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John Lennon

John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founder members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Together with Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most celebrated songwriting partnerships of the 20th century. HP Pavilion dv3-4057tx Battery

Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved as a teenager in the skiffle craze; his first band, The Quarrymen, evolved into The Beatles in 1960. As the group disintegrated towards the end of the decade, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine".HP Pavilion dv3-4059tx Battery

After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to raising his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release. HP Pavilion dv3-4100 Battery

Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film, and in interviews. Controversial through his political and peace activism, he moved to New York City in 1971, where his criticism of theVietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon's administration to deport him, while some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement. HP Pavilion dv3-4100sa Battery

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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. HP Pavilion dv3-4106tx Battery

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 was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. HP Pavilion dv3-4105tx Battery

1940–57: EARLY YEARS

Lennon was born in war-time England, on 9 October 1940 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital to Julia and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman who was away at the time of his son's birth.[1] He was named John Winston Lennon after his paternal grandfather, HP Pavilion dv3-4107tx Battery

John "Jack" Lennon, and then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill.[2] His father was often away from home but sent regular pay cheques to 9 Newcastle Road, Liverpool, where Lennon lived with his mother,[3] but the cheques stopped when he wentabsent without leave in February 1944.[4][5] HP Pavilion dv3-4121tx Battery

When he eventually came home six months later, he offered to look after the family, but Julia—by then pregnant with another man's child—rejected the idea.[6] After her sister, Mimi Smith, twice complained to Liverpool's Social Services, Julia handed the care of Lennon over to her. In July 1946 Lennon's father visited Smith and took his son to Blackpool, HP Pavilion dv3-4123tx Battery

secretly intending to emigrate to New Zealand with him.[7] Julia followed them—with her partner at the time, 'Bobby' Dykins—and after a heated argument his father forced the five-year-old to choose between them. Lennon twice chose his father, but as his mother walked away, he began to cry and followed her.[8] It would be 20 years before he had contact with his father again.[9]HP Pavilion dv3-4124tx Battery

Throughout the rest of his childhood and adolescence he lived with his aunt and uncle, Mimi and George Smith, who had no children of their own, at Mendips, 251 Menlove Avenue, Woolton.[10] His aunt bought him volumes of short stories, and his uncle, a dairyman at his family's farm, bought him a mouth organ and engaged him in solving crossword puzzles.[11]HP Pavilion dv3-4200 Battery

 Julia visited Mendips on a regular basis, and when he was 11 years old he often visited her at 1 Blomfield Road, Liverpool, where she played him Elvis Presley records, and taught him the banjo, learning how to play "Ain't That a Shame" by Fats Domino.[12]HP Pavilion dv3-4207tx Battery

In September 1980 he talked about his family and his rebellious nature:

Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic musician. But I cannot be what I am not. Because of my attitude, all the other boys' parents ... instinctively recognised what I was, which was a troublemaker, HP Pavilion dv3-4208tx Battery

meaning I did not conform and I would influence their kids, which I did ... I did my best to disrupt every friend's home ... Partly, maybe, it was out of envy that I didn't have this so-called home, but I really did ... There were five women who were my family. HP Pavilion dv5-1200 Battery

Five strong, intelligent women. Five sisters. Those women were fantastic ... that was my first feminist education ... One happened to be my mother ... she just couldn't deal with life. She had a husband who ran away to sea and the war was on and she couldn't cope with me, and when I was four-and-a-half, I ended up living with her elder sister ... the fact that I wasn't with my parents made me see that parents are not gods.[13]HP Pavilion dv5-1200 Special Edition Battery

He regularly visited his cousin, Stanley Parkes, who lived in Fleetwood. Seven years Lennon's senior, Parkes took him on trips, and to local cinemas.[14] During the school holidays, Parkes often visited Lennon with Leila Harvey, another cousin, often travelling to Blackpool two or three times a week to watch shows. HP Pavilion dv5-1200 Special Edition Battery

They would visit the Blackpool Tower Circus and see artists such as Dickie Valentine, Arthur Askey, Max Bygraves and Joe Loss, with Parkes recalling that Lennon particularly liked George Formby.[15] After Parkes's family moved to Scotland, the three cousins often spent their school holidays together there. HP Pavilion dv5-1208TX SE Battery

Parkes recalled, "John, cousin Leila and I were very close. From Edinburgh we would drive up to the family croft at Durness, which was from about the time John was nine years old until he was about 16."[16] He was 14 years old when his uncle George died of a liver haemorrhage on 5 June 1955 (aged 52).[17]HP Pavilion dv5-1209TX SE Battery

57, after passing his Eleven-Plus exam, he attended Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, and was described by Harvey at the time as, "A happy-go-lucky, good-humoured, easy going, lively lad."[19] He often drew comical cartoons which appeared in his own self-made school magazine called The Daily Howl,[20]HP Pavilion dv5-1222TX Battery

 but despite his artistic talent, his school reports were damning: "Certainly on the road to failure ... hopeless ... rather a clown in class ... wasting other pupils' time."[21]HP Pavilion dv5-1232TX Battery

His mother bought him his first guitar in 1956, an inexpensive Gallotone Champion acoustic for which she "lent" her son five pounds and ten shillings on the condition that the guitar be delivered to her own house, and not Mimi's, knowing well that her sister was not supportive of her son's musical aspirations.[22] As Mimi was sceptical of his claim that he would be famous one day, she hoped he would grow bored with music, often telling him, "The guitar's all very well, John, but you'll never make a living out of it".[23HP Pavilion dv5-1233se Battery

] On 15 July 1958, when Lennon was 17 years old, his mother, walking home after visiting the Smiths' house, was struck by a car and killed.[24]HP Pavilion dv5-1241la Battery

 

Lennon failed all his GCE O-level examinations, and was accepted into the Liverpool College of Art only after his aunt and headmaster intervened.[25] Once at the college, he started wearing Teddy Boy clothes and acquired a reputation for disrupting classes and ridiculing teachers. HP Pavilion dv5-1247la Battery

As a result, he was excluded from the painting class, then the graphic arts course, and was threatened with expulsion for his behaviour, which included sitting on a nude model's lap during a life drawing class.[26] He failed an annual exam, despite help from fellow student and future wife Cynthia Powell, and was "thrown out of the college before his final year."[27]HP Pavilion dv5-1250us Battery

 

1957–65: Formation, commercial breakout, and touring years

The Beatles evolved from Lennon's first band, the Quarrymen. Named after Quarry Bank High School, the group was established by him in September 1956 when he was 15, and began as a skiffle group.[28] By the summer of 1957 the Quarrymen played a "spirited set of songs" HP Pavilion dv5-1300 Battery

made up of half skiffle, and half rock and roll.[29] Lennon first met Paul McCartney at the Quarrymen's second performance, held in Woolton on 6 July at the St. Peter's Church garden fête, after which McCartney was asked to join the band.[30]HP Pavilion dv5-2000 Battery

