December 8 is a sad day for Beatles fans each year, as they note the date when John Lennon was shot dead outside his home at the Dakota Apartments in New York. It is a day of remembrance, and we thought we would share some of our favorite stories about John that we have published in the past. The best way to remember John on this day is not to recall the ugly events of that night or his killer, but to celebrate his life—of course as one of the most famous musicians and composers of our time, but also his wit, his personality and the dreams he had for humanity.
As a very brief overview of his life, John Lennon was born to Julia and Alf Lennon October 9, 1940 in Liverpool at the Oxford maternity hospital. At the age of five he went to live with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George Smith, the circumstances of which are still debated to this day. (Read more about his early family life and the subject of this debate here.) He had a decent upbringing and soon showed signs of being a uniquely talented artist through his drawings.
At the age of eleven he drew detailed scenes of cowboys and Indians and also a football match that later appeared on his Walls and Bridges album. He did poetry and riddles, and created the “Daily Howl” at Quarrybank school, a funny cartoon newspaper that was witty, with irreverent references towards his teachers. Even though his teachers confiscated the newspapers in disgust, they later giggled at them in the staff rooms.
In 1957 he created the band, The Quarrymen, and started playing skiffle music, which transformed into a rock group. The rest is history---we all know what happened next, and now, more than fifty years later, we still celebrate the most iconic rock band of all time, the Beatles.
He became a peace activist after marrying Yoko Ono, and wrote many songs about his political views in the early 70s. He became a target as a result of the Nixon administration, who tried to deport him from the United States. (Read more about John’s desire to become an American and the trouble he had here.)
His last album, Double Fantasy, a beautiful autobiographical view into what it was like “starting over” with his wife and having a child, was released just three weeks before his death. For his 70th birthday, his solo work was completely remastered. Double Fantasy was released in a “stripped-down” format, which brought his stunning voice out front without most of the instrumentation of the earlier version.
John’s death brought about a huge resurgence of interest in the Beatles, which has never abated, but only grown stronger, and we still mourn his passing. On the 30th anniversary, we wrote our thoughts on why we still love John Lennon as much as we do.
Many claim to be in touch with John spiritually. Those interested in books and stories about John’s afterlife can read more here. Be sure to look at the links on the bottom for stories about Paul McCartney, May Pang, and Julian Lennon’s experiences. Our own story about connecting with John’s spirit is published at the Paranormal Examiner.
For those of you in the Los Angeles area, today there is a remembrance at John’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, at 2:00 p.m., headed up by Jerry Rubin, and fans will also gather at the Imagine Mosaic in Strawberry Field in Central Park, New York.
There are many memorials and statues to John around the world that fans gather at to remember this hero. If you cannot attend these events, do your own memorial to John. Light a candle, sing one of John’s songs. To quote an old Yes song, “send an instant karma” to him, and “initial it with loving care.” Peace to all of you on this day, and for the holiday season.
Copyright notice-©Shelley Germeaux 2013: This article and photos are subject to copyright restrictions and may not be reproduced without the author’s permission. Excerpts with link to original article are welcomed. Please click on this link to receive emails from John Lennon Examiner when new articles are posted.
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