IT'S ALIVE: John Lennon "Come Together" (Madison Square Garden, 1972)
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John Winston Lennon was born on this day in Liverpool, England in 1940. The founder of the legendary band The Beatles began the earliest iteration of the group as a teenager. He was first heavily influenced by the folk subgenre "skiffle", a style that enjoyed a surge in popularity in the United Kingdom in the 1950s, and at 16, he started a skiffle band called The Quarrymen. Over the next few years, the group would see several lineup changes, including the addition of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, and by 1959, they had changed their name to The Beatles.
The Beatles were signed to Parlaphone Records in 1962, and released the debut album Please Please Me the following year. The band went on to become one of the most influential and recognizable bands of all-time, with a cultural impact is difficult to capture in words. Some people view them as the most important band in rock music, some people are stern detractors of the work, and some are fully convinced that the band is a complete hoax and never even existed!
The Beatles retired from the road in 1966, and Lennon did not play any full-length concerts for several years. In 1972, he organized concerts at Madison Square Garden to benefit Willowbrook State School, a school for disabled children. The concerts would be his first, and last, full-length concerts. This clip from that show features his performance of "Come Together".