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John Lennon

John Lennon

John Lennon was the radical Beatle, the political one who would shoot off his mouth at a time when pop stars were supposed to smile and sing. He’s the one who claimed the Beatles were bigger than Jesus, and he’s the one who, with wife Yoko Ono, staged a bed-in for peace. He posed naked on his album covers. He wrote songs with controversial lyrics. And he dismissed his Beatles years with casual cynicism. When the band broke up in 1970, Lennon released his first official album (there were a couple of experimental records before that), ‘John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band,’ a cathartic exercise that confronted his mommy issues and dismantled the Beatles’ myth. For the next five years he released increasingly easier records, until his retirement in 1975 to care for his young son. A few weeks after he released his comeback LP, ‘Double Fantasy,’ in 1980, he was killed by a deranged fan.

Frank Mastropolo
Frank Mastropolo

An Insider’s Guide to Sotheby’s ‘Rock and Roll Anthology’ Auction: Exclusive Interview

On Dec. 10, Sotheby's will bring to the auction block some of the most historically important artifacts of rock history.

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Larry Ellis, Getty Images
Larry Ellis, Getty Images

Hostile Note From Lennon to McCartney Headed to Auction Block

Tensions between John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the wake of the Beatles' breakup are highlighted in an annoyed and often profane letter that's expected to sell for roughly $20,000 at auction.

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Capitol
Capitol

30 Years Ago: John Lennon’s ‘Menlove Ave.’ Takes Revealing Look at a Troubled Period

'Menlove Ave.' served as a powerful reminder of what went wrong for John Lennon in the mid' 70s, and a glimpse into what might have been.

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John Lennon Yoko Ono
Evening Standard, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

50 Years Ago: John Lennon Meets Yoko Ono

There are few figures more controversial in rock history than Yoko Ono.

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Apple
Apple

45 Years Ago: John Lennon Reclaims His Legacy With ‘Imagine’

John Lennon wasn't exactly feeling the post-Beatles blues in 1971, but his first few solo albums fell short of his band's commercial achievements.

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John Lennon Mark David Chapman
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

John Lennon’s Killer Denied Parole for Ninth Time

John Lennon's murderer has seen his ninth parole hearing end the same way the previous eight did: with his request for freedom denied.

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John Lennon
Harry Benson, Hulton Archive

50 Years Ago: John Lennon Apologizes for ‘More Popular Than Jesus’ Comment

On the precipice of a 1966 U.S. tour, the Beatles had a problem.

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YouTube
YouTube

50 Years Ago: John Lennon’s ‘More Popular Than Jesus’ Quote Sparks Protests

There was little immediate reaction when John Lennon's comment first appeared in the U.K. Then, an American teen magazine republished the quote on July 31, 1966 – and outrage followed.

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Brenda Chase, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Brenda Chase, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

40 Years Ago: John Lennon Gets Green Card to Stay in the U.S.

John Lennon was always one to say what was on his mind and never one to shy away from controversy.

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John Lennon Mark David Chapman
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

35 Years Ago: Mark David Chapman Pleads Guilty to Murdering John Lennon

Six months after killing John Lennon, Mark David Chapman entered a guilty plea in a New York courtroom.

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