Imagine: Art Endures

Last week marked the 37th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder.
In three years, he will be gone as long as he lived.
For me and for millions of others, the loss still stings.
I was 16 when Howard Cosell broke the tragic news on Monday Night Football.
Although my friends and I were only six when The Beatles broke up in 1970, we were devoted and devout fans. Yes we missed the band when they were active, but we didn’t miss out on their music. It was a big part of our lives.
It still is.
Thanks to The Beatles Channel on Sirius XM I get to listen to the band on my morning commute to the office. It’s great to have The Beatles and the solo music of John Lennon as a part of my daily life.
Great music and great art endures. It’s timeless.
The issues of the day come and go—worries bubble up and fade– but a great song, a great movie, a great book, a great painting– they last.
And so the music of John Lennon endures.
My friends and I joined 225,000 people in Central Park a few days after the tragedy for a vigil to honor Lennon. It’s a memory that will last a lifetime; throngs of people singing, crying and trying to make sense of a senseless act of violence.

All over the world, people mourned. In Palm Beach, fans were welcomed onto the grounds of John and Yoko’s home to pray and grieve. It was interesting to read the coverage in the Palm Beach Daily News last week chronicling John and Yoko’s ties to our area.

Years later, hundreds of fans streamed  into a tent on the grounds of Old School Square to view Lennon’s art work– a testament to his lasting impact.
That’s the power of great art and great artists. Their work resonates and lasts.
Readers of this blog know that I’m a huge admirer of Bruce Springsteen another artist whose work has endured.
William Taylor, founding editor of Fast Company magazine, recently went to see “Springsteen on Broadway” which has gotten rave reviews. It’s an evening of intimate songs and stories about Bruce’s life. The magic of great art is that it somehow becomes about all of our lives. We gain insight and clarity from music, art, drama and literature.
Here’s what Mr. Taylor shared on Facebook.
“Well, some folks have asked, and now that we are back from NYC here is my very brief reaction to Springsteen on Broadway. The show is as overwhelming as people say it is. It is a funny, joyous, unbelievably personal celebration of life. It is also an aching, painful, unbelievably personal meditation on mortality, the unbearable sadness of so much of what happens to us and how it shapes us. What’s also striking is the sound. The theater is so small, the sound system so good, it feels like you are inside the guitars, like you can feel the strings on your skin.  And when Bruce, time and again, steps away from the mic and talks or sings directly to the audience, with no amplification, you truly can hear a pin drop. I am man enough to say I reached for the Kleenex three times, which actually showed some good emotional restraint. I know tickets are impossible, but keep trying….”
That’s the power of music. That’s the power of a great artist to touch and move an audience.

We won’t be talking about the small bore politics of the day six months from now never mind decades from now .
But we will be listening to John Lennon’s music.
Of that I’m certain.
When WPBT recently ran a special on The Beatles, we watched and smiled. The music is amazing. The chemistry still crackles.
It’s genius. Pure and simple.

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