“Imagine” the world with Lennon

Celebrating the 74th anniversary of his birth

On October 9th, 1940 in Liverpool, England, a boy was born. This boy was named John Lennon. John Lennon was one of the songwriters, one of the singers, and one of the guitarists in the band the Beatles. He then moved on to a solo career and was an activist in the anti-Vietnam war rallies. He would soon go on to be one of the most influential voices of the 20th century.

For the few who don’t know John Lennon, he grew up in Liverpool, England. This is where he met his future band mate, Paul McCartney. The two became very good friends, even though John was a couple of years older than Paul.

The duo was immensely talented at playing music, however, John was the mastermind behind the curtain. He was the one that did most of the songwriting when they were younger, and more importantly, he was the one that put the group together. He later added George Harrison, one of Paul’s friends, to his, then current band, the Quarrymen. They then became known as the Beatles once they added drummer Ringo Starr. John Lennon was one of the two songwriters and singers in the group (the other was Paul). Occasionally George and Ringo would take a stab at songwriting which give us the songs Here Comes the Sun (Harrison) and Octopus’s Garden (Starr).

At first, the Beatles were a huge hit. When they first came to America, they were met at the airport with fans that were known as “screamers”. Their beginning songs’ lyrics were elementary. They usually were just catchy love songs that got people to dance. John, the “leader” of the Beatles, led the group into the era of the counterculture which was what many called the hippies of the 60s-70s. The band’s songs began to become much more meaningful and thought out. The songs continued like this until the Beatles broke up in 1970. Many attribute the break up to when the two super powers of the group (John and Paul) began clashing and competing to be known as the best. However, John tried to make it clear that the reason the Beatles broke up was mostly because they hated the shell that being the Beatles put around them. They said that on stage, they couldn’t even hear their own music.

After the Beatles, John Lennon released a few solo albums with his wife Yoko Ono. Lennon’s early death was certainly a loss.  His life was changing and I wonder where that would have eventually taken him in his music. He also began to get into politics of the United States. John was very hated by some people for this. He never actually ran for an office, but he was a firm opponent of the Vietnam War. As a result of these views, President Nixon’s administration tried to deport him. John was very outspoken about his hatred for war in general. John Lennon was a peaceful person. The message that he wanted to get out in this world was that peace can make this world a better place.

On December 8th, 1980, John Lennon was shot in the back four times by Mark David Chapman. That day, the world lost one of the most talented and influential persons to ever live. World Cultures teacher Mr. Spencer is a Beatles fan and was alive when the news broke about John Lennon’s death.

Mr. Spencer said,

Lennon’s early death was certainly a loss. His life was changing and I wonder where that would have eventually taken him in his music.””

— Mr. Spencer

Mr. Spencer was also alive when John Lennon was part of the Beatles and when the Beatles were gaining popularity as John was becoming more and more influential.

Mr. Spencer stated, “I’m not sure why John Lennon was such an inspiration to some. Lennon and the Beatles weren’t really an inspiration to me, but I enjoyed their music as they always continually evolved as a group and then, later, as individual performers.”

Junior, Sam Middendorf, loves the Beatles. He was born 18 years after John Lennon’s death and is still affected by the Beatle’s music.

Sam said, “I love trapping to the Beatles. My favorite song is definitely Strawberry Fields Forever.”

John Lennon transformed the Beatles into one of the most well-known and influential bands of the 20th Century. Without John, the Beatles would not have been the same. John Lennon would have celebrated his 74th birthday on the 9th of October. As a fan of his music and lyrics, I can only imagine the impact he would’ve had on this world if he was still alive today. His voice continues to be heard “Across the Universe” through his music.