Remembering John Lennon - 30 Years Later

By Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group

By Kelli Richards
December 13, 2010

Like much of the world, I've spent the last week thinking about John Lennon and the anniversary of his death on December 8th. It's honestly hard to believe that thirty years have passed since he was taken from us in a single moment's insanity. In fact, most of the time, it's hard to believe that John's really gone at all. His was far more than the voice of a generation - it was often the voice of our hearts and our conscience.

And as unimaginable as it is to hold space for the thirty years of unspoken words and unwritten songs, what I truly cannot get away from this week is the rest of John. As great a man as he was, and as truly generous a soul - especially to his fellow musicians - for two men out there, John Lennon wasn't a Beatle - or an icon - he was simply Dad.

I met Julian Lennon for the first time several years ago. I was struck with how gracious he was and how engaging - how much he reminded me of his father and how strongly he had aligned with his Dad's passion for peace and conservation. But I was also captured by the deep sadness he seemed to bear, just under that gracious surface. I remember sharing with Julian how sorry I was for his loss - and recognizing how he had lost his dad, twice really. It was a deeply heartfelt conversation and a genuine connection. In a career filled with world=renowned musicians and many celebrity relationships - it is one that has stayed with me at a core level.

Julian has his own voice of course. His new album "Everything Changes" should be out by next year, and in October he helped his mom, Cynthia Lennon, publicize the John Lennon Peace Monument in Liverpool. And Sean has found his own path as well, now co-leading a band with his musician / model girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl (Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger.)

But all successes aside, it's still Julian I think of often - and Sean. How the thread of their lives with their dad, John Lennon, was forever cut short by something so senseless and beyond comprehension. I have always been struck by how much Julian looks and sounds like his father - in the way that only fathers and sons can. In fact, one of my career aspirations has always been to create a benefit concert with Julian and Paul McCartney around John Lennon's music. To use the talents I have to honor how much was left unsaid, by one of the people who most deserved to hear it - his son. Julian embodies his own gifts and talents along with his father's.

I suppose that is really my attempt to make sense of these things - this loss - to find some deeper meaning. To find some thread of understanding that will provide some peace - for Julian and for the rest of us. To knit a golden thread through time and space and recapture one of the greatest voices of humanity, and to simply risk listening and hearing what we MIGHT some day achieve - if we would only imagine. John's greatest gifts were surely his music and his wish for peace and love which inspired and sparked a generation. And we are truly fortunate that his legacy and grace endures and burns most brightly in Sean and Julian.

Kelli Richards, CEO of The All Access Group
"Connecting the Dots Between Entertainment and Technology"

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