John Lennon was an introvert
Death of a legend
December 15, 1980 was a memorable day in Chinese history. They first heard Beatles music on national television. Still no cause for joy. Seven days earlier, Mark David Chapman, a 25-year-old Hawaiian security guard, shot Beatle icon John Lennon in front of the Dakota building on 72nd Street in New York. The Chinese commentator praised Lennon as a personality who knew how to “turn poetry into songs” and at the same time “to express the discontent of an entire generation”.
Another era ended with John Lennon's death. Since the legendary 'Fab Four' split up in April 1970, music experts had agreed that music history should be divided into a pre- and post-Beatles era. But now reality had caught up with all the dreamers who had hoped for a revival of the musicians from Liverpool. A revival that, even without John Lennon's death, almost certainly never would have happened. The ideas of the musical minds of the Beatles were too different: Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who, as hardly anyone knows, was dyslexic. Dyslexics are not only incapable of spelling correctly, they also cannot infer the correct word image from the sound and keep it in mind, and tend to twist sounds and letters, they blur letters. The genius in John Lennon may be recognizable by the fact that he knew how to take advantage of this normally annoying impairment. The tendency to reverse is a typical feature of his creative power both as a lyricist and as a composer. His music never stayed in a continuous key, it kept changing the phrasing. Lennon was playing tapes backwards for his greatest pleasure. It all started when he came back from the record studio one night in 1966, visibly drunk, and tried to listen to his last song, the bagpipe-padded 'Rain'. Now the tape was wound the wrong way round and only incoherent whimpers could be heard when it was played. Enthusiastic about his discovery, Lennon made a cutout on the end of the plate.
During this time, an event also occurred that almost became doomed for the Beatles, and with it John Lennon, and which would easily have meant the end of their careers. During the Beatles' fourth and final US tour in August 1966, American newspapers reported an alleged Lennon quote that the Beatles were now more popular than Jesus Christ. In fact, such a remark was made in an interview that American journalist Maureen Cleave had had with Lennon months earlier for the Evening Standard. In this interview, Lennon had expressed doubts about which would go first, rock'n'roll or Christianity; and also noted that the Beatles are certainly more popular than Christ at the moment. Nobody had objected to this statement or even reprimanded it. However, when the US press in the biblical southern states quoted this sentence completely out of context, all hell broke loose. Angry people burned Beatles records in public in Nashville, Tennessee. The Ku Klux Klan announced that it would forcefully end the Beatles' tour unless Lennon revoked it. According to information from the tour organizer and the police, there would have been much greater tumult on the part of the fans if the tour had really been canceled.
So the Beatles continued. A short time later, at a press conference called by Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles, to put an end to the scandal, a crying fit John Lennon stepped before the representatives of the press and tried to explain what he was expressing want. It must have been a trip to Canossa, because the Puritan reporters repeatedly asked Lennon to apologize for his blasphemous remarks, so that Lennon finally found himself ready to explain that he regretted the deliberate remarks.
Regardless of this, John Lennon had his last public appearance with the Beatles during this US tour on August 29, 1966. Music critics sometimes argue that the reason is to be found in the complexity of the Beatles' music. Titles like 'Lucy In He Sky With Diamond', 'Eleanor Rigby' or 'All You Need is Love' could be played in the studio, but the technical effort could not (at that time) be transported to a stage. That may be true. Much more decisive, however, was the self-portrayal of the Beatles, and especially that of John Lennon, on stage. Rock stars are like a snake charmer. They have to impose their will on the other. John Lennon lacked this quality. One missed the rousing representational power of Little Richard, the impressive sovereignty of a mature Elvis Presley or the circus contortions of Mick Jagger. John Lennon's talent could never develop on stage. His musical genius drew him to where he could display all the virtuosity that few musicians of this century have achieved: to the studio microphone. In addition to Paul McCartney, it was John Lennon who strengthened and accelerated the Beatles' decision to leave the stage, as he had the vision that the Beatles would only be freed from the constant deadline pressure of touring and develop as individualists. How right should he be! As soon as they were released from their duties, the Beatles scattered in all directions. George Harrisson visited India for the first time to learn to play the sitar with Ravi Shankar and to receive a mantra from the Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Paul McCartney toured East Africa. John Lennon tried his hand at the film business again after the Beatles films 'A Hard Days Night' and 'Help'. In Richard Lester's satire 'How I Won the War', he finally proved that he was a miserable actor, even though the film was supposed to make Lennon's utensil and later trademark to an undreamt-of popularity: the wire-rimmed glasses.
