Being 20: Spotlight on John Lennon

Another musical legend, whose influence on David has everything to do with how he penned a song, “Imagine,” that would later be re-imagined – pun intended – into a little piece of magic, as sung by The Voice, is worthy of our attention.

Did David revive this song for a new generation? Most definitely!  By infusing his youthful, boyish hope for a better world, he transformed John Lennon’s own mature take on world peace – and the melancholic clinging to this hope in the midst of widespread cynicism – into a sincere yet deliciously complex rendering of a recognizable tune and made it sound brand new.  That’s not talent to sneeze at, folks!

So, a little spotlight on the man who penned this classic and what he was doing when he was David’s present age.  When John Lennon was 20 years old, he was transforming an old skiffle band, which he formed with some friends from his high school, called the Quarrymen, into The Beatles.  Together, they practiced and toured and eventually hooked up with a manager, before they broke onto the British pop charts in 1963, when he was around 23.  A year later, they went to the U.S. and made their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, and the rest, of course, is history.

John Lennon’s own longing for change happened around 1965, again that magical male age of 25, when he wanted The Beatles’ music to be taken seriously as more than “boy band music,” and an anecdote goes that their song, “Help,” was really about wanting help from the Beatlemania that surrounded them.  In 1970, he finally broke up with the band to pursue a solo career, and a year later, he would give us “Imagine.”

Considering how John Lennon’s artistic vision evolved through a longer process (despite his premature death at age 40 due to his assassination in 1980), imagine if he got dismissed from a music career at age 20!  As I keep saying, the best is yet to come.  Who knows what David has in store, when so many others before him took a while to mature their sound.

Here’s to the promise and potential! 🙂

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Posted on March 1, 2011, in Being 20 Series. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Thanks , loving this :D, you can add Luis Miguel too, He fit perfectly in this series 🙂

  2. What a great and timely tribute piece on the third anniversary of when we were all slayed by a young, sensitive, old-soul singer who touched and changed our lives forever.

    Great series HG!

    • hell0g0rge0us

      You know, Joymus, I hadn’t even thought of the 3rd anniversary of “Imagine.” So glad I chose to highlight Lennon then! 🙂

  3. This is the first time I’ve seen that pic of Lennon – love the black and white photos!

    Re. “Imagine”, David really made the the “brotherhood of man” lyric stand out; when I hear the original, I’m disappointed that it’s not emphasized more. I can’t think of a song within the past 5 years that will stand the test of time like “Imagine”.

  4. Fun to look back at Lennon near the 3rd anniversary of Imagine! I’d always liked the song, but somehow never cared for Lennon’s voice on it. Pairing David’s voice with Imagine was epic. Gave it more tenderness, sensitivity and a youthful optimism.

    And TOSOD is at #2 on Barnes & Noble and #23 on Vocal Pop at Amazon this morning…

  5. I admit I never liked Imagine before David sang it. Imagine is the song that made me a fan of David, it was like I heard it for the first time (then I fell in love with Shop Around and Heaven).

    TOSOD is a great album and it’s cool to see that more people are aware of it even if it’s due to the bad press. That just confirms what we were saying since the beginning : JIVE SUCKS !

    HG, these “Being 20” series are great. They help to put things in perspective. David, at 20, achieved a lot and I’m confident he’ll find his place in this music biz sooner than we think (even more now that he got rid of Jive and Melinda). I re watched his performances of Imagine (I also like the last time he sang it in AI) and I’d love to hear him redo live “We Can Work It Out”, the Stevie Wonder version.

  6. Off Topic, but just flying by to share a video spoof staring Ralph Macchio about the career challenges of being a young-looking ‘good guy’. Can anyone relate?

  7. Great videos cmoi and Bright Light. I had not seen them. Thanks. lol

  8. hell0g0rge0us

    Wow…just…WTF!

    I missed Idol all of last week (so caught up with David’s drama) so I didn’t see who made the Top 24.

    So, tuning in, after channel-surfing (having forgotten that Idol was on tonight), I’m already 45 minutes into the Top 12 guys. Just… Ugh!

    This is TRAINWRECK TV (I can only imagine the field day VFTW is having right now). It’s pointless to say that I miss David’s Top 24 performance of “Shop Around”:

    But, we don’t even get a Clay Aiken or Elliott Yamin or Ruben Studdard or even an Adam Lambert (and, no, this James Durbin guy DOES NOT COUNT, Steven Tyler!)?

    What the heck am I watching? Lordy, Lordy!

  9. hell0g0rge0us

    OK, so in the last 30 minutes of the show, I think I found two favorites: Jacob Lusk and Casey Adams.

    They’re no David Archuleta, but they did good tonight and redeemed the night (and perhaps the new season).

    • ITA HG! The country Scotty is good also. The judges are still too nice in my opinion.

      • I like Scotty, too. It’s nice to see a true country singer on Idol, just to keep the field open to ALL singers.

      • raelovingangels

        lol too nice? I think it is refreshing after the negativty of the last few years. What I like is Steven and J Lo really love music and it shows through. They are positive and encouraging. I did find myself agreeng with Randy however on most of the assessments. There was one guy who did a ballad- ( I have not been watching except on & off- so don’t know the names) but I thought the ballad was a bit too over the top. Sorry diid not like the hair flipper. His voice was ok but totally distracted wth the hair.

      • hell0g0rge0us

        Vote for the Worst has already chosen our “Hair Flipper.” I think I’m going to call him that from now on. 😆

  10. I really liked Casey.

  11. My favorite was Paul (i.e., Maggie Mae).

  12. David and “The Alchemist” author, Paulo Coelho, follow one another on twitter. Today Paulo posted a link to 2 quotes that fit David perfectly.

    1) At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

    2) If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

  13. Idol was alright. As I did tonight, I typically dvd it and fast-forward through 90% of the program. It was okay. The contestants who stood out to me were Casey, Scotty and James. They were very different yet all were good. The rest were pretty much forgettable for me, unfortunately.

    NONE of them rocked my socks like David did three years ago. Not even REMOTELY close. Though some were pretty good, I didn’t bother to vote.

  14. “Hair Flipper” was my biggest disappointment on AI last night. I was expecting him to channel Mick Hucknall, the lead singer of Simply Red but he didn’t come close to Mick vocally.

    Also, I enjoyed the Macchio video and can’t wait to see him on DWTS.

  15. Just discovered this article and plan to dig into the previous “20” articles as I find the time. Love this one! I was interested in David at his audition (as was my husband) and Shop Around definitely increased my admiration for David, but I think it was Imagine that made me a lifelong fan. I have always loved Lennon’s Imagine — but David sang the song with all of the wistfulness and hope that I’ve always heard in it. (Love the way he emphasizes certain words and phrases.)

    I watched Idol last night — first time I’ve watched a full show since David’s season. I liked a few of them, particularly Casey, but I just cannot invest again. I’m going to commit to watching every show or even any more full shows, but it’s kind of hard to miss the talk in this fan base, so I’ve at least taken off the blinders.

  16. oops. meant to say I’m *not* going to commit …

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