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John Lennon

Oct. 9, 1940 - Dec. 8, 1980

Artistfacts for John Lennon

  • Lennon was born October 9, 1940, at a time when World War II was raging in Europe. A lot of people thought that Liverpool was under attack by Nazi Germany when John was born, but he was actually born during a lull in the bombing.
  • His parents separated when he was 3. He was raised by his aunt Mimi from the age of 5.
  • His mother Julia was killed by a drunk driver when John was 18.
  • His son Julian was from his first wife, Cynthia. He had his son Sean with Yoko.
  • He and Yoko hosted The Mike Douglas Show for a week in February, 1972.
  • He and Yoko appeared naked on the cover of Rolling Stone in 1981. Lennon was on the first cover when the magazine launched in 1967 - they used a still from his movie How I Won The War.
  • He had a cat named Jesus.
  • Yoko donated many of his belongings for an exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Among the items are the bloodstained glasses he was wearing when he was shot.
  • Yoko still owns the New York City apartment she and John used to live in. He was shot outside the building on December 8, 1980.
  • He was named Rolling Stone magazine's first "Man Of The Year" in 1969. That same year he was named "Man Of The Decade" by the British media and was filmed by ATV.
  • John Winston Lennon was his birth name - after Winston Churchill. He later had "Ono" added to his middle name, although he never dropped "Winston," as the law wouldn't allow it. He became John Winston Ono Lennon, but only referred to himself as John Ono Lennon.
  • He was involved in so much radical activity that the FBI had 216 pounds worth of files about him. These are all available to the public thanks to the Freedom of Information Act.
  • While Lennon was served a deportation order from the US in 1972, he stayed and eventually got a green card (signifying a US residency) in 1976.
  • Lennon once returned a "Member British Empire" medal to Queen Elizabeth, citing Britain's support of US troops in Vietnam and its own involvement in Biafra.
  • Lennon died on Jim Morrison's Birthday. (thanks, rikki - Rochester, MI)
  • When he was in art college, he dated a girl named Thelma Pickles. (thanks, Adam - Wrexham, Wales)
  • He appeared as Winston Legthigh in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus in 1968 with a band that was put up especially for the show, The Dirty Mac. It consisted of Lennon on vocals and rhythm guitar, Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums, and Keith Richards on bass. They sang "Yer Blues", originally done by The Beatles. (thanks, Patrickman - Makati City)
  • Without his glasses on, Lennon was legally blind. (thanks, Sarah - London, England)
  • The number 9 appeared many times in his music and life. He was born on the 9th. Although he died on the 8th in the US, it was the 9th in his home country. He had songs titled "#9 Dream" and "Revolution 9." (thanks, John - Flint, MI)
  • In 2006, the film The US vs. John Lennon was released. The movie documents Lennon's evolution, between 1966 and 1976, from Beatle to solo artist to social activist. As the film documents, Lennon's antiwar activism brought him under the scrutiny of the Nixon administration and the FBI. In the liner notes to the CD that comes along with the film, Yoko Ono wrote: "Never in a million years, did we think that promoting world peace could be dangerous. Were we naive? Yes, on that account, we were. John sings: 'Nobody told me there'd be days like these.' That was his true confession. These songs have become relevant all over again. It's almost as if John wrote these songs for what we are going through now." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
  • In his later life, Lennon was affected by unusual eating disorders brought on by his anxiety that he was overweight. He probably weighed about or under 135 pounds for the last 10 years of his life, and he often looks emaciated in photographs.
  • In 2002, Lennon was voted into eight place on the 100 Greatest Britons list. Winston Churchill, whom John expressed a particular dislike for, so much so that he had his middle name changed from Winston to Ono after he married Yoko, was voted into first place. (thanks, Jonathon - Clermont, FL, for above 2)
  • May Pang became Lennon's personal assistant when he and Yoko Ono moved to New York City, and she became his lover when John and Yoko were having marital problems in 1973. In his 2005 book Lennon Revealed, Larry Kane states: "This friendship and romance lasted 10 years. To ignore that friendship and their time together would be a gross attempt at revising history."
  • Lennon was 17 when he formed his first band, The Black Jacks. They were made up entirely of classmates at Quarry Bank Grammar School in Liverpool, and almost immediately after they started, they changed their name to The Quarrymen, the group that would eventually become The Beatles. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
  • When the actor Peter Boyle got married in 1977, Lennon was his best man. (thanks, Jason Kouns - Peoria, IL)
  • May Pang (who was John Lennon's live-in lover in the mid-1970s when Lennon took a break from his marriage to Yoko Ono), published a book of photos in 2008 called Instamatic Karma. She took the pictures during Lennon's "Lost Weekend" (which lasted 18 months) with her.
  • His last TV interview was on The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder in 1975. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
  • Yoko refused to hold a funeral for Lennon, as she felt "his spirit would live forever."
  • The last picture taken of John Lennon while he was alive had his killer in the frame. Photographer Paul Goresh took a snap of Lennon signing Mark Chapman's album.
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Comments: 57

