Certainly a man that needs no introduction to the world, John Lennon, guitarist, singer and songwriter for The Beatles would have been 72 today.
It’s hard to describe the world of popular music without the influence of The Beatles and Lennon himself, who remained a primary taste maker in pop music until his untimely death in 1980. He was a driving force in lyrical craft, imagery, attitude and even destruction. Although he had created many fans throughout his years in The Beatles, he also created plenty of enemies – President Richard Nixon among them.
As of 2012 Lennon’s solo album sales in the United States exceed 14 million units, and as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart. In 2002 a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth, and in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all-time.
He faded in and out of his private life between the time The Beatles were disbanded in 1969, with appearances on television, his public relationship and activism with Yoko Ono, and raising his children until suddenly he re-emerged on the scene with an interesting new concept album he created with Ono called “Double Fantasy.” Although initially panned by most critics as indulgent and sleepy, it gave listeners a sense of how satisfied Lennon had become with his quieter family-centered life. Then things took a turn for the disastrous…
At around 10:50 pm on 8 December 1980, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in The Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building. Lennon was taken to the emergency room of the nearby Roosevelt Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 pm. Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman.
There will probably never be another song writer quite like Lennon, so why mince words? Let his friends and his music speak for him.
The first video we’ll feature is John being inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 by his great friend and collaborator Paul McCartney.
The second is the entire appearance that Lennon made on the Dick Cavett Show in 1971 where he talks about his trouble with the Nixon Whitehouse, the CIA and his activism.
The third one is John throwing a few notes down with his most famous group, The Beatles. Here they do a live duplicate of their famous hit “All You Need is Love” with an accompanying orchestra, some good friends to help with claps, shouts and percussion and of course, those kooky Nero jackets maaaaaan.