John Lennon was an English singer and songwritter who co-founded the Beatles. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about him!
1.His full name is Jon Winston Ono Lennon.
2. He was born on October 8, 1940.
3. Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960.
4. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced albums including John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and songs such as “Give Peace a Chance”, “Working Class Hero”, and “Imagine”.
5. After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.
6. John Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, writing, drawings, on film and in interviews. Controversial through his political and peace activism, he moved to Manhattan in 1971, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon’s administration to deport him, while some of his songs were adopted as anthems by the anti-war movement and the larger counterculture.
7. By 2012, Lennon’s solo album sales in the United States exceeded 14 million and, as writer, co-writer, or performer, he is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart.
8. In 2002, a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth and, in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time.
9. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, in 1988 as a member of the Beatles and in 1994 as a solo artist.
10. His parents named him John Winston Lennon after his paternal grandfather, John “Jack” Lennon, and then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
11. Lennon failed all his GCE O-level examinations, and was accepted into the Liverpool College of Art only after his aunt and headmaster intervened.
12. Once at the college, he started wearing Teddy Boy clothes and acquired a reputation for disrupting classes and ridiculing teachers. As a result, he was excluded from the painting class, then the graphic arts course, and was threatened with expulsion for his behaviour, which included sitting on a nude model’s lap during a life drawing class.
13. He failed an annual exam, despite help from fellow student and future wife Cynthia Powell, and was “thrown out of the college before his final year”
14. At age 15, Lennon formed the skiffle group, the Quarrymen. Named after Quarry Bank High School, the group was established by him in September 1956.
15. By the summer of 1957, the Quarrymen played a “spirited set of songs” made up of half skiffle and half rock and roll.
16. Lennon first met Paul McCartney at the Quarrymen’s second performance, held in Woolton on 6 July at the St. Peter’s Church garden fête, after which he asked McCartney to join the band.
17. Lennon and Cynthia Powell (1939–2015) met in 1957 as fellow students at the Liverpool College of Art.
18. Although being scared of Lennon’s attitude and appearance, she heard that he was obsessed with French actress Brigitte Bardot, so she dyed her hair blonde.
19. Lennon asked her out, but when she said that she was engaged, he screamed out, “I didn’t ask you to fuckin’ marry me, did I?”
20. Recalling his reaction in July 1962 on learning that Cynthia was pregnant, Lennon said, “There’s only one thing for it Cyn. We’ll have to get married.” The couple were married on 23 August at the Mount Pleasant Register Office in Liverpool. His marriage began just as Beatlemania took hold across the UK. He performed on the evening of his wedding day, and would continue to do so almost daily from then on.
21. Epstein, fearing that fans would be alienated by the idea of a married Beatle, asked the Lennons to keep their marriage secret. Julian was born on 8 April 1963; Lennon was on tour at the time and did not see his son until three days later.
22. Cynthia attributed the start of the marriage breakdown to LSD, and as a result, she felt that he slowly lost interest in her. When the group travelled by train to Bangor, Wales, in 1967, for the Maharishi Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation seminar, a policeman did not recognise her and stopped her from boarding. She later recalled how the incident seemed to symbolise the ending of their marriage.
23. After arriving home at Kenwood, and finding Lennon with Ono, Cynthia left the house to stay with friends. Alexis Mardas later claimed to have slept with her that night, and a few weeks later he informed her that Lennon was seeking a divorce and custody of Julian on grounds of her adultery with him.
24. After negotiations, Lennon capitulated and agreed to her divorcing him on the same grounds. The case was settled out of court in November 1968, with Lennon giving her £100,000 ($240,000 in US dollars at the time), a small annual payment and custody of Julian.
25. Two versions exist of how Lennon met Ono. According to the first, told by the Lennons, on 9 November 1966 Lennon went to the Indica Gallery in London, where Ono was preparing her conceptual art exhibit, and they were introduced by gallery owner John Dunbar.
