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约翰·列侬——天才早逝

2014-01-02 08:24:40 疯狂英语·中学版 2013年12期

by Isaac Orwell

“You may say Im a dreamer But Im not the only one

I hope someday youll join us And the world will live as one”—Imagine

John Lennon was born in Liverpool in the autumn of 1940. The Battle of Britain注1 had just ended, but the war with Germany was far from over. It was into this 1)unsound environment that John Lennon 2)emerged. Who would have thought that he would become such a multi-talented musical genius?

Johns early years were certainly not easy. His parents 3)split when he was a 4)toddler and he was raised by his aunt, Mimi Smith. But he remained close to his mother, who encouraged him to learn the 5)banjo, later 6)switching to guitar. 7)Tragedy struck when John was 18, when his mother was struck and killed by a car. Lennon was 8)traumatised by her death. The turning point in his life though came when he developed a strong interest in skiffle注2, a type of rock and roll music, whilst in his teenage years.

It was while playing for a skiffle band he had formed at school that he met Paul McCartney. The two 9)struck up an immediate friendship, and developed a fine partnership, writing and composing songs. After performing under several band names, the pair, along with George Harrison and Pete Best, settled on calling themselves The Beatles. They played eight-hour 10)shifts at various nightclubs in Hamburg, and were popular at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. The drummer, Pete Best, was not particularly good though and held them back. The decision was made to replace him with Ringo Starr, and soon afterwards The Beatles were signed by George Martin for EMI records.

The band began 11)churning out 12)hit after hit, with numerous number ones. Lennon and McCartney were the creative force behind the group, and the amount of quality material they produced was amazing. They began touring the world and were hugely popular, especially in the US. This all changed however, when at a 13)press conference, John Lennon claimed the band were more popular than Jesus, 14)provoking 15)outrage throughout America. They all agreed to put an end to the tours and returned home in 1966.

Around this time, Lennon met Yoko Ono. Although they were immediately attracted to each other, John was married to Cynthia Powell and they had a child. It soon became clear to Cynthia though, where Johns 16)affections lie, and she 17)filed for divorce. John and Yoko married in 1969.

In 1970, Paul McCartney quit the Beatles, causing tension between himself and John. A year later, Lennon released the hugely popular Imagine album. Together he and Yoko 18)campaigned for world peace. Calling for an end to the Vietnam War 19)offended the American government deeply, and he nearly lost his green card as a result.

From 1975 to 1979, John Lennon produced no music of any real quality, preferring to stay at home with his young son Sean, whom Yoko had borne. If he had known what was to follow, it is very likely that he would have stuck with that peaceful lifestyle.

Unable to 20)repress the musical genius inside himself, he wrote the album Double Fantasy.

On December 8th, 1980, the 40-year-old artist was shot and killed by an 21)obsessed fan in New York City. He was entering his 22)luxury Manhattan apartment building when Mark David Chapman shot him four times at close 23)range. Lennon was rushed to the hospital but died 24)en route. Chapman had received an autograph from Lennon earlier in the day and voluntarily remained at the scene of the shooting until he was arrested by police. For a week, hundreds of fans kept a 25)vigil outside Lennons apartment building, and 26)demonstrations of 27)mourning were held around the world.

Chapman was to receive a 28)life sentence, but the rest of the world was 29)deprived of yet more musical brilliance from the former Beatle. Lets all be glad at least, that he gave us a taste of his magic.

1940年秋,约翰·列侬出生于(英国)利物浦。当时不列颠之战刚刚结束,但英国与德国之间的战争远未结束。就是在这种动荡不安的环境中,约翰·列侬出现了。谁曾想到,他会成为这样一位多才多艺的音乐天才?

