John Lennon had a profound affect on American society, young to old; 1964 to present day; and his death now 20 years gone and solve still have controversies that neither his wife nor the FBI will admit. John Lennon's music, art and writings touched the world. Lennon was placed "as the leader of a revolution in which the center of creative conscious shifted to young people." Through this role he changed the way pop music was conceived, he made it something that mattered, could take a stand, and "insinuated rock and roll into the realm of art." John Lennon was born on October 9 th, 1940 at 6: 30 am in the middle of a German air strike to Alfred, a ship dishwasher, and Julia, a movie usherette turned housewife. He and his parents live on Newcastle Road in the suburban district Penny Lane with his Grandfather until his parents divorced and he was given to his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George. John went to The Liverpool Art School, where he met Cynthia Powell and formed his first band, The Quarrymen. After a performance at a church gathering, he met Paul McCartney, who soon was invited to join the band because of his able to tune guitars, which until then none of The Quarrymen could.
Soon Paul convinced John that George Harrison should be in the band. When John was seventeen, he mother was hit by an off duty police officer while she crossed the street. Although John did not express his feelings towards this, he felt a connection with Paul, whose mother had also died. In 1960, the renamed Beatles were hired to play for a club in Hamburg, Germany. Here is where The Beatles got their first taste of drugs, using to stay awake during their grueling schedule of 8 hours a night, six days a week.
The Beatles, with Ringo Starr replacing Pete Bass as drummer, were signed to Capitol/Parlophone Records. At about the same time they were gaining success, John's girlfriend Cynthia got pregnant, and they were married. On April 8, 1963, Julian Lennon was born. After the legendary comment, "We " re bigger than Jesus," the Beatles last tour was in 1966. The Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, after being informed that The Beatles were not going to tour anymore, thought that he was loosing his management supremacy, overdosed on drugs later that year.
In addition, in 1966, John goes to an art gallery in London and meets Yoko Ono; they are later married on March 20 th, 1969. The Beatles form the Apple Corporation, a record company, hair salon, and Beatles merchandise firm, Apple Corps would later go bankrupt, only having one or two groups come out, such as Bad finger. On January 10 th 1969, after having all his songs and suggestions ignored, George Harrison quits the band; he rejoins on January 15 th, 1969. On April 10 th, 1970, after releasing twelve albums in seven years, The Beatles breakup. John second son, Sean, is born on October 9 th 1975, and John goes into seclusion to raise his son. On December 8 th, 1980, John Lennon was assassination ed.
In the early sixties, rock and roll music was on a decline; it in fact began to 'flatten out'. On the Billboard charts, rock and roll was no longer the mainstream of music. It was shared with country, rhythm and blues, folk music and crooners such as Frank Sinatra. Some began to call rock and roll pass'e. In February 1962, the New York rock and roll radio station, WINS, played sixty-six straight hours of Frank Sinatra, as a death notice to rock and roll.
"After the Kennedy assassination in November 1963, Americans were longing for something that would make them feel alive again. That something would be The Beatles." The Beatles' music has had a major impact on American music. They entirely changed the way music was made, and how it sounded. The Beatles brought back traditional rock and roll, but they made it their own. They were the first to use pronouns regularly in their songs, including "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Please, Please Me." This is one of the reasons for their popularity: everyone could not only sing the words but understand the words. This was another important factor to Beatle music; they made sure that people were listening to the words and not just the music.
The Beatles additionally used repetition in their music, in not only the lyrics but also the music. The Beatle's 1966 album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is still considered one of the greatest albums ever made nearly forty years after its release. Writer Langdon Winner said that "Sgt Pepper" was "The closest Western Civilization has come to unity since the Congress of Vienna in 1815... In every city in Europe and America the stereo systems and radios played, "What would you think if I sang out of tune... ." and everyone listened.
They were able to combine traditional rock and roll with pop, rhythm and blues, and Eastern influence. The Beatles also had a major impact on other bands, even before they were known worldwide. "The Hollies came to see us once and came back two weeks later looking like us. We were in black turtleneck sweaters and John had his harmonica and we were doing R&B. The next week the Hollies had turtleneck sweaters and a harmonica in their act." The success of The Beatles led way for many other British bands, many who were almost identical to The Beatles: the same hair cuts, same set ups, and similar music. Some of these bands were the Searchers, the Kinks, the Who, Freddie and the Dreamers, Herman's Hermits, and the Rolling Stones.
