Obituary of John Lennon
*Editors comment: This is unfinished.
I read the news today. Oh boy.
It was Dec. 8, 1980. John Lennon, 40, and Yoko Ono were on their way back to their hotel from the recording studio where they were making Double Fantasy. It was to be Lennon’s comeback after retiring from music in 1975 to raise his son Sean.
As they were walking into the hotel lobby, a voice pierced the night air saying, “Mr. Lennon.” When Lennon turned around, the now infamous Mark David Chapman shot him five times. One bullet strayed and hit the hotel. Two others hit the left side of his back and two more struck his left shoulder. Lennon limped and crawled to the hotel steps where he collapsed. His last words were “I’ve been shot.” Lennon died later that evening from internal bleeding and a damaged aorta. The clearly deranged Chapman calmly walked to a nearby bench and sat down waiting for the police to arrest him. A hotel clerk ran out to him and shouted, “Do you know what you’ve done?” Chapman replied, “I just shot John Lennon.”
Lennon’s sudden death caused the world to shiver. One could compare the reaction to his demise to that of Martin Luther King Jr. or John F. Kennedy. The outburst of grief was phenomenal. At 2 p.m. on Dec. 14, countless fans around the world partook in a ten-minute silent ceremony for him.
Lennon was Lennon. Some might remember him before his days with The Beatles as a musician for his skiffle group The Quarrymen. The vast majority of the earth’s population knew him as the first half of what is still considered by many the peak of songwriting partnership: Lennon & McCartney.
The amount of words you could write are limitless but it should be known he was much more than a Beatle. He was an idealist. Politically radical. A peace activist. A father and friend. An ordinary man who achieved immortality the night he was shot and murdered.
Lennon was born in Liverpool, England on October 9, 1940. He received his first guitar when he was 16 from his mother. Sadly, two years later, his mother was struck by a car and killed. This devastated him. Lennon’s father left home when he was young, only to re-appear later on when he became famous with The Beatles. Consequently, most of Lennon’s songs deal with abandonment.
But he was more than just a songwriter; he had a natural knack for melody and rhythm. He played rhythm guitar for arguably the best band to ever have existed, and also brought realism into The Beatles which alienated them from the other pop bands at the time.
(Still need to fill this part in. If anyone has suggestions on how to do it, I'd appreciate them)
Lennon’s first solo album Plastic Ono Band was released in December 1970. A vicious departure from his signature sound with The Beatles, this record stunned Beatles fans. At the time, Lennon was undergoing primal scream therapy from Dr. Arthur Janov. Lennon had to emotionally confront his troubled past to complete the therapy. The majority of the songs on Plastic Ono Band grew out of the controversial therapy; songs like Mother where Lennon writes about his parents abandoning him. In God, he sings about not believing in The Beatles, an obvious attempt to destroy his past.
Later in his career, he adjusted his tune and fully embraced peace and love as themes for his personal life. It came out in songs like Give Peace a Chance and the powerfully heartrending Love.
Ironically, during Beatlemania, Lennon once said, “We'll either go in a plane crash or we'll be popped off by some loony."