Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rock n' Roll 4 Ever!

John Lennon ~ Beatles White Album Photo

John Lennon must have been rolling, maybe even rock n’ rolling in his grave this week. It seems the Vatican has just now found it in their smug, patronizing, holier-than-thou hearts to forgive him for saying in 1966 that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

What Lennon said was, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I do not know what will go first, rock n’ roll or Christianity… We’re more popular than Jesus now. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.” This was said to a British journalist and friend. Months later the quote was picked up in the American Bible belt causing bonfires of Beatlemania. This on top of the frantic pace and screaming hysterical mobs led to the end of the Beatles live tours. Later Lennon wrote, “I always remember to thank Jesus for the end of my touring days."

Imagine ~ John Lennon with Yoko Ono

The Vatican condemned Lennon at the time but now say that Lennon’s comments were “showing off, bragging by a young English working class musician who had grown up in the age of Elvis Presley and rock and roll and had enjoyed unexpected success.” They dismiss Lennon’s comments as a youthful joke. But to anyone who has listened to the Imagine album as many times I have it’s no joke. As the title song says, “Imagine no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky.

So roll over Beethoven. Don’t underestimate the power of rock n’ roll. Lately I’ve been surfing the net to follow the exiled Tibetan Diaspora’s big gathering in India. The Dalai Lama’s “middle way” approach is not working because the Chinese see no reason to concede anything. What gives me the most hope was finding an emerging Tibetan rock scene including, among others, Punkanana (Punk Girls) an all girl punk rock band inside of Chinese occupied Tibet. Rock n' Roll can be a potent non-violent cultural force. John Lennon wasn’t on Nixon’s enemies list for nothing.

Punkanana (Tibetan for Punk Girls) in Occupied Tibet

No comments:

Post a Comment