Get back to where we once were, John

The sensibility of an era may be unified – even though it’s never uniform. Those who forget it are essentially visionaries, incurable romantics, prone to melancholy – an inextricable quality of genius, according to Aristotle.

John Winston Lennon, self-styled working-class hero, prodigal son of a lower-middle-class fragmented family, may be qualified as the unifier of the sensibility of an era – that 60s “pandemonium with a big grin on,” as Tom Wolfe coined it.

For the first time in history, a group of pop musicians – led by such a Nijinsky of ambivalence as Lennon – had metastasized into a social phenomenon that simultaneously reverberated and influenced the planet’s collective unconscious.

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