Yoko Ono, artist, and wife of late singer John Lennon took to social media to mark what would have been the music legend’s 80th birthday on 9th October with an old picture. Lennon was a British singer-songwriter, best known for his legacy as one of the four members of the English rock band The Beatles. As a solo artist, Lennon was synonymous with his classic single Imagine, that to this day is hailed as his magnum opus. He was shot dead in 1980 in New York City at 40 years old. Social media is commemorating the icon’s birthday today with the hashtag #Lennon80.
Wishing him, as well as their son Sean, who incidentally shares his birthday with Lennon, Ono called them her “angels” and attached a black and white memory from the couple’s older days. She also added a link to her song Yes, I’m Your Angel, sung for Lennon’s last ever album in 1980.
— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) October 9, 2020
On Instagram, Ono also shared a video of the Empire State Building that lit up with the peace sign to honour Lennon’s 80th.
The day will witness a pop-up television channel called LENNON80, which will broadcast programmes on the former Beatle’s life till October 15.
John Lennon Turns 80 – Yoko Ono’s Throwback For Her Husband’s 80th Will Hit Beatles Fans Right In The Feels
Lennon’s childhood friend, bandmate, and longtime associate Paul McCartney also marked the day with an old photo:
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) October 9, 2020
Lennon-Ono, An Everlasting Union
Ono and Lennon met in 1966, both married to other people at the time. They eventually divorced their respective partners and got married in 1969. Up until Lennon’s death in 1980, theirs was a high-profile union, always surrounded by media glare. The couple was heavily involved in political commentary, protests, and peace campaigns at the time – either through performance art or music. Lennon’s classic Imagine was one such endeavour. The couple had one child together, Sean Lennon.
Ono and Lennon’s relationship has remained the subject of extreme public scrutiny, ever since their union in the 1960s when The Beatles were at their peak. Among begrudging fanatics of the band, it is still loosely believed that Ono’s entry into Lennon’s life was the cause of growing strain among the band members, which ultimately led to the band’s break-up in 1970. However, Lennon had rubbished these claims on several occasions before his death, condemning the witch hunts his wife was often targeted with.
Ono has continued to propagate Lennon’s message and hope for world peace even after his passing.
Lennon And The Beatles Legacy
The Beatles, formed in 1960 Liverpool, are generally regarded as the most influential band ever. And with good reason. One would be hard-pressed to find a bad song on any Beatles album, and another song as good as it even. A four-member team comprising of McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and of course, Lennon, the group witnessed such sensational success throughout their career as was previously uncharted in music history.
The 1960s is termed by historians as a time of Beatlemania; when crowds would be near delirious with excitement upon mention of The Beatles, and the band itself was rolling out one hit after another by the songwriting genius of the legendary Lennon-McCartney alliance.
Through the prime days of their boyish moptops to the later years when they grew into somber, experimental musicians and even after their split in 1970, The Beatles remained trendsetters. Their contribution to the hippie counterculture and other social, musical movements at the time was unparalleled. Today, despite two of them gone, and two grown old, The Beatles have managed to retain their throne as the ultimate symbol of youth cultures across the world.
Views expressed are the author’s own.