American bands were also getting into the act. According to Ringo Starr, "The Beatles were the influence on other bands in the sixties... We heard that producers were telling everyone to sound like The Beatles." ABC-TV Prime came out with the television show, The Monkees, and marketed them as the 'American version of The Beatles'. The show featured music similar to The Beatles and used the same techniques as Help! and A Hard Day's Night, two of The Beatle's music movies. The Beatles are still influencing many bands and musicians. Yesterday is the most covered song of all time, covered more than one thousand times and bands still try to have as many number one singles.
There are also many tribute bands around for The Beatles, including the Chicago-based American English, who have even recorded in Abbey Road studios, the same recording studio that The Beatles did all their recordings. The Beatles also helped to revolutionize many fashion trends. When they first came to America, The Beatles secured the mod look, which included collarless jackets and the mop-top hairstyles. Then in 1966 the hippie style had started.
The Beatles helped in this style with "Sgt Pepper" satin uniforms trimmed with braid, long and facial hair, and floral print. John Lennon also started to wear, as he called them, "granny" glasses, which he had refused from wearing ten years early. John Lennon contributed in the music evolution of the late sixties. During this time, more sophisticated studio techniques came about. Music also began to experiment with instruments. "Sgt.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" used a forty-two-piece orchestra and a note only a dog could hear. The Beatles also used harmonicas, different guitar styles, including, electric and acoustic, and George began to play the sitar, an Indian guitar. In addition, recording methods became much more advanced. In and out of The Beatles, John Lennon was always able to find controversies.
March 1966, John Lennon made a comment about Christianity in the Evening Standard: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about it; I'm right and I will be proven right. We " re more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them that ruins it for me." In the United Kingdom, this remark was passed unchallenged, in fact many people agreed with Lennon because it was true: more people were going to see The Beatles in concert than going to church regularly.
His comment, in a July issue of Datebook magazine, on the eve of The Beatles U. S. tour, was taken out of text and reprinted as: "We " re bigger than Jesus." This caused a nation-wide outrage, especially in the Southern Bible belt. Communities in Texas, Georgia, and Alabama held city wide record burnings.
One community rented a tree-cutting machine to chop records, posters, and dolls. Beatle's music was banned on 35 radio stations. Another controversy that was born in America involved his song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. People began to realize that the main word's initials spelled out LSD, and was banned; in fact, many people still believe that it is about drugs. The real story is that John's son, Julian, inspired the song. According to Ringo Starr, "Julian came in with this little kid's painting, a crazy little painting, and John (as the dad) said, 'Oh, What's that?' and Julian said, "It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds." The Ballad of John and Yoko was banned because of the line "Christ you know it ain't easy." Lennon's music, particularly in America was banned, and "He appeared rather, to seek out controversy and conflict." For example, John and Yoko's honeymoon was spent in a Montreal hotel working on a "bed-in" for peace.
Many people believed that either that Lennon had finally gone insane or Yoko was controlling him. Most musicians wanted to continually expand their audience and to have universal acceptance, but John openly challenged this goal, which many did not understand. An additional controversy that surrounded John was about his "Two Virgins" album, where he, "looking increasingly like the Western representation of Jesus", and Yoko appeared naked on the album cover. This was especially appalling because of the fact that Lennon and Ono were not married at the time and John was not even divorced. On January 9 th 1969, at the University of Hartford, 200 students and five faculty members held a 'standing room riot' to protest the dean's suspension of the campus newspaper for having reprinted the record cover sleeve.
Due to all the influence Lennon had on America's youth, the FBI was worried that he might begin a riot about the Vietnam War that he and Yoko openly opposed. Thus, he wound up being followed by the FBI. John and Yoko performed at the Free John Sinclair rally held in 1972, and the FBI was there, writing transcripts of the concert. John Lennon had been asked to participate in a rally outside the Republican National Convention, and he had agreed as long as the rally was not destructive. "Julie Maynard, FBI agent, concludes her New York report with: 'Lennon sent a message that he would only come to the demonstrations at the Republican National Convention in 1972 in Miami if they are peaceful. However, the New York FBI offices suggested that it be emphasized to local Law Enforcement Agencies in Miami that Lennon should be "arrested if at all possible on possession of narcotics charge," because, "Local INS has a very loose case in New York for deporting subject...
if Lennon were to be arrested... he would become more likely to be immediately deported." When the Freedom of Information Trial for these papers was going on, the FBI claimed that they "had been conducting a legitimate criminal investigation of Lennon because they had information that he intended to participate in violent, disruptive demonstrations in Miami. However, the letter, dated March 1972, from Julie Maynard stated the exact opposite. J. Edgar Hoover sent a message to New York SAC on April 10 th, 1972: "Promptly initiate discreet efforts to locate subject and remain aware of his activities and movements.
