Critical Thinking

John Through most of his childhood, John lived

John
Lennon was born in England, on 9 October 1940, to Julia and Alfred
Lennon. Through most of his childhood, John lived with his Aunt and
Uncle. John’s mother would often visit him, and she would play him
Elvis Presley records. She also taught him to play the banjo, and she
even bought John his first guitar. This is probably what started
Johns love of music. Johns aunt Mimi worried that John wouldn’t
become famous, and she hoped that he would grow tired of music. When
John was 15 he formed a group named the Quarrymen. In 1957 John met
Cynthia Powell when they were fellow students at the Liverpool
College of Art.The first time John met Paul McCartney was at one of
the Quarrymen’s performances. John asked Paul to join the band, and
Paul recommended the lead guitarist be his friend George Harrison.
John thought that George, who was only fourteen, was too young. So
Paul arranged an audition for George, and afterward, John asked him
to join the band. John’s friend from school, Stuart Sutcliffe, later
joined as bassist. They named themselves “The Beatles” in
1960. The Beatles were in need of a drummer, so they had Pete Best
join them.

Looking
back to July
1962 his
reaction
when he learned that Cynthia was pregnant, John
said, “There’s only one thing for it Cyn. We’ll have to get
married.” The couple wed on 23 August in Liverpool. He even
performed on the night of his wedding. The Lennon’s kept their
marriage secret. On April 8th, 1963 his first child was born. John
was touring and didn’t get to see his baby until three days after he
was born.

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Paul
took over on bass, and Ringo Starr replaced
Pete
as
the
drummer. In October 1962 the band’s first single, “Love Me Do”,
was released. On 11 February 1963 they recorded their first album,
Please Please Me, in under 10 hours. That day John was suffering from
a cold, and if you listen closely you can hear it in the song “Twist
and Shout”. In one interview John said: “We were just
writing songs… pop songs with no more thought of them than that—to
create a sound. And the words were almost irrelevant.” In an
interview in 1987, Paul said that he and the other Beatles idolized
John: “He was like our own little Elvis… We all looked up to
John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the
quickest wit and the smartest.”

The
Beatles had great success in the UK as early as 1963. After a year of
Beatlemania in the UK, the group made a historic debut appearance on
The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. In 1965, John unknowingly was
introduced to LSD when he went to a dinner party and the host put the
drug in his guests’ coffee. When John and his wife wanted to leave,
their host revealed that they had taken the drug. Since his
introduction to LSD, he became addicted to the drug and was almost
constantly under its influence. Cynthia said that because of the drug
John slowly lost interest in her. The year 1967 saw the release of
“Strawberry Fields Forever”. Then they were informed of
their manager’s unfortunate death. “I knew we were in trouble
then”, John later said. “I didn’t have any misconceptions
about our ability to do anything other than play music, and I was
scared”.

John
and Yoko Ono were married on 20 March 1969. John and his new wife
recorded three new albums together: Unfinished Music No.1: Two
Virgins, Unfinished Music No.2: Life with the Lions and Wedding
Album. In 1969, they released Live Peace in Toronto 1969. John left
the Beatles in September 1969 and agreed not to tell the media while
the band renegotiated their contract. He was outraged when Paul
publicised his own departure on releasing his debut solo album in
1970. John’s debut solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, featured
the song “Mother”, in which John confronted his feelings of
childhood rejection.

While
John was recording his next album he and Yoko decided to separate.
Mind Games was released in November 1973. John also helped write “I’m
the Greatest” to Ringo’s album Ringo, released the same month.
In early 1974, John decided to produce Nilsson’s album Pussy Cats,
John returned to New York with Pang to finish work on the album. In
April, John produced the Mick Jagger song “Too Many Cooks (Spoil
the Soup)” which remained unreleased for over 30 years.

John
was settled back in New York when he recorded Walls and Bridges.
Released in October 1974, it included “Whatever Gets You thru
the Night”, featuring Elton John on back up vocals and piano. A
second single from the album, “#9 Dream”, followed before
the end of the year.

John
co-wrote “Fame”, with David Bowie, providing guitar and
backing vocals for the recording. The same month, Elton John topped
the charts with “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, featuring
John on guitar and backup vocals. He and Ono reunited shortly
afterward. John released Rock ‘n’ Roll, an album made of cover songs
in 1975.

Johns
only child with Yoko was born on 9 October 1975. Because of this,
John took a five-year hiatus. During his time off he gave all his
attention to his wife and son. He devoted himself to Sean, rising at
6 AM every day to prepare his meals and to spend time with him. He
wrote “Cookin’ (In the Kitchen of Love)” for Ringo’s
Rotogravure in 1976.

After
an evening at the Record Plant on 8 December 1980, John and Yoko
returned to their apartment at around 10:50 p.m. They had just got
out of the vehicle when gunman Mark David Chapman shot John three
times in the back, once in the shoulder. John was rushed to a police
car to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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