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Lennon ~ Dec 8, 1980

DECEMBER 8, 2009
Music reaches the memory in a powerful way for me. When I was about 14 or 15 I was forging ahead in my life, starting to mature and figure out who I was. The loss of my father at 9 was not hurting me anymore and with that, the memories of him faded. It's a survival tool to forget and the mind packs things away so we can move about the world without tripping on the clutter. At 15 I was lifting weights, hitting my speedbag, riding my 10 speed around, and thinking about girls. Not much else got into my head. One afternoon I was hanging out with my friend lifting weights in his basement when he put on a scratchy Beatles album (for those under 30, 'Album' refers to LP records; the large circular discs the size of a dinner plate that you put on a record player). All the songs were familiar but it was 'Because' that resonated. I remember how my day was stalled in thought. My father played Abbey Road and perhaps that was the last time I remember him playing music. Dad flooded back into focus; his beard, his voice even the feeling of hanging on him in a swimming pool. The sound of Abbey Road still gives me a deep sadness. In college as I began to sit at an easel for long periods of time, music was my airplane and allowed me to travel to new places or old ones. John Lennon was the most honest and thoughtful artist I listened to and for me, in that time, I found each new Lennon album for the first time. Music is great like that as it waits for you to discover it and experience it like it's 1963, 1971 or 1980. 

My son Cassius has taken to the Beatles due to RockBand.  He loves George.

Lennon would be proud as he hoped we would think for ourselves.

Bill O'Brien, 1973