Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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(Photo: ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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February 1964, Florida, USA. (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon & Ringo Starr of the Beatles, taking a dip in a swimming pool. (Photo: John Loengard/Life Magazine/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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September 1966, Germany. John Lennon in character as Musketeer Gripweed during the filming of the Dick Lester film 'How I Won The War.' (Photo: Gunter Zint/ K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/ Redferns)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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The Beatles clown about on the diving board of their Hollywood Hills hideout during their tour of Canada and the US, 28th August 1964. (Photo: Getty Images)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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Boxer Muhammad Ali meets The Beatles at his training centre in Miami, Florida, 18th February 1964. (Photo by Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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The Beatles arrive at Sydney Airport to commence their Australian tour. Around 600 fans braved the strong wind and rain to welcome the band to Sydney, 11 June 1964. (Photo: George Lipman/ The Sydney Morning Herald/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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John Lennon is having fun watching his son Julian (aged 4) playing on the edge of the swimmin pool in their house in Weybridge, Britain, 1967.

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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John Lennon at his home sitting on a wall. Weybridge, England. (Photo: Keystone-France/ Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono in a Bagism Way. April 1969 (Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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John Lennon with his son and then girlfriend May Pang. (Photo: S&G Press Agency/Redferns)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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John Lennon (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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John Lennon lived his final days in seclusion. (Photo: Toronto Star/GETTY IMAGE)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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John Lennon, singer of The Beatles, acting like he was run over by his own car. (Photo: KEYSTONE-FRANCE/GETTY IMAGES)

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

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The Charter Arms .38 Special used by Mark David Chapman to kill John Lennon. (Photo: Jack Smith/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LENON

Happy 75th John Lennon: stunning photos of a rockstar life

Kaushik Ramaswamy @kaushikramaswa1

John Lennon would have been 75 today.

Stop to consider that for a minute. The man who redefined music as we know it would have been eligible for a seniors pass had he been alive now.

Time, *cliche alert* truly does fly.

But if there's something it hasn't been able to do, it's undermine the value of Lennon's legacy.

Considering the part The Beatles played in the evolution of the soundscape of rock, we tend to speak of the band and its members interchangeably.

But while Lennon did owe his rise to fame to The Beatles, he crafted an enduring legacy all his own. Besides, Lennon famously loathed the work he did with The Beatles, so it's probably for the best that on his birthday, we leave them out of it.

A precociously talented musician, Lennon could play a variety of instruments. But more than just a musician, he was a seemingly endless wellspring of artistic creativity. From writing to painting to acting - his loopy, impressionistic sketches have been described as visual haiku - Lennon did it all.

It didn't stop at talent: he had persona to match; the sheer magnetism of his personality drew legions of fans who lapped up his message like he was their guru.

He wasn't shy of acknowledging or using his influence either - a highly political voice, he was ready to take a stance for his beliefs, willing to use his voice for more than making a quick buck or few million.

That didn't mean he was a saint, though - after all, rockstar! - and for all the advocacy of peace in his music, was reputed to have an angry streak a mile wide.

But to ignore this aspect of his personality would be folly for his work, that encompassed highs and lows, joys and sorrow was born out of the multiple shades of his personality.

For all that, though, his most memorable message is one almost simplistic in its framing, but with endless reserves of depth: All you need is love.

(Text by Ranjan Crasta)

Kaushik Ramaswamy

Kaushik Ramaswamy @kaushikramaswa1