Music is a powerful medium. It has the power to take you back to a memory that you had no idea you still had, bring up old emotions you were feeling when you last sang the song, or define a period of your life. Musicians who create these songs, lyrics, and melodies stay with us long after the music as ended. And sometimes long after their own life has ended.
Almost everyone I know has a Beatles’ memory. Even people like me who were born long after the Beatles members went on their own ways. The song Hey Jude takes me back to 8th-grade band class where we learned how to play it while our teacher, Judy Hoell, danced around the room. Let It Be immediately brings up memories of sitting on the dock in Beaufort, North Carolina drunkenly singing with Heather in the middle of the night while watching dolphins and otters swim by. In fact, there is a movie coming out soon called Yesterday that touches on the power of the Beatles’ music.
Just like the music they produce, two of the band members seem to still linger long after their death and inspiring others. Randy Bachman claimed that while writing a song for an album he was doing where he redid George Harrison’s songs. Bachman claimed that when he wrote Between Two Mountains that he felt guided by an unseen presence in his room.
“I found myself guided by this invisible thing into my music room, and I started writing down lyrics on my laptop that are like nothing I’ve ever written before, with phrases like ‘an inner light’ and ‘angels in flight.’ It was like these lyrics were coming from the ghost of George Harrison.” ~ Randy Bachman
But Bachman isn’t the only one that has claimed to have felt the presence of a former Beatle member guiding the music they were writing. Fifteen years after Lennon’s death, McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Harrison came together to add their own voices to one Lennon’s previously home-recorded song, Free As A Bird. They said that they felt his presence while they did their studio recording. At one point they had decided to put a backwards message at the end to tease some of their fans. When they played it back, they had a bit of a shock.
“We put one of those spoof backwards recordings on the end of the single for a laugh, to give all those Beatles nuts something to do. I think it was the line of a George Formby song. Then we were listening to the finished single in the studio one night, and it gets to the end, and it goes, ‘zzzwrk nggggwaaahhh jooohn lennnnnon qwwwrk.’ I swear to God. We were like, ‘It’s John. He likes it!” ~ Paul McCartney
I’ve listened to the song but I’m not sure if that was really an EVP from John Lennon or something put in there like the backwards recording. Take a listen to it and let me know what you think.
That wasn’t the only time that McCartney claims that John Lennon crashed the set (so to speak) during the time they were working Free As A Bird. McCartney claims that while taking pictures for the single, a solid white peacock darted into one of the pictures. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal but Lennon had told friends and loved ones that after he is gone if they see a white feather that it meant that he was there with them.
Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son, also claimed to have a message from his father letting him know that he wasn’t alone. He said that he was in Australia to produce a movie when he agreed to take part in an Aboriginal ceremony. At one point during the ceremony, a tribe elder handed Lennon a single white feather. The moment had left Julian speechless.
John Lennon also made an appearance to his wife, Yoko Ono, while she was at their home in the Dakota Building. Ono stated that one day she saw him sitting at his piano. He turned around and simply stated “Don’t be afraid. I am still with you” before vanishing.
While it is painful to lose a loved one to death, I can speak from experience, it is comforting to know that sometimes they aren’t completely lost. Sometimes they come around to let us know they are still watching over us and guiding us. Yesterday @mediumpathmari commented on my Instagram post “I truly believe that the late great composers and artists channel their energies into the living enabling them to bring forth creative ideas” and I have to completely agree with her. Sometimes they do more than just inspire future artists and musicians. Perhaps they are truly guiding them so that their messages are still heard or to continue creating like they did while they were living.