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John Icon

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Time Line

October 9, 1940
John Lennon is born after a bombing raid at Oxford Street Maternity Hospital, Liverpool, to Julia Stanley and Alfred Lennon.
1956
Julia buys John a guitar at Frank Hessy's music store. His incessant playing prompts his Aunt Mimi to say, "The guitar's all very well and good, John, but you'll never make a living out of it." John forms his first group, the Quarrymen, with pals Pete Shotton, Nigel Whalley, and Ivan Vaughan.
July 6, 1957
John meets Paul McCartney at the Woolton Parish Church in Liverpool during a performance by the Quarrymen. John, impressed by Paul's ability to tune a guitar and by his knowledge of song lyrics, later asks Paul if he wants to join the group as lead guitarist.
1958
John writes his first song, "Hello Little Girl." It will be recorded by the Beatles at their 1962 audition for Decca Records.
January 1961
The Beatles debut at the Cavern Club.
April 8, 1963
John Charles Julian Lennon is born to Cynthia and John at Sefton General Hospital, Liverpool. The birth, like the marriage, is kept secret from Beatles fans at Brian Epstein's urging.
August 3, 1963
The Beatles play their farewell show at the Cavern Club, having logged almost three hundred performances there.
February 7, 1964
The Beatles begin their first US tour.
February 9 and 16, 1964
The Beatles headline twice on the "Ed Sullivan Show" on CBS, for a $3,500 performance.
March 1964
Shooting begins on the Beatles' first feature film, A Hard Day's Night, as "Can't Buy Me Love" tops the charts both in Britain and America.
January 1965
John composes "Help!", the title song for the Beatles' second film. He later confides the lyrics are a plaintive cry for help and a clue to the confusion and despondency he feels.
Spring 1965
John, Cynthia, George Harrison, and Patti Boyd inadvertently take their first LSD trip when a dentist-friend of Harrison's spikes their coffee.
July 29, 1965
Help! has its world premiere in London's West End. Reviews hail the Beatles as "modern Marx Brothers."
August 1965
The Beatles meet Elvis Presley at his home in Bel Air. Not knowing their individual names, Elvis refers to each as "Beatle."
November 1966
Yoko Ono and John Lennon meet for the first time at a preview of her art show Exhibition #2 at Indica Gallery in London.
September 1967
John writes "I Am the Walrus" allegedly while under the influence of LSD. The Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour airs on the BBC in December and is received with a resounding blast from the critics. John anonymously sponsors Yoko's Half a Wind Show (subtitled Yoko Plus Me) at London's Lisson Gallery.
January 30, 1969
The Beatles' last performance as a group is on the roof of the Apple building, during the filming of Let It Be. John thinks Paul intends his lyrics, "get back to where you once belonged," for Yoko, who is at John's side during the session.
March 20, 1969
John and Yoko marry in Gibraltar.
April 10, 1970
Undercutting John, who has promised not to announce his intended departure from the Beatles, Paul announces at a press conference that he has left the group due to "personal, business, and musical differences." His first solo album, McCartney, is subsequently released with considerable fanfare.
Fall 1973
For the first time since they met in 1968, John and Yoko agree to separate. John travels to Los Angeles. He called his eighteen-month separation from Yoko his "lost weekend."
1973
John's album Mind Games is released.
January 1975
John and Yoko are reunited. The Beatles' final dissolution takes place in London.
October 9, 1975
Sean Taro Ono Lennon is born at New York Hospital on John's thirty-fifth birthday. John is ecstatic. He exclaims, "I feel higher than the Empire State Building."
October 23, 1980
John's first new single, "(Just Like) Starting Over," is released.
November 17, 1980
The Double Fantasy album is released internationally. Plans are discussed for a world tour.
December 8, 1980
John and Yoko return to the Dakota in their limousine, after a recording session. As John walks toward the entryway of the building, a deranged assailant, Mark David Chapman, fires five shots, hitting John in the chest. By the time Yoko and police rush him to Roosevelt Hospital's emergency room, John Lennon is dead.



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