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Fellow voyagers

By Christopher SwanChristopher Swan is a staff correspondent of the Monitor based in New York. / December 12, 1980

New York

It was a time of our lives. A shared chapter, something unutterably special because so many of us lived through it together. And the other night, watching television accounts of the life of John Lennon, I realized all over again what the Beatles meant to so many millions of my generation.

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They were our friends, our fellow voyagers, our magic selves -- magnified, beautified, and idealized.

Each new record came to be not just another entertainment event but something awaited, a message about ourselves, another step into the desirable future.

I remember when "Abbey Road" came out. There were only a few advance copies floating around the city.A disk jockey had one and was playing it over and over again. And that night, as I walked down a deserted New York street, I heard the most incredible music pouring out of a fourth-floor loft. The tenant had managed to get his hands on the new album. The Windows were wide open, and the music was thundering out into the night, echoing through the dark streets. You could just feel the energy of happiness.

Right there on that street, John Lennon and the Beatles touched my life, as they had so many times before. There was wisdom and humor and grace and joy-to be-living in that music. And it was reverberating through the night.

And it is reverberating still.