WHERE HE’D BE NOW
“I would think he’d still be into music and art. He would be playing with Julian and Sean. There would be a lot of jamming.
“He’d be taking life more leisurely. At 65, John would be able to look back with satisfaction on his life and accomplishments.”
– Cynthia Lennon, who met John when they were art students and married him in 1962. They had a son, Julian, now 42. Her new book, “John” (Crown), is out this week.
“There’s no telling what John would be doing if he were here now, but it would definitely be something original. I don’t think he’d tour, like Ringo does. He’d probably do benefits. He’d definitely be against the war in Iraq and be for peace.”
– Musician Billy Preston, known as “the fifth Beatle,” for all his work with the Fab Four. He also played with Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band and is at work on a Beatles’ tribute album.
“Instead of just Watching the Wheels, he’d be back in the driver’s seat taking us on his own Magical Mystery Tour. His solo work would have evolved, and yes, there would have been some sort of Beatles reunion project. John was still a Beatles fan.
“I’d speculate that a hip 65-year-old guy, which John would undoubtedly be, would be tuned into technology. Even back then, when I interviewed him on WNEW in 1974, he told me he was listening to the station on the cable television.”
– Longtime New York deejay Dennis Elsas, who can be heard afternoons on WFUV (90.7) and mornings on Sirius Classic Vinyl 14.
“Like wine, I think he’d age very nicely. John would have been more introspective. His life would’ve calmed down. By this age he probably would be more trusting of people around him. He got hurt many, many times and he’d look twice before he would trust.
“He’d be doing the same kind of music – his poetry was observation of life.
“He’d be observing politics, but I think he’d probably be more in the middle today. I think he’d realize the way to reach people is the middle. It’s not left or right, it’s the middle. He was interested in the end result – to influence people to do the right thing. Maybe reach that song ‘Imagine a world without wars …’
“John Lennon, no matter how old he was, 65 or 165, would never be somebody who would just let the world go by without commentary – he was a live documentarian on life. And this would have been enhanced with age.”
– Cousin Brucie deejayed on WAB(eatle)C at the height of Beatlemania in the ’60s, and remained a lifelong friend of John’s. He now broadcasts on Sirius radio Saturday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
“John would be very much an activist. He would probably have been the first one down to the 9/11 site to offer his help, to work in the kitchens, to help the firefighters … He was always outspoken. He would be very involved. John was really the forerunner of the Bonos.
“I think he’d be into all kinds of music – probably opera. He’d always be experimenting with new forms.
“And I also believe he would have been very much into satellite broadcasting, which he talked about with me in 1968.”
– Veteran journalist Larry Kane was the only American TV correspondent to travel with The Beatles on their 1964 U.S. tour. His newest book is “Lennon Revealed” (Running Press).
“I don’t know [what he’d be like], but I sure wish I could’ve found out. He was a really grounded guy, but he went through a lot of changes. In the time I knew him, he went from a drunk rock star to being a committed father. I’m sure he would have continued to be a leader for free thinking. I know his voice is very, very missing in today’s society. And I wish there was somebody like him speaking out today.
“He might be touring – when he died he was planning to go on tour. He had just finished an album, he was going to make some videos to promote the album, get a band together and go on a longtime world tour starting in March.”
– Photographer Bob Gruen was friends with Lennon during his nine years in New York. Among his photos is the iconic shot of Lennon wearing a New York City T-shirt.
“I think he would be more of the same, only older. He would remain true to his code – everything he addressed and spoke about so eloquently during life.
“Whereas I never make projections as to what his position might be on different subjects, I think that he would be with Yoko, that their love would endure. I know for certain that he would be spending Sunday celebrating the 30th birthday of his son Sean.
“And finally, I know for certain that he would have preferred to be here to answer the question for himself.”
– Elliot Mintz is a longtime Lennon/Ono family friend and spokesperson for the estate.
WHERE HE’D BE NOW