Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Day The Music Died

Thirty years ago John Lennon was murdered.   For the baby boomers like me, December 8th, 1980 was the day the music died.  There would never a Beatles reunion and never be another John Lennon song or interview.   I mention interview because John Lennon had the courage and intelligence to speak on topics of the day.

Yoko Ono wrote yesterday in the New York Times:

"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 any other way. If he were here now, I think he would still be shouting the truth. Without the truth, there would be no way to achieve world peace."

Of course John Lennon was a musical genius, but The Beatles also worked extremely hard.   In Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers, Gladwell's premise is that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in anything.  In the book, Gladwell discusses how The Beatles were invited to play in Hamburg, Germany in 1960 when they were still a struggling band.  What was unusual about Hamburg is that they had to play all night, eight hours straight, seven days a week, for weeks on end.   John Lennon, in an interview after the Beatles disbanded, talking about the band’s performances at Hamburg, said: “We got better and got more confidence.  We couldn’t help it with all the experience playing all night long. . . In Liverpool, we’d only ever done one-hour sessions, and we just used to do our best numbers, the same ones, at every one.   In Hamburg we had to play for eight hours, so we really had to find a new way of playing.”