(Liverpool, 1940 – New York, 1980) British singer and musician, founder and leader of The Beatles, the legendary Liverpool quartet that dominated the music scene in the 1960s. During his time in The Beatles, John Lennon contributed to the band his creative concerns and his radical nonconformity, against the more commercial and frivolous vein of Paul McCartney, with whom he shared the leading role in the composition of the songs. Consummated in 1970 the dissolution of the group, he undertook a new musical stage with results as memorable as the album Imagine (1971). After a five-year retirement, in 1980 he was assassinated by a disturbed man shortly after presenting his last work, Double Fantasy .

John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool on October 9, 1940, while Nazi planes were bombing the city. His father, named Alfred, was a sailor who rarely visited the home, until he disappeared completely. Then it was his mother, Julia Stanley, who disappeared, leaving the boy in the care of a sister of hers named Mary. It was she who taught John the first chords on an old banjo belonging to John’s grandfather.

Liverpool was then a port city in full decline. With a heterogeneous population, life there did not offer great joy. However, the constant hustle and bustle caused by maritime traffic also had its advantages: abundant country and rhythm and blues records arrived in the luggage of sailors coming from the other side of the ocean, which were immediately incorporated into the innate fondness of Liverpoolians for music.

John grew up listening to records by Little Richard, Chuck Berry , Ray Charles and Buddy Holly, illustrious representatives of the musical currents of that time. For a few years he studied at the School of Fine Arts and when he turned fifteen he resolved his doubts between painting and music in favor of the latter. In 1956 he met a boy who, like him, only felt fully fulfilled with a guitar in his hands: Paul McCartney . With Paul he formed his first amateur group, The Quarrymen, beginning a period of accelerated learning of the rhythms of rock and roll .

John and Paul dedicated themselves to composing their own songs as if it were entertainment. Two years later George Harrison joined them and they dared to perform in some small venues. They were successively called Johnny and the Moondogs and The Nurk Twins. Those were tough times: John’s mother was killed in 1958 by a drunken off-duty policeman, and the boy’s meager fortune was completely wiped out. Throughout 1959, John searched unsuccessfully for work and lived like an unemployed man. But his vitality, his youth and his love for music kept him from losing hope.

In the early 1960s the group was reborn as Long John and the Silver Beatles, a long-winded name that was shortened to The Silver Beatles before becoming The Beatles. The term came from a play on words invented by Lennon himself: Buddy Holly’s backing group was called The Crickets (grasshoppers) and John was inspired by them to mix the musical term beat , characteristic of a whole generation, and the word beetles (beetles).

John, Paul and George, along with some professional musicians, began a tour of Scotland as accompanists for Johnny Gentle, a second rate singer. They also put musical background to the movements of a striptease dancer and agreed to travel to Germany to play in various venues in Hamburg’s Chinatown. Anything was better than looking for some boring, low-paying job in Liverpool. Later, back in their hometown, they became the regular group at The Cavern, an underground club where they were able to exhibit the boards they had acquired during their peculiar tours.

In 1961, a record store owner named Brian Epstein discovered them in that den. It was a revelation; although he had no experience in that field, Epstein offered himself as manager in exchange for 25 percent of the income. From that point on, The Beatles ‘ career rocketed to success. With the incorporation of Ringo Starr as drummer in 1962, the group was already complete and ready to face what was coming: the craziest maelstrom of triumphs and glory.

His songs, released by the EMI label, began to top the bestseller lists. The Beatles concerts provoked scenes of hysteria among the groupies and the police were unable to contain the vociferous youthful mass. «Beatlemania» spread through Europe, then the United States and later it would reach the rest of the world, including the socialist countries.

 

Phrases

-Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.

-Rituals are important. Nowadays it’s hip not to be married. I’m not interested in being hip.

-I’m not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I’ve always been a freak. So I’ve been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I’m one of those people.

-When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

-There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.

John Lennon Quotes

-As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.

-Declare it. Just the same way we declare war. That is how we will have peace… we just need to declare it.

-I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?

-Living is easy with eyes closed.

-If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.

-God is a concept by which we measure our pain.

-If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create.

-There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life.

-Before Elvis there was nothing.

-It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love.

-There’s an alternative to violence. It’s to stay in bed and grow your hair.

-I don’t know which will go first- rock ‘n’ roll or christianity.

-Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.

John Lennon Quotes

-I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.

-As in a love affair, two creative people can destroy themselves trying to recapture that youthful spirit, at twenty-one or twenty-four, of creating without even being aware of how it’s happening.

-Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.

-It’s better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out.

