John Lennon (1940-1980)
John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool on October 9, 1940, during the height of WWII, his father, Fred Lennon, off at sea. His father didn't turn up again until five years later, and when he did he tried to take john away from his mother, Julia, when she refused to restart her life with him. Instead, he grew up in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton, with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George Smith, at 251 Menlove Ave, which became nicknamed Mendips. Julia died in 1958, in an automobile accident practically in front of Mendips, when John was seventeen.
Aunt Mimi ran a very strict household. John very quickly became bored at school, preferring drawing and writing about his classmates and teachers rather than his studies. Rebellious at an early age, he had a very rough school history, sagging off from school (going AWOL from classes) and petty stealing. His future looked bleak until Mimi got the headmaster of the Quarrybank school to write a letter of recommendation for John to the Liverpool Art College, because of his drawings.
It was at Liverpool Art College, in 1956, a friend played him Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel, and John's musical interest was piqued. Then he heard Lonnie Donegan's Rock Island Line on Radio Luxembourg, and became part of the new Skiffle craze by begging his Aunt Mimi until she broke down and bought him a guitar, although she forever told him he would never get anywhere with it. He had already learned to play the harmonica during his childhood, and he taught himself the guitar by applying banjo chords that his mother had taught him.
In 1955 he started his own band, the Quarrymen, with his long time pal and fellow troublemaker Pete Shotton, singing all the popular songs, sometimes making up the words when he couldn't get them all off the radio. Also in the Quarrymen were Nigel Walley and Ivan Vaughan, the rest of John's gang. It was Ivan Vaughan who introduced John to his friend, Paul McCartney, in 1957.
John married his girlfriend of four years, Cynthia Powell, in 1962. She was pregnant with their son Julian at the time, who was born in April, 1963. John and Yoko got married in Gibraltar on the 23rd of March 1969 and started their bed-in at the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam.
He died on the 8th of December 1980, shot by a fan.