26. Lennon was intrigued by Ono’s “Hammer A Nail”: patrons hammered a nail into a wooden board, creating the art piece. Although the exhibition had not yet begun, Lennon wanted to hammer a nail into the clean board, but Ono stopped him. Dunbar asked her, “Don’t you know who this is? He’s a millionaire! He might buy it.” Ono had supposedly not heard of the Beatles, but relented on condition that Lennon pay her five shillings, to which Lennon replied, “I’ll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in.”
27. The second version, told by McCartney, is that in late 1965, Ono was in London compiling original musical scores for a book John Cage was working on, Notations, but McCartney declined to give her any of his own manuscripts for the book, suggesting that Lennon might oblige. When asked, Lennon gave Ono the original handwritten lyrics to “The Word”
28. Lennon and Ono used their honeymoon as what they termed a “Bed-In for Peace” at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel; the March 1969 event attracted worldwide media ridicule. At a second Bed-In three months later at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal
29. John Lennon wrote and recorded “Give Peace a Chance”. Released as a single, it was quickly taken up as an anti-war anthem and sung by a quarter of a million demonstrators against the Vietnam War in Washington, DC, on 15 November, the second Vietnam Moratorium Day.
30. In December, they paid for billboards in 10 cities around the world which declared, in the national language, “War Is Over! If You Want It”.
31. After Lennon’s death, historian Jon Wiener filed a Freedom of Information Act request for FBI files documenting the Bureau’s role in the deportation attempt.
32. The FBI admitted it had 281 pages of files on Lennon, but refused to release most of them on the grounds that they contained national security information.
33. In 1983, Wiener sued the FBI with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. It took 14 years of litigation to force the FBI to release the withheld pages.
34. Music historians Schinder and Schwartz, writing of the transformation in popular music styles that took place between the 1950s and the 1960s, say that the Beatles’ influence cannot be overstated: having “revolutionised the sound, style, and attitude of popular music and opened rock and roll’s doors to a tidal wave of British rock acts”, the group then “spent the rest of the 1960s expanding rock’s stylistic frontiers”.
35. Liam Gallagher, his group Oasis among the many who acknowledge the band’s influence, identifies Lennon as a hero; in 1999 he named his first child Lennon Gallagher in tribute.
36. On National Poetry Day in 1999, after conducting a poll to identify the UK’s favourite song lyric, the BBC announced “Imagine” the winner.
37.In 2013, Downtown Music Publishing signed a publishing administration agreement for the US with Lenono Music and Ono Music, home to the song catalogues of John Lennon and Yoko Ono respectively. Under the terms of the agreement, Downtown represents Lennon’s solo works – including “Imagine”, “Instant Karma (We All Shine On)”, “Power to the People”, “Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)”, “Jealous Guy”, “(Just Like) Starting Over” and others.
38. Lennon continues to be mourned throughout the world and has been the subject of numerous memorials and tributes. In 2002, the airport in Lennon’s home town was renamed the Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
39. In 2010, on what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday, the John Lennon Peace Monument was unveiled in Chavasse Park, Liverpool, by Cynthia and Julian Lennon.
40. The sculpture entitled ‘Peace & Harmony’ exhibits peace symbols and carries the inscription “Peace on Earth for the Conservation of Life · In Honour of John Lennon 1940–1980”
41. The Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership is regarded as one of the most influential and successful of the 20th century.
42. As performer, writer or co-writer Lennon has had 25 number one singles on the US Hot 100 chart.a His album sales in the US stand at 14 million units.
43. Participants in a 2002 BBC poll voted him eighth of “100 Greatest Britons”.
44. Between 2003 and 2008, Rolling Stone recognised Lennon in several reviews of artists and music, ranking him fifth of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and 38th of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”, and his albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, 22nd and 76th respectively of “Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.[
45. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) with the other Beatles in 1965 (returned in 1969).