December 8, 2015 marks the 35th Anniversary of the death of John Lennon.
John Lennon was born on October 8, 1940 in Liverpool. Lennon was the co-founder of the classic rock group The Beatles, considered one of the most successful bands in history. The band’s original name was “The Quarry Men”, which John named after his high school. When he met Paul McCartney at a church event in 1957, they formed a friendship and Lennon invited him to join his band. It was Paul McCartney who introduced Lennon to George Harrison helping the band gain another member.
The band recorded a Buddy Holly’s song “That’ll be the Day” in 1958. The name of the group was changed from “The Quarry Men” to The Beatles. The group began performing regularly in Liverpool and were discovered by Brian Epstein at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, who became their manager and got them a recording contract with EMI. Drummer Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Star, joined the group and their first single, “Love Me Do” was released in 1962.
The Beatles became a rock phenomenon in the United States after an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 and “Beatlemania” was born. Numerous hit songs propelled the group to the top but then John Lennon met and married Yoko Ono and his partnership with The Beatles began to falter, leading him eventually to leave the group in 1969 and embark on a solo career.
John Lennon had recently released his album Double Fantasy that included the hit single “Just Like Starting Over” when he was fatally shot by crazed fan Mark David Chapman outside his New York apartment on December 8, 1980.
The Beatles and in turn, John Lennon, helped shaped the landscape of rock and roll. On this 35 anniversary of his death, I honor him and thank him for his musical contributions.