Side view of John Lennon's "puzzle profile" at the London Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: August 20, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – For Beatles fans, December 8, 1980 is a day they will never forget. That was the day John Lennon was shot and killed, allegedly by Mark David Chapman, outside his New York City home at the Dakota. The details of that tragic event is still shrouded in mystery ... a puzzle ... nearly 32 years later.
But was Lennon’s death predetermined somehow? Even as far back as 11 years before his assassination? The December 8th date is curious in that it is also the hotel room number that the camera focuses on during John and Yoko’s famous “Bed-In” in Spring 1969 and is clear as day in a scene in the 1988 Lennon documentary Imagine: John Lennon, which I recently re-watched after many years.
John and Yoko (as we remember in the Beatles song "The Ballad of John and Yoko") were in several cities that year, promoting peace, including Amsterdam (Room 702), Montreal (several rooms on the 17th floor) and in Vienna, Austria for a “Bagism” press conference. Was 1208 the room where the “Bagism” meeting took place? It’s just curious that the documentary would focus on those numbers, knowing people would connect it with Lennon’s date of death in 1988 and beyond.
The image comes in the documentary around the time of Lennon’s confrontation with cartoonist Al Capp – the one guy who would not join in to sing on “Give Peace a Chance.”
Having read and studied a lot of Beatle lore and history, as well as the life of John Lennon, we believe the Anglo-American empire saw a reawakened John Lennon (after his five-year “house husband” phase), along with the release of a new album, Double Fantasy, that he might be a danger to their “Pentagon war machine,” to quote the late Mae Brussell, from an interview in the early 1980’s.
As Brussell noted, “Lennon, alone, was the only man (even without his fellow Beatles) who had the ability to draw out 1 million anti-war protesters in any given city within 24 hours, if he opposed those war policies.”
And in late 1980, weeks after war-hawk Ronald Reagan was elected, certain policies, against the USSR’s “Evil Empire,” were being planned. As we saw in Central America, communism was gaining a foothold and the “land of the free, home of the brave,” had to do whatever it took to stay on track and thwart any attempts of spreading communism in the Western Hemisphere.
And a proven anti-war activist like John Lennon could be a problem and thwart their plans. An MK-ULTRA patsy like Chapman would prove helpful to their schemes.
“John Lennon was a spiritual force,” Brussell said. “He was a giant, like Gandhi, a man who wrote about peace and brotherly love. He taught an entire generation to think for themselves and to challenge authority. Lennon and the Beatles’ songs shout out the inequalities life and the messages of change. Change is a threat to the longtime status quo that Reagan’s team exemplified.”
But was it something more? In a Red Ice Radio interview, Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media, mentions that he thinks the Beatles were a creation of the Tavistock Institute and that later, Lennon decided to ditch the whole scene and was going to spill the beans. Said Irvin: "Was John mind controlled? ... later on, that John, of the four, woke up, and was assassinated. He returned his sirship to the Queen, insulted the Queen, said 'screw you' and started telling people what was going on, and I think, like Kennedy, they took him out."
That's a theory that a lot of people aren't willing to consider. But the mystery remains ... and the legend of Lennon grows ever larger ...
While watching Imagine, I watched an interview with Mary Elizabeth Smith, Lennon’s “Aunt Mimi,” the woman who would raise young John while Freddie and Julia Lennon went their separate ways. As I watched this I thought to myself – “If Aunt Mimi had adopted John his name could have ended up being John Smith rather than John Lennon.”
Later, I realized that much of the U.S. learned of Lennon’s assassination on Dec. 8, 1980 during a broadcast of ABC Monday Night Football with host Howard Cosell. The camera was focused on New England Patriots’ player John Smith just as Cosell said John Lennon’s name. It was very eerie.
And during the closing of the London Summer Olympics, I was particularly interested in the John Lennon “Imagine” segment.
While Lennon is no longer with us, the Olympics entertainment committee made sure the world was reminded of Lennon’s musical genius and had a children’s choir perform “Imagine” while wearing white T-shirts with “Imagine” in black letters.
But the most striking moment was when a group of "volunteer dancers" came together with white jigsaw puzzle pieces that when pieced together created Lennon's face, complete with his iconic National Health "granny" glasses. It was basically the image of Lennon as seen on the rear cover of the Imagine album sleeve, an image that echoed the image of Mia Farrow on the Rosemary's Baby film poster. Of course Mia and her sister Prudence Farrow would go to Rishikesh, India to study at the ashram of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968 while the Beatles, Donovan and Mike Love of The Beach Boys were there. Prudence inspired Lennon to write his White Album classic "Dear Prudence," released three years before Lennon released "Imagine."
And it was the same year that Lennon wrote "Dear Prudence," 1968, the Mia Farrow vehicle Rosemary's Baby was released. And of course it was filmed at the Dakota, the same building where Lennon was living and where he was assassinated.
But all these years later, people want to remember what Lennon stood for - peace, harmony and global friendship.
As one report after the Olympics closing ceremony noted, “(T)his is an emotional song to begin with, given its meaning and Lennon’s untimely end, and having it sung by a children’s choir at an Olympic Games whose motto was ‘Inspire a Generation’ pushed the emotion of this song over the top.”
But the airing of the song did cause some controversy, at least in Turkey. Turkish state broadcaster TRT omitted the lyrics that calls for “no religion.” Curious, that, considering that while the vast majority of Turks are Muslim, the Turkish state is dedicated to being secular. I would have expected this in Indonesia or Saudi Arabia, but not Turkey.
Reportedly, Lennon’s 1971 Imagine album got a 1,100 percent sales boost in the UK after the Olympics segment. And another story noted that a public art installation based on Lennon's legacy, called "Imagine Peace," will remain in London through 9/9/12.
According to The Huffington Post, the video of Lennon singing Imagine was “exclusively remastered” by Yoko Ono for the event. Curiously, the airing of the song “Imagine” was preceded by a snippet of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a song that begins with the lines: “Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? / Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality / Open your eyes / Look up to the skies and see …”
Are we willing to see?
|Andrew W. Griffin via Warner Bros.|
An image from "Imagine: John Lennon" right after the "1208" hotel room door number is shown.
|Andrew W. Griffin via Warner Bros.|
The hotel room number "featured' in "Imagine John Lennon" during the "Bed-in" sequence. Very curious.