John Lennon: Remembering the great musician

By Meghan Pryce

Published October 9, 2020

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Artist and peace advocate John Lennon would have been 80 years old on Oct. 9. The singer-songwriter was a voice to a generation and a key member to an iconic band.

Here’s a look at Lennon’s life and legacy.

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Lennon was a part of The Beatles, one of the most successful bands of all time, which also included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

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The group's popularity -- or shall I say "Beatlemania" -- grew, from Liverpool to the Unites States and eventually around the world. The band was known for its hysterical, screaming fans.

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Lennon wrote -- and often collaborated with McCartney -- on some of the band’s biggest hits, such as “All You Need Is Love,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Help!”.

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In 1969, Lennon left The Beatles and pursued a solo career. He formed The Plastic Ono Band with his wife, Yoko Ono, and together gave us “Imagine.”

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The song serves as “a challenge and a responsibility … that ‘We need to be the change we wish to see in the world,’” according to the artist’s website.


Lennon was also a peace activist, protesting for world peace and against the Vietnam War. His beliefs were loud and clear in songs like “Give Peace a Chance” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”

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Lennon had two children, Julian and Sean. And in fact, Sean (pictured) shares his father’s birthday.

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Lennon’s life came to a tragic end when he was shot and killed outside of his Manhattan apartment on December 8, 1980. Lennon’s killer Mark David Chapman was denied parole this year for the 11th time.

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Decades after his death, Lennon still serves as a source of inspiration. The 2019 film "Yesterday" introduced The Beatles' music to a new generation. And who can forget Gal Gadot and other celebrities' rendition of "Imagine" in the beginning of the pandemic.


And with all the grief the world has faced this year, perhaps Lennon’s words -- and songs -- can offer some comfort.

Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

© Bob Gruen, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York