Recently I was in a beauty supply shopping for anti-wrinkle cream when “Watching The Wheels” started playing overhead. I was instantly transported to 1980, driving with my mom on a beautiful bright fall day in her 1976 Chrysler New Yorker. As the song played I relived the sensation of riding in that huge car, sailing over the rolling hills of the highway to John Lennon’s voice. It’s a great driving song.
Mom and I always listened to top 40 radio while driving the 80 miles from Eastern Kentucky to Lexington for my weekly CKYO Orchestra rehearsals. The station would finally come in about 40 miles into the drive. Living in a small town, pop culture always seemed so far away. Cable TV was just starting, MTV hadn’t hit yet. Getting to that 40-mile mark to hear John Lennon on the radio was my connection to a world I so much craved to be a part of. I loved the Beatles, but for me John Lennon as a solo artist reached my core. I had never before heard a man bravely express his unedited emotions to the world like that. It was a revelation.
Double Fantasy came out November 17, 1980. John Lennon died December 8 that year. I always get a little weepy when I hear that record.
“I’m just sitting here doing time. I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go ’round and ’round… no long riding on the merry-go-round, I just had to let it go.”
The world has changed so much, but Double Fantasy is still a love letter for a better world. Slap on that anti-wrinkle cream and listen to it again!
Tags: Double Fantasy, Imagine, John Lennon, The Beatles, Watching The Wheels, Yoko Ono