 

McCartney says that Aunt Mimi: "was very aware that John's friends were lower class", and would often patronise him when he arrived to visit Lennon.[31] According to Paul's brother Mike, McCartney's father was also disapproving, declaring Lennon would get his son "into trouble";[32]HP Pavilion dv5-2034la Battery

 although he later allowed the fledgling band to rehearse in the McCartneys' front room at 20 Forthlin Road.[33][34] During this time, the 18-year-old Lennon wrote his first song, "Hello Little Girl", a UK top 10 hit for The Fourmostnearly five years later.[35]HP Pavilion dv5-2045la Battery

George Harrison joined the band as lead guitarist,[36] even though Lennon thought Harrison (at 14 years old) was too young to join the band, so McCartney engineered a second audition on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus, where Harrison played "Raunchy" for Lennon. HP Pavilion dv5-2046la Battery

 [38] Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Sutcliffe became "The Beatles" in early 1960. In August that year The Beatles, engaged for a 48-night residency in Hamburg, Germany, and desperately in need of a drummer, asked Pete Best to join them.[39] Lennon was now 19, and his aunt, horrified when he told her about the trip, pleaded with him to continue his art studies instead.[40] HP Pavilion dv5-3000 Battery

After the first Hamburg residency, the band accepted another in April 1961, and a third in April 1962. Like the other band members, Lennon was introduced to Preludin while in Hamburg,[41] and regularly took the drug, as well as amphetamines, as a stimulant during their long, overnight performances.[42]HP Pavilion dv6-3000 Battery

 

Brian Epstein, The Beatles' manager from 1962, had no prior experience of artist management, but nevertheless had a strong influence on their early dress code and attitude on stage.[43] Lennon initially resisted his attempts to encourage the band to present a professional appearance, but eventually complied, saying, "I'll wear a bloody balloon if somebody's going to pay me".[44]HP Pavilion dv6-3005sa Battery

 McCartney took over on bass after Sutcliffe decided to stay in Hamburg, and drummer Ringo Starr replaced Best, completing the four-piece line-up that would endure until the group's break-up in 1970. The band's first single, "Love Me Do", was released in October 1962 and reached #17 on the British charts. They recorded their debut album, Please Please Me, in under 10 hours on 11 February 1963,[45] HP Pavilion dv6-3005TX Battery

a day when Lennon was suffering the effects of a cold,[46] which is evident in the vocal on the last song to be recorded that day, Twist and Shout.[47] The Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership yielded eight of its fourteen tracks. With few exceptions—one being the album title itself—Lennon had yet to bring his love of wordplay to bear on his song lyrics, saying: "We were just writing songs ... HP Pavilion dv6-3006TX Battery

pop songs with no more thought of them than that–to create a sound. And the words were almost irrelevant".[45] In a 1987 interview, McCartney said that the other Beatles idolised John: "He was like our own little Elvis ... We all looked up to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the quickest wit and the smartest".[48]HP Pavilion dv6-3010sa Battery

The Beatles achieved mainstream success in the UK during the beginning of 1963. Lennon was on tour when his first son, Julian, was born in April. During theirRoyal Variety Show performance, attended by the Queen Mother and other British royalty, Lennon poked fun at his audience: "For our next song, I'd like to ask for your help. For the people in the cheaper seats, HP Pavilion dv6-3011TX Battery

clap your hands ... and the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewellery."[49] After a year ofBeatlemania in the UK, the group's historic February 1964 US debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show marked their breakthrough to international stardom. A two-year period of constant touring, moviemaking, and songwriting followed, during which Lennon wrote two books, HP Pavilion dv6-3015sa Battery

 In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works.[50]The Beatles received recognition from the British Establishment when they were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1965.[51]HP Pavilion dv6-3020sa Battery

Lennon grew concerned that fans attending Beatles' concerts were unable to hear the music above the screaming of fans, and that the band's musicianship was beginning to suffer as a result.[52] Lennon's "Help!" expressed his own feelings in 1965: "I meant it ... HP Pavilion dv6-3025sa Battery

It was me singing 'help'".[53] He had put on weight (he would later refer to this as his "Fat Elvis" period),[54] and felt he was subconsciously seeking change.[55] The following January he was unknowingly introduced to LSD when a dentist, hosting a dinner party attended by Lennon, HP Pavilion dv6-3026tx Battery

Harrison and their wives, spiked the guests' coffee with the drug.[56] When they wanted to leave, their host revealed what they had taken, and strongly advised them not to leave the house because of the likely effects. Later, in an elevator at a nightclub, they all believed it was on fire: HP Pavilion dv6-3030sa Battery

"We were all screaming ... hot and hysterical."[56] A few months later in March, during an interview with Evening Standard reporter Maureen Cleave, Lennon remarked, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink ... We're more popular than Jesus now—I don't know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity."[57] HP Pavilion dv6-3030TX Battery

The comment went virtually unnoticed in England but caused great offence in the US when quoted by a magazine there five months later. The furore that followed—burning of Beatles' records, Ku Klux Klan activity, and threats against Lennon—contributed to the band's decision to stop touring.[58]HP Pavilion dv6-3031sa Battery

1966–70: Studio years, break-up and solo work

Deprived of the routine of live performances after their final commercial concert on 29 August 1966, Lennon felt lost and considered leaving the band.[59] Since his involuntary introduction to LSD in January, he had made increasing use of the drug, and was almost constantly under its influence for much of the year."[60]HP Pavilion dv6-3032sa Battery

 According to biographer Ian MacDonald, Lennon's continuous experience with LSD during the year brought him "close to erasing his identity".[61] 1967 saw the release of "Strawberry Fields Forever", hailed by TIME magazine for its "astonishing inventiveness",[62] and the group's landmark albumSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which revealed Lennon's lyrics contrasting strongly with the simple love songs of the Lennon–McCartney's early years.

