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Remembering John Lennon - Part One


Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the tragic death of a musical icon: John Winston Ono Lennon, songwriter, visual artist, Beatle, activist, husband and father. Having grown up in a family that loved The Beatles, I listened to their music from a young age. And I found myself favouring the Lennon stuff rather than the McCartney. I barely recall the day he died, as I was quite young, but I've always tried to find a way to commemorate December 8th each year, either by listening to my John Lennon Collection on vinyl, or watching Imagine.

This year, I decided to write a piece, remembering John Lennon, and specifically, his relationship with Toronto.

It was here that John Lennon performed his first live show without The Beatles. September 13, 1969, Varsity Stadium, the Live Peace In Toronto concert. Toronto was also the starting point of his and Yoko Ono's peace campaign, which culminated in the "Bed In For Peace" in Montreal.

In part two of this piece, I'll detail his relationship with Toronto, a city that he loved, and embraced him. And I'll have some first hand accounts on how Toronto radio responded to what is perhaps one of the darkest moments in music history.

It'll be a way for those of us who were around to remember, or perhaps learn about, how Lennon was connected to our city. And for those who weren't around back then, to learn a few interesting tidbits about music history, and how important events took place right here.

Photo courtesy of beatles.ncf.ca


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