Today would be John Lennon’s 74th birthday.
I didn’t grow up listening to the Beatles. A child of the eighties, my world was full of Wham!, Culture Club, Devo, and MTV (when they actually played music videos). My brother and I knew all the words to Will Smith’s (aka Fresh Prince) “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” My best friend Wendy and I had a mission to learn every Go-Go’s song ever recorded, and dreamed of starting our own women-only rock band. She and I both learned the very first rap ever — from Blondie’s Rapture. We can still sing it today, much to the delight of our children. I religiously attended Skateland every Saturday, where I would shuffle my heart out to Jam on it by Newcleus time and time again. I idolized Madonna. I thought I had refined taste when it came to music.
In the summer after my senior year in 1991, I was enamored of Technotronic’s Pump up the Jam, when I got a job at Soundtracks Recording Studio in Lake George Village. At Soundtracks, you could sing along to your favorite song (there were thousands to choose from) and the sound engineer would replace the original singer’s voice with your melodious (or not so melodious) voice. Voila! We made every tourist an instant recording artist.
It was at Soundtracks that I learned about the Beatles. My coworker, Joe, was the person who enlightened me. He explained how the Beatles were the first band to make rock music. At the time, I didn’t understand why that was a big deal. He explained how groundbreaking the style of music was, how they laid the foundation for music as we know it today. He played me song after song, explaining the genius of it. And his passion for this British rock band impressed me so much, I found myself feeling a bit fickle and immature with my affinity for what I suddenly looked upon as “fake music” (electronica).
I managed to redeem myself with my mastery of the Go-Go’s and Blondie, though. I think. (Right, Joe?)
Because the unusual circumstances around his death is the subject of my book, I’ve now become a sort of John Lennon groupie. I follow him on Twitter. I’ve liked his page on Facebook. I follow all the cool tributes the world puts in place for him. This week, his “Paperback Writer” guitar is going up for auction. In honor of his birthday, Yoko Ono and Universal Music Group are offering Lennon’s music via streaming channels like Spotify, RDIO, Deezer, and Beats Music. You can also download his Greatest Hits album “Power to the People” at a discounted price.
And for this weekend only (October 10 – 13), you can buy the ebook of CATCHER’S KEEPER for only $1.99! Celebrate Lennon’s birthday by reading my alternate version of history, where Holden Caulfield does his best to intervene Mark David Chapman’s attempt on John Lennon’s life.
Unfortunately, Soundtracks no longer is in business in Lake George Village. I would like to go and record “Paperback Writer.”
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?