In August, after having been introduced to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the group attended a weekend of personal instruction at his Transcendental Meditation seminar in Bangor, Wales,[63] and were informed of Epstein's death during the seminar. "I knew we were in trouble then",HP Pavilion dv6-3032TX Battery

Lennon said later. "I didn't have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music, and I was scared".[64] They later travelled to Maharishi's ashram in India for further guidance, where they composed most of the songs for The Beatles and Abbey Road.[65]HP Pavilion dv6-3033sa Battery

The anti-war, black comedy How I Won the War, featuring Lennon's only appearance in a non–Beatles' full-length film, was shown in cinemas in October 1967.[66] McCartney organised the group's first post-Epstein project,[67] the self-written, -produced and -directed television filmMagical Mystery Tour, released in December that year. While the film itself proved to be their first critical flop, its soundtrack release, HP Pavilion dv6-3035sa Battery

featuring Lennon's acclaimed, Lewis Carroll-inspired "I am the Walrus", was a success.[68][69] With Epstein gone, the band members became increasingly involved in business activities, and in February 1968 they formed Apple Corps, a multimedia corporation comprising Apple Records and several other subsidiary companies. HP Pavilion dv6-3040sa Battery

Lennon described the venture as an attempt to achieve, "artistic freedom within a business structure",[70] but his increased drug experimentation and growing preoccupation with Yoko Ono, and McCartney's own marriage plans, left Apple in need of professional management. HP Pavilion dv6-3042TX Battery

Lennon asked Lord Beeching to take on the role, but he declined, advising Lennon to go back to making records. Lennon approached Allen Klein, who had managed The Rolling Stones and other bands during theBritish Invasion. Klein was appointed as Apple's chief executive by Lennon, Harrison and Starr,[71] but McCartney never signed the management contract.[72]HP Pavilion dv6-3044sa Battery

 

At the end of 1968, Lennon featured in the film The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (not released until 1996) in the role of a Dirty Mac band member. The supergroup, comprising Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell, also backed a vocal performance by Ono in the film.[74] HP Pavilion dv6-3045sa Battery

Lennon and Ono were married on 20 March 1969, and soon released a series of 14 lithographs called "Bag One" depicting scenes from their honeymoon,[75] eight of which were deemed indecent and most of which were banned and confiscated.[76] HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa Battery

Lennon's creative focus continued to move beyond The Beatles and between 1968 and 1969 he and Ono recorded three albums of experimental music together:Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins[77] (known more for its cover than for its music), Unfinished Music No.2: HP Pavilion dv6-3047sa Battery

Life with the Lions and Wedding Album. In 1969 they formed The Plastic Ono Band, releasing Live Peace in Toronto 1969. In protest at Britain's involvement in the Nigerian Civil War,[78] Lennon returned his MBE medal to the Queen, though this had no effect on his MBE status, HP Pavilion dv6-3048sa Battery

which could not be renounced.[79] Between 1969 and 1970 Lennon released the singles "Give Peace a Chance" (widely adopted as an anti-Vietnam-War anthem in 1969),[80] "Cold Turkey" (documenting his withdrawal symptoms after he became addicted to heroin[81]) and "Instant Karma!". HP Pavilion dv6-3048tx Battery

Lennon left the group in September 1969,[82] and agreed not to inform the media while the band renegotiated their recording contract, but he was outraged that McCartney publicised his own departure on releasing his debut solo album in April 1970. Lennon's reaction was, "HP Pavilion dv6-3050eo Battery

Jesus Christ! He gets all the credit for it!"[83]He later wrote, "I started the band. I disbanded it. It's as simple as that."[84] In later interviews with Rolling Stone magazine, he revealed his bitterness towards McCartney, saying, "I was a fool not to do what Paul did, HP Pavilion dv6-3050sa Battery

which was use it to sell a record."[85] He spoke too of the hostility he perceived the other members had towards Ono, and of how he, Harrison, and Starr "got fed up with being sidemen for Paul ... After Brian Epstein died we collapsed. Paul took over and supposedly led us. But what is leading us when we went round in circles?"[86]HP Pavilion dv6-3055sa Battery

1970–80: SOLO CAREER

In 1970, Lennon and Ono went through primal therapy with Dr. Arthur Janov in Los Angeles, California. Designed to release emotional pain from early childhood, the therapy entailed two half-days a week with Janov for four months; he had wanted to treat the couple for longer, but they felt no need to continue and returned to London.[87] Lennon's emotional debut solo album, HP Pavilion dv6-3056sa Battery

John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970), was received with high praise. Critic Greil Marcus remarked, "John's singing in the last verse of 'God' may be the finest in all of rock."[88] The album featured the songs "Mother", in which Lennon confronted his feelings of childhood rejection,[89] HP Pavilion dv6-3057sa Battery

and the Dylanesque "Working Class Hero", a bitter attack against the bourgeois social system which, due to the lyric "you're still fucking peasants", fell foul of broadcasters.[90][91] The same year, Tariq Ali's revolutionary political views, expressed when he interviewed Lennon, HP Pavilion dv6-3060sa Battery

inspired the singer to write "Power to the People". Lennon also became involved with Ali during a protest against Oz magazine's prosecution for alleged obscenity. Lennon denounced the proceedings as "disgusting fascism", and he and Ono (as Elastic Oz Band) released the single "God Save Us/Do the Oz" and joined marches in support of the magazine.[92]HP Pavilion dv6-3065ea Battery

With Lennon's next album, Imagine (1971), critical response was more guarded. Rolling Stone reported that "it contains a substantial portion of good music" but warned of the possibility that "his posturings will soon seem not merely dull but irrelevant".[95]HP Pavilion dv6-3067ea Battery

The album's title track would become an anthem for anti-war movements,[96] while another, "How Do You Sleep?", was a musical attack on McCartney in response to lyrics from Ram that Lennon felt, and McCartney later confirmed,[97] were directed at him and Ono. However, Lennon softened his stance in the mid-1970s and said he had written "How Do You Sleep?" about himself.[98]HP Pavilion dv6-3068ea Battery

 He said in 1980: "I used my resentment against Paul ... to create a song ... not a terrible vicious horrible vendetta ... I used my resentment and withdrawing from Paul and The Beatles, and the relationship with Paul, to write 'How Do You Sleep'. I don't really go 'round with those thoughts in my head all the time".[99]HP Pavilion dv6-3070ea Battery

 

Lennon and Ono moved to New York in August 1971, and in December released "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)".[100] To advertise the single, they paid for billboards in 12 cities around the world which declared, in the national language, "WAR IS OVER—IF YOU WANT IT".[101] HP Pavilion dv6-3077la Battery

the new year saw the Nixon Administration take what it called a "strategic counter-measure" against Lennon's anti-war propaganda, embarking on what would be a four-year attempt to deport him: embroiled in a continuing legal battle, he was denied permanent residency in the US until 1976.[102]HP Pavilion dv6-3085ea Battery

 

Recorded as a collaboration with Ono and with backing from the New York band Elephant's Memory, Some Time in New York City was released in 1972. Containing songs about women's rights, race relations, Britain's role in Northern Ireland, and Lennon's problems obtaining a green card,[103] the album was poorly received—unlistenable, according to one critic.[104] HP Pavilion dv6-3088la Battery

