The tragedy is that John Lennon graced the earth for but forty years. But a perfect storm of brilliance, social consciousness, personal pain and populist embers whipped around Lennon, leading the confused lad from Northern England to fit more life into those years than perhaps anyone else in the 20th century. For that, on what would have been his 71st birthday, we celebrate. Born as German bombs rained down on Liverpool in 1940, Lennon was born to Alf and Julia Lennon, a forbidden couple that flouted class convention in a still hierarchical society. That, years later, their son would be a self-styled Working Class Hero seems, in retrospect, predetermined by the scandal into which he was born. That awareness of the economic and social lines dug deep into Scouse society was aided by his unconventional childhood, which kicked off…  MORE

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