Co-founder of one of the most wildly successful bands of the 60’s, John Lennon lived a life full of music and magic. As an English singer, songwriter, musician, and activist, he had one of the strongest influences on pop music culture of today.
But with fame, comes intrigue and a little bit of madness. Read more about John Lennon and how he came to rise to the top of the music industry.
John Lennon: Early Years and the Birth of the Beatles
Born as John Winston Lennon on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, to parents Julia and Alfred Lennon, the future Beatles co-founder was named after his paternal grandfather, John “Jack” Lennon, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
When his parents separated, Lennon lived with his aunt Mimi (Mary Elizabeth Smith), Julia’s sister. During his mother’s visits, she played Elvis records and taught him how to play the banjo. She also bought him his first guitar. Unfortunately, his mother died when she was struck by a car after one of her visits.
John Lennon, although a lively and good-humored student, was never good in school. But he did exhibit some talent and interest in drawing. However, he was still thrown out of college before his final years for being such a troublemaker.
When he was but 15, Lennon formed the “Quarrymen”, a skiffle group named after Quarry Bank High School, where he used to attend as a student in Liverpool. It wouldn’t be until he met Paul McCartney that the beginnings of the iconic “Beatles” would begin to be written.
Pretty soon, George Harrison (lead guitarist) and Stuart Sutcliffe (bassist) would join in, formally completing the Beatles in 1960. Pete Best (drummer) would later be added when the group met him during their long performance in Hamburg.
Afterwards, Sutcliffe was replaced by McCartney when he decided to stay in Germany. Ringo Starr would take over as their drummer, completing the Beatles most people know to this day. Some of the Beatles mega hits included their first single, “Love Me Do”, the follow-up single written by John Lennon “Please Please Me”, and “Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever”.
In 1969, Lennon decided to leave the Beatles, but didn’t publicise it due to some renegotiations with the group’s recording contract. Sadly, this was also the time when a rift formed between him and McCartney. This would be patched up in succeeding years, though both men never worked together again.
John Lennon: The Legacy
A man of music and mystery, John Lennon has left a deep impact on pop culture in general. To this day, his death on December 8, 1980 is still mourned not only by fans of his work, but by music lovers all over the world. His song-writing partnership with McCartney is said to be one of the most influential and successful of the 20th century.
Lennon had 25 number one singles on the U.S. Hot 100 chart; his best-selling solo album “Double Fantasy” won the 1981 Grammy Award for Album of the Year; and he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987.
However you remember him, here are some of the best John Lennon quotes for inspiration.