October 9th, would have been John Lennon‘s 80th birthday.
Born in Liverpool, England in 1940, he was killed outside his New York City apartment building on the night of December 8th, 1980 at age 40. This year marks the 40th anniversary of that tragic day.
“People like me are aware of their genius, so called, at 10, eight, nine. I always thought, ‘Why has nobody discovered me?’ In school, can’t they see that I’m cleverer than anybody I this school? That the teachers are stupid too. I used to say to auntie, ‘You’ve thrown my [bleeping] poetry out and you’ll regret it out when I’m famous.’ And she threw the bastard stuff out. I never forgave her for not treating me like a [bleeping] genius or whatever I was when I was a child. I was different. I was always different. Why didn’t anybody notice me? It comes out that people like me have to say it themselves because we get [bleeping] kicked.”
In conjunction with the milestone, another collection of his solo material will be released today.
Gimme Some Truth – The Ultimate Mixes contains 36 songs picked by his widow, Yoko Ono, and their son Sean, who also produced the album. They’ve been completely remixed from scratch using brand new transfers of the original multi-tracks, cleaned up to the highest possible sonic quality.
The album title comes from Lennon’s 1971 rebuke of deceptive politicians, hypocrisy and war: “I’m sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites. All I want is the truth, just give me some truth. I’ve had enough of reading things by neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians. All I want is the truth, just give me some truth”
The photo on the album cover was taken the day Lennon returned his MBE.
“I don’t think he would be forgotten, but his legacy might go into a direction that is not particularly interesting. In other words, most people are into making money, so they couldn’t care less what the music quality is and I just want to keep his music in the way he wanted to.”
And here on Earth, John’s son Sean turns 45, and Jackson Browne, 72. Browne is taking part in the 40th Annual John Lennon Tribute – 80th Birthday Celebration tomorrow (Friday) 7 at p.m. ET through October 12th at midnight. Among those joining him are Natalie Merchant, Patti Smith, Willie Nile, Jorma Kaukonen, Marc Cohn, Taj Mahal and others.