I have counted and technically, John sang more songs than Paul, especially in the early days while Brian Epstein was still alive. After Epstein's death, Paul sang lead more often. I've read that John was wanting to leave the Beatles as early as 1966, when they stopped touring due to death threats. Also, during the late 1970's, John was getting jealous of Paul's success with Wings, leading to his short-lived comeback in 1980.Don - Sevierville, Tn
happy 71th birthday John Lennon 9th october 2011Mecid - Baku, Azerbaijan
Katlyn, John would not approve.George - Glen Burnie, Md
Danny, that honor has been attributed to John via the press.George - Glen Burnie, Md
Shelley, a good bet would be 55/45 favoring Paul.George - Glen Burnie, Md
Jessica, stick up your crumpet! Like any American wanted John hurt! John wanted to become an American. What does that say for England? Go f@ck yourself, Jessica!Tina - Houston, Tx
Randy wanting Hitler on the cover of Sgt Pepper was something called irony, it doesn't mean he supports Hitler or Al-Qaeda and doesn't mean he's evil. John loved irony and incongruity like how he used to have a chauffer driven Mini in the sixties, song lyrics 'Everybody's smoking and no one's getting high Everybody's flying and never touch the sky'
Try to think with a bit more complexity...
Jon - Sydney, Australia
I think Randy's comment is probably the most annoying and inaccurate thing I've ever heard anyone say about John Lennon. He is my hero even though that sounds so cliched and corny. He really was a great person.Roy - Granbania, Ma
And to John from New Castle, thats actually not correct, whoever wrote The Beatles songs sang them,and John and Paul wrote about equal numbers of songs many were co-written in the very early days of their career.Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
First off, Randy, John had a very strange and yes soimetimes cruel sense of humor,but he used to curse the German people in the clubs The Beatles played in Hamburg,and he would say where is your f*cking tank you Nazis etc! And ironically many of his best friends were Jewish,Brian Epstein,Phil Spector,Elliot Mintz, Larry Kane etc.Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
I will not take away his musical talent, but John Lennon was still one wheel short of a unicycle. This is the same man that despited Winston Churchill, but wanted Adolph Hitler on the cover of "Sgt. Pepper". Somehow, I could visualize him being a war protester during WWII- rallying behind the Nazis. IMAGINE what he would have been doing after 9/11... rallying behind Al' Qaida.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
Lennon was brilliant. One of (if not THE) best musicians of all time.

"You yanks crack me up, you give us musicians such as Springsteen, Elvis and Frank Sinatra, so we treasure them, we give you John Lennon and you shoot him!
- Jessica, London, England"

lol :D
Draco - Perth, Australia
LENNON is one of the most important figures of the 20th century
he is part of history and will never be forgotten just like beethoven or mozart
Jose - Guanacaste, South America
Lennon got married 2 times the first wife her name was Cynthia Twist and they had Julian and he got married once again but now this time to Yoko Ono and they had another kid named Sean than years after that he got murdered by a huge fan of lennon . I took a test and it said i would be most like john lennonMichelle - Maplewood, Mn
Don from Pittsburgh,

You are *SO* right about what you said about John Lennon and Paul McCartney being the greatest song writers of the 20th century! Even Brian Wilson said on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show, after he plated With A Little Help From My Friends on the piano,and said he just loves this song,and that he feels Sgt.Pepper is the greatest album he ever heard over his own Pet Sounds album,that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the 2 greatest song writers of the 20th century! Brilliant clasical composer and conducter Leonard Bernstein said this about them also!

On a 1991 CBS morning news show Elton John was interviewed and he was asked who he musically admires,and he said you can talk about your Rogers and Hammerstein but for the quanity of quality songs that Lennon and McCartney did in such a short period of time,they were the 2 greatest song composers of the 20th century! The All Music Guide says this about them too as well and also they say as singers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were among the best and expressive in rock!

And John Lennon had such a unique beautiful strong singing voice! Just listen to This Boy especially the middle part for ultimate proof,but also I'll Be Back,If I Fell,Ticket To Ride,In My Life etc etc! And to give just a few of the many examples of his great rock voice,The Beatles cover of Money,and of course Twist and Shout which he amazingly did in just 1 take,Rock and Roll Music,and his own great rockers,Come Together,Revolution,Happiness is A Warm Gun, etc and many more and many of his very good solo songs!

