If John Lennon were still alive, he’d turn 75 today. But what would the Ex-Beatle be doing? Would he be a UN Messenger of Peace or UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador? Or, on the contrary, would he have taken a turn for the worse and ended up in jail for domestic violence?
Would he have given up his millionaire lifestyle and retreated to a hermit-like existence somewhere in Southeast Asia? Or would his passion for Monopoly have turned him into a proper businessman? And what about his music career? Would he still be writing songs? If so, here are three theories on what music Lennon would be making today.
He would be making experimental electronic music
Lennon’s avid interest in weird sounds is widely known. Apart from his tape loop experiments with the Beatles and his avant-garde attempts with Yoko Ono, he loved experimenting with synthesizers. Micky Dolenz, singer of the Monkees, told the LA Times in 2009: “I threw a party for John Lennon one night, and he sat there at the Moog for four hours making flying saucer sounds.” If you also take into consideration that, according to Beatles producer George Martin, Lennon hated his own voice, it doesn’t seem too far fetched that Lennon would release music on hip electronic labels such as PAN.
He would be working with Kanye West
We were all surprised when it was revealed last summer that Paul McCartney was considering working with Kanye West. By now they’ve given us three decent collaborative songs, but as McCartney stated that working with the rapper reminded him of his time collaborating with John Lennon, we’d like to raise a question: Would West have worked with McCartney if Lennon were still alive? The thing is, Lennon and West have two important things in common. One, their controversial muses who they both had to defend against their fans, and two, their megalomania (Lennon once said, “If there’s such a thing as genius – I am one. And if there isn’t, I don’t care.” Kanye West said, “For me to say I wasn’t a genius, I would just be lying to you and to myself.”)
He would be playing in a rockabilly band
Legend has it that Lennon was fascinated by The B-52’s when he heard their song “Rock Lobster” for the first time in a disco in 1979. Apparently he instantly noticed the homage to Yoko Ono in singer Cindy Wilson’s scream at the end of the tune. Ono later said that the couple listened to The B52’s a lot when they recorded their final album Double Fantasy. Shortly before his death, Lennon even stated that The B52’s debut was his favourite album of all time, which leads one to assume that Lennon might have gone into a similar direction, crossing rockabilly roots with punk and new wave. Also, wouldn’t it be fun to imagine Lennon in a The B52’s outfit? In a used-car salesman suit, completed with greasy hair and a pencil moustache?