recounts Lennon’s homicide on Dec 8, 1980, and formative years as a touring musician, “From the Liverpool docks to the red-light Hamburg streets”.
Among the many numerous direct cowl variations of Lennon’s solo and Beatles songs, Ozzy Osbourne’s 2010 tribute stood out: a model of How? from Lennon’s traditional album Think about.
The ex-leader of heavy metallic pioneers Black Sabbath strolled by means of New York streets in a black leather-based trench coat and laid a wreath at Lennon’s memorial in Central Park.
Rolls Royce insurgent
For all of the nostalgia, Lennon was a divisive and contradictory determine. Sceptics questioned his standing as a counterculture icon and the sincerity of his positions on gender equality and capitalism.
“Lennon had a ‘teddy boy’ aspect to him,” mentioned music journalist Stan Cuesta, creator of a guide about The Beatles, referring to the Liverpool musician’s slick-haired, working class insurgent beginnings. “He as soon as had a Rolls Royce. He was advanced.”
Former Animals frontman Eric Burdon has mentioned Lennon got here up with the surreal lyrics to I Am The Walrus after the 2 took half in an orgy in London.
“John was all the time the provocateur of the group. He prompted a horrible scandal when he mentioned The Beatles have been extra widespread than Jesus,” mentioned Cuesta.
“However he solely obtained political and began going to artwork galleries with Yoko Ono,” the Japanese artist he married in 1969.
Even Lennon’s undisputed musical legacy leaves room for dialogue.
As a songwriting partnership, Lennon and McCartney modified the face of music by means of their harmonies, singer Sharleen Spiteri of British band Texas informed AFP.
Even so, the “who’s your favorite Beatle” debate is as previous because the group itself.
“Lennon had a somewhat surreal creative aspect to him. He was extra political, rebellious, mental,” mentioned Laurent Voulzy, a French rocker of The Beatles’ technology.
“However as a guitarist and bass-player myself, I’ve all the time appreciated Paul’s swish preparations, the sensitivity of his melodies and lyrics.”
Cuesta highlights one other monitor from the Think about album: Jealous Man, a wistful ballad – notably lined by singer Bryan Ferry with Roxy Music.
Lennon “was a pure musical genius, extra intuitive than the opposite Beatles,” Cuesta mentioned, citing additionally the band’s psychedelic hit Strawberry Fields.
Like Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara, Lennon’s face ended up on memento T-shirts – typically inscribed with the title of his music Working Class Hero.
That anthem sums up Lennon’s legacy for Yves Bigot, a tv government and former rock critic and document producer.
“It tells you to assume for your self,” he mentioned.