Also,Eric Clapton said John was a pretty good guitar player and he would have known because he was a member of John's 1969 Plastic Ono Band and he played with him in concert. Also there is a guy who has a Rolling Stones and John Lennon fan site,and he also has Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site and he has top 10 lists of classic artists and he also has what the fans voted next to them,he and the fans voted John Lennon # 1 Greatest Male Rock Singer and he voted Paul # 7 and the fans voted Paul # 8 and he and the fans both voted John # 8 Greatest Rock Harmonica Players. He voted John Lennon and Paul McCartney # 2 Greatest Rock Song Writers after Bob Dylan as # 1 but the fans voted John and Paul tied at # 1! When he reviewed The Beatles Let it Be album he says the song Get Back shows why John should have played lead guitar more often because he did a very fine job! He also says that John played slide guitar pretty good in George's For Your Blue,and he also said John played one of the first and best acid guitar parts on Revolution.

If people want to really know the real John Lennon they should read a wonderful very accurate thorough biography called,Lennon by Ray Coleman. He was an award winning music journalist and editor of The Melody Maker British music Magazine,and he was first introduced to The Beatles by Brian Epstein in 1962 and he became a good friend of John's from then on for 18 years until John's death. He also interviwed so many people that really knew and loved John even people from his art college days,his Aunt Mimi,his first wife Cynthia,Yoko,etc.
Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
I think the best representation of his autistic traits are expressed in the song "Nowhere man"Alex - Rialto, Ca
There is speculation, mainly from the autism rights movement, that Lennon was autistic. He showed a great many traits that come with high functioning autism. (for more information google john lennon autistic) I wonder if this is why I feel such a strong connection to the man.Alex - Rialto, Ca
John Lennon's reason for returning his M.B.E:

"Your Majesty,
I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain's involvement in this Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against "Cold Turkey" slipping down the charts.
With love,
John Lennon of Bag."

Man, I love John so much. (:
Montelimat - Jacksonville, Fl
John Lennon was the best Beatle. Pity he is dead.Joseph - Jacksonville, Fl
He is my favorite beatleBrian - Annandale, Va
Can anyone tell me who SANG more of the Beatles' songs - John or Paul?Shelley - Sydney, Australia
John Lennon VS US come out yet?Derrick - Raleigh, Nc
Opinion only: when you have a band such as the Beatles that contained such great talent, it's a fair bet that arguments and disagreements will occur. I don't believe, however, that this meant that John and Paul weren't friends. Lifestyle, genius, and success can be a volatile mixture.Greg Zaret - Garden Grove, Ca
We should all form a mob and brutally murder Mark chapman!

