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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.

YouTube
YouTube

The Story of John Lennon’s ‘Instant Karma!’

Written, recorded and released over a period of just 10 days, John Lennon's 'Instant Karma!' was a huge hit, boasted one of rock's most inventive drum fills -- and had sweeping implications for the Beatles.

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Hulton Archive, Getty Images
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

When George Harrison Joined John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the Quarry Men

The third part of the equation that would become the Beatles fell into place on Feb. 6, 1958.

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Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

The Story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Hair Donation

Any world-famous rock star can write a check in support of a pet charity project.

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Polydor
Polydor

The Story of John Lennon’s Posthumous ‘Milk and Honey’

When John Lennon was killed on Dec. 8, 1980, he was in the middle of recording the follow-up to the recently released Double Fantasy.

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John Lennon Two Virgins Seized by Police
New York Daily News Archive, Getty Images

That Time John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Controversial ‘Two Virgins’ Album Was Seized by Police

On Jan. 2, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono's 'Two Virgins' was seized by police because of its controversial cover.

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Hulton Archive (2), Getty Images
Hulton Archive (2), Getty Images

50 Years Ago: Did John Lennon Sabotage His Estranged Father’s Music Career?

Alfred "Freddie" Lennon had early success with his first single, released at the height of Beatlemania on Dec. 31, 1965. Then it disappeared from the charts.

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Category: Anniversaries Tags:
George Stroud, Getty Images
George Stroud, Getty Images

How a John Lennon Signature Officially Dissolved the Beatles

All you need is love – unless you're legally ending a four-person partnership, in which case you need several signatures.

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Capitol
Capitol

35 Years Ago: John Lennon Scores His Final No. 1 Song

"Starting Over" roared to No. 1 in the U.S. on Dec. 27, 1980, just weeks after John Lennon's awful murder.

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Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

35 Years Ago: Thousands Honor John Lennon with Silent Vigil

John Lennon was silenced on Dec. 8, 1980 and, on Dec. 14, that silence was shared by thousands around the world.

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Apple
Apple

45 Years Ago: John Lennon Breaks With His Past on the Harrowing ‘Plastic Ono Band’

'Plastic Ono Band' was more than John Lennon's kiss-off to the Beatles. It was his demolition of everything the previous decade had stood for.

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