Imagining the art

How Art Shapes Our Life

Sal MaccaroneOctober 5, 2011 

The word Art is sometimes used as a general synonym for a much broader meaning which is known as fine art. Fine art includes what are known as the five greater arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and poetry. Fine art differs from craft in that it is created primarily for aesthetic or conceptional reasons. It is judged solely for its meaningfulness and/or its beauty. Often, meaningful fine art, and the genius behind it, can lead to social change, and every once in a great while, a phenomenon of change can occur as a result of art, the artist and the timing.

Early in the 1950s, there was a revival in Britain of a musical genre called "Skiffle." This musical form had actually originated in the United States and was popular during the 20s and 30s. Originally only popular with jazz musicians, the later craze took hold in a different way, creating a flurry of young musicians forming groups to perform their own versions of this music. Because this new form did not require expensive equipment, or a great deal of musical talent, bands were popping up everywhere in England.

In 1956, "The Quarrymen," a skiffle and rock 'n' roll group, was formed in Liverpool. The founding members selected this name by extracting a lyric in their school song at Quarry Bank high school. The Quarrymen played at parties, dances, and amateur skiffle contests. After a four-year evolution of players and a few name changes such as "Johnny and the Moondogs," and "The Blackjacks," the group eventually evolved into the beloved Beatles. Still rooted in skiffle, this group incorporated many genres which included pop ballads, psychedelic rock and even classical interpretations. The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed rock band in world history.

John Winston Lennon (1940-1980) was a singer/songwriter who helped to change the world at a time when the world needed changing. First as the founding member of the Beatles, and later as a solo artist devoted to peace. Among other credits, he was recently ranked as the fifth greatest singer of all times. Together with Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most successful (poetic) songwriting partnerships of all times. Just think of the incredible social changes that occurred during those years. When he moved to New York in 1971, his rebellious nature and criticism of the war in Vietnam came very close to getting him deported. His songs, such as "Give Peace a Chance," were used as anthems during the anti-war movement. He developed a wit in his music, writing, drawings, and in film that captivated the world for those few short years.

On Dec. 8, 1980, the incredible life of John Lennon was cut short. He would be turning 71 this October.

Regarding his music, just hours before his death he was quoted as saying, "Right now I am very happy; I am Starting Over." Just Imagine the art that he could have given to us during this last 31 years.

Some interesting facts: As of 2011, John Lennon's solo album sales exceed 15 million units just in the United States where he was also responsible for 27 number one singles. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and then into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

John's first wife, Cynthia, is now 72 and their son Julian is 48. His second wife, Yoko, is now 78 and their son, Sean Ono Lennon, who was born in New York City on his father's 35th birthday, (10/9/75), will be 36 this year.

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