You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

Tis the time to be remembering the music greats who left us much too young. A couple of weeks ago it was the 40th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix‘s passing and Beijing was treated to 3 gigs by our own Hendrix tribute band Purple Smog. (If you were unlucky enough to miss these gigs, they will be playing one more at the end of the month!) Just a few days ago it was the same anniversary for Janis Joplin. I’m sure BD and others will agree, Daisy Sweetgrass does a beautiful cover of Me & Booby McGee, The Redbucks sets will not be the same without that one. And coming up in a few months the trinity is completed by the 40th anniversary of Jim Morrison‘s death. Do we have a Beijing Doors tribute band in the works? I hope so, if not, let’s get one happening!

Today marks a difference anniversary, not of death, but of birth. Today John Lennon would have turned 70. They say you’re either a Lennon fan or a McCartney fan. My mother was a huge McCartney fan, so of course I became a Lennon fan. Unfortunately my dad’s dreams of me becoming a concert pianist may have died at age 8, but after 1 year of lessons the only song I could play (or maybe wanted to play?) was Imagine. And I still remember at age 15 visiting the Beatles Museum in walking into that big white room, a white grand piano sitting in the middle with those signature glasses sitting on top.

While chatting with friends about all the anniversaries earlier this week we started talking about who would make it into our personal Mount Rushmore of music. 4 artists/bands that made the biggest impact on you, not music in general or the world – just you! John Lennon is definitely one of my four. And by that I mean Lennon himself and not the Beatles. I’ve found even listening to my Beatles playlist at work today, almost all of the songs I like are written by Lennon; Come Together, Revolution, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Across the Universe, I could keep going. But the songs I love more are his own ones, Imagine, Jealous Man and Real Love to name a few (btw, Regina Specktor does a beautiful cover of Real Love)

So, who would be in your Mount Rushmore of music? Would you include Lennon or McCartney, the Beatles as a whole, or maybe none of them?


a kiwi, a music lover, a traveller & an IT geek hanging around in the 'jing planning her next adventure.

7 Responses

  1. Froog says:

    Been thinking of doing a post at my place on this ‘Mount Rushmore’ idea.

    After more than 50 years of rock’n’roll, it’s becoming difficult to choose between the different eras. If you’re limited to just four choices, I feel I’d have to approach it decade by decade.

    I think real rock as we know it – more underground and iconoclastic, more experimental but cleaving closer to its roots in the blues – didn’t really get going until the 1960s; its 50s precursors were fun, some of them great, but a bit too poppy.

    If you just look at the 60s, I think the Top 4 are pretty damned obvious: Hendrix, Joplin, Lennon, and Jagger. I suppose some might argue for McCartney (or Morrison?!) to sneak in there instead of Jagger, but that’s it for me.

    It you go back to the 50s, it’s got to be Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash.

    I would have loved to have found a place in there for Freddie Mercury, but I feel that as with Michael Jackson and a few others) he was a remarkable solo talent, unique, unrepeatable – but he hasn’t really been that influential on anyone else following. Most female vocalists at some point in their careers have a stab at emoting like Janis (or at least wish that they could); all guitarists try to play like Jimi; all great stage performers get compared to Jagger; and all songwriters wish they could write songs like Lennon.

  2. Beijing Daze says:

    what Froog said.. it’s becoming harder to pick the “best ones” at anything these days considering all the decades and the talent we’ve seen. It gets even harder when one considers the whole world’s output with artists that the Anglophone music sphere doesn’t know about.

    Buddy Holly, Jim Morrison, Otis Redding and Bon Scott are just some of the names that come to mind right off the bet… Michael Jackson? definitely… Freddie Mercury, I can give him a pass… too many to pick.

    Lennon, I’m still not sold! I’d put Mc Cartney in way before I’d put lennon on a pedestal.

  3. Froog says:

    That’s fighting talk, Daze. I hope this isn’t going to spell the end of your fruitful partnership with Miss Ruby!

    I’m also a bit worried we might get a lynch-mob of slighted Dylan fans coming after the pair of us.

  4. Ruby says:

    Didn’t I say this is your “personal” Mount Rushmore – which means the 4 who have the most influence on you personally. Everyone is going to be different here … no need for lynch-mobs!

    For me it’s Lennon, Clapton, Buckley (Jeff) and the Smashing Pumpkins. You can all tell me Smashing Pumpkins aren’t all that “great” but they had a huge influencd on me during my teenage years, so I’m claiming them!

  5. Froog says:

    I just don’t think you can get a band on a mountain.

    Well, OK, Deep Purple did it on the cover of ‘In Rock’. But there’d be no room for anybody else.

  6. Beijing Daze says:

    as close as you’re gonna get to a Doors cover band: Muma & Third Party + Joyside covering “When the music’s over” :

  7. Zhang Si'an says:

    The Muma version of the doors is pretty good !

    I would like to thank John Lennon for his genius, his music, and his contribution to the human madness 🙂