For many, John Lennon doesn’t need an introduction. You may assume that you already know everything worthwhile, but here’s 10 things you didn’t know about John Lennon. He was and still remains an idol for his fans, with many humming along to his 25 number one singles in the US charts, like “Give Peace a Chance” and “Working Class Hero”. As a co-founder of the most successful band in history, he quickly became famous and rich. While considered by many a brilliant songwriter and talented musician, Lennon was not only milk and honey. His flaws remain unknown to the biggest part of his listeners. Keep reading for a closer look at what was happening when he was not performing on stage.
10. Violent behavior
When you hear Lennon’s name you instantly think about peace, love and flowers in the hair. But his relationships were far from this perfect picture of love. He was, in fact, a wife beater. Both his first wife, Cynthia, and his second one, Yoko Ono, witnessed first hand Lennon’s fits of jealousy and rage. He didn’t bother hiding his physical violence and angry behavior and would lash out in public, displaying a highly possessive nature.
9. No parenting skills
Lennon was a cold father. His resentment for having to marry Cynthia because she was pregnant reflected on his behavior with his first son, Julian. John felt trapped in a routine and didn’t mind taking off for weeks, quickly becoming an absent father figure for his young son. Even more, after Lennon started his relationship with Yoko Ono he completely disappeared from his son’s life. Their subsequent reunion was tainted by John scolding and shouting at Julian.
8. Artistic nature
That is, of course, an euphemism for his inclination to lie and exaggerate almost anything. This meant he basically rewrote major events from his life to his advantage or his liking. One example is his upbringing. He used to boast about being born in a working class family from Liverpool, but instead he came from a middle class family. He also lied about being married in his youth and about the beginning on his relationship with Yoko Ono.
7. Heart breaker
Lennon was the one to put an end to the most famous music band in history. After sky rocketing to fame, the four members were not doing too great towards the ending of the ’60s but it appears John delivered the fatal blow. He broke the news of him leaving the group during a routine meeting and a year later the break up couldn’t be concealed any longer.
6. Peace guru poser
Those who reminisce about Lennon recall him as being an activist, deeply involved in maintaining peace around the world. But his involvement is actually limited at pictures with famous radicals and political figures. His intentions might have been of the noblest kind, but his actions fail to speak volumes about his determination to change things.
5. Average artist
One of the most controversial issues at hand is Lennon’s talent (or lack of it). Some strongly claim he was a simple average guitar player and that the songs he composed weren’t anything more than psychedelic nonsense. Placing all the merits for the Beatles’ legacy on McCartney and Harrison, Lennon is isolated by the critics as a common songwriter and artist.
4. Following the herd
Lennon didn’t seem too sure what his preferred musical style was. He flirted with ballads, displaying a clear preference for the American blues, but he then changed his style in favor of psychedelic tunes. This was closely followed by a more avant-garde approach to music that only goes to prove Lennon’s ease of shifting from a style to another and difficulty to commit to one single genre.
3. Desperate to fit in
Closely connected to his ability to change music style gears, he was also very eager to please and fit in. This translated in following the trend, swapping leather jackets for a cuter pop look and then shifting to hippie attire and colorful psychedelic tshirts.
2. Gold digger
Although no Beatles fan wants to hear this, Lennon was hungry for fame and money from the beginning. While this is not the noblest motivation one can have, it surely drove Lennon to work towards his goals and push his band colleagues to do the same. All in the name of fame.
1. Do what Lennon says, not what Lennon does
Best known for his splashy life style, Lennon did not do what he preached. Sure, he sang about “imagine no possessions”, but he ordered room service each morning in the NY hotel room where he lived. Called a hypocrite by more than a few, Lennon remains the image of a fame hungry, average artist who always swam with the current in the hope of making a big fortune.