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Plastic Ono Band, John Lennon

Apple Records, December 11, 1970

Track Listing: 1. Mother, 2. Hold On, 3. I Found Out, 4. Working Class Hero, 5. Isolation, 6. Remember, 7. Love, 8. Well Well Well, 9. Look At Me, 10. God, 11. My Mummy’s Dead

I was in sixth grade when it happened. All these crazy years later, I still feel the shock and horror of being shaken from a dead sleep and looking straight into the eyes of crazy. My brother was frantic.

“John Lennon is dead!”

I couldn’t have been awake, couldn’t have heard that right. It was a nightmare. You wake up and everything is okay. I don’t even want to believe it now. Before that day, there was just so much more to come. But then you wake up for real and the horror is real.

Music and memories. My brothers and I sitting on the floor in front of an old phonograph at our grandparents’ farm in the middle of nowhere. The Beatles Greatest Hits. From Liverpool, England to LaSalle, Illinois. There was no going back.

Our parents were gracious enough to grant us reprieves from typical bedtime rules whenever A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, or Magical Mystery Tour graced the TV airwaves. This was a huge deal. Not only being up during foreign hours, but the fact we were seeing The Beatles. We’d set an alarm, sleepwalk to the sofa, and like magic, The Beatles would appear on our television screen. It was amazing.

It wasn’t until years later, I’m not even sure when, that I first heard Plastic Ono Band. It’s strange how transfixed I was on the fantasy of a Beatles reunion and wasn’t concerned much with solo careers, give or take a Wings album here and there. But when I finally did sit down with Plastic Ono Band and give it my full attention, it was just as good if not better than any reunion could ever be. And certainly now, all these years later, I fully appreciate just how much John Lennon gave away on that album.

There was just so much more to come. There had to be.