Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Lennon's Lost Letter
It could be said that there is nothing more inspiring than words of encouragement. It could also be said there is nothing more tragic than words of your hero falling upon def ears.
A British folk signer by the name of Steve Tilton received a letter from John Lennon and Yoko Ono 34 years late. The message: “Being rich doesn't change your experience 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 anybodies, I know, I've been rich and poor, so has Yoko (rich -- poor -- rich) so whadya think of that.
"Love John and Yoko."
Steve Tilston was a rising star (who like most of us) questioned the impact money would have on his life. It was 1971 when Tilston then 21 years of age, shared his thoughts in an interview in the pages of a magazine called ZigZag. It was this article that moved Lennon to pick up his pen and share honest words of encouragement.
The tragedy of this story is that the letter never made it to Tilson, but rather surfaced in 2005 in an American collectors possession. Knowledge of the letter became public when the collector reached Tilson to discuss the letters validity.
Tilson’s reaction to the prized possession he never knew was rightfully his? "It was so frustrating because Lennon even included his home phone number on the top of the letter," "I know it's silly but I wanted to ring him up across the ages."
Tilson also added that 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."
Perhaps the saying “you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone” is like pouring salt in a wound in this case, but I do believe although John’s letter did not reach Tilson in a timely manor, perhaps the message still did. John’s music was not just powerful, it was a letter of inspiration to us all.