Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Letters from John

I heard a rather interesting news today. It's about a letter 34 years late.

A then 21 year old aspiring British Folk Singer, Steve Tilston, gave an interview in 1971 to the now defunct “Zigzag” music magazine and expressed his fears that fame and fortune could ruin his career and personality.

Little did he know that the late Beatle, John Lennon, read the article and scribed a handwritten letter to him giving brotherly advise that material wealth would not change whatever he felt inside

Lennon wrote: "Being rich doesn't change your experiences in the way you think. The only difference, basically, is that you don't have to worry about money - food - roof etc. But all other experiences - emotions - relationships - are the same as (anybody's). know, I have been rich and poor and so has Yoko (rich - poor - rich). So, whatya think of that. Love John and Yoko." He ended by including his home phone number.

I can only imagine Tilston's frustration. Imagine a rock god writing you a letter, personally and with his phone number! A man who had been eternally hounded by die-hard fans!

Personally, reading this one-paragraph letter provided me with a new perspective. Though I've never really thought about it, I think, subconsciously, I expect more depth from artists who have experienced poverty. But hey, John has a point. Whether we bathe in jacuzzi tubs or in the polluted, dying Pasig river, we basically share the same pains of a lost of a loved one or the angsts of a convoluted society, if we care enough. But of course, some of life's trials can only be deeply understood through experience.

The letter was sent to Zigzag magazine’s office but it never reached Tilston. It was only in 2005 that he saw the letter, now valued at US$11,000 in the hands of an American collector who sought verification of its authenticity. It is only now that Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, gave a confirmation.

"It was so frustrating because Lennon even included his home phone number on the top of the letter," said a now 60-year-old Tilston. "I know it's silly but I wanted to ring him up across the ages." Tilston added he "felt rather angry to start with to think that someone had just sold the letter rather than passing it on to me, but you have to let these things go.

Legends really have a way of coming back to life, don't they? After all these years, John Lennon is still the talk of the town.

1 comment:

kg said...

i read about this. super frustrating nga siguro on the part of the recipient...but then, it's worth so much na! he he!