Lennon, John Winston

John Lennon rehearses Give Peace A Chance by R...
John Lennon rehearses Give Peace A Chance by Roy Kerwood via Wikipedia

John Winston Lennon (1940-1980)  was one of the four Beatles and to this day remains a popular culture hero.

After the Beatles’ breakup, Lennon pursued a respected musical career with hits and sleeper hits like Mind Games, Cold Turkey, Crippled Inside, Jealous Guy, Imagine, Whatever Gets You Through The Night, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Give Peace a Chance, Woman, (Just Like) Starting Over and Watching the Wheels.

But not all of his post-Beatles tunes were polished chart toppers. The album Plastic Ono Band, for instance, chronicles a time of soul-searching, musical exploration and a fleshing out of ideas that would in later albums come together as hit singles. That album also includes the soulful ballad, Working Class Hero and the anthemic Power to the People.

It’s sadly ironic that Lennon was murdered on December 8th 1980 by a disturbed gunman at point-blank range in New York City, considering he and his wife Yoko Ono suggested we “Give Peace a Chance.”

Lennon collaborated with other pop luminaries like David Bowie and The Rolling StonesMick Jagger, and his influence within and without the Beatles on pop music has been profound. Respected rockers like Todd Rundgren (Deface the Music, with Utopia) and the band XTC (Skylarking) have produced Beatlesque albums and songs, and Oasis’ Liam Gallagher not only looks a bit but definitely sounds like Lennon, and has publicly acknowledged Lennon’s influence by naming his son Lennon Gallagher.

With the Beatles Lennon gained notoriety by claiming that the band was more popular than Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church recently came around to forgiving him for that statement.¹

¹ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/7579019/Vatican-forgives-The-Beatles-for-bigger-than-Jesus-comment.html

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