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Strawberry Fields Forever

Let me take you down, cause I'm going to...

On Oct. 9, 1940 John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool, England, the only son of a merchant sailor who was away at sea that day.

It wasn't until 13 years later that the schoolboy with a penchant for mischief picked up a guitar and began to write some tunes.

By his early 20s, the skinny lad with long brown hair became a worldwide sensation--- the master songsmith behind a little British band known as The Beatles.

By 1969 the super group had broken up. He went out on his own and wrote several chart topping album. He penned more than a few memorable melodies. He was still one of the most popular musicians in the world.

On Dec. 8, 1980 Mr. Lennon was walking toward the entrance of his home in the Dakota on Central Park West when a man called out to him.

Mr. Lennon turned. It was in that moment that Mark David Chapman pulled out a .38-caliber pistol and shot the Beatles frontman four times.

"Do you know what you just did?" The Dakota doorman shouted at Chapman, whose face was sprayed with blood.
"I just shot John Lennon," the assailant replied, coolly.

Only hours before Mr. Lennon had signed an autograph for Chapman.

It was a violent end for a man who once wrote the lyrics: "You may say that I'm a dreamer/ But I'm not the only one/ I hope someday you'll join us/ And the world will live as one."

Today, on Mr. Lennon's birthday, Beatles fans are celebrating the artist's momentous achievements in the world of music.

Here's my favorite song by Mr. Lennon:

What's your favorite Lennon tune? Leave your thoughts and memories of him below.

By T. Rees Shapiro  | October 9, 2010; 11:50 AM ET
Categories:  T. Rees Shapiro  | Tags:  Beatles, Imagine, John Lennon, Strawberry Fields Forever  
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Don't mention the murderer's name.

Posted by: johng1 | October 9, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: texasreader | October 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

>> By his late teens, the skinny lad with long brown hair became a worldwide sensation--- the master songsmith behind a little British band known as The Beatles.

Sorry, he was not in his teens when he became world famous - this is serious lazy journalism.

Posted by: kake | October 9, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to say I've always been a fan of Watching the Wheels. I'm not exactly sure, but I think this might have been written as a reflection of his life when he chose to be a "house-husband," and while people were criticizing him for doing it, he knew it was the best for him.

God bless John Lennon. I wonder what his impact on the world would have been if he were alive today.

johng1, I think it's possible to mention Mark David Chapman without glorifying him. In fact, the news media will always have to. People on the street can treat him like the character in the Harry Potter books Who Must Not be Named if they'd like.

He'll always be connected to John Lennon, unfortunately, but I think it's safe to say he'll never see the light of day again for what he stole from the world. I know we'd all rather have John Lennon around and screaming at people to get off his lawn, but this is unfortunately the small consolation we need to take.

Posted by: katydid76 | October 9, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Kake: This post has been updated. Thanks for pointing out the mix up.

Posted by: T. Rees Shapiro | October 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

your simplistic version of John Lennon, skipping his early racism, his beating women, his other problems takes away so much of him. This is a man who chose to grow and become a better human being. WOuld that growth have continued? would he have become a self pig or a greater human? we don't know.

but you've stolen his history with a load of BS.

Posted by: newagent99 | October 9, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

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