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Has John Lennon always been this big?


The Seeker
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Okay, I think this needs a bit of explaining.

In my opinion, John Lennon was the greatest musician ever, and I know that many many people share this view nowadays. There are so many who put him above the other Beatles and every other musician there is.

Today I get this impression that it's always been like that, that everyone called him the best ever since the Beatles started.

So what I want to know now from those who were there, has this really always been like that, in the 60s, in the 70s, even when he released stuff like Two Virgins, has all the world put him above any other person already back then, or is he just being hyped today? (as in, that magazines and so on create this impression everyone has always thought he was the greatest)

Hope you get my drift, it's hard to explain what I mean...

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Like most talented artists, John's contributions will be more closely assessed, analyzed and better appreciated now that he is no longer here. There are those in the music industry today whose productivity and contributions are or will be as great or greater than his, but they too must pass on before the majority of humanity says, "Hey ... that person was actually very great within their discipline." It is a rare artist in any endeavor that is fully recognized in their own lifetime and even then, not to the degree that comes after. The unattainable merits much more value than that which dwells at hand.

Or, as Joni Mitchell put it, "You don't know what you've got til it's gone."

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As strange as it may sound, I think his legend has benefitted greatly from his murder. He was always a controversial figure, but that has been forgiven due to his martyrdom.

Musically he never reached the inevitable "sucking point" that most longtime/veteran performers get to. And we'll never know if he would have.

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He was always a controversial figure, but that has been forgiven due to his martyrdom.

I don´t agree with you on that point, Das. He´s still very well known as the most contradictory man. Or maybe that´s just among older people who followed his work and life... maybe the general idea most people has about JL is "the symbol of peace". Though his son Julian said "I wish we had some of that peace at home".

But he was a genius and he was the best Beatle, and contradiction is part of his personality. He fought the violent man in him.

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John Lennon to me means peace, he was a very deep soul, saying what he was thinking and feeling and if you didn't agree, he didn't care, but at the same time respected your view also. I can't remember a time when he wasn't thought of as "big". A deep loss is felt by many everyday in this world of ours. One can't help but wonder what John had to give us that we will never know about.

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When the Beatles were together, John and Paul were pretty much on equal footing as top dogs with George a distant third. Then after the breakup in the late 60's Paul went off to his farm and put out a couple of solo albums, while John and Yoko were conducting political protests and always in the news( early 70's).

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Lennon 'almost gave up on guitar'

John Lennon almost gave up playing guitar after just two lessons, one of his early bandmates has revealed.

The Beatles legend found the instrument too difficult, according to drummer Colin Hanton, who played with Lennon in school band The Quarrymen.

Lennon tried lessons but "decided it was going to take forever to play music properly", Hanton said.

He only changed his mind after seeing skiffle king Lonnie Donegan, who proved anyone could play an instrument.

Hanton told BBC World Service's The Music Biz programme: "It was just a school band really - I don't think any of us saw any great future in it, or great talent.

"Once Eric [Griffiths, guitarist] and John Lennon actually tried to learn to play guitar properly, they went to a music teacher for two lessons - and decided it was going to take forever to play music properly.

"But then Lonnie Donegan came on the scene and said 'all you need is three chords and something you can bang' - a rhythm section or whatever - so overnight everybody joined a skiffle group.

"They realised you didn't have to be particularly musical or talented, as long as you could keep a tune."

The Quarrymen were founded by Lennon with Griffiths and Pete Shotton at Quarry Bank School, Liverpool, in 1957.

Paul McCartney joined them after watching them perform at a church fete, followed by George Harrison.

Of the "great meeting" between Lennon and McCartney at the church fete, bassist Len Garry said: "We've all got different versions of this.

"I remember Paul doing a Little Richard impersonation, and I said to John 'that's good - let's get him in.'"

Banjo player Rod Davis said the fact McCartney could play guitar properly won his place in the group.

"I was actually playing a banjo, so I was allowed to play banjo chords, but John and Eric played guitars tuned like banjos," he added.

"When Paul turned up, he eventually taught them how to play guitar chords. That was a great improvement to the sound."

But he admitted McCartney - who has said he secured his place in the line-up after playing a song called Twenty Flight Rock - "remembers better than us".

"I don't think I was even there at the time," Davis added. "I must have gone for a pee. The greatest moment in rock 'n' roll history, and I missed it."

Once McCartney and Harrison joined, the founding members began to drift away - leaving the core that briefly became Johnny and the Moondogs before changing to The Beatles.

source

* I really believe George Harrison was a far superior guitar player to John Lennon, George was Lead guitar, John was Rhythm guitar. George taught John a lot of stuff. John added an edge to the lyrics that really complimented Paul's, like salt and pepper or ketchup and mustard compliment one another.

John was very creative (when he wanted to be) but as one myself, I recognize a classic rebel and under-achiever when I see one.

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I agree with Edna that Lennon was extremely contradictory. For instance, first he says, "I'm bigger than Jesus Christ," then apologies for being insincere to Christians, then later says, "I don't believe in Jesus," and then he goes and writes a Christmas song a year later.......

My parents told me that when the Beatles first became popular (they were in their teens at the time), they were not really big into them like other people. Maybe because it was because the Beatles were too mainstream with teenieboppers at first. As the Beatles developed as musicians, they still did not really become fans. My dad listened mostly to folk-rock, like Dylan and CS&N, and my mom listened to a lot of motown. From what I can tell, they never really thought of Lennon as more than a talented musician and good songwriter, pretty much on the same level as Dylan, Jagger, and maybe a few others.

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Beatlemania existed, and it was very big... Lennon was big too... he wasn´t that trendy during the seventies (because nothing would be so huge as Beatlemania in the sixties) and somehow other trends (and his own isolation) made people forget a little bit about him. But dying tragically and young makes and idol be more than an idol... Lady Di, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, etc are somehow similar in this... but definitely, Lennon was always big for his fans.

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The Beatles have been in my life since I was 3, thanks to my aunt. Their music was something I needed in my collection. And yes John was the one I loved. I loved the gifted artist he was, the man he was, and the human being he was. His death hit me and my group of friends at the time so hard, we didn't know how to deal with it, a huge hole was left in our lives. As he is remembered today all over I dedicated most of my lunch show to him with Beatles tunes and songs of his. It was a hard show for me to do since I needed to be professional and there were tears streaming down my cheeks. In my life, yes John Lennon has always been "big". Without him being such a big part of my life, I think I would have been the one to have missed out on something truly extraordinary.

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