Two months later an incident occurred that was to be characteristic of the further course of life. John Lennon visited the London gallery 'Indica'. There was supposed to be a performance to which a somewhat strange Japanese artist had invited him. Her name: Yoko Ono. The woman Lennon married in 1969. He didn't just seem to be in love with the Japanese woman. He was obsessed with this personified opposite pole of his ego. In Yoko Ono he found everything that he had previously looked for in vain: love, sincerity and one hundred percent security, because Lennon grew up with Mimi Stanley, his maternal aunt. He hardly got to see his separated parents and John's first marriage was more of a kind of industrial accident as a result of an unwanted pregnancy.
Then Yoko Ono appeared like the gate to a new, different world. To art, literature, painting and a completely different lifestyle. Until then, John Lennon was a nobody. Only as a guitarist with the other Beatles Ringo Starr and George Harrison and especially as a composer and lyricist with Paul McCartney, he had achieved fame and success. But it was a kind of collective fame, not individual popularity, that the egomaniac Lennon needed like air to breathe. As a result, Lennon increasingly distanced himself from the Beatles, publicly calling them 'Beastles' and announcing that he would make music alone in the future.
At first, however, under the influence of Yoko Ono, he developed other activities, began to paint and made short films. Things that the rest of the down-to-earth Beatles had no understanding for.
When Lennon and Ono hosted the first of their famous bed-ins at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel shortly after their wedding, the gap with the rest of the Beatles had become insurmountable. The idea of expressing oneself in a bed in front of the assembled press on controversial questions of world history was simply too adventurous and did not really fit into the worldview of Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They hardly met Lennon anymore. And if it did, the argument was inevitable. Mainly because of Yoko Ono, who - apart from John - apparently no one could get along with. Whether it was John Lennon's egomania or Yoko Ono's additional influence is an open question. In any case, Paul McCartney announced at an impromptu press conference in April that the Beatles had dissolved. The last album of the Fab Four was called, ironically enough, 'Let it be'.
John Lennon's very personal Let it hit the headlines six months earlier, at least in England, when a letter arrived at Buckingham Palace with the following wording: 'Your Majesty, I am returning my order to the British Empire because Great Britain is in the Nigerian Biafra The conflict interferes, the American Vietnam policy is approved and 'Cold Turkey' is no longer on the hit list. Best regards, John Lennon. ‘
After the end of the Beatles era, Lennon looked for ways to develop musically freely and independently. And he got it. His first own LP, 'John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band', turned out to be less of a pop album than a manifesto and a critical examination of his Beatles days.
Lennon was now living in the United States, although he was considered an undesirable person there because of his derogatory comments about President Richard Nixon and the Vietnam War. When he publicly remarked "Nixon, remember Nuremberg" (Nixon, think of Nuremberg. An allusion to the Nuremberg war crimes trials of the Allies against the Nazis), the US government tried to expel Lennon and put forward an expired visa as the reason. Vain. The rebellious Englishman had many good friends - and the money he needed to be able to afford the best lawyers; and these always brought about new postponements. John Lennon had ample time to play the role of a political and musical outlaw. A role he probably believed in himself. During this time there were numerous benefit concerts for political prisoners and other records, including the legendary 'Imagine'.
But even a John Lennon needed a break at some point. This was to come when Yokon Ono gave birth to his second son Sean in October 1975. John withdrew from the public eye and spent the rest of his life like a hermit. Withdrawn in his New York house, the ex-Beatle devoted himself to Far Eastern philosophy, meditation and the composition of songs, most of which never made it to publication. Not because they were a little bad, but because he had no intention of ever introducing them to the public. Lennon needed his own microcosm, his own world and music. In 1980 he wanted to share the music with the rest of the world again. 'Double Phantasy', his last album, was already a million seller. John Lennon even wanted to present it on a world tour. It never came to that. The fatal shots were fired on December 8, 1980, just hours after he was still in the studio producing Yoko's Walking On Thin Ice.
Today Lennon's popularity is unbroken, even if the media never tires of pointing out the human villain Lennon. John Lennon was certainly not the person associated with the huge hit 'Give Peace A Chance'. Becoming a myth sometimes takes a toll in your lifetime. John Lennon paid that tribute. In the form of excessive drug use, extreme introversion, and a short but incredibly creative life. However, the allegations that the media invaded and attacked Lennon's privacy are just as absurd as the complaint of a striptease dancer that men are staring at her. Give Peace A Chance
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