"Woman Is the Nigger of the World", released as a US single from the album the same year, was televised on 11 May, on The Dick Cavett Show. Many radio stations refused to broadcast the song because of the word "nigger".[105HP Pavilion dv6-3089la Battery

 Lennon and Ono gave two benefit concerts with Elephant's Memory and guests in New York in aid of patients at the Willowbrook State School mental facility.[106] Staged at Madison Square Garden on 30 August 1972, they were his last full-length concert appearances.[107]HP Pavilion dv6-3100 Battery

 

1973–75: "Lost weekend"

While Lennon was recording Mind Games (1973), he and Ono decided to separate. The ensuing 18-month period apart, which he later called his "lost weekend",[108] was spent in Los Angeles and New York in the company of May Pang. Mind Games, HP Pavilion dv6-3100sa Battery

credited to the "Plastic U.F.Ono Band", was released in November 1973. Lennon also contributed "I'm the Greatest", to Starr's albumRingo (1973), released the same month. (an alternate take, from the same 1973 Ringo sessions, with Lennon providing a guide vocal, appears on John Lennon Anthology). HP Pavilion dv6-3110ea Battery

In early 1974, Lennon was drinking heavily and his alcohol-fuelled antics with Harry Nilsson made headlines. Two widely publicised incidents occurred at The Troubadour club in March, the first when Lennon placed a menstruation "towel" on his forehead and scuffled with a waitress, HP Pavilion dv6-3110sa Battery

and the second, two weeks later, when Lennon and Nilsson were ejected from the same club after heckling the Smothers Brothers.[109] Lennon decided to produce Nilsson's album Pussy Cats and Pang rented a Los Angeles beach house for all the musicians[110] HP Pavilion dv6-3111sa Battery

but after a month of further debauchery, with the recording sessions in chaos, Lennon moved to New York with Pang to finish work on the album. In April, Lennon had produced the Mick Jagger song "Too Many Cooks (Spoil the Soup)" which was, for contractual reasons, to remain unreleased for more than 30 years. Pang supplied the recording for its eventual inclusion on The Very Best of Mick Jagger (2007).[111]HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa Battery

 

Settled back in New York, Lennon recorded the album Walls and Bridges. Released in October 1974, it yielded his only number-one single in his lifetime, "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night", featuring Elton John on backing vocals and piano.[112] HP Pavilion dv6-3113sa Battery

A second single from the album, "#9 Dream", followed before the end of the year. Starr's Goodnight Vienna (1974) again saw assistance from Lennon, who wrote the title track and played piano.[113] On 28 November, Lennon made a surprise guest appearance at Elton John's Thanksgiving concert at Madison Square Garden, HP Pavilion dv6-3114sa Battery

in fulfilment of his promise to join the singer in a live show if "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night"—a song whose commercial potential Lennon had doubted—reached number one. Lennon performed the song along with "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "I Saw Her Standing There", which he introduced as "a song by an old estranged fiancee of mine called Paul".[114]HP Pavilion dv6-3115sa Battery

 

Lennon co-wrote "Fame", David Bowie's first US number one, and provided guitar and backing vocals for the January 1975 recording.[115] The same month, Elton John topped the charts with his cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", HP Pavilion dv6-3115tx Battery

featuring Lennon on guitar and back-up vocals (Lennon is credited on the single under the moniker of "Dr. Winston O'Boogie"). He and Ono were reunited shortly afterwards. Lennon released Rock 'n' Roll (1975), an album of cover songs, in February. HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa Battery

"Stand by Me", taken from the album and a US and UK hit, became his last single for five years.[116] He made what would be his final stage appearance in the ATVspecial A Salute to Lew Grade, recorded on 18 April and televised in June.[117] HP Pavilion dv6-3117sa Battery

Playing acoustic guitar, and backed by an eight-piece band, Lennon performed two songs from Rock 'n' Roll ("Stand By Me", which was not broadcast, and "Slippin' and Slidin'") followed by "Imagine".[117]HP Pavilion dv6-3116tx Battery

1975–80: Retirement and return

With the birth of his second son Sean on 9 October 1975, Lennon took on the role of househusband, beginning what would be a five-year hiatus from the music industry during which he gave all his attention to his family.[13] HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Battery

Within the month, he fulfilled his contractual obligation to EMI/Capitol for one more album by releasing Shaved Fish, a compilation album of previously recorded tracks.[13] He devoted himself to Sean, rising at 6 am daily to plan and prepare his meals and to spend time with him.[118] HP Pavilion dv6-3119sa Battery

He wrote "Cookin' (In the Kitchen of Love)" for Starr's Ringo's Rotogravure (1976), performing on the track in June in what would be his last recording session until 1980.[119] He formally announced his break from music in Tokyo in 1977, saying, HP Pavilion dv6-3120sa Battery

"we have basically decided, without any great decision, to be with our baby as much as we can until we feel we can take time off to indulge ourselves in creating things outside of the family."[120] During his career break he created several series of drawings, and drafted a book containing a mix of autobiographical material and what he termed "mad stuff",[121] all of which would be published posthumously. HP Pavilion dv6-3121sa Battery

He emerged from retirement in October 1980 with the single "(Just Like) Starting Over", followed the next month by the album Double Fantasy, which contained songs written during a journey to Bermuda on a 43-foot sailing boat the previous June,[122]HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Battery

 that reflected Lennon's fulfillment in his new-found stable family life.[123] Sufficient additional material was recorded for a planned follow-up album Milk and Honey (released posthumously in 1984).[124] Released jointly with Ono, Double Fantasy was not well received, drawing comments such as Melody Maker's "indulgent sterility ... a godawful yawn".[125]HP Pavilion dv6-3123sa Battery

 

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.[126] Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman.[127]HP Pavilion dv6-3125sa Battery

 

Ono issued a statement the next day, saying "There is no funeral for John", ending it with the words, "John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him."[128] His body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Ono scattered his ashes in New York's Central Park, HP Pavilion dv6-3127sa Battery

where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later created.[129] Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life; as of 2011, he remains in prison, having been denied parole six times.[130][131]HP Pavilion dv6-3130sa Battery

 

CYNTHIA LENNON

Lennon and Cynthia Powell met in 1957 as fellow students at the Liverpool College of Art.[132] Although being scared of Lennon's attitude and appearance, she heard that he was obsessed with French actress Brigitte Bardot, so she dyed her hair blonde. Lennon asked her out, but when she said that she was engaged, he screamed out, "I didn't ask you to fuckin' marry me, did I?"[133HP Pavilion dv6-3131sa Battery

] She often accompanied him to Quarrymen gigs and travelled to Hamburg with McCartney's girlfriend at the time to visit him.[134] Lennon, jealous by nature, eventually grew possessive and often terrified Powell with his anger and physical violence.[135] HP Pavilion dv6-3140sa Battery

Lennon later said that until he met Ono, he had never questioned his chauvinistic attitude to women. The Beatles' song "Getting Better", he said, told his own story, "I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically—any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace".[13]HP Pavilion dv6-3141ea Battery

 

Recalling his reaction in July 1962 on learning that Cynthia was pregnant, Lennon said, "There's only one thing for it Cyn. We'll have to get married."[136] The couple were married on 23 August at the Mount Pleasant Register Office in Liverpool. His marriage began just as Beatlemania took hold across the UK. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo Battery

He performed on the evening of his wedding day, and would continue to do so almost daily from then on.[137] Epstein, fearing that fans would be alienated by the idea of a married Beatle, asked the Lennons to keep their marriage secret. Julian was born on 8 April 1963; Lennon was on tour at the time and did not see his son until three days later.[138]HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea Battery

  Cynthia attributes the start of the marriage breakdown to LSD, and as a result, she felt that he slowly lost interest in her.[139]When the group travelled by train to Bangor, Wales, in 1967, for the Maharishi Yogi's Transcendental Meditation seminar, a policeman did not recognise her and stopped her from boarding. She later recalled how the incident seemed to symbolize the ending of their marriage.[140] HP Pavilion dv6-3298ea Battery

After arriving home at Kenwood, and finding Lennon with Ono, Cynthia left the house to stay with friends. Alexis Mardas later claimed to have slept with her that night, and a few weeks later he informed her that Lennon was seeking a divorce and custody of Julian on grounds of her adultery with him. HP Pavilion dv6-3299ea Battery

After negotiations, Lennon capitulated and agreed to her divorcing him on the same grounds. The case was settled out of court, with Lennon giving her £100,000, and custody of Julian.[141]HP Pavilion dv6-3300 Battery

 

BRIAN EPSTEIN

The Beatles were performing at Liverpool's Cavern Club in 1962, when all four Beatles were introduced to Epstein after a midday concert. Epstein was homosexual. According to biographer Philip Norman, one of his reasons for wanting to manage the group was that he was physically attracted to Lennon. Almost as soon as Julian was born, Lennon went on holiday to Spain with Epstein, HP Pavilion dv6-3300sg Battery

leading to speculation about their relationship. Questioned about it later, Lennon said, "Well, it was almost a love affair, but not quite. It was never consummated. But it was a pretty intense relationship. It was my first experience with a homosexual that I was conscious was homosexual. We used to sit in a café in Torremolinos looking at all the boys and I'd say, 'Do you like that one? HP Pavilion dv6-3350ef Battery

Do you like this one?' I was rather enjoying the experience, thinking like a writer all the time: I am experiencing this."[142] Soon after their return from Spain, at McCartney's twenty-first birthday party in June 1963, Lennon physically attacked Cavern Club MC Bob Wooler for saying "How was your honeymoon, John?" The MC, HP Pavilion dv6-3350sf Battery

known for his wordplay and affectionate but cutting remarks, was making a joke,[143] but ten months had passed since Lennon's marriage, and the honeymoon, deferred, was still two months in the future.[144] To Lennon, who was intoxicated with alcohol at the time, the matter was simple: "He called me a queer so I battered his bloody ribs in".[145]HP Pavilion dv6-3351ef Battery

Lennon delighted in mocking Epstein for his homosexuality and for the fact that he was Jewish.[146] When Epstein invited suggestions for the title of his autobiography, Lennon offered Queer Jew; on learning of the eventual title, HP Pavilion dv6-3351sf Battery

A Cellarful of Noise, he parodied, "More like A Cellarful of Boys".[147] He demanded of a visitor to Epstein's flat, "Have you come to blackmail him? If not, you're the only bugger in London who hasn't."[146] During the recording of "Baby, You're a Rich Man", he sang altered choruses of "Baby, you're a rich fag Jew".[148][149]HP Pavilion dv6-3355ef Battery

 

JULIAN LENNON

Lennon's first son, Julian, was born as his commitments with The Beatles intensified at the height of Beatlemania during his marriage to Cynthia. Lennon was touring with The Beatles when Julian was born on 8 April 1963. Julian's birth, like his mother Cynthia's marriage to Lennon, was kept secret because Epstein was convinced public knowledge of such things would threaten The Beatles' commercial success. HP Pavilion dv6-3355sf Battery

Julian recalls how some four years later, as a small child in Weybridge, "I was trundled home from school and came walking up with one of my watercolour paintings. It was just a bunch of stars and this blonde girl I knew at school. HP Pavilion dv6-3362ef Battery

And Dad said, 'What's this?' I said, 'It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds.'"[150] Lennon used it as the title of a Beatles' song, and though it was later reported to have been derived from the initials LSD, Lennon insisted, "It's not an acid song."[151] HP Pavilion dv6-3362sf Battery

McCartney corroborated Lennon's explanation that Julian innocently came up with the name.[151] Lennon was distant from Julian, who felt closer to McCartney than to his father. During a car journey to visit Cynthia and Julian during Lennon's divorce, HP Pavilion dv6-6000 Battery

McCartney composed a song, "Hey Jules", to comfort him. It would evolve into The Beatles song "Hey Jude". Lennon later said, "That's his best song. It started off as a song about my son Julian ... he turned it into 'Hey Jude'. I always thought it was about me and Yoko but he said it wasn't."[152]HP Pavilion dv6-6000eg Battery

Lennon's relationship with Julian was already strained, and after Lennon and Ono's 1971 move to New York, Julian would not see his father again until 1973.[153]With Pang's encouragement, it was arranged for him (and his mother) to visit Lennon in Los Angeles, HP Pavilion dv6-6001ea Battery

where they went to Disneyland.[154] Julian started to see his father regularly, and Lennon gave him a drumming part on a Walls and Bridges track.[155] He bought Julian a Gibson Les Paul guitar and other instruments, and encouraged his interest in music by demonstrating guitar chord techniques.[155] HP Pavilion dv6-6001eg Battery

Julian recalls that he and his father "got on a great deal better" during the time he spent in New York: "We had a lot of fun, laughed a lot and had a great time in general."[156]HP Pavilion dv6-6001sg Battery

 

In a Playboy interview with David Sheff shortly before his death, Lennon said, "Sean was a planned child, and therein lies the difference. I don't love Julian any less as a child. He's still my son, whether he came from a bottle of whiskey or because they didn't have pills in those days. HP Pavilion dv6-6002eg Battery

He's here, he belongs to me, and he always will." He said he was trying to re-establish a connection with the then 17-year-old, and confidently predicted, "Julian and I will have a relationship in the future."[13] After his death it was revealed that he had left Julian very little in his will.[157]HP Pavilion dv6-6002sg Battery

 

YOKO ONO

Two versions exist of how Lennon met Ono. According to the first, on 9 November 1966 Lennon went to the Indica Gallery in London, where Ono was preparing her conceptual art exhibit, and they were introduced by gallery owner John Dunbar.[158] HP Pavilion dv6-6003eg Battery

Lennon was intrigued by Ono's "Hammer A Nail": patrons hammered a nail into a wooden board, creating the art piece. Although the exhibition had not yet begun, Lennon wanted to hammer a nail into the clean board, but Ono stopped him. Dunbar asked her, HP Pavilion dv6-6004sa Battery

"Don't you know who this is? He's a millionaire! He might buy it." Ono had supposedly not heard of The Beatles, but relented on condition that Lennon pay her five shillings, to which Lennon replied, "I'll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in."[13] HP Pavilion dv6-6005ea Battery

The second version, told by McCartney, is that in late 1965, Ono was in London compiling original musical scores for a book John Cage was working on, Notations, but McCartney declined to give her any of his own manuscripts for the book, suggesting that Lennon might oblige. When asked, Lennon gave Ono the original handwritten lyrics to "The Word".[159]HP Pavilion dv6-6005eg Battery

 

Ono began telephoning and calling at Lennon's home, and when his wife asked for an explanation, he explained that Ono was only trying to obtain money for her "avant-garde bullshit".[160] In May 1968, while his wife was on holiday in Greece, Lennon invited Ono to visit. HP Pavilion dv6-6005sg Battery

They spent the night recording what would become the Two Virgins album, after which, he said, they "made love at dawn."[161] When Lennon's wife returned home she found Ono wearing her bathrobe and drinking tea with Lennon who simply said, "Oh, hi."[162] Ono became pregnant in 1968 and miscarried a male child they named John Ono Lennon II on 21 November 1968,[129] a few weeks after Lennon's divorce from Cynthia was granted.[163]HP Pavilion dv6-6006ea Battery

 

During Lennon's last two years in The Beatles, he and Ono began public protests against the Vietnam War. They were married in Gibraltar on 20 March 1969, and spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam campaigning with a week-long Bed-In for peace. HP Pavilion dv6-6007sg Battery

They planned another Bed-In in the United States, but were denied entry,[164]so held one instead at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, where they recorded "Give Peace a Chance".[165] They often combined advocacy with performance art, as in their "Bagism",HP Pavilion dv6-6007TX Battery

first introduced during a Vienna press conference. Lennon detailed this period in The Beatles' song "The Ballad of John and Yoko".[166]Lennon changed his name by deed poll on 22 April 1969, adding "Ono" as a middle name. The brief ceremony took place on the roof of the Apple Corps building, HP Pavilion dv6-6008eg Battery

made famous three months earlier by The Beatles' Let It Be rooftop concert. Although he used the name John Ono Lennon thereafter, official documents referred to him as John Winston Ono Lennon, since he was not permitted to revoke a name given at birth.[167] HP Pavilion dv6-6011tu Battery

After Ono was injured in a car accident, Lennon arranged for a king-sized bed to be brought to the recording studio as he worked on The Beatles' last album, Abbey Road.[168] To escape the acrimony of the band's break-up, Ono suggested they move permanently to New York, which they did on 31 August 1971. HP Pavilion dv6-6013tu Battery

They first lived in the St. Regis Hotel on 5th Avenue, East 55th Street, then moved to a street-level flat at 105 Bank Street, Greenwich Village, on 16 October 1971. After a robbery, they relocated to the more secure Dakota at 1 West 72nd Street, in May 1973.[169]HP Pavilion dv6-6024tx Battery

 

ABKCO Industries, formed in 1968 by Allen Klein as an umbrella company to ABKCO Records, recruited May Pang as a receptionist in 1969. Through involvement in a project with ABKCO, Lennon and Ono met her the following year. She became their personal assistant. HP Pavilion dv6-6025tx Battery

After she had been working with the couple for three years, Ono confided that she and Lennon were becoming estranged from one another. She went on to suggest that Pang should begin a physical relationship with Lennon, telling her, "He likes you a lot." HP Pavilion dv6-6027tx Battery

Pang, 22, astounded by Ono's proposition, eventually agreed to become Lennon's companion. The pair soon moved to California, beginning an 18-month period he later called his "lost weekend".[108] In Los Angeles, Pang encouraged Lennon to develop regular contact with Julian, whom he had not seen for two years. HP Pavilion dv6-6042sf Battery

He also rekindled friendships with Starr, McCartney, Beatles' roadie Mal Evans, and Harry Nilsson. Whilst drinking with Nilsson, after misunderstanding something Pang said, Lennon attempted to strangle her, relenting only when physically restrained by Nilsson.[170]HP Pavilion dv6-6051xx Battery

 

On moving to New York, they prepared a spare room in their newly rented apartment for Julian to visit.[170] Lennon, hitherto inhibited by Ono in this regard, began to reestablish contact with other relatives and friends. By December he and Pang were considering a house purchase, and he was refusing to accept Ono's telephone calls. HP Pavilion dv6-6054ef Battery

In January 1975, he agreed to meet Ono—who said she had found a cure for smoking. But after the meeting he failed to return home or call Pang. When Pang telephoned the next day, Ono told her Lennon was unavailable, being exhausted after a hypnotherapy session. ry.co.uk/hp-pavilion-dv6-6054sf-battery.html">HP Pavilion dv6-6054sf Battery

Two days later, Lennon reappeared at a joint dental appointment, stupefied and confused to such an extent that Pang believed he had been brainwashed. He told her his separation from Ono was now over, though Ono would allow him to continue seeing her as hismistress.[171]HP Pavilion dv6-6063sf Battery

 

SEAN LENNON

When Lennon and Ono were reunited, she became pregnant, but having previously suffered three miscarriages in her attempt to have a child with Lennon, she said she wanted an abortion. She agreed to allow the pregnancy to continue on condition that Lennon adopt the role of househusband; this he agreed to do.[172] HP Pavilion dv6-6087eg Battery

Sean was born on 9 October 1975, Lennon's 35th birthday, delivered by Caesarean section. Lennon's subsequent career break would span five years. He had a photographer take pictures of Sean every day of his first year, and created numerous drawings for him, HP Pavilion dv6-6090sf Battery

posthumously published as Real Love: The Drawings for Sean. Lennon later proudly declared, "He didn't come out of my belly but, by God, I made his bones, because I've attended to every meal, and to how he sleeps, and to the fact that he swims like a fish."[173]HP Pavilion dv6-6090us Battery

