John Lennon – he who founded The Beatles – departed this world on Monday, December 8, 1980, and it’s a loss still mourned the world over. Today would have marked the English singer/songwriter, and activist’s 80th birthday.
Celebrating The Life of John Lennon
Lennon was born in 1940 and raised in Liverpool, England. At the age of 15, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze which led to his formation of a band dubbed the Quarrymen – an homage to the Quarry Band High School which Lennon attended.
Four years after that initial formation, the group was rechristened The Beatles. In August of 1960, the crew accepted a 48-night residency in Hamburg, West Germany, which proved to be an enormous success.
The band’s first single, Love Me Do, was released in October 1962; its debut album, Please Please Me, was recorded on February 11, 1963. The collaboration between Lennon and fellow Beatles vocalist Paul McCartney yielded eight of the collection’s 14 tracks.
Mainstream recognition in the United Kingdom was achieved by The Beatles soon after the release of their album, and in the United States, it occurred in February 1964, thanks mostly to their iconic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
For nearly two years, the group engaged in near-constant touring and filmmaking. During the time, Lennon produced two works of literature: In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works.
More albums followed including A Hard Day’s Night, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, and Yellow Submarine. By 1968, Lennon had involved himself with Japanese artist Yoko Ono, and they collaborated on three volumes of music.
In 1969, the same year that The Beatles disbanded, Lennon and Ono formed The Plastic Ono Band. A year later, Lennon released his debut solo album which received near-unanimous praise from critics and music aficionados.
Lennon’s discography would continue to expand with albums such as Imagine, Some Time in New York City, and Mind Games, as well as singles like Happy Xmas (War Is Over) and I’m the Greatest (written for former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr).
Following the birth of Sean Taro Ono (the only child he shared with Ono), who entered the world on October 9, 1975 – Lennon’s 35th birthday. He took a five year (semi) hiatus from the music industry in order to concentrate on his home life.
In the early part of 1980, Lennon issued the single Just Like Starting Over and joined Ono in creating the album Double Fantasy. That December, on the 8th day of the month to be exact, Lennon was shot to death outside the now-famous apartment building, The Dakota, in which he and his family resided.
For his contributions as a singer/songwriter and hitmaker, Lennon has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as both a solo artist and as a member of The Beatles.
As a writer, Lennon provided songs for the aforementioned Ringo Starr, David Bowie (Fame), and Mick Jagger (Too Many Cooks Spoil the Soup).
As a producer, he toiled on the albums The Pope Smokes Dope (by David Peel and the Lower East Side), Pussy Cats (Harry Nilsson), Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records, and several featuring Ono including Approximately Infinite Universe and Feeling the Space
Celebrations in honor of his 80th birthday are underway around the world. His widow, Ono, kicked things off on her Instagram with an image of the Empire State Building lit up, saying, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN! It’s lit! The @empirestatebldg is lit up sky blue with a white ☮ peace sign – to kick off the celebrations for @JohnLennon’s 80th Birthday #JOHNLENNON80
Live Stream here: #GIMMESOMETRUTH #IMAGINEPEACE #IMAGINE #johnlennon #happybirthday #NYC”
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN! It's lit! The @empirestatebldg is lit up sky blue with a white ☮ peace sign – to kick off the celebrations for @JohnLennon's 80th Birthday #JOHNLENNON80 Live Stream here: esbnyc.com/about/live-cam #GIMMESOMETRUTH #IMAGINEPEACE #IMAGINE #johnlennon #happybirthday #NYC
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Dear Friends, On October 9th 2020, IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be relit in Reykjavík, Iceland, in memory of my late husband @JohnLennon, on the occasion of his 80th birthday. I hope you will join us in celebrating the relighting of @IMAGINEPEACETOWER at the website www.imaginepeacetower.com, in Iceland and around the world. Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world. Power works in mysterious ways. We don’t have to do much. Visualize the domino effect and just start thinking PEACE. Thoughts are infectious. Send it out. The message will circulate faster than you think. It’s Time for Action. The Action is PEACE. Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE. IMAGINE PEACE. PEACE is POWER! Thank you, thank you, thank you I love you! love, yoko Yoko Ono Lennon 6 October 2020 #imaginepeacetower #imaginepeace #imagine #johnlennon #yokoono #johnandyoko #peace #imaginejohnyoko #LENNON80 #GIMMESOMETRUTH