On this day, thirty eight years ago the world echoed with unwelcoming news. John Lennon was murdered outside of his apartment building in New York City. He was shot four times in the back at close range by a lone gunman. Millions of fans all around the globe were left devastated and in disbelief. Why? Because of some lunatic with a gun. A lunatic who took the life of a father, husband, friend, a person loved by millions of people.
He maybe still rots in prison, but unlike John at least he is alive. The good news however (if they can be called that), is that the murderer was denied a parole again this August for the 10th time! We can only hope that he never gets out.
About John Lennon
Born John Winston Lennon (later Ono) on 9 October, 1940 in Liverpool to Julia and Alfred Lennon. John Lennon was one of the if not the most influential musician of 20th century.
He was raised by his mother and mostly by his aunt Mimi Smith alongside five other ‘strong, intelligent, beautiful women, five sisters’ as John described them. His father however, was mostly absent from his life and wasn’t even present at his birth. That’s the reason why Lennon always loved and adored strong women. He even described his childhood as his ‘first feminist education’.
Before forming the Beatles, John Lennon had a skiffle band called The Quarrymen. The band originally consisted of Lennon and several school-friends of his. However, everything changed in the summer of 1957 when John Lennon met Paul McCartney. Although Paul joined his band couple months later in October.
Shortly after McCartney joined the band, The Quarrymen were in need for more manpower. That’s when Paul recommend his old friend George Harrison. But John rejected the recommendation because George (3 years younger than Lennon) was too young to join the band. However, Paul was persistent and managed to persuade John to include George. Even though Harrison had to audition for Lennon, he nailed it and joined the band as a 14 year old.
Two years later they officially formed The Beatles. At first they mostly played in pubs and bars in Liverpool and from time to time in Hamburg, Germany. But when Ringo Starr joined the band in 1963 everything changed. The Fab Four was formed and Beatlemania kicked off. The rest is history as they say.
As a solo artist, he did not manage to achieve the previous success he had with the Beatles. But nonetheless his success is still admirable. Songs like Instant Karma, Imagine, Jealous Guy, Happy Xmas, Give Peace a Chance, Woman, God, Mother will live on forever.
Before marrying Yoko Ono, John Lennon was married to his first wife Cynthia Powell with whom he had one child – Julian. A marriage that did not end well. Also John wasn’t the best husband nor father while they were married. He neglected his child and even used violence against his wife. Actions that he deeply regretted later in his life. Even admitted his mistakes in the Beatles’ song ‘Getting Better’. In later years in an interview for Playboy John said ‘I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster’. ‘That is why I am always on about peace, you see’.
Additionally, one of the most famous Beatles’ song ‘Hey Jude’ was written by Paul McCartney for Lennon’s son Julian who went through a hard time during his parents’ divorce.
In his later years John Lennon even stopped making music to devote to his wife and newborn son Sean.
20 John Lennon Quotes
1) It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love.
2) Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
3) Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
4) Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.
5) Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
6) Everybody loves you when you’re six foot in the ground.
7) You don’t need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are.
8) A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
9) If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.
10) I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just getting out of one car, and into another.
11) Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.
12) Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.
13) If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.
14) You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die
15) Art is only a way of expressing pain.
16) I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.
17) I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.
18) I believe in everything until it’s disproved.
19) We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.
20) As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.
You may love or hate him, but it can’t change the fact that John Lennon influenced millions of people and changed the world in his own way. His name still lives 39 years after his death and will continue to live for many more years to come. Long after all of us have died.
John Lennon 1940 – ∞