10/9/17: John Lennon “Watching the Wheels”

The music in my head today is John Lennon. It would have been his birthday today, had we all had the good fortune for him to make it to 77. Can you imagine the work he would have been doing if he had lived past 40?

There not much I need to say in terms of introducing the legendary Lennon, but I do need to provide some context for the particular song I’m thinking about. John had basically unplugged himself from the music business for more than five years, and people kept expecting him to come out with new music, to put himself back in the spotlight. What did Lennon do? He stayed at home, took care of his son, and enjoyed life with Yoko in New York City. He spent time in Central park, took advantage of the cultural opportunities of the city around him, and led the life he wanted to at that time in his life. It certainly wasn’t a public life, and that was how he wanted it.

During this period, John and Yoko worked on an album called “Double Fantasy.” It came out in 1980, about three weeks before Lennon was shot and killed outside The Dakotas. “Double Fantasy” was a deeply personal album, about how Lennon had found fulfillment in his family and his marriage. It was inspired by his life at home, and an experience Lennon had sailing to Bermuda where the crew of his yacht grew dangerously fatigued and seasick during an intense storm that lasted far longer than expect and Lennon was forced to take solo shifts at the helm for hours on end. That experience acquainted Lennon personally with the fragility of life, and helped him realize how important his family was to him. John was open about his enjoyment of staying out of headlines and spending time with his son. After not being much of a father to his other son, Julian Lennon, it seemed like an older and wiser John Lennon wanted to be a more attentive and loving father and avoid making the same mistake twice.

The song in my head today is about choices, even if everybody around you thinks you’re crazy. Most of us find out later in life that spending time with your loved ones is far more important and meaningful than being out there every day, beating the streets to make a buck. Of course, most of us have to be concerned with making a living, with supporting that family that we love so much. We try and find balance between the two, we prioritize and sacrifice. Lennon didn’t have any worries about money, and had the luxury of doing exactly what he wanted, when he wanted. When that priority shifted from music and the public eye, he sat around “watching the wheels go ‘round and ‘round.” He took care of his young son and spent time with his wife. Not all of us can quit our jobs and stay home with our young ones, and not all of us can have a spiritual experience trying to steer our yacht and survive a storm… but we can make time for those we care about, for the people that matter. We can be present in those moments, sharing life and love.

To read and listen to all of Ron’s Music in My Head entries, click here!

After playing a show at The Cat’s Cradle in July and at Local 506 in August, and The Carrboro Music Festival in September; the School of Rock students’ next public performance will be Sunday, October 29th on the Southern Village Green!

The School of Rock Chapel Hill is a music school for kids of all ages located in the 501 Diner location on Fordham Blvd in front of Eastgate Crossing.

Locally owned, locally operated, locally staffed, locally sourced instruments, and locally built!

You are invited to stop in for a tour or schedule a free demo session. Their hours are Monday-Thursday 3PM-9PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM!  

Learn how to play a real rock and roll song in just 30 minutes!

School of Rock Grand Opening

AND, through a partnership with the Public School Foundation; they’ll donate 1% of their gross revenue to support music in the local public schools, so help bring music to our community and enroll today!

Click Here to See Photos of the Grand Opening Celebration!

Sign-up at chapelhill.schoolofrock.com, or call 919-338-1011.


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‘Music in My Head’ airs every morning @9:15AM. Over the air on 97.9FM and streaming on chapelboro.com