Is John Lennon alive

60 years of "Love Me Do" - Imagine ... John Lennon would still be alive

I was recently in New York, in Central Park. The sun was shining, squirrels darted across the lawn. A memorial was built for him there in 1985, a compass rose made of mosaic stones, right across from the Dakota Building, in front of which this coward shot him. "Imagine" is in the middle. People stood in a circle, Americans, but they were silent. One had a guitar. That can quickly become embarrassing. But it didn't.

Sure, John Lennon has it easy as a legend: He's dead. But let's just imagine he was still alive.


He would do us good. In a world full of ripped off pragmatists, full of small-minded greed and screamers, we could use a dreamer, one who preaches altruism, who reminds us of the big picture. Left idealism has gone out of fashion, utopias are out. Lennon would remind us that a society needs to worry about what it wants to be, not just what it doesn't want to be. And when a couple of weirdos pee on his leg, when some idiots break a shit storm from the fence, then he would tell them what he said to the fan on his doorstep: “What do you want from me? I'm just a musician. "

It might be a little less legendary. But he would like that. He never wanted to be Jesus. That's the nice thing about living legends: They have no self-interest. Like Keith Richards, like Bob Dylan, yes, even like Paul McCartney, they no longer have to prove anything. You are above the small and small of everyday life. Lennon would be 77 years old today - and very welcome. Because how desperate do we have to be, how urgent our desire for a visionary arbitrator, someone who helps with order, when we are celebrating an economically liberal ex-investment banker like Emmanuel Macron as a moral authority.

Of course - the "bed-in for peace" in 1969 at the Amsterdam Hilton, the stupid "Bagism" sack stories with Yoko Ono, the "Rolling Stone" photo by Annie Leibovitz, in which he cuddles up to Yoko naked and in a fetal position - that was a strange, metrosexual, infantile Lennon, that would be embarrassing today. Lennon on Twitter, Lennon chained in Gorleben, Lennon visiting the troops in Iraq, Lennon with a washable #MeToo tattoo on his forearm - none of that should exist. But Lennon was never a fighter and was only a brief political activist. First and foremost, he was a musician. Let's imagine: once a year a live concert in Central Park, star guests: Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Ringo. And Lennon would chat for a bit between songs, reminding us that the madness is out there right now and the guys who annoy aren't omnipotent. That would be enough. A concert for Syria. And another one. And another one. Until it works.

And: There are new songs. Yoko doesn't have to put the last snippets together for the fifty-sixth best-of album. Maybe at some point he would even have noticed that Yoko can't sing.

Lennon 2018 - that would not be an ethereal saint, no Dalai Lama of the western world. Also not a nutty do-gooder and strenuous political rocker who secretes morally acidic objections about world politics in every microphone and mates with the powerful. The role is already taken by Bono. Lennon 2018 - that would be the old fat man, the old hater of institutions, the old Liverpool crosshead who sang in "Give Me Some Truth" how he sang the lies of "myopic, neurotic, psychotic politicians", of "schizophrenic, egocentric, paranoid Primadonnas ”get on your nerves. There are more than enough of both varieties today. Lennon knew that utopias (Greek: “non-places”) cannot be realized, that they are suitable as models, as fixed stars, but not as a recipe for existence.

It wasn't until the Beatles said goodbye to immortality in 1970 that John Lennon became happy. He became himself. And a dreamer. The best dreamers are those who used to be cynics, jokes, class bastards. Because they have all that behind them, the gags, the sayings. "Oh my love, for the first time in my life / my eyes are wide open," he sang. Lennon wasn't the better Beatle. Lennon was the better Lennon. We could use him well.

From Imre Grimm