Detail from Nowhere Man cover, Random House Mondadori, 2003. John Lennon, May 26, 1967. © Hulton Deutsch Collection/Corbis
I just wanted to remind anybody who’s reading this blog that October 9 is John Lennon’s birthday, and that he would have been 66 had he lived. Last year, on October 9, I was in Mexico City, speaking out for peace as I believe Lennon would have, telling the media that Lennon’s birthday should be recognized as an international day of peace, and that everybody had to do whatever they could to overcome language barriers and distance barriers to communicate with each other and to work together. Because if we didn’t, then something unimaginably cataclysmic was going to happen.
Also, using a phrase that should be included in every tourist guide, I told the “men of the press,” en español: George Bush no es Estados Unidos; Estados Unidos no es George Bush. Please click here if you’d like to read this story in La Jornada—a newspaper that should be commended for recently printing on its front page a blunt truth that no American newspaper I’ve seen has expressed as clearly: “U.S. Legalizes Torture for All Foreign Enemies.”
This October 9, as I seem to do every October 9 that I’m in New York, I’ll probably go on the Louie Free Radio Show, broadcasting on WASN 1500 AM out of Youngstown, Ohio, and on the Internet, Monday-Friday, 7 A.M.-Noon Eastern time. “Radio Free Ohio,” as I call the show, is my home away from home. Usually Louie and I talk about Lennon, the Beatles, and Nowhere Man, but we also talk about politics, and a couple of weeks after 9/11, he even broadcast my wedding, live from the Municipal Building in downtown Manhattan, a few blocks from Ground Zero. It was, he said, an affirmation of life in the midst of horror and mass death. Though I’ve never met him face to face, I consider Louie Free my friend and my brother. Like John Lennon, he’s a man of peace, a courageous independent voice speaking out in a vast wasteland of talk radio.
I urge you all to listen to his show, even when I’m not on it—if only because Louie also plays some very good music.