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John Lennon “You’ve got to admit it’s getting better it’s getting better all the time,” because of John Lennon, and the way he effected the world. “Imagine” the world without John Lennon. John Lennon had a huge effect on the world.
Throughout his life Lennon was many things. He was a musician, lyricist, singer, artist, actor, humorist, political and peace activist, and writer. Because of Lennon the world was changed musically, socially, and politically. Musically he brought rock music into mainstream music. Socially he inspired a generation of teenagers. Politically he started up the movement to “Give Peace a Chance.” He became the leader of the sixties, one of the most turbulent eras to date, and the role model to many people young and old around the world.
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John Lennon did not have any easy childhood. Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England (Bil 1). This was during the height of World War II, and his parents named him John Winston Lennon after legendary British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
Lennon’s parents were divorced and his father was working on a ship away from home when he was born. When his father came back, his mother would not let his father see him. So his father tried to kidnap him. His mother could not let this happen again so she sent him to live with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. Aunt Mimi ran a strict household, and he did not really relate to her while he was growing up.
So Lennon became a very close friend with his mother. Tragically in 1958 his mother was killed in a car accident right in front of him (Norman 1).Aunt Mimi sent him to Quarrybank Grammar School, but he was very bored and preferred writing and drawing.
Lennon did not enjoy school life, and became a rebel at a young age. He often skipped class, and when he did go to class he sat and drew. His future looked very grim. When Mimi asked the headmaster of the school to write a letter of recommendation to the Liverpool School of Art, it gave everyone new hope. Lennon didn’t do well here either, while he loved to draw, he found the Liverpool School of Art too ridged and structured. He liked his drawings to be from his heart and full of emotion.
He found that the curriculum did not allow him to do this. During his art exam Lennon drew cartoons, so he failed (Norman 1). Lennon said about his school life, “It was a joke as far as I was concerned.
Art was the only thing I could do, and my headmaster told me that if I didn’t go to art school I might as well give up life. I wasn’t really keen. I thought it would be a crowd of old men, but I should make the effort and make something of myself. Frankly, I found it was as bad as maths and science. And I loathed those. The funny thing was I didn’t even pass art in GCE.
I spent the exam time doing daft cartoons. I got art school by doing some decent stuff and taking it to show them,” (Norman 1).The only good part of art school was that this was where his musical interest was piqued. He begged his aunt to buy him a guitar, and after months of begging she eventually did. He already knew how to play the harmonica and the banjo, and he taught himself guitar from banjo chords that he learnt from his mother (Norman 1).
In 1955 Lennon got together with Pete Shotton and formed a band called the Quarrymen. The other members of the band were Nigel Wally, and Ivan Vaughan. They played along to popular songs that they heard on the radio, and when they could not make out the words, they just made up their own. In 1957 Vaughan introduced Lennon to Paul McCartney, and McCartney later joined the Quarrymen (Gottlieb 99). In 1958 McCartney introduced Lennon to George Harrison, and he later joined the band.
1960 was a big year for Lennon; this was when his band finally became The Beatles. Stu Suttcliffe joins the band as a bass player, and Richard Starkey, also known as Ringo Starr, is introduced to Lennon. Stu Suttcliffe didn’t like the way that Lennon ran the band, and he soon quit. It would not be until 1962 when Pete Best is fired, that Ringo officially became their drummer. This is when they became The Beatles that everyone knows and loves.John’s private life was no easy matter. In 1962 Lennon married his girlfriend Cynthia Powell, and in April 1963 they had a son called Julian.
On August 22, 1968, Cynthia filled for divorce because Lennon was not paying enough attention to her or Julian. Even before Cynthia divorced, him Lennon had got to know a local artist called Yoko Ono. Lennon would later marry Yoko Ono in Gibraltar, on March 20th, 1969. They had one son, Sean, who was born on October 9th, 1975. During this time The Beatles had been having problems.
These problems were mainly because of Lennon’s change in style after he met Yoko Ono. The Beatles eventually broke up when Paul McCartney left the band on April 10th, 1970.After the Beatles broke up, John Lennon started a solo career with Yoko Ono. They called this John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band. He released countless albums with the Plastic Ono Band, but most of them failed to break into the top ten.
