December 6, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz……..

The music world remembered John Lennon, on 8th December 2017, to mark the 37th anniversary of his death.  Everywhere in the world, his fans gathered to remember this rebellious musician of his times. As a member of The Beatles, he had made his mark not just in the music world, but also as a peace campaigner. He was murdered on the evening of December 8, 1980 by Mark David Chapman, in New York.

John Lennon was born on 9th October, 1940 in Liverpool, England. His father was a merchant seaman. Due to the world war he did not see his father often. He was raised by Mimi Smith, the sister of his mother Julia. He was a mischievous student during his school days, but he was more interested in music, instead of his studies. His Aunt Mimi had bought him his first guitar in 1955, which became the base for his future travel in the music world.

John formed his first music group in 1950s, and named it “Quarry Men Skiffle Band”. This group played some good music which carried a mixture of rock and roll. However he met Paul McCartney, during the second performance of his group, and they decided to form a new group with other friends. George Harrison was added to the group after a short period followed by Ringo Starr as replacement drummer. This quartet rocked the music world in the years to come, playing as THE BEATLES.

John Lennon, was not just a powerful  centre figure, strong writer and talented musician but at the same time was  the most vocal and outspoken member of the band.  After rocking the music fans with “Beatlemania” during the mid 1960s, the music of The Beatles had become the centre of attraction of the music world. The Beatles reached stardom by their songs “Please Please Me” and “She Loves You”, in the year 1963.

However, Lennon was too outspoken to rock the world, not just the music world only. He was no stranger to controversy, here and there. In 1966, he incited hate against himself, by remarking “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink…..We are more popular than Jesus now – I do not know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity”. His statement had led to the boycott of their music in some parts of the US, where the records of The Beatles were also burnt. To add to the controversy Lennon was on record to say to burn the records they had to buy them first.

He remained involved in drugs for quite sometime, but also got interested in meditation.

The Beatles started breaking up in 1969. One of the key factors was John’s lack of interest in the group. In fact he was the guy who was instrumental in formation of the group, and again he was the person to break it. His marriage with Yoko Ono, finalised this break up process, and he went out to pursue his solo career as songwriter and singer.

However, his more popular songs like “All you need is love”, “Give Peace a Chance” and above all “Imagine” are from his post Beatles period.

With these songs John Lennon had become the central attraction of world media. He had attracted the whole world by promoting his views and endeavours for promotion of peace in the world.

During the 1970s John became a leading figure in the anti-war movement against the then ongoing Vietnam war. His popular song “Give Peace a Chance”, became the national anthem of the movement.

His song “Imagine” openly exhibits his views towards a violence free world. It has been voted as the most popular song by the British public.

He retreated from the hectic music world in 1975, and devoted most of his time to his family.

On 8th December 1980, he was shot dead by David Chapman, who was said to be an ex Beatles fan, in Dakota, New York.

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