 

Although his friendship with Starr remained consistently warm during the years following The Beatles' break-up in 1970, Lennon's relationship with McCartney and Harrison varied. He was close to Harrison initially, but the two drifted apart after Lennon moved to America. HP Pavilion dv6-6091nr Battery

When Harrison was in New York for his December 1974 Dark Horse tour, Lennon agreed to join him on stage, but failed to appear after an argument over Lennon's refusal to sign an agreement that would finally dissolve The Beatles' legal partnership. HP Pavilion dv7-4000eh Battery

 (Lennon eventually signed the papers while holidaying in Florida with Pang and Julian.[174]) Harrison incensed Lennon in 1980 when he published an autobiography that made little mention of him. Lennon told Playboy, "I was hurt by it. By glaring omission ... my influence on his life is absolutely zilch ... he remembers every two-bit sax player or guitarist he met in subsequent years. I'm not in the book."[175]HP Pavilion dv7-4000sb Battery

 

Lennon's most intense feelings were reserved for McCartney. In addition to attacking him through the lyrics of "How Do You Sleep?", Lennon argued with him through the press for three years after the group split. The two later began to reestablish something of the close friendship they had once known, and in 1974 even played music together again, before growing apart once more. HP Pavilion dv7-4000 Battery

Lennon said that during McCartney's final visit, in April 1976, they watched the episode of Saturday Night Live in which Lorne Michaels made a $3,000 cash offer to get The Beatles to reunite on the show.[176] The pair considered going to the studio to make a joke appearance, HP Pavilion dv7-4001tx Battery

attempting to claim their share of the money, but were too tired.[13] Lennon summarised his feelings towards McCartney in an interview three days before his death: "Throughout my career, I've selected to work with...only two people: Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono....That ain't bad picking."[177]HP Pavilion dv7-4002TX Battery

Along with his estrangement from McCartney, Lennon always felt a musical competitiveness with him and kept an ear on his music. During his five-year career break he was content to sit back so long as McCartney was producing what Lennon saw as mediocre "product".[178]HP Pavilion dv7-4003tx Battery

 When McCartney released "Coming Up" in 1980, the year Lennon returned to the studio and the last year of his life, he took notice. "It's driving me crackers!" he jokingly complained, because he could not get the tune out of his head.[178] HP Pavilion dv7-4003xx Battery

Asked the same year whether the group were dreaded enemies or the best of friends, he replied that they were neither, and that he had not seen any of them in a long time. But he also said, "I still love those guys. The Beatles are over, but John, Paul, George and Ringo go on."[13]HP Pavilion dv7-4004ez Battery

 

Political activism

Lennon and Ono used their honeymoon as what they termed a "Bed-In for Peace" at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel; the March 1969 event attracted worldwide media ridicule.[179][180] At a second Bed-In three months later at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal[181] HP Pavilion dv7-4004TX Battery

Lennon wrote and recorded "Give Peace a Chance". Released as a single, it was quickly taken up as an anti-war anthem and sung by a quarter of a million demonstrators against the Vietnam War in Washington, DC, on 15 October, the secondVietnam Moratorium Day.[80][182]HP Pavilion dv7-4005so Battery

 

Later that year, Lennon and Ono supported efforts by the family of James Hanratty, hanged for murder in 1962, to prove his innocence.[183] Those who had condemned Hanratty were, according to Lennon, "the same people who are running guns to South Africa and killing blacks in the streets. ... HP Pavilion dv7-4005sw Battery

The same bastards are in control, the same people are running everything, it's the whole bullshit bourgeois scene."[184] In London, Lennon and Ono staged a "Britain Murdered Hanratty" banner march and a "Silent Protest For James Hanratty",[78] and produced a 40-minute documentary on the case. At an appeal hearing years later, Hanratty's conviction was upheld.[185]HP Pavilion dv7-4006so Battery

 

Lennon and Ono showed their solidarity with the Clydeside UCS workers' work-in of 1971 by sending a bouquet of red roses and a cheque for £5,000.[186] On moving to New York City in August that year, they befriended two of the Chicago Seven, HP Pavilion dv7-4007eo Battery

 Yippie peace activists Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman.[187] Another peace activist, John Sinclair, poet and co-founder of the White Panther Party, was serving ten years in prison for selling two joints of marijuana after previous convictions for possession of the drug.[188] HP Pavilion dv7-4010ev Battery

In December 1971 at Ann Arbor, Michigan, 20,000 people attended the "John Sinclair Freedom Rally", a protest and benefit concert with contributions from Lennon, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party, and others.[189] HP Pavilion dv7-4010sd Battery

Lennon and Ono, backed byDavid Peel and Rubin, performed an acoustic set of four songs from their forthcoming Some Time in New York City album including "John Sinclair",HP Pavilion dv7-4010sg Battery

whose lyrics called for his release. The day before the rally, Michigan State had drastically reduced the penalties for Sinclair's crimes and three days after the rally, he was released on bail.[190] The performance was recorded and two of the tracks later appeared on John Lennon Anthology (1998).[191]HP Pavilion dv7-4010so Battery

 

Following the Bloody Sunday incident in Northern Ireland in 1972, in which 13 unarmed civil rights protesters were shot dead by the British Army, Lennon said that given the choice between the army and the IRA (who were not involved in the incident) he would side with the latter. HP Pavilion dv7-4010sv Battery

Lennon and Ono wrote two songs protesting British presence and actions in Ireland for their Some Time in New York City album: "Luck of the Irish" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday". In 2000, David Shayler, a former member of Britain's domestic security service MI5 suggested that Lennon had given money to the IRA though this was swiftly denied by Ono.[192]HP Pavilion dv7-4010sw Battery

Biographer Bill Harry records that following Bloody Sunday, Lennon and Ono financially supported the production of the film The Irish Tapes, a political documentary with a Republican slant.[193]HP Pavilion dv7-4010tx Battery

 

According to FBI surveillance reports (and confirmed by Tariq Ali in 2006) Lennon was sympathetic to the International Marxist Group, a Trotskyist group formed in Britain in 1968.[194] However, the FBI considered Lennon to have limited effectiveness as a revolutionary since he was "constantly under the influence of narcotics".[195]HP Pavilion dv7-4011eg Battery

 

Writing and art

Lennon's biographer Bill Harry writes that Lennon began drawing and writing creatively at an early age with the encouragement of his uncle. He collected his stories, poetry, cartoons, and caricatures in a Quarry Bank High School exercise book that he called the Daily Howl. HP Pavilion dv7-4011el Battery