显然,列侬的早年生活并不容易。他的父母在他蹒跚学步的时候就离异了,他由姨妈米米·史密斯抚养长大,不过他与母亲依然关系紧密。她鼓励他学习班卓琴,后来改学吉他。列侬18岁时,悲剧降临,他的母亲被车撞死了。她的死让列侬受到巨大的创伤。后来,在青少年时代,他对噪音爵士(摇滚乐的一种类型)产生了浓厚的兴趣,这成为了他的人生转折点。

他在学校里组建了一支噪音爵士乐队,并在参加乐队表演时遇见了保罗·麦卡特尼。两人一拍即合,成为一对好搭档,一起写词作曲。乐队的名字几经变换之后,这两人和乔治·哈里森、皮特·贝斯特一起,将乐队命名为“甲壳虫”。他们在(德国)汉堡的各个夜总会轮流演出,每场8小时;他们在利物浦的“洞穴俱乐部”也大受欢迎。由于鼓手皮特·贝斯特不是特别优秀,乐队的发展受到了制约。于是,他们决定让林戈·斯塔尔取而代之。不久之后,甲壳虫乐队就被乔治·马丁签到了百代唱片企业(EMI)旗下。

从此,甲壳虫乐队便开始抛出无数金曲,登上榜首的歌数不胜数。列侬和麦卡特尼是团队背后的主创力量,他们创造出来的优质素材数量惊人。甲壳虫乐队开始在世界进行巡回演出,极受欢迎,尤其是在美国。然而,约翰·列侬在一次资讯发布会上称其乐队比耶稣还受欢迎,这一言论激怒了整个美国,从此一切都改变了。于是他们同意终止巡回演出,并于1966年回国。

大约就在这个时候,列侬遇见了小野洋子。尽管他们一见钟情,但是当时列侬已经娶了辛西娅·鲍威尔,并且两人育有一个孩子。然而辛西娅很快明白了列侬的心之所向,于是申请离婚。1969年,列侬和小野洋子结为夫妇。

1970年,保罗·麦卡特尼离开甲壳虫乐队,他与列侬之间的关系也因此变得紧张。一年后,列侬发布了大受欢迎的专辑《想象》,和小野洋子一同呼吁世界和平。列侬提倡结束越战的呼声大大得罪了美国政府,为此他差点失去了绿卡。

1975年到1979年间,列侬没有创作出真正有分量的音乐,宁可留在家里陪伴洋子与他所生的年幼儿子肖恩。如果他知道接下来将发生的事情,他很可能会继续过这种波澜不惊的平静生活。

然而,他无法抑制自己内心的音乐天分,又写出了专辑《双重幻想》。

1980年12月8日,这位40岁的艺术家在纽约被一名狂热的歌迷枪杀。当时,就在他正要进入曼哈顿的豪华寓所时,马克·大卫·查普曼向他近距离开了四枪。尽管列侬被紧急送往医院,但在途中死亡。当天早些时候,查普

曼曾拿到列侬的亲笔签名。枪案发生后,查普曼自愿留在现场,直到被警方逮捕。整整一个星期,数百名歌迷守候在列侬家的公寓大楼外,世界各地的人们也纷纷涌向街头为他哀悼。

尽管查普曼被判终身监禁,然而,世界已经不再有机会分享这位前甲壳虫乐队成员的音乐才华了。但是,至少他曾让大家品尝过他的魅力,让大家为此而感到欣慰吧。

约翰·列侬,这位被誉为摇滚史上最伟大的音乐家,是英国著名摇滚乐队“甲壳虫”(又译“披头士”)的灵魂人物,同时也是诗人、社会活动家、反战人士。列侬与保罗·麦卡特尼的合作是20世纪最成功、也是最具影响力的创作组合之一。 1970年乐队解散后,列侬发行的个人专辑《想象》备受赞誉,主打歌《想象》也成为传唱度极高的经典歌曲。也许是天妒英才,1980年12月8日晚上10点50分,列侬在纽约的寓所前被一名狂热的男歌迷枪杀,举世震惊。摇滚乐坛从此失去了一位传奇人物。

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