Lennon’s Wall

I was eight years old when the Beatles entered my life, jolting me awake from my childhood stupor of playing games like, Hopscotch and Simon Says.

There they were, in all their mop-top glory, introduced to America by none other than Ed Sullivan himself, on his highly popular variety show. Overnight, it was as if I grew up and fell in love. Besides the longish hair, there was the Liverpool accents, the spiffy suits and cool boot wear. Oh, and those dreamy eyes. I was smitten–hook, line and sinker.  Here’s more proof that I love the Beatles:

I saw each of their films in a movie theater in Queens with about, 1,000 screaming girls. My brother and I were the only sane ones in the bunch.

I wore an “I Love Paul” button the size of a moon-pie.

I shellacked my black lunch box with pictures of the Beatles that I had ripped out of Life and Look magazines.

I played my Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album over and over again, feeling as if “She’s Leaving Home” was written with me in mind. I listened incessantly to the album, until I knew exactly where all the scratches on the record were and precisely when the needle would skip just before the end of the song, thus giving “A Day in the Life” the feel of a never-ending anthem.

I went to see John Lennon in concert at Madison Square Garden, and put up with the screechy singing tones of Yoko Ono.

I love the Beatles. I heart the Beatles.  Paul, the cute one. Ringo, the funny one. George, the quiet one.

And John, the smart one.  I remember where I was when I heard that John Lennon had been shot. Sitting at the kitchen table with my ex (we hadn’t yet married), having just finished dinner. It felt like an earthquake had hit us, but it was only the intense shock waves that the incomprehensible news had brought us.

I love John. Which is why, when we traveled to Prague this summer, we crossed the Charles Bridge to visit the wall.

The John Lennon Wall, that is. Once used by Czechs to write their grievances, students took it over and began to write messages of peace, love, as well as song lyrics, and tributes to John Lennon.  The wall is a never-ending work in progress. Visitors to the wall can leave their own messages, graffiti or doodles. As a Baby Boomer, it was humbling to be in the presence of such beauty and celebration of our youth ideals of, “Make love, not war.” A reminder we can all use today.

With my trusty camera in hand, I tried to capture the wall, and its visitors, in all its technicolor brilliance.

And one more:

And, what did I write on the wall? Well, that’s a no-brainer:

“I Love Paul.”

So tell me, given the chance, what would you write on this wall?

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37 thoughts on “Lennon’s Wall

  1. Hello Monica

    Another excellent and colourful post.

    Now I must mention at the start I am not and never have been a fan of the Beatles or their music. Event though I like a wide selection of stuff from Classical to modern country their stuff never appealed to me in the slightest.

    At the Abbey Road Studios in London where they recorded much of their stuff there is a web cam which can be found here http://www.abbeyroad.com/Crossing

    It covers the crossing outside the studios which featured on their Album called Abbey Road.
    It’s live and has sound as well, it can be amusing to watch the tourists having their picture taken on the crossing. The fact that the crossing moved slightly along the road after the album cover was done seems not to matter.

    Even though not a fan of the Beatles I love the pictures Monica, I suppose the Beatles summed up an era and were in the right place at the right time with music that for many captured the mood of the time, I am just not one of the many.

    As for what I would write on the wall, how about a small sign saying “I suppose it’s too late to say please don’t write on the wall”.

    • Thanks for the link, Robert. I’m baffled at your feelings toward the Beatles. They are your people, after all, being Brits and all. Oh well, sometimes things don’t make any sense at all. ;)

    • Shary, not only was it a sight to behold, it almost felt therapeutic to be there. If I’d had more time, I could’ve stayed there all day long. But as it is, with all the places we wanted to visit, we spent nearly an hour taking in the beauty of this wall. And, best of all, seeing it is free!

  2. What a beautiful celebration of the sentiments of an era that are still alive today. I was too young to go to the concerts but I do remember learning the skips on the records as I sang along. I had no idea the wall was there. Thank you for sharing.

    • Frankly, I had no idea the wall was there either. Leave it to my younger companions, my daughter and her friend, who studied each city prior to our visit and made a list of things to see, which included, of course, the Lennon wall!

  3. Monica, you’ve given me yet another place to visit! I’ve loved the Beatles forever and would love seeing this wall. I think I’d write “Yesterday” on it — a tribute to what once was and a hope for the future.

    • Actually, I didn’t scream. I was a bit on the younger side, and didn’t see the point at the time. Those screaming mimi’s gave me quite a headache. Had I been about three years older, then for sure, but I hadn’t reached puberty so I wasn’t crazy for them in that way. Still, I always loved Paul’s dreamy eyes. Hey, I just realized, your name is Paul, too? Coincidence? I think not!

    • Kathy, I think it’s like a well-known secret in Prague. Since it’s not in the main part of the city, and you have to go out of your way to find it, many tourists miss it altogether. But now you know. I hope you make it there one day.

  4. How gorgeous, never knew it existed.

    What I would write on the wall? Yes.

    I remember a documentary about John & Yoko, and how he went to one of her exhibits, there was a stepladder and a magnifying glass. You climbed up the stepladder and used the magnifying glass to look at this very tiny word written on the ceiling. The word was “Yes.”

    That was the beginning of John falling in love with Yoko, and although I will never be a fan of her singing (or speaking) voice, that struck me as significant, too. Yes. Yes to life, to taking chances, to taking a closer look at things, to daring, to trying, to climbing high. Yes, yes, yes!

    I try to say yes to life as often as possible, and it would seem to me to be the perfect way to connect to the Lennon wall.

  5. Those colors on that wall are absolutely stunning, intoxicating…I’m stoned in a creative way looking at all those colors so mishappenly collaborated by different folks. I don’t know if I’d add anything to it. It’s perfect as it is.

    Seems like folk have long forgotten the motto of making love and not peace. They’re making an absolute mess is what they’re doing.

    • And to think this was is truly the people’s wall. A collaborative effort by people from all over the world. It says a lot, and it’s thrilling to see how John has the power to still inspire us. It really is a wall of hope.

  6. There are probably two days in my teen years that are imprinted forever: the night the Beatles appeared on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ :-) and the day Kennedy was assassinated :-( I love the Beatles, too, and your tribute is spot on. I did not know about the Lennon Wall — these photos are fantastic. Reminds me a little of the wall outside the former U2 studios in Dublin.

    • Me, too, Deborah! I’ll never forget they’re arrival. It was all over the news. I can still see them descending from their plan. “She Loves You” remains one of my favorites. ;)

  7. I am one of the ones that when asked Rolling Stones or Beatles my answer is always the Rolling Stones. The Beatles, eh

    But I love the wall, wonderful. What would I write? Imagine, still.

    • Oh, well Valentine. That’s okay. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate and enjoy the Rolling Stones, too. They’re contribution has been significant. Imagine. So many possibilities.

  8. Monica, these shots are fantastic! I love the bright colors exhibited on that wall! I’m with Robert. I have never been a Beatles fan. Sorry. Also, I never did get Yoko’s role. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed reading this post and seeing more photos of your European vacation. I say, give us more, please! :)

    • Thanks, Bella! I’m sad you don’t care for the Beatles, but thrilled that you like the photos. It was one of my favorite stops on the trip to take photos of. What I love about Europe though, is every place we visited was full of photo opportunities. Such a picturesque continent. So, so beautiful. FYI, I have another photo post coming soon. I won’t tell you the topic or locale but I will say it’s a photo spread of something you’ve told me you really like. Stay tuned! ;)

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