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John Lennon

Even as The Beatles' star burned most brightly, John Lennon's increasing involvement with artist Yoko Ono, and his growing interest in solo projects, was a major source of the tension that ultimately tore the band apart; indeed, he'd privately told the group of his intention to quit months before Paul McCartney made it official with his own departure in 1970. A brilliant, witty and troubled artist, Lennon had become known as the more daring and cerebral of The Beatles' songwriters; while McCartney went on to pursue his own pop muse, Lennon's post-Beatles output, which included numerous collaborations with Ono, ranged from the transcendent to the unlistenable. His personal and creative life became a roller coaster, with extreme partying, immigration troubles, marital difficulties, drug addiction and more. With the 1980 release of the critically acclaimed "Double Fantasy," another collaboration with Ono, Lennon's demons appeared vanquished; he seemed to be poised for a comeback when on December 8, 1980 he was murdered by a deranged fan outside his apartment building.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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