Deeper respect for John Lennon


To the editor:

Oct. 9 would have been John Lennon’s 81st birthday. With all due respect to the accomplishments of my all-time favorite musical act, The Beatles, I do feel that his solo accomplishments tend to be overlooked.

Lennon certainly made some music comparable in quality to The Beatles’ best outside of that group. With no knock on The Beatles’ lyrics, it was in his later work that Lennon became a lyricist comparable to Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Davies and Stevie Wonder.

Brilliant albums such as “Plastic Ono Band,” “Imagine” and “Walls and Bridges” would not have been possible if Lennon limited his work to The Beatles.

George Harrison also benefited from the breakup. As he told Dick Cavett, “I was getting two songs an album. At that rate, it would have taken 100 years to get all my songs recorded.”

Lennon and Harrison both had plenty of hit singles and albums. Harrison received a Grammy album of the year nomination for “All Things Must Pass,” and won that Grammy for “The Concert for Bangladesh.”

His 1987 album, “Cloud 9,” deserves to be considered a classic.

Ringo Starr had numerous hits during the first half of the ‘70s, and although he doesn’t sell much nowadays, he still releases excellent recordings.

Now, Paul McCartney recently complained about the breakup of The Beatles and the blame he claims to still get for it. Reality check: Lennon long ago set the record straight that it was he — not McCartney — who broke up the group. It’s McCartney’s own fault that he announced the breakup before the group was ready to go public with it, and there initially was blamed.

But McCartney’s post-Beatles career was the most commercially successful of the four. He was one of the better-selling artists for the next decade or so. While nowadays he performs mostly Beatles songs live, he could do a very long concert even if he limited himself strictly to his post-Beatles hits.

Also, he’s had a number of wonderful albums.

Getting back to Lennon, after he was murdered, a political columnist for the Daily News quoted from the McCartney-penned Beatles’ masterpiece “Let it Be.” But the lyrics of Lennon’s brilliant “Scared” would have been more appropriate:

“Hatred and jealousy gonna be the death of me. Guess I knew it right from the start. Sing out about love and peace. Don’t wanna face the red raw meat. The green-eyed (expletive) straight from your heart.”

Perhaps one day, one of the few radio stations that still play Lennon’s music will do a tribute that gives equal emphasis to his post-Beatles work.

As for anti-vaxxer George Silos’ nonsense (re: “Admire me for being healthy,” Sept. 30), he doesn’t dispute that nearly 100 percent of those vaccinated are not getting the coronavirus, and nearly 100 percent of those getting it are not vaccinated — because he can’t.

Also, if the scientist who said the body was equipped to deal with the invasion of viruses was correct, we wouldn’t have pandemics. So, when you have no argument, you resort to name-calling. He calls me “pedantic,” which is a word a pedantic person would use.

As for his assertion that I stick to “conventional wisdom,” I’m for wisdom, whether it’s conventional or not. I often write what others fail to say, which is hardly conventional.

But if Silos used his brain, he would never have written what he did, and he’d be vaccinated.

Richard Warren

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Richard Warren,