Today is Instant Karma Day

I began my LOUIE LOUIE quest at a little radio station that decided to host a massive LOUIE LOUIE marathon where the song was played for 63 hours with over 800 versions. I don’t expect many people to understand, but for me it was truly a life-changing experience.

Today is the birthday of one of my heroes. If John Lennon were alive, he’d be celebrating 67 years today. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself “What would the world be like today if John Lennon were still alive?” I think about the Ray Bradbury story “Sound of Thunder,” which described how a seemingly meaningless action such as stepping on a leaf could change the course of history so dramatically. The loss of John Lennon was a major blow for so many of us, and it did change so many things. It’s impossible to know what would have been different if the tragedy of December 1980 never happened. Would the paths of certain people never cross? What would the musical landscape be like with John Lennon creating music in the 21st Century? Where would we be, politically in 2007? Who would be the leaders and shakers in the world? Would Google even exist?

Of course, asking these questions seems like such an exercise in futility. As far as I know, time travel only exists in the imagination, and whatever higher powers that hold the key to such exploration, remain elusive to the human experience. We are left with dreams and our imagination to take such ideas to the next level. As a wise leader named Joe Hill told his followers as he faced the gallows for a crime he may not have necessarily committed, “Don’t mourn – organize!” Thus, those inspired by the actions of those that led in the past, must keep the spirit alive with active idealism. Or, as John’s old partner Paul McCartney once sang, “Take these broken wings and learn to fly!

Twenty-seven years after the tragedy, I’m still a sentimental fool for such things, crying over the death of John Lennon. The pain is still very real.

Today, I am playing multiple versions of “Instant Karma,” one of my favorite songs ever written by John Lennon. I discovered a fairly recent version of the song by John Hiatt on the My Name is Earl TV soundtrack that I absolutely love.

Unlike LOUIE LOUIE, I won’t be playing this song for 63 hours nonstop, but I will be giving it some serious attention. Here’s some YouTube clips of different versions of “Instant Karma”:

Paul Weller

Malvasio (bluesy version – his 250th YouTube clip)

U2 in Portland, Oregon

U2 with Patti Smith in New York City

Duran Duran (borrowing bass line from Stooges‘ Wanna Be Your Dog)

The Sheer, a band from Holland

Patrice Pike on Rockstar Supernova TV show

Abbey Road on the River (tribute band)

Tokio Hotel at a Bravo gala plus many more

Umphrey’s McGee

Lucky Boys Confusion – Live at Otto’s

A fan-created John Lennnon tribute video.

Finally, here’s the real deal!


Also highly recommended:
The documentary “The U.S. vs John Lennon.” Click HERE to watch the trailer.

3 comments to Today is Instant Karma Day

  • Drake


    I understand your point about John Lennon and what the world woud be like today if he had not been killed. But still, your reference to Ray Bradbury’s thesis is really getting at Chaos theory and the so-called butterfly effect. And from that viewpoint, it matters not if the person was famous and important or not. The world may well have been quite different than it is if any number of people hadn’t died, most of whom are just ordinary folk. When we only ask the question “What if” in relation to famous people, I think that reflects a kind of cultural bias. We think their presence has more of an impact on history than that of non-famous people. But the butterfly effect cares nothing about fame. My 2 cents. Drake

  • EP

    I will agree that the basic premise of the Bradbury theory has little to do with cultural circumstance, but instead merely random actions that make up a domino effect that cannot be analyzed until actions can be studied in the past tense.

    That being said, I think the world would have been a very different world if John Lennon was alive, as his cultural impact was massive. I do think many things changed as a result of his death.

    Of course, such a thesis would be damned near impossible to prove, as it’s all in the realm of the imagination….

    Take it for what you will….

  • rabbit

    Eric ,

    I believe……….


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