John Lennon was a member of the world famous band, The Beatles. He was also a writing partner along with Paul McCartney who successfully created many of the songs made famous by The Beatles. Lennon was born in Liverpool, England. He was a rebellious child made more so by the fact that his family had broken up through a divorce. He was primarily raised by his aunt Mimi Smith (his mother’s sister) who did not approve of his music choices. His mother purchased his first guitar for him.
At fifteen, Lennon formed his first band, The Quarrymen, which would lead to the eventual formation of The Beatles. George Harrison, Ringo Starr, McCartney and Lennon was the final lineup which became successful. In early 1960, the group obtained an engagement in Germany which led to others, to the horror of Lennon’s aunt. She wanted Lennon back at art school. After much touring, they released their first album “Please, Please Me” in 1963 with Lennon and McCartney writing eight of its fourteen songs. This collaboration would continue with many award winning albums.
In 1964, The Beatles traveled to the United States for a historic tour that became BeatleMania. They became an international success story after this and toured for two years worldwide. Eleven albums followed altogether. In 1966, Lennon became disillusioned with the band and the continuing fame. This might be contributed by his drug use which started during his first tours in Germany. The band took another publicity hit when Lennon made disparaging remarks against Christianity, causing the band to stop touring. They hit another rough patch when their long-time manager Brian Epstein died of a drug overdose. Business matters had to be dealt with personally and their music took the brunt of it.
It was during this time that Lennon became involved with Yoko Ono and he divided his time between the two. He was involved with her performance art and experimental music as well as Beatles music. Lennon finally left the band in 1969 after recording the Let It Be album. Ono is usually credited with the breakup as she was the misunderstood faction at that time. The four members of the Beatles were actually outgrowing each other and there was dissatisfaction with each member’s music style. The four finally broke up but it was many years later before the legalities and lawsuits cleared up.
Lennon continued on in his solo music career collaborating with Ono on many albums. He went on a five year hiatus to become house husband and caretaker of their son Sean and was on his return to music with a new album when he was shot and murdered by Mark David Chapman. Ono and Lennon were returning home to tuck their son in bed not knowing that Chapman had been stalking him for the last two weeks and had even received an album signed by Lennon earlier that evening. Lennon was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.