The very first writing I ever did was this: hunkering down in my lonely but safe upstairs bedroom, and imagining new lyrics to Beatles tunes. By kindergarten I knew the words to virtually every song. I had this ancient, single-unit stereo with hinged speakers attached to the side and a drop down turntable. I don’t recall too many of the songs I rewrote, but one was “For No One.” I know Paul sang it. But the Beatles, for me, was John. Fast forward 10 years. I recall exactly where I was, on the night John Lennon died. SE 52nd. Woodward. Portland, Oregon. Driving down the street in my green Ford Galaxie. The news came over the radio. Since then I’ve been through a lot of loss but this was sui generis. It gutted me. It was the death of everything. It was world murder. John, I thank you. I miss you. I’m so grateful. You grabbed me by the hair and saved me. I’m still here and still listening.