John Winston Lennon was born on this day in 1940 in Liverpool, England. The founder of legendary band The Beatles began the band’s earliest iterations as a teenager. He was first deeply influenced by the folk subgenre “skiffle”, which quickly became popular in the UK in the 1950s, and at the age of 16 he formed a skiffle band called The Quarrymen. Over the next few years, the band’s lineup underwent several changes, including the additions of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and by 1959, they changed their name to The Beatles.
In 1962, the Beatles signed with Parlaphone Records and released their debut album please please me The following year. The band went on to become one of the most influential and well-known bands of all time, with a cultural impact that is difficult to express in words. Some consider them to be the most important band in rock and roll, some are harsh critics of the work, and still others are completely convinced that the band is a complete fraud and never even existed!
The Beatles retired in 1966, and Lennon did not perform any full concerts for several years. In 1972, he organized a concert at Madison Square Garden to benefit Willowbrook State School, a school for children with disabilities. These concerts would be his first and last major concerts. This clip from the show shows him performing “Come Together.”