“Life is what happens to you while you’re

busy making other plans.”

–John Lennon

 

On this day, i.e., 8th December, 39 years ago, John Lennon was killed outside his apartment building—he was 40. He was leader or co-leader of the British rock group the Beatles, author and graphic artist, solo recording artist

Lennon’s genius encompassed writing and the visual arts, the only field in which he received formal training. His natural gifts in both were considerable, but in the end he proved a minor humorist and a casual if indelible cartoonist. In music, he had less inborn facility, though his paternal grandfather worked for years as a blackface minstrel. But music was where he put his substance.

He thought of his songs as snapshots of what he was thinking and feeling at the moment of composition. He believed that the one quality his calling as an artist demanded of him was complete emotional and intellectual honesty. And from his earliest years, he had no interest in disguising what he had to say to bring it into conformity with what anyone else thought his ideas should be, or even with points of view he may have felt at one time himself.