John Lennon – The Voice of a Generation

Today marks the tragic and senseless murder of John Lennon. A man that represented so much to so many was gunned down by a maniac 28 years ago. It all started with the music, even innocent songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” were seen as controversial at the time but as a generation grew and began to ask questions, John did as well and let the world know through his music. He just wanted the everyone to give peace a chance but was viewed as a threat by the government and many others, sadly. Seen as more than just an entertainer but a leader for the peace movement in politics and humanity, John lived a life both admiration and condemnation.

Twenty eight years later people still gather in at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, just across the road from the Dakota. I often wonder what John would be doing now, what would his views be on the current situation with the world. What music would he have made over the past two decades. We’ll never know but John’s spirit and memory remains alive in the music he created and the mark he left on the world and the minds of millions.

“We all shine on, like the moon and the stars and sun…”

This day in classic rock:
1995 – The surviving members of the Grateful Dead disband the group following Jerry Garcia’s death in August.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 60′s Counter Culture Icon Dies

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed away Tuesday night at the age of 91. With the likes of Ravi Shankar, The Maharishi helped bring eastern influence to western rock in the 1960′s. Most probably remember him teaching Transcendental Meditation to the Beatles when they took off to India for a much needed break from their fame. Though the Beatles eventually become disillusioned, as evident in the song Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey. Also the song Sexy Sadie was rumored to be written about The Marharishi making advances towards Mia Farrow. On the positive side, Across the Universe and Mother Nature’s Son were inspired by The Marharishi/Transcendental Meditation.

Other 60′s rock stars including Mike Love, of the Beach Boys and Donovan also were tought the Transcendental Meditation techniques that initially drew the Beatles to the Maharishi. Hurdy Gurdy Man was written shortly after Donovan had returned from India studying under The Marharishi alongside the Beatles in 1968.

By the 1970′s some 5 million were said to be practicing Transcendental Meditation. In the 1980′s with schools set up all over the world he founded the Natural Law Party. His business at that time, was said to be worth multi-millions, which included a property dealership and a company selling Ayurvedic medicine and cosmetics

In the 90′s he became somewhat of a recluse, mostly communicating via video. In 2002, he was mocked by suggesting he could combat terrorism if he could raise 1 billion dollars to train 40,000 expert meditators. His plan to end world poverty through organic farming was also scoffed at when he claimed 10 trillion dollars was needed to fund it.

While he may of not of stopped terrorism or ended world hunger, The Maharishi accomplished many things, sending positive vibes throughout the world, teaching and inspiring others to create. He lived a long and full life, and one that will not be forgotten. A memorial service was held in Vlodrop, Netherlands today before his body is taken to India for a funeral by the Ganges.

This day in classic rock:

  • 1979: Stephen Stills completes the first digitally recorded rock LP, which is never released.