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By Alan L. Chrisman
John Lennon had a rough childhood; his father abandoned him when he was 6
years old and his mother, Julia, left him to be raised by his stern, but loving Aunt
Mimi, although he saw his mother occasionally. But she was killed by a drunken
off-duty policeman when he was still as teenager. This made the young Lennon
angry, bitter and sarcastic. He said himself that if he hadnt become a musician
and an artist, he may well have ended up in jail or worse. So Lennons life is a
case study in how a difficult beginning can affect a human beings development,
but yet it can lead to change.
That tough outside, which he still maintained sometimes as an adult too, also hid
a sensitivity and even sadness underneath, which he was able, fortunately, to
channel into his music and ideals. Lennon was full of contradictions, but his not
being afraid to be remarkably honest about his human frailties, only made him
and his art more accessible to other people. He could express emotions with
which we could also identify with ourselves, perhaps as well as anyone in pop

culture. And that is why his works, both as a Beatle and solo, I think, still stand up

through time.
John Lennons life can, perhaps, be seen as an example how an insecure, hurt
child and person can, through talent, hard work and self-examination, turn his life
around. John said when he talked about ending wars and violence, he also
meant the violence and wars we all have inside us too. We have to start first
with confronting and changing them too and with how we treat the people
around us. It is of course, sadly ironic that he was murdered by someone who
hadnt faced and dealt with his own demons, but took it out on someone else.
Lennon was quite aware of that risk. He said in an interview shortly before his
death, the people who campaign for peace, like Ghandi, often die by violence
and he sang the way things are going, theyre going to crucify me, so he knew
what might be at stake. He knew full well that fame, which so many craved, had
its dangerous side. George Harrison, whose death in 2001 was also quickened by
another mentally-unstable person, when he was stabbed several times, had said
about The Beatles sometimes overly-rabid fans, we gave them everything, our
nervous systems. What do they want, our blood too?
Unfortunately, the world still has wars and theres still too much violence and fear
and inequality in the world. When Lennon talked of these afflictions, he was
quite aware that those insecurities were also within ourselves as well. His own
life is an example of this. But he was fortunately talented enough and brave
enough to turn his own demons into songs and art and to finally become a good

father, husband, and human being whose transformation of it into music and love
is the real story of John Lennon.
JOHN LENNON singing about loss of his MOTHER, 1st solo album, POB, 1970:

John Lennons tribute to his mother, Julia, later on White Album, 1968: