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In our modern world, religion fades into the background. They are constantly surrounded by paparazzi and fans, journalists hunt for interviews.
In such a situation, it is difficult to remain self-critical and soberly assess yourself and your actions. Something similar happened with John Lennon.
Fans saw him as an idol, but the difference with the real image was huge. Numerous people, young and old, strive to be like their idol, behavior and worldview.
But there are some aspects of John Lennon's life that are not entirely disagreeable, which should be known to all fans of the Beatle. We will debunk the basic myths about the most famous member of the Beatles.
Lennon was born during the bombing of Liverpool. This beautiful myth wanders from article to article. But biographers debunked him. It's nice to think that Lennon's life began at 6:30 a.m. on October 9, 1940, just as tragically as it ended, but that's not true. The city was not bombed that day. The very next day, April 10, the bombing of Liverpool cost the lives of 8 citizens. But this myth is replicated even by Wikipedia.
John Lennon was honest and open. On the contrary, many critics call him a hypocrite. This accusation sounds quite serious, but it must be uttered. Even Lennon's killer himself called the hypocrisy of his idol the main motive for the murder. The musician is a classic example of someone who called for action but didn't do it himself. Critics of Lennon's work recommend simply following the calls set forth in the songs, without thinking about what was behind it. Surprisingly, the man who sang about the possibilities of an ascetic life without any possessions himself lived in a luxurious New York hotel, like some kind of millionaire. Lennon sang: "Imagine, there is no religion", but at the same time he himself was fond of communicating with spirits, was a supporter of New Age. The musician practiced meditation and believed in fortune telling and astrology. Lennon urged, "All you need is love," but was actually an evil and cruel man, acting selfishly and suppressing his friends and loved ones. Those who called not to kill and not die for empty ideas, himself financed radical groups and promoted their ideas, including those concerning the use of violence. As a result, all Lennon's fans see him as a real icon, formed by particles of his songs. But he himself did not want to follow "his" ideals, or did not have time.
Lennon needed neither fame nor money. Usually a real artist is presented as disinterested. In the same way, Lennon demonstrated in public that he followed his own uncompromising ideals. In fact, from the very beginning of his career, he craved for wealth. In the very early days of the Beatles, when the band considered a performance in a bar as good luck, Lennon was already talking about the coming fame. That is why the group was constantly in sight thanks to their new hairstyles, costumes, new photo sessions. The Beatles handed out numerous interviews, basking in fame. And later, gaining a reputation as an avant-garde artist, Lennon attracted public attention with his antics with Yoko Ono. Today it seems frivolous, but then such actions allowed the star to remain in sight. And Lennon never refused the impressive checks that could be taken. He saw money as a natural result of his popularity and fame.
Lennon was a nonconformist. Although Lennon had a reputation for being a freethinker, choosing his own path, the musician constantly tried to adapt to the world around him. He tried to become part of groups that were considered non-conformist, but it was difficult to get away from himself. From the very beginning of his career, Lennon proved to be a poser. He was in the form of a dude, and then in a rocker leather jacket. Lennon could dress up deliberately brightly, like the Marquise Pompadour, or he could choose a stylish outfit of a pop star. At a certain point in his life, the musician chose psychedelic and hippie style, then he became a stern avant-garde beatnik. And these experiments were eternal. In his attempts to demonstrate independence, Lennon was only trying to become part of already existing sub- and counter-cultures, choosing the path of meaningless conformism.
Lennon was a real creator of new directions. Rather, we should not talk about leadership, but about following. This definition can be applied to the entire Beatles group, but in the case of Lennon it is especially obvious. At first, he tried to follow the traditions of American rhythm and blues, interspersed with pop ballads in the style of Roy Orbison. And later Lennon began to gravitate towards the work of Bob Dylan. He then tried to emulate the psychedelic style of California drug groups. After that, Lennon joined the avant-garde, under the influence of John Cage. In fact, there was very little in Lennon's creative legacy that much more talented and original artists would not have created before him.
Lennon is a real talent. It is sad to hear the fans of this Beatle, but many people reasonably consider him mediocrity. This is a rather serious accusation, which nevertheless is largely subjective. If you consider Lennon as a songwriter and musician, then there will be a little talent in his creations. He himself was an average guitarist whose skill was mainly limited to maintaining the rhythm. And Lennon's piano playing was far from perfect. His songs in those days really seemed like masterpieces and inspired, but after the excitement around the Beatles subsided, most of the compositions turned out to be stupid and irrelevant. If you critically approach the lyrics of the songs "Strawberry Fields Forever" or "Come Together", it turns out that this is sheer psychedelic hippie babble. Such things were usually born and quickly died in drug fogs in the distant 1960s. It was not Lennon's talent that made the Beatles significant. Producer George Martin was able to promote the group thanks to the rest of its members. Studying the legacy of the Beatles, it's easy to see that in later albums, Paul McCartney and George Harrison produced better songs than Lennon. And after 1965, he himself began to drop out of the group's creativity. Lennon already had little in common with the album "Sergeant Pepper". It is believed that all the subsequent work of the Beatles is the merit of Paul McCartney. In the film "Let It Be" it is clearly seen how he tried in every possible way to motivate John Lennon, who was thinking elsewhere. And the musician's solo career is marked by only a few bright songs, and everything else is passing material, which is undignified for a genius.
Lennon was a political activist. Today the musician appears as a kind of symbol of love and peace, which influenced world politics in the 1970s. But much of his reputation as an activist is based on photographs of Lennon with various radicals in the 1970s and on his own statements to the press. In fact, the musician has never done anything significant in politics. The radicals, next to whom Lennon lit up, in general, almost everyone considered him a banal poser, who did not even really understand what it was all about. The musician's activities in politics were limited only to funding and propaganda of aggressive radicals such as the Black Panthers. This is clearly not something that Lennon should be proud of, and what one could be equal to.
Lennon was not the initiator of the Beatles' collapse. There are several versions of the true breakup of the group. Most often, it is believed that the reason for this was a spontaneous break with Paul McCartney and his decision to start a solo career. In fact, it was John Lennon who destroyed it. In the late 1960s, things were not going well with the group, but for the time being, the members found compromises. It was Lennon who announced at the next meeting that he was leaving the Beatles. For some time this decision was kept secret, but no one had the illusion that the group would break up without its leader. In fact, it was Lennon's departure that made the death of the Beatles inevitable, just about a year's delay was taken to compile the "obituary".
Lennon loved the truth. In life, the musician was a pathological liar. Thanks to this, he himself created a myth about his life - it was embellished, exaggerated and frankly false. But Lennon himself was profitable. The reason for this was the immense selfishness of the musician, who wanted to look better than he really was. In principle, this behavior is characteristic of each of us, but Lennon went further. In fact, he rewrote all the important events in his life in order to present them in a light favorable to himself. So, Lennon argued that before the Beatles he was a representative of the working class, an ordinary Liverpool laborer. In fact, he grew up in comfort, his family was a robust middle class. Lennon denied getting married at the height of his fame. According to the musician, the meeting with Yoko Ono took place at an art show, and love blossomed spontaneously. But we know that the girl stalked the idol for several months until he gave up. Lennon said that he lost interest in the Beatles because of McCartney. Allegedly, Paul liked more pop music, and he sought to dominate and be able to do creative work outside the group. In fact, Lennon was considered a universally recognized leader, but he traded everything in a couple of years for his personal interests, and became addicted to heroin as well. Shortly before his death, Lennon rehabilitated himself in the public eye, declaring that he was spending time at home baking bread. In fact, almost all the time the musician was in the dope of drugs. Lennon was hardly ashamed of his behavior, his lifestyle was not much different from the stars of the 1960-1970s. But the Beatle constantly obsessively lied about it, creating a myth about himself.
Lennon loved his children very much. All the flaws of the musician were splashed out in his attitude towards the eldest son of Julian. He frankly annoyed John, because the conception of this boy forced him to marry and plunged into the world of family routine. At that time, Lennon was both too young and too arrogant. It is no coincidence that both Julian and his mother Cynthia stated that John was indifferent to them, pretending that this part of his personal life did not exist at all. The growing Julian was simply unpleasant to be around his father, whose drug addiction was no secret. And after the divorce from Cynthia, Lennon married Yoko Ono and disappeared from the life of the first child for years. Even after the reunion of father and son, John suppressed him. It is known that the musician emotionally scolded Julian, shouted at him and brought him to tears. Once the boy just laughed, and his father yelled at him, declaring his hatred of laughter! And Julian wasn’t even a teenager yet. The statement of Lennon's son looks eloquent, who once stated that Paul McCartney was more of a father for him.
Lennon was gentle and courteous with women. Believe it or not, the beloved, peace-loving musician actually treated his wives harshly. And this is not empty gossip, because this behavior of Lennon has even been documented. And he himself personally confessed to assault. Both Cynthia and Yoko Ono at some point in their lives became victims of John's cruelty. It should be understood that if a man beats a woman, it is not only because she is his wife. This is a common perception of the opposite sex. So these friends were clearly not the only victims of Lennon's character. Today it becomes clear that the musician only seems to be a sophisticated object and a hippie idol. In fact, he was a person with serious mental problems. He was characterized by uncontrollable fits of anger, which he preferred to throw out on close women.
Lennon was in trouble with the law. The London tabloids portrayed the Beatles' leader as a man in constant trouble with the law. In fact, with the exception of the usual school pranks and his use of marijuana in 1968, Lennon had no problem with the authorities. He paid taxes, stopped at a red light. The musician's attitude towards the police was manifested in generous financial donations. For example, Lennon sponsored the purchase of protective equipment for the New York City Police Department. Journalists took revenge on the musician for sometimes opening his hands. But annoying questions, moreover, about the most intimate aspects of life, will infuriate anyone. In addition, Lennon often repented and tried to make amends for the conflict.
Lennon was gay. In April 1963, Lennon went on vacation to Spain with the group's manager. At that time, the Beatle was 23 years old, and his friend - 29. Brian Epstein's sexual preferences were not a secret for friends for anyone, which was the reason for the myth. And Lennon himself allegedly told some of his friends that he had sexual contact with Epstein. I must say that this story is the only one that allows us to classify John as a gay. Even if contact did occur, it did not make Lennon homosexual. According to statistics, many straight people have tried same-sex love. It is worth noting that Lennon never spoke out against homosexual relationships. In those years, same-sex love in the UK was illegal and despised. Epstein did not openly talk about his passions, but his friends, of course, were aware. This was a private person, in contrast to the brave and determined John. Friends who knew both of them well believe that there simply could not be a connection. Brian was really attracted to John, but the manager knew that their connection could destroy the group. And the trip was not the result of a romantic relationship, but the birth of John's son. The musician chose not to sit at home with him, but to unwind on vacation. Later, both Lennon himself and Epstein quite calmly in conversations and interviews revealed the details of that vacation. They really communicated closely, but there was no sex between men.
Lennon never made up with McCartney. In the early 1970s, there was an extremely tense relationship between the two leaders of the group, but by the beginning of 1972, much was already erased from memory. When the "Lost Weekend" happened in Lennon's life, and he temporarily parted with Yoko Ono, Paul often visited his friend. And in March 1974, John and Por had a jam session. McCartney came to Los Angeles for the Oscars and dropped by in Santa Monica to visit John. He had just rented a house with a swimming pool. There is even a joint photo of the Beatles in this place. And in April 1976 Paul again looked to John at his house "Dakota". Together, the pair watched Saturday Night Live, where the live host invited the Beatles to reunite. Paul came to his old friend with a guitar and without a call, and he greeted him unfriendly, tired of the child. So McCartney and Lennon saw each other for the last time, but then continued to communicate on the phone. Paul recalls that their last conversation was very warm.