Careful attention should be given to reports that subject is a heavy narcotics user." Following John was anything but "discreet." John has said during that time "we knew we were being wire tapped... there was a helluva lot of guys coming in to fix the phone." Lennon also told a New York radio station deejay "if anything happens to me or Yoko it wasn't an accident." FBI agents also made sure that John new he was being followed, John would get in a car, the agents would get in a car and follow closely behind. "Any memoranda, including reports to the Department of Justice, which expand or summarize the portions of... logs or which demonstrate pertinent leads which may have come from the illegal electronic surveillance", a memo from the Assistant Attorney General, Henry E. Peterson, to the FBI director, Clarence Kelley about Lennon's phone being tapped. Peterson was saying that they knew Lennon's phones had been illegally tapped but Peterson does not care about that all he wants is to hear what Lennon said.
On April 23, 1970, John and Yoko along with George and Patti Harrison flew to Los Angeles on T. W. A. Flight 761 to start four months of primal therapy. A memo to FBI agencies in California from J. Edgar Hoover, states that "While Lennon and the Harrison's have shown no propensity to become involved in violent anti-war demonstrations, each recipient remain alert for any information of such activity on their part or for information indicating they are using narcotics.
Submit any pertinent information obtained in form suitable for dissemination." All these files were taken in during Lennon's deportation trial, and as soon as Lennon won his green card, the reports discontinued, shortly after Lennon went into seclusion. The reports did not start again until Lennon came out with his new record, Double Fantasy, and shortly after coming out of retirement, Lennon was killed. After a night of recording, Lennon and Ono returned to their residence at the Dakota. A scruffy looking young man approached them, asking Lennon to autograph the Double Fantasy CD he held in his hand. Lennon, tired after an extensive recording session, refused, at that moment, Mark David Chapman emptied his. 38, consisting of five bullets, into his back.
Lennon cried, "I'm shot, I'm shot," then he fell to the ground. The Dakota doorman screamed at Chapman, "Do you know what you " ve just done?" Chapman retorted, "I just shot John Lennon." He dropped his handgun and sat down to read Catcher in the Rye. John was rushed to near-by St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, but after the bullets crushed his lung and he had lost eighty percent of his blood, he was pronounced dead on arrival. "Within an hour after the news of Lennon's death was broadcast, hundreds of mourners descended on East 72 nd Street and Central Park West, lighting candles singing Lennon's songs and transforming the gates of the Dakota apartment building into an impromptu shrine." Lennon's death stunned the world and saddened the entire sixties generation. On December 14, 1980, a ten-minute silence was held at two p.
m. in Central Park where 100, 000 people gathered and the world said good-bye to John. Arthur O'Connor, the lieutenant in the twentieth precinct of the New York police that dealt with Lennon's assassination, thinks that Lennon's death is a conspiracy. He believes that if Chapman wanted to get away with it he could have, no one would have noticed if he left and there was a subway entry right across the street. Instead, when Chapman was done he waited for the police. He goes on to say that if the government had used a professional gunman than there would have been an investigation, because of Lennon's anti-government activities.
However, by using an amateur and the 'lone nut' theory, few questions are asked. In addition, Chapman bought a ticket to New York and a ticket to Chicago, with departures on the same day. This points to the fact that someone else was behind Lennon's assassination, especially because Chapman had little money, working at a minimum wage job in Hawaii. Another theory of who killed John Lennon is that his wife, Yoko Ono killed him. This theory might have some truth to it. In August 1980, Yoko moved John things into another apartment in The Dakota, while he was in Bermuda, and started divorced proceedings; but for unknown reasons she moved his belongings back in.
In addition, in 1980, she had a serious relationship with another man. Yoko furthermore had taken out a one million dollar insurance policy on John, and had his will arranged so that she would get all his money. When John died, Julian was left nothing by his father and ended up fighting a legal battle with his stepmother and left with twenty million pounds. In conclusion, John Lennon had an impact on American culture.
He, with or without The Beatles, influenced music and how it is made, even today. The Lennon/McCartney partnership is still considered the standard of music making. Lennon and McCartney's songs were able to take people to other places, cure a sick society, and give hope to everyone, they, along with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, "defined the spirit of the time like no other group." John's death signified the end of the sixties and the end the utopia he had created and recreated. After all, John "was the only one who matter.".