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Meet the Beatles, indeed. Thousands of fans greeted the four shaggy-haired lads from Liverpool (John Lennon, from left, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison) upon their arrival in America on Feb. 7, 1964, at John F. Kennedy Airport, soon after their Pan Am flight from London landed.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

The Beatles wave to fans assembled below from a Plaza Hotel window.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Ed Sullivan, center, stands with The Beatles during a rehearsal for the Feb. 9, 1964 "Ed Sullivan Show," their first American television appearance.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

The Beatles' first "Sullivan" appearance was seen by an estimated 73 million Americans.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Dan Grossi / Associated Press

The Beatles returned to the U.K. on Feb. 22 but returned to the U.S. for in August for a tour. They took a day off on Aug. 24 at a rented house in Bel-Air after performing the previous day at the Hollywood Bowl.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

On Sept. 21, 1964, the Beatles waved a temporary goodbye to America as they boarded a plane bound for England.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

The Beatles join the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, center, for a weekend of meditation Aug. 26, 1967.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

The band in 1968, the year they started Apple Corps and released "The Beatles," a.k.a. "The White Album."


John Lennon speaks at a news conference in May 1968 at the Americana Hotel. He said of the band's involvement with the Maharishi, "we made a mistake." When he and Paul McCartney were asked if they had any new philosophical leaders, Lennon replied, "Me!" The pair were promoting the newly formed Apple Corps.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Lindsay / Associated Press

John Lennon and Yoko Ono are seen during their 1969 "bed-in" at the Amsterdam Hilton.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Lennon is seen on May 17, 1971, at the Cannes Film Festival, where he and Yoko Ono showed their films "Apotheosis" and "Fly."


On Aug. 30, 1972, Lennon performed a charity concert at Madison Square Garden to benefit mentally-handicapped children.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Lennon, giving the peace sign, and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive for a hearing on their deportation case at a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service office in lower Manhattan, on May 12, 1972.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

John Lennon is seen in 1974 during part of his "lost weekend" in L.A., during which he and former band mate Paul McCartney played together one night at a studio jam session heard later in bootleg form.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

You needed a key to get into the On the Rox nightclub on the Sunset Strip, and Ringo Starr was nice enough in 1976 to unlock the door and bring in old pal John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Brad Elterman

John Lennon is seen on Jan. 18, 1977. That year, he recorded a demo of "Free as a Bird," which in 1995 was finished by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison and released as a single to promote "The Beatles Anthology."


John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive at the Hit Factory, where they were working on "Double Fantasy," on Aug. 22, 1980.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Steve Sands / Associated Press

John Lennon is seen Dec. 8, 1980, the day Lennon was shot in front of his the Dakota.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

Yoko Ono, center, is aided by a policeman and David Geffen, right, as she leaves Roosevelt Hospital on Dec. 8, 1980, after the death of her husband.


People jam the street at Central Park West and 72nd Street, just outside the Dakota apartment house, on Dec. 14, 1980, after leaving a memorial service for Lennon held at the bandshell in Central Park. Police estimated the crowd at 50,000 to 100,000.


Mark David Chapman is booked on suspicion of murdering John Lennon shortly after the shooting. He would later plead guilty. Chapman was most recently denied parole on Sept. 7.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NYPD / European Pressphoto Agency

New York police hold spectators behind barricades on Dec. 9, 1980, the day after the shooting.


A quote by John Lennon is written on the sidewalk at Washington Square Park in late September 2001, where many messages and memorials were placed for the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and their son, Sean Lennon, appear backstage at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards show at the Staples Center on Feb. 8, 2004. The Beatles received the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences President's Award in tribute to the 40th anniversary of their arrival in the United States. Ono was on hand to receive the honor for her late husband.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

The Dakota is seen on April 7, 2010.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times

People pay tribute to John Lennon on Friday at Strawberry Fields, a memorial located in Central Park located near the place he was shot.


The "Imagine" circle in memory of John Lennon is seen in the Strawberry Fields section of Central Park.


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Remembering John Lennon

On Saturday, people around the world will mark what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. In Los Angeles, fans will gather at noon outside the Capitol Record building at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In a recent Calendar story, Randy Lewis writes about a number of memorial projects and releases, and talks with Yoko Ono. The story begins:

Fourteen years after Pete Townshend dismissed the very idea of growing up when he wrote “Hope I die before I get old,” a 40-year-old John Lennon sang a very different tune.

“I can hardly wait to see you come of age,” he sang in 1980 to his then-5-year-old son, Sean, unabashedly anticipating the future. And to his wife, Yoko Ono, he borrowed a sentiment from poet Robert Browning and crooned “Grow old with me / The best is yet to be … whatever fate decrees, we will see it through.”

Fate, however, had something other than old age in store for Lennon, who died at the hands of a crazed fan just a few months after recording those songs and many others that signaled the start of a new chapter in the ex-Beatle’s life.

“It’s hard to believe he would be 70,” Lennon’s friend Elton John said last week. “It’s hard to believe he missed out on the computer, on Twitter. I wonder what he would have made of it all? I have a feeling he would have grabbed and run with it. John Lennon, who gave so much; he would still be at the forefront.”

Three decades after his death, in some respects he is.

Click here to read the rest of that story.

Click through the gallery for pictures of Lennon’s life from the day the Beatles landed in America in 1964 until his death in 1980, and for images of his legacy.


  1. October 9, 2010, 7:25 am

    [...] picks Lennon oddities off YouTube. Public Enemy No. 1: A site devoted to FBI files on John Lennon. Remembering John Lennon: Photos from the Los Angeles Times The Bob Gruen Collection: Rock and roll photographer Bob Gruen [...]

  2. October 9, 2010, 3:04 pm

    [...] where his widow Yoko Ono and son Sean live, and where he was assassinated in 1980 – leads the celebrations, along with his birth city Liverpool. Screenings, shows, exhibitions, the relaunching of his and [...]

  3. October 19, 2010, 7:27 am

    [...] Adamstein, “Remembering John Len- non,” Los Angeles Times, October 8, [...]

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