J is for John Lennon, of course. Without John Lennon, the Beatles would’ve never existed. He helped found the precursor to the Beatles, the Quarrymen in 1957. By 1960, the Quarrymen had evolved into the Beatles, with members Paul McCartney, bass guitar, and George Harrison, guitar, in place. By 1964, they were well on their way to pop infamy.
John Winston Lennon, reluctant MBE, was born in Liverpool on 9 October 1940. He died 8 December 1980 in New York, NY, shot by Mark David Chapmen. He married twice, first to Cynthia Powell from 1962 – 1968, and then to Yoko Ono from 1969 – 1980. He had two sons, Julian, with first wife Cynthia, and Sean, with his second wife Yoko. Today is impossible not to wonder what he would’ve created in the years 1980–today if he’d survived, especially when considering the album Double Fantasy, released just weeks before his death, and the massive output of Sir Paul McCartney as a solo artist 1981-today. Double Fantasy signaled the end of a five year hiatus from the music industry.
Within the Beatles, John served as the leader of the band, as well as one of the partners of the infamous Lennon/McCartney songwriting team. Their output as songwriters makes up most of the Beatles back catalog. It is widely credited as one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in all of popular music. For a time after the breakup, particularly in the early to mid-1970s, John and Paul would publicly snipe at each other through song lyrics.
It began with the second solo album released by Paul McCartney after the breakup of the Beatles in 1970, 1971’s Ram. On the album the songs “Too Many People” and “Dear Boy” seem to be digs at John and Yoko. John responded with two scathing songs on his album Imagine: “How Do You Sleep?” and “Crippled Inside.” Fortunately John and Paul made amends by the end of the 1970s. John’s relationships with other former band mates Ringo Starr and George Harrison faired a little better, but those relationships also struggled for a time in the midst of the fallout of the breakup of the Beatles.
I could go on about John Lennon, but so much of his life has entered the realm of legend and even myth. It suffices to say that he was one of the great musical talents of the 20th century. Not only is he largely responsible for the most successful pop band on the planet, ever, he also helped to write almost all of those songs. It will be a very long time before the world sees another phenomenon like the Beatles or the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team, or for that matter, John Lennon.
Fun Fact #1 –
Linda McCartney, a rock and roll photographer before she even met Paul McCartney, admitted that she was originally attracted to John.
Early in the life of the Beatles, when his band mates became depressed that the band was going nowhere, John would say:
John – “Where are we going fellas?”
Band – “To the top, Johnny!”
John – “Where’s that, fellas?”
Band – “To the Toppermost of the Poppermost!”
John – “Right!”
Fun Fact #3 –
Liverpool, the hometown of all of the Beatles, renamed their airport after John Lennon in 2001.
- F is for Fab Four/For No One (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- G is for George Harrison (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- E is for Eleanor Rigby (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- B is for Beatleology (russelllindsey.wordpress.com)
- The Beatles’ Block on Q 104.3: (jacqpuma.wordpress.com)
- The Beatles’ kids may form Beatles band (muzicmagazine.com)
- The Beatles 2: Paul McCartney’s Son Wants To Form A Band With Beatles’ Offspring (inquisitr.com)
- Childhood Homes Of John Lennon, Paul McCartney To Be Preserved (inquisitr.com)
- Julian Lennon says he’s happy with his life, not mad at Paul McCartney (examiner.com)