8th December is the anniversary of John Lennon’s untimely death. It was around 10:50 pm on the 8th December 1980, as John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono entered the building to their apartment in the Dakota Mansions of New York, that Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead 17 minutes later on arrival.
John Winston “Ono” Lennon was one of the most famous Liverpudlian singers to have ever-graced this earth. He fronted The Quarrymen, was part of the formidable English band – The Beatles and later, the frontman for the Plastic Ono Band.
Not only was Lennon a great musician, he was also a great artist. He studied at the Liverpool College of Art. According to Wikipedia, in his early years, John was a wag and a bit of a “Teddy Boy”. As a result, he was excluded from the painting class, then the graphic arts course, and was threatened with expulsion for his behaviour, from the College, where one of his misdemeanour’s apparently included him sitting on a nude model’s lap during a life drawing class. He also apparently failed one of his annual exams, despite the help from fellow student Cynthia Powell, who later became his first wife. Ultimately, John was thrown out of the college before his final year.
Despite this hiccup in his life, Lennon was both a writer and illustrator and in 1964 he published his own volume “John Lennon In His Own Write”. Full of humorous sketches and verse, Lennon produced over 20 nonsense rhymes such as: Alec Speaking
“He is putting it lithely when he says,
Quobble in the Grass,
Strab he down his soddieflays
Amo amat amass;
Amonk amink a minibus,
Amikky mendip multiplus
Amighty midgey spoon.
And so I traddled onward
Careing not a care
Onward, Onward, Onward,
Onward, my friends to victory and glory for the thirtyninth“.
[The picture is copied from Alec Speaking, from this volume].
“Is It Art?”