Anniversaries The band released their last album, ‘Let it be,’ in 1970, ten years before the musician was murdered on this day in 1980 in New York.

In the Beatlemania calendar, 2020 has many marks. John Lennon would have turned 80 on October 9. On August 17, 60 years ago, The Beatles arrived in Hamburg’s port district, in whose clubs they played seven hours a day and in which they came up with the formula for their sound. On May 8, 50 years ago, they released their latest album, ‘Let it be,’ and today, December 8, the four shots that 40 years ago killed Lennon, then a symbol of peace, will echo again at the entrance to his block of luxury apartments facing Central Park, in New York. He was shot by a guy trying to get out of anonymity—a sign of the times.

Several publications, among them ‘Who killed John Lennon?’, By Lesley Ann-Ann Jones (The Dome Books), collect these anniversaries and address once again the inexhaustible history of a group that, as the guitarist and vocalist himself said, was more famous than Jesus Christ. They did commercial pop songs, rock masterpieces like the double ‘White Album,’ and psychedelic operas like ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ‘, the summit of Lennon’s creative ambition, Paul McCarthy, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

John Lennon
One day before. This is how Annie Leibovitz portrayed the couple during the day before Lennon’s death.

The scope of The Beatles’ success was made possible by the few radio and television channels that existed in the early sixties and by their millionaire audiences. Individual radio sets became so cheap that each member of the family could have his own. Until FM arrived in 1967, with an explosion of stations dedicated to groups with more specific tastes, being in these media guaranteed success, and the Liverpool group knew how to exploit it well. In their appearances, they showed their lack of respect for traditional ways of behaving that became stale. Hundreds of millions could identify with them. The immense power of pop music was born. There were four, plus two who stayed, by the way, bassist Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best, also known as ‘The Fifth Beatle.’

However, the origin could well be in Lennon’s beginnings and his meeting with McCartney. Lennon only lived his first years with his mother, Julia, overwhelmed by problems with her husband Alf, who was in jail and then with his lovers. He grew up with his disciplined and conservative Aunt Minnie. A good part of the biographers has explained his legendary rebellion in his mother’s abandonment – with whom he later lived for ages – and in his aunt’s home education. Minnie has even been accused of killing John’s dog when he was a child. What influenced him was his experience of the emergence of rock. And then with her lovers. He grew up with his disciplined and conservative Aunt Minnie. A good part of the biographers has explained his legendary rebellion in his mother’s abandonment – with whom he later lived for ages – and in his aunt’s home education. Minnie has even been accused of killing John’s dog when he was a child. What influenced him was his experience of the emergence of rock. And then with her lovers. He grew up with his disciplined and conservative Aunt Minnie. A good part of the biographers has explained his legendary rebellion in his mother’s abandonment – with whom he later lived for ages – and in his aunt’s home education. Minnie has even been accused of killing John’s dog when he was a child. What influenced him was his experience of the emergence of rock.

Van to Germany, I was devouring Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, and Bill Haley records. He became ‘teddy boy,’ a trend that united classical English clothing with the music of that time, and like thousands of British teenagers, he formed his band of ‘skiffle,’ a rock with three guitar chords and a drum. In that environment, he met McCartney. They had not turned 18 when they began to play with their band, The Quarry Men, in the pub The Cavern in Liverpool. Already under the name of The Beatles, they left on August 16, 1960, for Germany. They got into a van, crossed by boat to Holland, and from there, they drove to Hamburg, where a contract awaited them at the Indra Club, located in its red-light district, then one of the most dangerous in Europe.

In their clubs, they played on several trips until 1962. There they became stable as a group. His first boss was Horst Fascher, an ex-con, who when Lennon asked if he was a Nazi dragged him to the bathroom and pissed on him. His family had taken in Jews in the Holocaust; they were seen by prostitutes, gangsters, and drug dealers. They lived on meatballs, beer, and amphetamines. They were paid at the beginning 30 marks a day for seven hours of performance; whose updated value would be around 35 euros. In Hamburg, they became a band, and in ten years, they said goodbye with their latest album, ‘Let it be,’ confirming a separation that had, in fact, already occurred. The tragedy was yet to come, another ten years later. In 1980, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were driving home to the Dakota Building in a limousine. Upon entering the portal, They were approached by a homeless man with a ’38 pistol and a copy of JD Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye.’ Mark Chapman, 25, fired five bullets at the musician, and four lodged in his body. The world of the sixties, that of the desire for freedom, experimentation, and alternative politics disappeared for a good season.

Amelia Warner– After graduating from NYU with a master's degree in history, She was also a columnist for many local newspapers. Amelia Warner mostly covers Entertainment topics, but at times loves to write about movie reviews as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *