Born on 9th of October 1940
Died on 8th of December 1980
British hero of the week October 5th 2009
Quotes from John Lennon
'Time you enjoy wasting, was no'... More
Few are the musicians who transcend cultural boundaries to become true legends, symbolising their own era and continuing to be a major influence well beyond it. But John Winston Ono Lennon was and is more than just a singer and songwriter. Born in Liverpool in 1940, a friendship with Paul McCartney blossomed into arguably the greatest musical partnership the modern world has ever seen through his work with their original group The Quarrymen and then as (arguably) the primary creative force within The Beatles. Brought up by his aunt Mimi – his merchant seaman father absent and his mother’s circumstances less than perfect – Lennon was a rebel at school failing all his ‘O’ levels, and then again at art college. It seems strange now that until he was 17 he never had a guitar, the piano and banjo his earliest instruments.
Lennon’s best songs are solid-gold classics: ‘A Hard Day’s Night’; ‘Come Together’; ‘Help’; ‘Julia’; but in the mid-60s his skill with a sound-bite ensured global notoriety too. Whether claiming his band would outlive Christianity (necessitating a direct apology to the Vatican) or becoming one of pop culture’s most outspoken pacifists, Lennon was never far from newspaper front pages. Living in New York with Yoko Ono after The Beatles broke up, his anti-Nixon anti-Vietnam war stance saw him threatened with deportation from the USA at one point, forcing him to remain in the country lest his re-entry be blocked.
His musical output after the demise of The Beatles, much in conjunction with Yoko, failed to reach the constant creative high-plateau of his former band, though ‘Imagine’ and ‘Working Class Hero’ were surely of equal brilliance, and ‘Mind Games’, ‘Jealous Guy’ and ‘Happy Xmas (War is over)’ were also songs of the highest quality. His own recordings ensured his continued relevance, and his collaboration with a diverse range of musicians including David Bowie (Lennon one of the writers credited on Bowie’s ‘Fame’), Mick Jagger, and Elton John demonstrated how highly he was regarded at the top end of the pop world. If Lennon had not been murdered on December 8, 1980 in New York City by the deranged Mark David Chapman it’s a safe bet he’d still be making music today. Artist, poet, musician, activist, legend: Lennon’s legacy is felt today as keenly as ever.
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