Tag Archives: John Lennon

John Lennon Knew the Source of the World’s Troubles

lennon-001“One thing you can’t hide, is when you’re crippled inside.”  ~ John Lennon

Every day I watch the news and I’m saddened by the fact that we as a society spend most of our time dealing with symptoms and not the problem. Crime, war, abusive behavior, addiction, appetite for power, depression – they’re just symptoms. Inability to deal with one’s human emotions is almost always at the heart of these issues.

We’ve made incredible advances in medicine, technology, our universe. And yet as a society, have we had any success reducing violence, divorce, suicide, or increasing our levels of happiness or meaning in our lives? We have an intense curiosity when it comes to exploring the world outside of us – and a paralyzing fear when it comes to exploring the world within.

And until we make the same advances in addressing human emotions in a constructive manner, we can never build enough jails, pop enough pills, conquer enough kingdoms, or fill our lives with enough gadgets and creature comforts to make our problems go away.

There’s a saying that emotions will always find an outlet. If you don’t find a constructive one, they’ll find a destructive one for you. And we see it on the news or in our lives every day.

…And John Lennon knew it.

With that thought in mind, my latest original composition, “Tales of the Emotionally Blind.”

The Night They Told Us John Lennon Died

30 years ago this evening the news of John Lennon’s death rocked our world. In the United States, it was ABC’s Monday Night Football and specifically Howard Cosell who broke the news to the television viewing public. It was an odd twist of fate, as ABC’s Alan Weiss was coincidentally in the same hospital where Lennon was taken on the tragic evening after suffering an accident, and he notified the station from a hospital pay phone.

In this video preview of the ESPN show Outside the Lines, Wiess and Dr. Stephan Lynn recall the events of that evening.

Link to ESPN’s OTL preview

John Lennon, Insecurity, & Success

I watched the PBS Special American Masters: John Lennon last night. In one segment, the documentary told the story of how John Lennon, when Elton John asked him to come to New York and perform on stage with him at the Madison Square Garden, promised that if his new song “Whatever Gets You Through the Night” became a #1 hit, he would take him up on that offer.

Lennon, likely to his surprise, had to make good on his offer in 1974. He had trepidation regarding his appearance to the extent that he was physically ill. He was going through a period in which his controversial opinions and outspokenness had garnered a great deal of criticism in the press, and his perception of his public image was being shaped by that coverage.

To his surprise, the audience gave him an extended ovation that Elton John described as “the greatest ovation I’ve ever heard for anybody in my whole life.” Yoko Ono was so moved by that reception and how it affected her husband that she was teary-eyed decades later recalling that event.

Interesting that even someone with the artistry and success of John Lennon would be apprehensive about how he would be received, but I guess there’s a little insecurity in everyone. But artists are in the business of putting themselves and their work on the line, subject to public scrutiny all of the time. And that’s just what John Lennon did to great success.

Here’s an excerpt from my book from Dr. Steven Sims of the Chicago Institute of Voice Care on that subject:

“Courage is realizing your fear and going ahead and doing what you should do. So for me, realizing that I had stage fright, the confidence builder was that I did it. I was supposed to get up and do a solo, and I actually finished. That built the confidence. Something that I was terrified to do, I could prepare to do it and do it well, despite being afraid.

“As a surgeon there are lots of times when you make your incision, and it’s a lot more challenging than you thought it would be…That experience helped me in terms of training me that when you get a little nervous, to use that energy to perfect your performance rather than fall apart.”

H. Steven Sims, M.D. Director, Chicago Institute for Voice Care
Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center
Vocalist, Pianist, Trombonist, & Bassoonist


Watch the complete episode, entitled LENNONYC at PBS.org 

“FROM THE BAND ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM…The 9 Common Lessons of Music Education That Translate into Success”

Link to Free E-book Everything We Needed to Know About Business, We Learned Playing Music at Google Docs (view or download)


Beatles on My Mind

Yesterday marked John Lennon’s 70th birthday. The Beatles’ music validated rock and roll as a legitimate art form and their message inspired generations. Happy Birthday, John.

Paul McCartney was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Award for popular song this summer. This concert features musical tributes from several musicians as well as Paul and his band performing for an intimate audience including the first family front and center.

The entire 90 minute video is available at the pbs website:
Video link