42 Years Without LENNON

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It was mildly warm for the New York winter standards that December night, 42 years ago, when Mark Chapman decided to kill John Lennon just for the sake of it, in order to sneak into the biography of one of the most influential figures in pop culture.

A few hours earlier, the member of the quartet The Beatles had autographed a copy of his most recent album “Double Fantasy” for Chapman, and Chapman had no better way to thank him than to shoot him five times. Just 15 minutes after returning to the building that night ,Lennon was lying dead, and his estranged killer was waiting for police at the New York Dakota building. In one pocket he carried a battered copy of the novel “Catcher in the Rye”, by J.D. Salinger, while a few meters from him a person died and a myth was born…

The life of the famous musician was anything but boring, and was marked by that cult group he founded in Liverpool, practically unclassifiable, simply essential.

John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in the middle of the World War. He grew up without his father, raised by an aunt who did not welcome his musical tastes and with a mother haunted by her own demons, whose early death would mark him. In his teens, John encountered his great musical buddy, Paul McCartney, during the annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, a parade and outdoor fair at which John and his Quarrymen Skiffle Group had been invited to play. Midway through their first set, 15-year-old Paul McCartney showed up and watched, transfixed, as John, despite his rudimentary guitar skills and his tendency to ad-lib in place of forgotten lyrics, held the crowd with charm and swagger. A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he’d just played. Two weeks later, Lennon invited McCartney to join the Quarrymen. The greatest musical partnership of our times was born, and the rest is history…

From the sordid clubs of Hamburg and Liverpool to the crowded Shea Stadium in New York or the roof of the Apple Corps building, The Beatles revolutionized pop and left authentic generational anthems, exploring from the most commercial sounds to the most psychedelic, mystical and rock-and-roll, with suggestive lyrics and a luxurious production.

John‘s complicated personality marked the group, completed by Paul, his old friend George Harrison and the always underrated Ringo Starr. A genius guy as acid and biting, Lennon left behind numerous musical classics, but also inflammatory phrases, such as that The Beatles were more famous than Christ or that they were heroes of the proletariat.

His relationship with Yoko Ono, which began in 1966, perhaps precipitated the separation of the band, which was already a matter of time, more because of egos and personal searches than because of the role of villain who never abandoned the eccentric Japanese artist.

After “Imagine”‘s solo success came years of musical activity and a lot more of activism, his breakup and reconciliation with Yoko, the home life he always longed for and never had, and the recording of “Double Fantasy”, the album he had just released when five point blank shots ended with his life. It was December 8, 1980, and it was surprisingly warm for a New York winter night…

Roses in Strawberry Fields, a Central Park memorial dedicated to John Lennon – Source: Wikimedia Commons

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8 Comments

  1. Wife and just bought a Hemi Charger,,only reason we kept subscription to Siriusxm is for The Beatles channel..we love you John,Paul,George and Ringo,,cannot Imagine this life without you

  2. Lennon said the Beatles were more POPULAR than Jesus Christ, not more famous and He was CORRECT!! Christianity is NOT the Religion most People in the World follow, Buddhism is, not to mention other non-Christian Religions.

  3. Naming the Piece of Shit that murdered Lennon is bad enough putting his name in the same sentence as John’s gives him what he sought. Use Yoko and Sean next time.they make such a sad story readable

  4. It WASN’T cold that night. Not in Manht5tan. I was working as a doorman 4 blocks south of the Dakota. It was so mild that night, I had the door open.

  5. Edmund F Jones on

    Long live the memories of the infamous John Winston Lennon! He was a great song writer and musician of the world! He was a member of the worlds greatest rock and roll and there will never band as great as the Beatles! Long live their music and the music of John Lennon!

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