By Mark A. Leon
“We went into Sean’s bedroom – and there was a kid there setting up an Apple computer that Sean had gotten as a present, the Macintosh model. I said that once some man had been calling me a lot wanting to give me one, but that I’d never called him back or something, and then the kid looked up and said, “Yeah, that was me. I’m Steve Jobs.” And he looked so young, like a college guy. And he told me that he would still send me one now. And then he gave me a lesson on drawing with it. It only comes in black and white now, but they’ll make it soon in color. And then Keith and Kenny used it. Keith had already used it once to make a T-shirt, but Kenny was using it for the first time, and I felt so old and out of it with this young whiz guy right there who’d helped invent it.” – From Andy Warhol’s Tuesday, 9 October 1984 diary entry. It was Sean Lennon’s 9th birthday party.
October 9th, 1984 – The Dakota, Manhattan – The day that would have marked the 44th birthday of John Lennon and one shared with his son Sean. This day would be the celebration of the life of Sean Lennon though with an apartment filled with some of the most important names in the creative community coming to honor the off spring of a musical and spiritual legend. With all this wealth, power and celebrity shared, one gift, one guest would become the most important for the next 25 plus years. At the time, it was one day, one celebration and one moment.
The importance of this event would not be felt to the fullest extend until many years later. As we look back on the players and the single box object on the floor of Sean’s room, it is clear that this was a defining day in our history and our future.
A young, shaggy twenty something arrived with a gift no bigger than a breadbox to present to young Sean. It was a prototype of the new Mac Computer and the man presenting the gift was Steve Jobs. As he opened the box and put it on the floor sitting next to Sean, you could see a look of bewilderment as not only Sean but the guest list was not aware what this device was. Steve took the next few minutes to insert a floppy disk and install the art/design software. With a short tutorial and the swift movements of the mouse, Sean and Steve were creating digital art.
It was only a few minutes later that art and pop culture icon Andy Warhol stepped into the room and observed this device and the images on the screen. He sat down next to Steve and Sean and raised the mouse into the air, looking closely and trying to figure out how this mechanism worked. Steve reach over and began to lower his hand and the mouse to the ground and instructed Andy to just move it along the ground and that would translate to the screen. Like a grown child, Andy began to play. Soon the simplest of images was born on this monitor. Andy Warhol then stood up and announced to the crowd that he had created a circle.
With the spirit of John Lennon air apparent in the room, there was an aura of two visionaries. One that pledged the release of all material value to preserve the ideals of peace for all humanity and one that would revolutionize the entire culture of communication, computers, film and music. With Andy Warhol presiding over the church of Lennon, the marriage of the spirituality of the past and future were joined bridging two generations and forever changing the world as we know it.
John Lennon and Steve Jobs were born with an amazing gift of vision and insight and both were able to use their greatness in the pursuit of the greater good of mankind. Becoming vulnerable and naked, each opened themselves up to the unknown abyss to take the greatest leap so that we can be rewarded with a lifetime of wonder without boundary.
Both men taken before their time to their final resting place, but each one’s song continues to linger in the hearts and souls of every man, woman and child that dares to dream.
Throughout his illustrious career, Steve Jobs always generously showed his respect and admiration for those that influenced and inspired him. It does not take an obsessive Apple fan to see how much the music of the Beatles shaped his thinking toward his products, his customers, his family and his views on life.
How often do we find ourselves bearing witness to what seemingly is a just a moment in time, but much later realize the affect that moment had on the greater good. October 9th, 1984 on West 72nd Street, across from Strawberry Fields in Central Park, a group of people, on the floor of an apartment saw the vision of the future surrounded by the music of peace, love and harmony.