John was extremely annoyed over his unsuccessful singles, so as protest, he sent his MBE, member of the British Empire, back. He protested his unsuccessful singles, England’s involvement in Biafra, and America’s involvement in Vietnam. The MBE is a very prestigious, award that is bestowed upon very few English men and women, by the Queen herself, usually because of outstanding services to the country. Each member of The Beatles received an MBE. In 1994, John Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for the Plastic Ono Band (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1). Since The Beatles where already inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lennon became the first person to be inducted twice. After marrying Yoko Ono, Lennon was very devoted toward peace.
He started a political movement with songs like, “Give peace a Chance.” He had already lived through two major wars, World War II, and Vietnam. On John and Yoko’s honeymoon, they had a “bed in for peace.” This consisted of John and Yoko, sitting in a bed in their hotel room, and asking for donations to be put towards the peace cause (John Lennon Biography 1). They asked America to step out of the Vietnam War, and for Britain to end Biafra. Biafra was a civil war in North Africa, where all the money was going towards the soldiers, and all the people were starving to death.
Lennon’s idea of foreign policy was to keep out of everyone else’s business.Lennon influenced the world musically, by making rock music popular and brought it into the ears of the public. He may not have invented rock music like Elvis Presley and Little Richard did, but he made it really popular.
He caused rock music to have the bad attitude that it has today. He was a rebel, when he first started the Quarrymen; all the members of the band had long hair, and wore leather. If it were not for their manager, Brian Epstein, Lennon would have kept on wearing leather.
Epstein thought it would be bad for business. The Beatles were a huge influence to pop music as the first boy band. They were instantly a hit with all the women.
Lennon became a role model for a whole generation of teenagers. Thousands upon thousands of teenage guys and girls looked up to him. Lennon was the first hippie.
After The Beatles, he grew long hair and a beard. He started using drugs and may have influenced a lot of the hippies at big shows such as Woodstock 69. John Lennon influenced all the flag burnings that took place throughout the sixties and seventies. Sadly on December 8th 1980 John Lennon was assassinated, outside the Dakota Apartments in Central Park, New York. Mark David Chapman approached Lennon, and asked him for an autograph. When Lennon went closer, Chapman pulled out a gun and shot Lennon four times. When police found Chapman, he was standing in the same place he was when he shot Lennon.
He was carrying a revolver with two bullets in the chamber, 14 hours of Beatles music, and a copy of Catcher in the Rye. Oddly enough in the movie Conspiracy Theory, Mel Gibson’s Character always carried a copy of Catcher in the Rye. In the autopsy it was found that the four bullets caused massive internal bleeding. Lennon died shortly afterwards, of shock and loss of blood. His official time of death was pronounced 11:15pm, October 8th, 1980. On December 14th Yoko Ono called for 10 minutes of silence for the memory of John Lennon (Great events IV 1).
Hopefully everybody will always remember John Lennon, as the man who changed the world. The week after Lennon died, Time magazine’s cover was a picture of Lennon with the headline “The Day the Music Died.” John Lennon ranks with people such as Charles Dickens and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Morgan 2).
He has achieved the status of a legend in his own time. Lennon never did anything half-heartedly; he always put his whole self into all of his work. John Lennon’s loss has created a void that can never be filled (Morgan 1). One attribute was that if John Lennon had never become famous, he might still be alive today, but “Let it Be.”Works CitedBil.
“Working Class hero” Home of Classic Rock. 1997;http://www.casagrande.com/bilig/lenhist.
html; (16 Feb. 2000).Gottlieb, Agnes Hooper, et al. 1,000 People, 1,000 Years. New York: KondanshAmerica Inc.,1998.”John Lennon-Biography.
” ;http://www-cds-music.com/john_lennon.htm; (16 Feb. 2000).”John Lennon.
” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. 1994.;http://www.rockhall.com/induct/lennjohn.html; (16 Feb. 2000).
“John Lennon shooting 1980.” Great Events IV. 3pp. Bell ; Howell Information and Learning-Proquest. 16 Feb. 2000.Morgan, Joan M.
“A Tribute to John Lennon.” 1999.;http://www.
josnsukjournal.com/links/lennon.htm; (16 Feb. 2000).
Norman, Philip, et. Al. “John Lennon Portfolio.” 1998. ;http://www.getback.
org/bjohn.html;(16 Feb. 2000)