In the spirit of Lennon


By Marilyn Delk


The opening show in Darke County Center for the Arts Coffee House series may be sold out by the time you read this; Drew Harrison’s retrospective of the life and career of John Lennon to be presented at Montage Cafe in downtown Greenville on Thursday, October 12 has drawn much interest, an occurrence that will not surprise anyone who remembers the amazing life and tragic death of the iconic Beatle. If you were alive on December 8, 1980, you remember the international sorrowful response to the news that John Lennon had been shot, a reaction matched in my memory only by the killings of John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby. What was it about this English singer/songwriter/musician/peace activist that moved millions to tears upon learning that he was no longer among us on this earth?

John Lennon’s legacy as one of the most influential and successful songwriters/performers of the Twentieth Century includes his recognition as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time, as well as one of the 100 greatest artists of all time; two of his record albums are included in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time. He was, of course, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; but the honor and affection still awarded the former Beatle goes far beyond that bestowed upon others who have achieved the same lofty heights in the music world. What is the magic ingredient that lifts this music icon above others of his ilk, to the status of powerful world leaders or influential statesmen whose actions impacted people around the world?

I cannot give you the answer to the questions posed above; I can only tell you that when I learned about Drew Harrison’s John Lennon show coming to our community, I knew I had to be there. Apparently, many others feel the same way. And Drew Harrison is as big of fan of the former Beatle as the rest of us; one of his oldest memories is as a four-year-old watching massive amounts of traffic going by his home in New York City and asking his mother what was going on. Her reply, “The Beatles.” The big attraction was The Beatles’ iconic concert at Shea Stadium, which was just up the street from their brownstone.

“They have been the most brilliant musicians on the planet,” Harrison replied to a questioner asking if the performer has a great appreciation for John Lennon and his cohorts. “Their instincts were brilliant; their mistakes, which a studied musician would say ‘You don’t jump to that interval,’ they would do— even the mistakes make sense,” he explained.

Critics laud Drew Harrison’s tribute to John Lennon, saying that he goes beyond just sounding like the iconic singer, capturing the intensity that Lennon brought to his music. “In the Spirit of Lennon” also features stories as well as songs, to create an emotionally charged retrospective of one of the most beloved artists of all time. Harrison has performed in Europe and South America, as well as across the United States, and has opened for elite artists such as Richard Thompson, Lyle Lovett, and Steve Miller. He has produced two critically acclaimed albums of his own, and has also found time for stage, TV, and film work, all while completing work on a degree from University of California at Berkeley.

Darke County Center for the Arts Coffee House Series offers high quality entertainment in comfortably inviting surroundings, at the very reasonable cost of $15 per ticket. Those purchasing tickets to the entire series season can get an even better bargain, earning $5 off the price of each ticket. For more information, contact DCCA by calling 937-547-0908 or at DCCA’s Website, or by stopping by DCCA ‘s office located on the third floor of Greenville Public Library. If “In the Spirit of Lennon” captures the universal feeling of love, peace and understanding that John Lennon and his music brought to the world, our community will benefit from the reverberations long after thisshow comes to an end.

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