Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono and More Pay Tribute to John Lennon on What Would Have Been His 80th Birthday
By Meredith B. Kile
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
John Lennon would have turned 80 years old on Friday, and his family, friends and famous fans are all paying tribute to the legendary Beatles singer.
Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City apartment building on Dec. 8, 1980, but his music and messages live on for millions around the world. The singer's widow, Yoko Ono, marked the special day by encouraging fans to spread positive energy, and celebrating the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower in Reykjavík, Iceland, in Lennon's memory.
"Remember, each one of us has the power to change the world. Power works in mysterious ways. We don’t have to do much," Ono wrote. "Visualize the domino effect and just start thinking PEACE. Thoughts are infectious. Send it out. The message will circulate faster than you think. It’s Time for Action. The Action is PEACE. Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE. IMAGINE PEACE. PEACE is POWER! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I love you!"
The singer's former Beatles bandmates were also among the many to post memories of and tributes to Lennon on what would have been a milestone birthday. Paul McCartney shared a sweet photo of the two smiling as they worked on a song together, writing, "I love this picture, it reminds me of the bond between us. Happy 80th John. Love Paul."
And the official account of the late George Harrison, run by his estate, shared several photos and quotes from Harrison about Lennon: "I was asked by John to join the group, I didn’t twist his arm," Harrison said of joining The Beatles. "He was very friendly with me; John & I had a good friendship from very early on."
Lennon and Ono's son, Sean Ono Lennon, who shares his birthday with his late father, celebrated by urging fans to use a special social media filter in celebration of a new remastered collection of Lennon songs, GIMME SOME TRUTH.
"Hey guys check out this Instagram and Snapchat filter they made so we can celebrate dad’s 80th anniversary together and ask for some much needed Truth!" he shared. "Please put #gimmesometruth and tag @johnlennon to venerate Truth again and help remember his message of Peace and Love! (Search ‘gimme some truth’ in the filter menu.) Pass it on! 🙏."
Sean recently spoke with STROMBO on Apple Music Hits about remixing his father's songs for GIMME SOME TRUTH. He explained that for his family, and mom Yoko in particular, there was a motivation to keep Lennon's message alive and not allow the music to be lost to new generations.
"For her it's all about peace and love and the message. I mean, she's really sincerely a kind of philosophical, spiritual person and leader. That's where, for her, it's all about the message. And when it comes to her motivation for revisiting the music and putting it out and making sure that my dad's songs are treated well, it really has to do with her belief that the message is important and we can't let it disappear."
"We have to make sure that it remains in the consciousness and the bloodstream of culture and society … I think it's more true today than it has been at any other point in my lifetime in terms of remembering peace and love and gimme some truth. Both of those ideas are paramount. I think it was a really great opportunity in this bizarre, pandemic, election year to bring back a potent message in his words, and in his music that I think is sort of needed right now."
Lennon's elder son, Julian, also shared a photo of his dad with a heart emoji, as well as a birthday tribute to Sean, "My Blood, My Brother & My Best Friend."
“John was a great singer. I liked all of his songs, he really wrote good songs. “Norwegian Wood,” I just liked the chords, you know? And “In My Life,” yeah (sings) ‘In my life, I loved you more.’ He inspired Pet Sounds. Happy 80th Birthday, John.”@email@example.com/aDcJbI48lX
To mark what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday today, David Bowie’s tribute to his friend (an emotional performance of Imagine live in Hong Kong on 8th December, 1983), has been restored from the original film to 4K and is available to view here: https://t.co/w4En6IitOSpic.twitter.com/dGNk8PGpJ5
"80 ??…hmmm…dead at 40….Imagine….what he might have done if he hadn’t so cruelly been taken away from us all. We recorded our 1st album in his old house back in 1979 … you don’t forget things like that, you don’t forget people like @johnlennon..." -Joe Elliott#LENNON80pic.twitter.com/fTzqslN4R8