…by Anura Guruge
>> London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony: The Churchill Minute Akin To The Muhammad Ali Blunder — August 14, 2012.
>> Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony: The Muhammad Ali Moment Was A Unmitigated DOWNER! — July 29, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony, Gross, Unnecessary Distortion Of British History — July 28, 2012.
>> London Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony The Complete Musical Playlist — July 31, 2012.
After screwing up so badly in the Opening Ceremonies with poor Muhammad Ali and the snubbing of the Empire, and then the horrible goof at the start of the Closing Ceremonies with the Winston Churchill faux pas, the London 2012 Olympic organizer got the John Lennon segment just right. Bullseye. A perfect ’10’. Bravo. Read the comments on the (above) YouTube clip. Spot on.
I am so thrilled. So uplifted. So proud. That was a great moment for all of us. Thank you.
The crowd in the stadium knew at once that this was special. The applause was louder, faster and more sustained. It was as if Usain Bolt had set another record.
All that we all wanted to see was real Lennon. No actor. No imitator; like Winston, Lennon is inimitable. To see him at the start on that grainy 1970 video was to capture the true essence of the Beatles and Britain in the 1970s.
The whole segment including the creation of his face was magical. Bravo. The song … immortal. It was John as we knew him and loved him.
I still remember where I was when I heard that he had been shot and had died. I was driving a car, to work, in North London … not that far from where the Olympics were held. I was at an intersection. I was stopped waiting for a break in the oncoming traffic. I had Radio One. The news came on. I was stunned. My legs froze. They say you will always remember where you were when you heard that JFK had been assassinated. Well, I remember that too. We were in Ceylon and my father got a phone call with the news and he said: ‘I am not surprised’. Well, to me it is where I was when I heard Dear John was dead. Yes, I have been to Strawberry Banks in Central Park, NYC to pay my dues. [I have a couple of rare pictures of him here.]
So where was Ringo?
Sir Paul, as is his due, got star billing in the Opening Ceremony. That is how it should be. Here is a YouTube video of that … ‘Hey Jude’.
George, alas, can’t make it. But, Ringo, as far as I know, is still with us and doing fine. So why SNUB him. He may not be a great drummer but he is not a bad guy, and he was a Beatle. I think that it was rude to not have him do something. People still adore him.
But, I will close with one of my favorite Beatles stories. Lennon, in the early 1970s was asked by a music reporter whether he thought Ringo was the best drummer in the world. Lennon, who could play the drums, as could George, replied, brilliantly: ‘Heck, Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles‘. That is John Lennon. We got to see him and enjoy him at the Closing ceremonies. Thank you.