One of the emails I found when I got back was from a BBC Radio Scotland producer asking musicians for thoughts on John Lennon for a forthcoming programme.
An image of Lennon singing on the Apple rooftop – the most confrontational singer I’d ever seen as a teenager: knees bent, almost crouching, guitar clutched high on his chest like a weapon and head flung back for that amazing, abrasive voice. Every now and again he breaks the spell with a sly aside to the camera – a wink, a tongue out, wiggled eyebrows – he always knows he’s on camera.
His voice was his greatest strengh. Even when the songs were mediocre, as they often were once he went to America, there was still a strength and honesty in his voice, something that made you believe him, no matter what he was saying.
Lennon was so pervasive when I was starting to sing and write that it’s hard to pin down any specific influence, but one thing I think I got from him was a love of starting a song with a long, drawn out ‘Well ….’