On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was exiting his residence at the Dakota Apartments with his wife Yoko Ono. When they separated and he was going back inside, Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman; Lennon died on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital at age 40.
Lennon started a band called the Quarrymen at age 15. At the band’s second performance in Woolton, he met a fellow named Paul McCartney; Lennon asked McCartney to join the Quarrymen. At Paul’s suggestion, Paul’s friend George Harrison to be lead guitarist. Lennon’s friend Stuart Sutcliffe joined as bassist. After changing the band name to The Beatles, Sutcliffe decided to stay in Hamburg and Pete Best joined as a drummer. Paul took the role as bassist while one Richard Starkey (the future Ringo Starr) replaced Best on the drums in 1962.
After worldwide fame and break up with the Beatles, John began his solo career in 1970. He wrote “Imagine,” “Working Class Hero,” and “Give Peace a Chance.” He was very active politically to the point where President Nixon failed in trying to deport Lennon for three years before Nixon’s demise with Watergate. Before his murder, Lennon was making a comeback after a hiatus from music to raise his son Sean. Double Fantasy would be Lennon’s final album during his lifetime.
Lennon’s legacy is profound to today’s musicians as he laid the foundations for musical techniques that are now common. He almost lost his voice forever while singing “Twist and Shout” so he had to yell the song; at Lennon’s request George Martin had to double-track John’s vocals and use other tricks in musical engineering. He played a variety of musical instruments from the harmonica to bass to the Mellotron (John was the first British musician to play this instrument) and most famously the piano. When politics are involved, Lennon hit hard with lyrics that spoke the truth about how politicians and certain people really worked.
If he lived beyond that fateful day, he would have had a lot to say about the current events regarding the progress of music, politics (whoo!), decriminalization of marijuana possession, and trying to get everyone to settle things peacefully.