John Lennon: Rebel With a Cause

By: Nathan Chandler

John Lennon was the sole founder of the Beatles.

It wasn't all his doing. Lennon was a co-founder of the Beatles. Paul McCartney was the other primary force behind the band's creation.

Who raised Lennon during his childhood?

Lennon's mother and father weren't the most stable people. His aunt and uncle took over the job of raising him. In his adulthood, he constantly praised the positive female role models that he had during his younger days.

How did Lennon do in school?

He was a restless student who could be disruptive at times. Even from an early age, though, his artistic talents were obvious.

In his early relationships, Lennon was known to do what?

At an early age, Lennon was mean-spirited and violent, to the point that he would hit his girlfriends. He said later that he did his best to grow out of this awful habit.

How did Lennon get his first guitar?

Lennon's mother wasn’t a great parent, but she did buy him his first guitar -- an act that would become a crossroads in the musician's life.

Which star inspired Lennon to take up music?

In the 1950s and early 60s, Elvis Presley was a celebrity of mind-warping proportions. His iconic status and memorable music served as an inspiration to Lennon.

Where did Lennon first meet Paul McCartney?

Lennon began performing with his first band (the Quarrymen) and McCartney was present for the band's second performance. Lennon immediately asked McCartney to join forces with him.

How did McCartney's family feel about Paul's blossoming friendship with Lennon?

Many adults didn't like John because he seemed rebellious -- the McCartney family was no different. They wanted Paul to find different friends.

John Lennon married Cynthia Power in 1962. Why was she told to stay out of the public eye?

As the band's popularity grew and grew, the band's publicists thought it would be better to make it look as if the men were all single and unattached. Cynthia was shoved into the shadows.

Lennon and Cynthia had a baby boy, and he was named after which person?

Julian was named after Lennon's mother, Julia. Julia's lifestyle was too unstable to make her a suitable parent, but she often visited John at his aunt's house.

Why did Cynthia divorce John?

Cynthia arrived home one day and found another woman in the house. It turned out to be Yoko Ono, the next woman in Lennon's life.

The Beatles were incredibly popular during the 60s. When did Lennon decide to leave the band?

Lennon told the band in private that he was leaving. He ended his relationship with them in 1969, an act that caused upheaval in the pop world.

In the 60s, which substance did Lennon say nearly completely changed his personal identity?

Lennon took huge quantities of LSD, which morphed his mental and emotional identity. Even under heavy drug use, he made mind-blowing music.

Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles.

It's long been said that Ono's relationship with Lennon broke up the Beatles. But according to the other band members, such as McCartney, the split wasn't Ono's fault. Too much touring, too much work and too much fame had taken a toll on all of them.

What was the purpose of Lennon and Ono's famous "Bed-In" protest?

After their highly-publicized wedding, the couple went on their honeymoon and opened the hotel rooms to journalists. They simply sat in bed, talking about peace and how war should be ended.

Where did the couple enact their famous Bed-In, where they simply sat in bed while wearing pajamas?

Ono and Lennon brought their Bed-In to life in Amsterdam. They had a second Bed-In later that year in Montreal.

Lennon eventually became a vegetarian.

Lennon, the icon of peace and progress, never took up vegetarianism with the zeal of the other band members. He always wound up eating meat in one way or another.

How was Lennon first introduced to LSD?

During a party, one of his guests slipped it into his drink. Lennon's experiences with the drug were mixed, but he continued taking it in massive doses for years to come. LSD and other drugs were a mainstay of the Beatles' lifestyle for years.

Why did Lennon give up driving?

Lennon was an awful driver who didn't even bother to get a license until he was in his mid-20s. A terrible car wreck in which he was injured convinced him never to get behind the wheel again.

How did Lennon's mother die?

While walking along the side of a road, an off-duty police officer accidentally struck and killed Julia Lennon. The tragedy scarred John for life.

Why did President Nixon try to have Lennon deported?

Nixon recognized Lennon's power as an anti-war activist and worried that the pop star might cost him an election. He tried to have Lennon deported.

After Lennon was ordered to leave America, how did he respond?

Ever the clever media manipulator, he and Yoko Ono announced a new country named "Nutopia" and followed up the stunt with a request for asylum. In the end, the Watergate scandal created a distraction and saved Lennon from deportation.

What 1967 event shook Lennon and the band to its core?

Brian Epstein, the manager who guided the band to fame, died suddenly of a drug overdose in 1967. In the following years, mismanagement severely hampered the group's potential.

How did Lennon feel about his own singing voice?

Lennon truly hated his voice. He sometimes could hardly stand to listen to the songs he recorded.

As the band's popularity sparked "Beatlemania," Lennon said that the band was more popular than WHAT?

Lennon famously said, "We're more popular than Jesus now," a statement that at first didn't really have any impact. But eventually, his words caused a furor in the Bible Belt of the United States. There were threats and tumult at some shows.

Lennon left the band right after recording which album?

Lennon decided to leave after completing "Abbey Road." He then took up a hit-and-miss solo career and created weird art projects with Yoko Ono.

Why was John Lennon murdered?

Mark David Chapman was more than a little unstable. He shot and killed Lennon because he thought the killing would give him notoriety.

What happened to Chapman after he murdered Lennon?

Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is still imprisoned. He's more than 60 years old and has been denied parole many times.

Lennon interacted with Chapman hours before the murder. What was the nature of their meeting?

Chapman asked for an autograph … and Lennon was happy to oblige. Chapman repaid the favor by shooting him a few hours later.

Lennon's body was cremated. Where were the ashed scattered?

After he was cremated, Yoko Ono took Lennon's ashes and scattered them in New York's Central Park. His ashes may be in New York, but Lennon was a pop star meant to serve the whole world. His complicated legacy will last for generations.

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Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

John Lennon wasn't just the lead singer of the most popular music group in the history of the world. He was an icon in and of himself. With his rebellious nature and outlandish publicity stunts, he sparked a pop movement that reverberates even today. How much do you know about this monumental musician?

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