Just kidding...or am I...
Katlyn - Pikeville, Nc
I'm going to have to agree here, that Zameer down there is very wrong. John Lennon and Paul McCartney had fights during, and after The Beatles, but nothing that made them despise eachother. The occasional fueds the two had was always thought of as more of two brothers fighting. And really, thats all it was.Jay - Columbia, Mo
John was a genius in his short lifetime. He's got some really good solo music. Imagine may be considered his quintessential song, but (Just Like) Starting Over is his masterpiece. It's the most lasting song ever created.Jay - Columbia, Mo
His Music is so f**king good!!! He's Awesome!David - Bloomington, In
I Like round glassesDavid - Bloomington, In
Zameer, what you said about Paul not liking John is not true! Even though they had fights, Paul loved John very much, and was devastated by his murder! If you don't believe me, go to Paul's page in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=151, and scroll down until you reach January 19, 1994 in the inductee timeline.Ian - Lethbridge, Canada
To Brett in Edmonton, Canada. Why couldn't John Lennon drop the Winston part of his name when he legally changed it? Let me ask you this, if you hated the middle name Winston, wouldn't you legally change your name? I would! No sense having to be stuck for the rest of your life with a name that you hate!Annabelle - Eugene, Or
Jessica, funny how john lennon never returned to britain after he left yet he went many other places and chapman was a hawaiian and nobody cares about them here so think what you want but its wrongJohn - Flint, Mi
paul mcartany didnt really like john lennon but he did like him for his musicZameer - Calgary, Canada
John lennon was actually considered ""the rebel beatle".Zameer - Calgary, Canada
Jessica, that is an awful thing to say.Loony Moony Lupin - Virginia
Today is the 25th anniversary of John Yoko's death, he shares his death anniversary with the likes of Dime Bag Daryl and Marty Robbins. Long live rock and roll! except marty, he's countryTrent - Swift Current, Canada
Certainly John was talented, but he was also pretentious and loopy. Who else would make a film studying his own penis? I don't know, as soon as Yoko showed up, he just became kind of lameKelli - Cedar Rapids, Ia
ROCKSAshlee - Jacksonville, Fl
John Lennon greatest, the best of the best. He did what few artists do. He became famous and instead of forgeting the people who have it worse then he did he took his fame and fortune and successfully changed the world. Power the the people.Jow - Sasketoon, Canada
How larger-then-life can an artist be!? In the Artistfacts not a single word about the minor fact that John Lennon once was a member of an obscure band called The Beatles. It's not necessary to mention it: everyone knows. By the way: I don't know if Lennon was 'the smart Beatle'. They were all pretty smart, I guess. And Jessica, I don't get your point... The Americans "gave" me The Doors and Nirvana. And Johnny Depp. The English gave me The Beatles. And James Herriot. We gave you Rembrandt and Van Gogh. The Germans gave the world J.S. Bach. And Hitler. Really, what IS your point...?Tanya - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Jessica I hope that's a joke. John lennon was shot by a deranged fan Mamed Mark David Chapman. Noone in their right mind would do such a thing!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
Countries don't give out music to other countries; a country cannot shoot; and one crazed fan does not speak or represent a country. I think we should imagine that as humans, we are all united. Thousands of people still come together on Dec. 8th in NY to mourn the death of John Lennon and embrace his message of peace. Also, Lennon never wanted to do away with God or any other celestial being, just established religion, because religion, like countries, go to war with eachother (these were his thoughts not mine). I'm sure that if somehow Lennon discovered that religion is the key to peace, then he would embrace religion. To all: give peace a chance.Andre - Tampa, Fl
You yanks crack me up, you give us musicians such as Springsteen, Elvis and Frank Sinatra, so we treasure them, we give you John Lennon and you shoot him!Jessica - London, England
You Are saying John Couldn't write music! That would have been impossible, considering works like ''Strawberry Fields Forever'' Which he said took him 6 weeks to write, and I don't think he took that long with the lyrics.Ryab - Lackawanna, Ny
This is a really interesting article: http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=73Bones - New Plymouth, New Zealand
John lennon has to be the best song writer of all time. Just think if he was still alive how much better music would be now.Derek - Calgary, Ab, Canada
I am also a 7th day adventist and I don't believe that John Lennon is the Anti-Christ. as a matter of fact I'm a big fan of his. he hasn't really done or said anything that would lead me to believe he is the Anti-Christ.Marcos - Fort Worth, Tx
I am a 7th day adventist and I dont belive John Lennon is the Anti-Christ! He's dead! The Anti-Christ would be alive no?Philip - Los Angeles, Ca
HAppy birthday john lennon! He would be 64! Will you still need me will you still feed me when im 64!Blaire - San Anselmo, Ca
You know there is a religion, where they believe John Lennon is the anti-christ. Its called the 7th Day Adventist. I on the otherhand love Lennon, great music.Rene - Los Angeles, Ca
During John's 5 year hiatus from music (1975 - 1980) he spent time at home with baby Sean. He enjoyed cooking and, not many people know this, in 1978 won the Betty Crocker Bake Off for his "Rabbit Ear Easter Cookies". It's in the September 1978 issue of Ladies Home Journal - check it out.Emory - Baltimore, Md
John Lennon and Paul MCartney were the greatest songwriters in the last 50 years of the 20th century. Don't buy it, just look at their discography. Pure genius. John's first solo album after the "Beatles" is "Plastic Ono Band" in my humble opinion the best any of them did. A true "Working class hero."Don - Pittsburgh, Pa
John lennon was a genious, but he could NEVER READ MUSIC!!!. I found this amazing. he did write the music to the songs he wrote, but he could never write it down. I greatly respect Lennon as a man and as a musical artist. it is really horible that he died and i wish that he was still here.Gavin - Hampden, Ma
John Lennon´s mother was killed in July 1958,so it´s but when John was 17.Simon - Brno, Czech Republic
contrary to what it says up top,i believe that lennon was 16 when his mother was killed by an off duty drunk policeman, when she was walking home after having just visited him at his aunt mimi's house-but dont quote me on thatShaun - Perth, Mo
Actually he changed his name to John Winston Ono Lennon. Admittedly he wanted to drop Winston but legally couldn't, so his green card said John Winston Ono Lennon. However he never acknowledge himself as John Winston.. always as John Ono.Brett - Edmonton, Canada
Was considered the "Smart Beatle"Danny - Grass Valley, Ca
He was on the first cover of the Rolling Stone Magazine.Paul - Tulsa, Ok
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