Imagine…if John Lennon were alive to celebrate his 75th birthday tomorrow! It’s a tantalizing thought, isn’t it? What would life have been life for the ex-Beatles if only…
You don’t need to be a Beatles expert to have your own thoughts on the matter. While his murder in 1980 was a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions, there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on it.
So instead, this week – when John would have turned 75 years old – I’ve been thinking about what might have been.
Thinking about John’s life and what might have been, there are three topics of conjecture:
Would the Beatles have reunited?
Would John have stayed married to Yoko?
If not, who would he have married?
I think it’s unlikely the Beatles ever would have reunited despite their brief affair in the mid-90s for their “anthology.” That’s a good thing – there’s no way to recapture magic like that once it’s gone. But I’m positive he and Paul would have written songs again.
He and Paul were mates as he often said in interview after interview even when talking about their bitter split. The thing is, John died too soon for them to write together again. They were like a long-married couple, still bitter after the divorce. They each were dealing with the other’s “affair” if you will – John with Yoko and Paul with Linda.
But I feel certain time would have healed the hard feelings. Paul wanted to write with John again. Like a puppy dog, he’d show up at the Dakota practically begging for John to come to the door. When John turned him away for the last time in 1976, it’s likely because the wounds of their breakup were still too fresh. In a few years, they’d have been back or so I like to imagine.
As for John & Yoko, it does seem like a union for the ages but maybe that’s because it’s frozen in time and only seems that way. John was notoriously mercurial and might well have bristled at Yoko’s control over him. He needed her to separate from Paul and the boys but it might have gotten old after a time. (Even when he was alive, John left Yoko for a time to have an affair with May Pang.)
The final question is: If John had left Yoko and married again, who would his next wife have been? Madonna? Who knows? They’d have been neighbors on Central Park West and John may well have liked her style.
Alas…if only. Sometimes, it’s nice to imagine but sad as well.
Happy Birthday John….and Sean too, turning 40 years old on the same day his old man was born.
[Note: If you want to explore more, check out this new book about a trip back in time to meet John and the Beatles.]