John Winston Ono Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 and was murdered on December 8, 1980. John was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist and in 1965 was appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire. I had to include John because he was also one of the founding members, rhythm guitar and singers to the Beatles. John was married twice, the first time to Cynthia Powell and had a son Julian Lennon. His second marriage was to Yoko Ono in which he was at the end of his time with the Beatles and many say that she was a key reason the Beatles broke up but I disagree. I think that Yoko Ono and John were meant to be together.
After the Beatles broke up John worked on his solo efforts along with Yoko’s with the Plastic Ono Band of which he was active in but also helped out fellow artist Elton John. From 1969-74 was when John had his ‘lost weekend’ and had split from Yoko. In 1975, on John’s 35th birthday Yoko gave birth to their son Sean which is when John secluded himself and stayed at home to help raise his son.
As 1980 came about he came out of retirement and released the “Double Fantasy” album in October and only a couple months later in December as Yoko and John were on their way back to the Dakota, an apartment they lived in New York City to be met by Mark David Chapman. Chapman had stopped them before John and Yoko headed to the studio for an autograph for his album and was hiding outside the Dakota so when John and Yoko went through the archway David shot John four times in the back. John was rushed to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital where Dr. Richard Marks who years later in 1997 would tell me that he had operated on John Lennon. Unfortunately at 11pm on December 8, 1980 John Lennon was pronounced dead. I remember hearing that John Lennon was shot and hearing that he died and was in disbelief, I was a young child at the time but was already a fan of his work and his works would continue to influence me until this day.
I believe we lost a great man that day, one that had a vision of peace and I think that Yoko helped inspire that in him or maybe it was being popular in the 60’s. Whatever it was I know that the Beatles, every one of them John, Paul, George and Ringo were all about peace and love. It didn’t keep them together as a band but I think in some ways they all had to go their separate ways in order to explore their individual talents.
John was definitely noted as being an anti-war activists and while I would rather there be no wars I still honor the men and women that serve in our military and veterans who have served in war. It would be wonderful if we could live in a world without violence towards one another and have peace and I don’t care if that makes me seem like some kind of tree-hugging hippie. I love nature and like protecting our planet and resources. I don’t think that’s such a bad side to be on. I don’t think it’s only because I’m an artist and I see things differently but maybe it is. John and Yoko and the other Beatles were also artists and they wanted people to get the message of freedom, of peace and love.
This is something that I believe that I started to learn from John Lennon is that we need to learn to love ourselves. I think it was his art, his music and his words that inspired me to look at the message that he was sending. People say I read into things a bit too much or I try to find meaning in things that don’t matter but I think those things do matter and that we should be looking for meaning in things. It’s the little things that mean everything and the little things that we miss out on once we do not have them anymore. We need to appreciate and learn to love ourselves for who we are with all our flaws so that we can love others better.
I’ve shared Imagine’s video multiple times over the years and it is one of my favorite songs from John even though that might seem a bit cliche I don’t care. Imagine’s message of love and peace transcends and means a lot to me.