I have no earthly idea what "mojo" really is, but whatever it is, I suspect that John Lennon must have had a lion's share of it. All day today I have been reminded of the spirit of the man, of his music. "All you need is love." "All we are saying is give peace a chance."
What was it that made this guy such a touchstone to a generation? Bruce Springsteen, another semi-major demi-god in my pantheon, just happened to be playing Philadelphia at the time of Lennon's murder - it was the first leg of the River tour - and a somber Springsteen acknowledged the event during the opening of his December 9 show. "If it wasn't for John Lennon, a lot of us would be some place much different tonight," the Boss told the faithful. "It's a hard world that asks you to live with a lot of things that are unlivable. And it's hard to come out here and play tonight, but there's nothing else to do."
He was definitely more complex than your average pop music star. He had a wealth of cynicism and self-loathing that I personally found quite appealing. The apocryphal tale of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting ethos had Paul writing the line "Got to admit it's getting better, getting better all the time," with John chiming in counterpoint, "Can't get much worse."
John Lennon is also the man who wrote the song that always makes me cry on my son's birthday ("Sean" just happens to rhyme with "Don") - the words that keep making more sense to me with each passing day: "Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans." Thank you John, for bringing a smile and a taste of wisdom to the world.