Had They Lived

I, like most of you, spend part of the day dreaming and then, when that gets old, start thinking of hypothetical’s on just about any and everything.
I often think of winning the Powerball, that is day dreaming because it could happen.
And now here is the hypothetical that has completely dropped me under it’s spell.
What if they had lived?
But who Joe?
Thanks for asking, and here is why.
Last week, Paul McCartney came to town and Nashville, Music City, lost its ever-loving mind and rightfully so.
The Beatles are arguably the biggest and best band of all time, influencing generations with their music and here is a chance, possibly for the last time, to catch Paul McCartney.
Than I started thinking, what if John Lennon had lived?  What if  he wasn’t gunned down by Mark David Chapman on December 8th, 1980, while returning to his home in New York City after eating dinner.  In fact, Howard Cosell made first statement on the death of Lennon, which was pretty telling, all these years later.
Cosell: Yes, we have to say it. Remember this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous perhaps, of all of The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival. Hard to go back to the game after that news flash, which, in duty bound, we have to take. Frank?

The most famous of all the Beatles.  Interesting.
But what would have happened had that tragedy never occurred?  Would he be selling out arenas all over the world?  I think so, even as much as he shunned the limelight, I still say yes.

Then, I thought about Elvis.  Had he lived, would he be selling out arenas, like McCartney and like I think Lennon would have?
Absolutely.  You know how many people still love Elvis to this day?  It is absolutely astounding.
Sure, I knew a lot of their legend grew when they died and took them to unprecedented heights but I still think, had they lived, it might have been just as huge.

And why?  As we’ve all gotten older, we have become nostalgic.  Each and everyone of us.  Our kids will as they get older and theirs and so on.
Then, I thought about a few other ones.
Like this guy.

Freddie Mercury.  I know Queen still tours to this day but admit it, not the same without Mercury.  It just isn’t.
A lot of music purists think Queen is the greatest rock and roll band of all time and had Mercury lived, they would be popular to a level this world has never experienced.  It is certainly worth debating.

And here is another, what about this guy?

Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Some have floated him out there although I am not sure he appealed to the masses of the aforementioned people here.  Still, interesting to think how mega-popular he would have been had he not died in 1990 in that helicopter crash.

For country music, one can point to Hank Williams as one, had he lived, would have been up there among the gigantic stars of our lifetime.  Williams died at age 30 in 1953 and could have gone another 40 years had drinking and everything else not overtaken him.  He would be 91 and although I am not sure he would be selling out arenas, he would still be pretty popular.  But I think Williams’ legacy is one that grew exponentially because of his early death.

Then, I remembered this guy.

Keith Whitley.  He died at the age of 33 back in 1989 and already had 19 songs that had charted on Billboard.  You ask a lot of singers today who influenced you and two names you will hear, George Strait and Keith Whitley.  He died right before country music exploded with the likes of Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson and a few others.  There is no doubt in my mind that he would have been up there with Garth and Strait in selling out arenas for many years after that if he had lived.
All of this is fascinating to think about and I am sure there are many others that I am leaving off the list, like Kurt Cobain, who no doubt, would have been right up there with the rest of them.

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