The drawings were often of crippled people, and the writings satirical, and throughout the book was an abundance of wordplay. According to classmate Bill Turner, Lennon created the Daily Howl to amuse his best friend and later Quarrymen band mate, HP Pavilion dv7-4011so Battery

 Pete Shotton, to whom he would show his work before he let anyone else see it. Turner said that Lennon "had an obsession for Wigan Pier. It kept cropping up", and in Lennon's story A Carrot In A Potato Mine, "the mine was at the end of Wigan Pier." HP Pavilion dv7-4012eg Battery

Turner described how one of Lennon's cartoons depicted a bus stop sign annotated with the question, "Why?". Above was a flying pancake, and below, "a blind man wearing glasses leading along a blind dog—also wearing glasses".[214]HP Pavilion dv7-4012TX Battery

 

Lennon's love of wordplay and nonsense with a twist found a wider audience when he was 24. Harry writes that In His Own Write (1964) was published after "Some journalist who was hanging around The Beatles came to me and I ended up showing him the stuff. HP Pavilion dv7-4013eg Battery

They said, 'Write a book' and that's how the first one came about". Like the Daily Howl it contained a mix of formats including short stories, poetry, plays and drawings. One story, "Good Dog Nigel", tells the tale of "a happy dog, urinating on a lamp post, barking, HP Pavilion dv7-4013el Battery

wagging his tail—until he suddenly hears a message that he will be killed at three o'clock". The Times Literary Supplement considered the poems and stories "remarkable ... also very funny ... the nonsense runs on, words and images prompting one another in a chain of pure fantasy". HP Pavilion dv7-4013so Battery

Book Week reported, "This is nonsense writing, but one has only to review the literature of nonsense to see how well Lennon has brought it off. While some of his homonyms are gratuitous word play, many others have not only double meaning but a double edge." HP Pavilion dv7-4013tx Battery

Lennon was not only surprised by the positive reception, but that the book was reviewed at all, and suggested that readers "took the book more seriously than I did myself. It just began as a laugh for me".[215]HP Pavilion dv7-4014eo Battery

 

In combination with A Spaniard in the Works (1965), In His Own Write formed the basis of the stage play The John Lennon Play: In His Own Write, co-adapted byVictor Spinetti and Adrienne Kennedy. After negotiations between Lennon, Spinetti and the artistic director of the National Theatre, Sir Laurence Olivier, the play opened at the Old Vic in 1968. HP Pavilion dv7-4015ew Battery

Lennon and Ono attended the opening night performance, their second public appearance together to date.[216] After Lennon's death, further works were published, including Skywriting by Word of Mouth (1986); Ai: Japan Through John Lennon's Eyes: HP Pavilion dv7-4015ez Battery

 A Personal Sketchbook (1992), with Lennon's illustrations of the definitions of Japanese words; and Real Love: The Drawings for Sean (1999). The Beatles Anthology (2000) also presented examples of his writings and drawings. HP Pavilion dv7-4015sa Battery

 

INSTRUMENTS PLAYED

His playing of a mouth organ during a bus journey to visit his cousin in Scotland caught the driver's ear. Impressed, the driver told Lennon of a harmonica he could have if he came to Edinburgh the following day, where one had been stored in the bus depot since a passenger left it on a bus.[217] HP Pavilion dv7-4015sg Battery

The professional instrument quickly replaced Lennon's toy. He would continue to play harmonica, often using the instrument during The Beatles' Hamburg years, and it became a signature sound in the group's early recordings. His mother taught him how to play the banjo, later buying him an acoustic guitar. At 16, he played rhythm guitar with the Quarrymen.[218]HP Pavilion dv7-4015sl Battery

As his career progressed, he played a variety of electric guitars, predominantly the Rickenbacker 325, Epiphone Casino and Gibson J-160E, and, from the start of his solo career, the Gibson Les Paul Junior.[219][220] Occasionally he played a six-string bass guitar, the Fender Bass VI, HP Pavilion dv7-4015ss Battery

providing bass on some Beatles' numbers that occupied McCartney with another instrument.[221] His other instrument of choice was the piano, on which he composed many songs, including "Imagine", described as his best-known solo work.[222]HP Pavilion dv7-4016eg Battery

His jamming on a piano with McCartney in 1963 led to the creation of The Beatles' first US number one, "I Want to Hold Your Hand".[223] In 1964, he became one of the first British musicians to acquire a Mellotron keyboard, though it was not heard on a Beatles' recording until "Strawberry Fields Forever" in late 1966.[224]HP Pavilion dv7-4017ez Battery

VOCAL STYLE

When Lennon recorded "Twist and Shout", the final track during the mammoth one-day session that captured the band's 1963 debut albumPlease Please Me, his voice, already compromised by a cold, came close to giving out. Lennon said, "I couldn't sing the damn thing, I was just screaming."[225HP Pavilion dv7-4019sz Battery

]In the words of biographer Barry Miles, "Lennon simply shredded his vocal cords in the interests of rock 'n' roll."[226] The Beatles' producer, George Martin, tells how Lennon "had an inborn dislike of his own voice which I could never understand. He was always saying to me: 'DO something with my voice! ... HP Pavilion dv7-4020ec Battery

put something on it ... Make it different.'"[227] Martin obliged, often using double-tracking and other techniques. Music critic Robert Christgau says that Lennon's "greatest vocal performance ... from scream to whine, is modulated electronically ... echoed, filtered, and double tracked."[228]HP Pavilion dv7-4020em Battery

 

As his Beatles' era segued into his solo career, his singing voice found a widening range of expression. Biographer Chris Gregory writes that Lennon was, "tentatively beginning to expose his insecurities in a number of acoustic-led 'confessional' ballads, HP Pavilion dv7-4020eo Battery

so beginning the process of 'public therapy' that will eventually culminate in the primal screams of 'Cold Turkey' and the cathartic John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band."[229] David Stuart Ryan notes Lennon's vocal delivery to range from, HP Pavilion dv7-4020sa Battery

"extreme vulnerability, sensitivity and even naivety" to a hard "rasping" style.[230] Wiener too describes contrasts, saying the singer's voice can be "at first subdued; soon it almost cracks with despair"[231] HP Pavilion dv7-4021tx Battery

Music historian Ben Urish recalls hearing The Beatles' Ed Sullivan Show performance of "This Boy" played on the radio a few days after Lennon's murder: "As Lennon's vocals reached their peak ... it hurt too much to hear him scream with such anguish and emotion. But it was my emotions I heard in his voice. Just like I always had."[232]HP Pavilion dv7-4022tx Battery

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