political

John Lennon History and Facts

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Appearances

He was a Guest on Monday Night Football Six Years Before the Sportscast Announced His Death to the World

On December 9, 1974, Lennon was a guest on Monday Night Football along with, of all people, then-California-governor Ronald Reagan. Reports later surfaced that, off-camera, Reagan cheerfully explained the rules of American football to Lennon as the game progressed. When it fell to Howard Cosell to tell the world, during a MNF telecast on December 8, 1980, that Lennon had been killed, the legendary broadcaster called the news “an unspeakable tragedy.” gibson.com

The Dark Side

Harry Nilsson and Lennon were once thrown out of L.A.’s Troubadour for heckling a performance by the Smothers Brothers.

Family, Friends  and More

 

His Death

Chilling details of John Lennon shooting recounted at Chapman parole hearing: The killer of ex-Beatle John Lennon says he used hollow point bullets to shoot the singer “because they were more deadly.” nbcnews.com    8- 29 2012 By Jim Gold, NBC News

His Life

Lennon’s father Fred Lennon, a merchant seaman, left when John was just five years old. His mother, then pregnant with John’s half-sister Julia, handed John over to her sister. Mimi was intolerant of his aspirations as a rocker. She famously told him, “The guitar’s all right John, but you’ll never make a living out of it.” John kept in close contact with Mimi, calling her once a week until his death in 1980. fuse.tv

Without question, the greatest victim of Lennon’s character failings was his oldest son, Julian. Lennon clearly resented the young boy whose conception had forced him into a marriage he didn’t want and trapped him in a domestic routine he was too immature and narcissistic to sustain. Both Julian and his mother Cynthia have publicly stated that Lennon was alternately absent, indifferent, drug-addled, and generally unpleasant to be around during Julian’s early childhood. After he divorced Cynthia, Lennon took off with Yoko Ono and dropped out of his son’s life for years. After they reconnected, Lennon severely emotionally abused his son on several occasions, berating and screaming at him until the boy was reduced to tears. Once, Julian giggled and Lennon shouted back, “I hate the way you fucking laugh!” Julian was not yet a teenager at the time. In perhaps the saddest statement ever made about Lennon, Julian later stated that Paul McCartney was more of a father to him than his real father was. listverse

Music and Performances

n 1974, John and Elton made a bet: If their collaboration single “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” hit No. 1 on the charts, then Lennon would join John onstage at Madison Square Garden. Lennon lost the bet. In what would be his final major concert appearance, Lennon joined John for a performance of their hit single, plus the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “I Saw Her Standing There.”

Contrary to later tales of a spontaneous break and/or the decision by Paul McCartney to leave the band, it was John Lennon who destroyed the Beatles. Certainly, all was not well with the band during the final years of the ‘60s, but it was Lennon and Lennon alone who brought down the axe, announcing at an otherwise routine meeting that he was leaving the group. It was kept under wraps for some time, but no one was under any illusions about the ability of the group to go on without him. Essentially, Lennon’s departure made the death of the Beatles inevitable; it just took a year or so for the obituary to be written. listverse

Incredibly, one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music hated his own voice. John did not like the sound of his voice and loved to double-track his records. He would often ask the Beatles producer, George Martin, to cover the sound of his voice: “Can’t you smother it with tomato ketchup or something?”

Lennon’s famous 1972 Madison Square Garden show featured just one Beatles song: “Come Together.” In 1975, making good on a pact with his good friend Elton John, Lennon took the Garden stage again, performing duet versions of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” Lennon announced the latter song as “a number by an old estranged fiancé of mine called Paul.” Lennon did perform The Beatles’ “Yer Blues” with The Plastic Ono Band, but at the time of that performance The Beatles were still officially united.

After the Split

He was the First Beatle to Perform Solo

Lennon was always indignant that Paul McCartney had announced his departure from The Beatles, when in fact Lennon himself had been the first Beatle to break away. However, Lennon could always console himself with the fact that it was he who first performed without his Fab Four mates. His first non-Beatles appearance was with The Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus, in December 1968. In September of the following year, he and The Plastic Ono Band performed their Live Peace in Toronto show. gibson.com

 

Other Links

John and his Father: How Lennon sabotaged his dishwasher dad’s bid to be a pop star: Close friend tells story of the Beatle’s hard-drinking father      By Tony Cartwright

A Critique of Albert Goldman’s Book, ” The Lives of John Lennon,” by William Morrow & Company. Kakutani, notes the numerous assumptions in the book and the lack of unsubstantiated comments.

By MICHIKO KAKUTANI
Published: August 31, 1988

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