Filed Under (Acoustic Covers) by Jason on December-9-2010

Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. As happens every year, thousands of people gathered at Strawberry Fields, the section of Central Park named for him, for a kind of “be-in,” a relic of Lennon’s generation and a fitting commemoration. People talked, sang, and expressed hope that his music would contribute to a more peaceful future.

As a Beatles fan and as a writer about music, I would be remiss if I didn’t dedicate a post to Lennon, the man who – in just 40 years of life – contributed more to songwriting as a modern art form than any other who has yet walked the Earth. He wasn’t born a genius, though. By his own admission, The Beatles’ early career was propelled by “songs with no more thought to them” than any old pop song on the early ‘60s radio.

And then came In My Life, which he called “the first song I wrote that was consciously about my life.” It is not only, as he called it, “a nice song”; it is a monument to the man, the band, and to every song written since. Show me a songwriter who doesn’t count Lennon among his influences, and I’ll show you a songwriter who doesn’t know how to write a song.

Among Lennon’s devotees is one Jose Feliciano, himself a legend and a scion of the tradition of blind guitar masters. In fact, the feeling was mutual – Lennon expressed admiration for Feliciano, and in particular for his version of In My Life. I can think of no more fitting tribute than this video of Feliciano playing his interpretation of the masterpiece.

Oh yeah, and he’s sitting – where else – in Strawberry Fields. It is certainly a place we remember for John.

Listen to the original, complete with George Martin’s keyboard work:
The Beatles – In My Life

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Comments
Sam on December 10th, 2010 at 1:38 am #

Any idea what year this clip is from?

My father lived 2 blocks over from Lennon for a year on the upper west side. I cannot remember if there was ever an encounter. When Lennon was shot, my father received a call from Janet who told him what has happened. The two stayed up the rest of the night listening to music and not talking…he still speaking in a haunting manner about that night as if it were on the scale of JFK’s assassination.

I think I would have been more affected by Lennon’s death than 9/11.

Joe on December 10th, 2010 at 11:12 am #

I imagine that to many people it was like JFK’s assassination all over again.

I’m also curious when the clip is from. It was posted on YouTube in 2008. And based on other pictures of Jose, I don’t think it can be more than a few years old.

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