-When I was about twelve, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody’s noticed. If there is such a thing as a genius…I am one, and if there isn’t, I don’t care.

-We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.

-You have to be a bastard to make it, and that’s a fact.

-If everyone could just be happy with themselves and the choices people around them make, the world would instantly be a better place!

-Trying to please everybody is impossible – if you did that, you’d end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You’ve just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.

-I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just getting out of one car, and into another.

John Lennon Quotes

-I’m not really a career person; I’m a gardener, basically.

-Love, Love, Love. All you need is love. Love is all you need.

-All we are saying is give peace a chance.

-There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…

-If someone thinks that peace and love are just a cliche that must have been left behind in the 60s, that’s a problem. Peace and love are eternal.

-Only by trying on other people’s clothes do we find what size we are.

-Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not if you put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Carter or Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself.

-We’ve got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can’t just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it’s going to get on by itself. You’ve got to keep watering it. You’ve got to really look after it and nurture it.

-Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.

-Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.

John Lennon Quotes

-My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.

-Surrealism had a great effect on me because then I realised that the imagery in my mind wasn’t insanity. Surrealism to me is reality.

-One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.

-When you’re drowning you don’t think, I would be incredibly pleased if someone would notice I’m drowning and come and rescue me. You just scream.

-For those of you in the cheap seats I’d like ya to clap your hands to this one; the rest of you can just rattle your jewelry!

-War is over … If you want it.

-How can I go forward when I don’t know which way I’m facing?

-Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.

-Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

-Everybody loves you when you’re six foot in the ground.

-There is an alternative to war. It’s staying in bed and growing your hair.

-My defenses were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn’t know how to cry. Simple.

-Well, I don’t want to be king, I want to be real.

John Lennon Quotes

-One thing I can tell you is you have to be free. Come together, right now, over me.

-You know the way people begin to look like their dogs? Well, we’re beginning to look like each other.

-The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.

-When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind.

-Sometimes you wonder, I mean really wonder. I know we make our own reality, and we always have a choice, but how much is preordained? Is there always a fork in the road, and are there two preordained paths that are equally preordained? There could be hundreds of paths where one could go this way or that way — there’s a chance, and it’s very strange sometimes.

-Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.

-Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.

-There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.

-Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.

-If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.

-Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun.

-You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.

-I never went to high school reunions. My thing is, out of sight, out of mind. That’s my attitude toward life. So I don’t have any romanticism about any part of my past.

John Lennon Quotes

-Nobody controls me. I’m uncontrollable. The only one who controls me is me, and that’s just barely possible.

-All music is rehash. There are only a few notes. Just variations on a theme. Try to tell the kids in the Seventies who were screaming to the Bee Gees that their music was just The Beatles redone. There is nothing wrong with the Bee Gees.

-Everything is as important as everything else.

-I don’t believe in killing whatever the reason!

-We all have Hitler in us, but we also have love and peace. So why not give peace a chance for once?

-I don’t believe in yesterday, by the way.

-What we’ve got to do is keep hope alive. Because without it we’ll sink.

-Art is only a way of expressing pain.

-Time wounds all heels.

-It doesn’t matter how long my hair is or what colour my skin is or whether I’m a woman or a man.

-I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence.

-I’ve never really been wanted.

-You’re just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You’ve got to get down to your own God in your own temple. It’s all down to you, mate.

-If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.

-I put things down on sheets of paper and stuff them in my pockets. When I have enough, I have a book.

-As far as I’m concerned, there won’t be a Beatles reunion as long as John Lennon remains dead.
George Harrison

-When people ask me who I’d want to have dinner with, dead or alive, I always say, ‘John Lennon.’ I just feel that he was an artist who was, in his own way, committed to wholeness and authenticity in a not dissimilar way that I am years later.
Alanis Morissette

-My husband John Lennon was a very special man. A man of humble origin, he brought light and hope to the whole world with his words and music.
Yoko Ono

-It’s a cliche, but John Lennon is my hero. He was so rebellious, so outspoken and so publicly opinionated, and I’m someone who’s so private. I suppose you admire people who have the qualities you wish you had.
Emun Elliot

-I think what made John Lennon so exciting as an artist is that, like Dylan and other musicians with a truly important musical legacy, he had several faces, personas that changed over time as he developed.
Randy Bachman

-John Lennon was a musical genius. All I have to do is think of some of his songs and even the titles make me feel good… and I’m not the only one. His music has crossed cultures and even generations.
Ray Comfort

-John Lennon was definitely my favorite Beatle, hands down.
Kurt Kobain

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