Three Cheers for John Lennon!

“All you need is love.” – John Lennon

Perhaps Mark David Chapman, the deranged fan who shot him, had just about too much love for his idol. Either that or when John Lennon said that, he hadn’t thought it would affect the world so much that it cost him his life.

Singer-songwriter John Lennon was the brains behind The Beatles. In 1957, Lennon met Paul McCartney and invited him to join his music group. Back then, The Beatles had not yet made an appearance in the music scene. When they both formed a musical partnership, it was under a different name but it was the most successful songwriting partnership in the history of music.

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Founder of The Beatles: John Lennon. Photo by Librarising.

John Lennon: The Legend

  • Date and Place of Birth: October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom
  • Date and Place of Passing: December 8, 1980, in New York, United States

Born and Bred in Britain

John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool during a German air raid in World War II. When he was 4 years old, his parents separated and he went to live with his Aunt Mimi. His father was a merchant seaman, and despite being mostly away at sea, this had not fueled the fatherly urge to see his son more often. He was not even present at his son’s birth and did not see much of his son during his years of growing up. His mother, Julia, remarried and made a point to see her son and Mimi more regularly. She taught him how to play the banjo and the piano, and purchased his first guitar! His mother played an important role during his childhood years, and he was understood to be devastated when she was hit by a car driven by an off-duty police officer in 1958.

The Beginning of ‘The Beatles’

The Quarry Men was Lennon’s first band, an inspirational result of Elvis Presley’s explosion in the rock music scene. A year after Lennon invited McCartney to join the band, the latter introduced George Harrison to Lennon, and soon, Harrison and art college buddy Stuart Sutcliffe became members. In 1960, Pete Best became the drummer for their band. Buddy Holly’s ‘That’ll Be The Day‘ was the first recording they made. Apparently, it was Holly’s group, The Crickets who inspired Lennon’s band to change its name to The Beatles!

In 1961, Brian Epstein became the manager of The Beatles and secured a record contract for the band with EMI, with Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) as the new drummer, and George Martin as the producer. The band released their first single ‘Love Me Do‘ that hit the British charts at No. 17. Inspired by Roy Orbison, Lennon wrote the band’s follow-up single ‘Please Please Me‘, which topped the charts in Britain. The Beatles became the most popular band in Britain with mega-hit releases like ‘She Loves You‘ and ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand‘.

In 1962, Lennon married Cynthia Powell, and had a son called Julian (named after Lennon’s mother). However, his hopes for a good marriage crumbled due to the huge success of his band, famously known as the Beatlemania. Four years later, they divorced. In 1967, he remarried to Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, whom he met at the Indica Gallery in 1966.

Beatlemania Takes Flight!

The Beatles became the first British band to break into the big scene in US. Beatlemania had launched a “British Invasion” of rock bands which included the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. The Beatles returned to Britain for their first film titled ‘A Hard Day’s Night‘ (1964) and prepared for their first world tour. Their second film ‘Help!‘ (1965) paved the way for the honour bestowed upon by Queen Elizabeth II of England that they would be named a Member of the Order of the British Empire. In 1965, the band performed to 55,600 fans at New York’s Shea Stadium, a new record for largest concert audience in the history of music. That year, the band returned to England and recorded their breakthrough album ‘Rubber Soul’, notably remembered for extending beyond love songs and pop formulas which the band was previously well-known for.

The Beatles took a break and returned to the studio to expand their experimental sound with a drug-influenced exotic instrumentation with lyrics and tape abstractions. The first sample was the single ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever‘ followed by the album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘ in 1967. The album was considered by many to be the greatest rock project in musical history.

Lennon’s Solo Career

In 1969, John Lennon left The Beatles after the band had completed the recording for ‘Abbey Road‘. A year later, Lennon released his debut solo album ‘John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band’ which featured a raw and minimalist sound followed by “primal-scream” therapy. In 1971, Lennon released the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed track called ‘Imagine‘. The track took No. 3 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s “All-Time Best Songs” list.

In 1973, he and Ono separated. Lennon went to Los Angeles and released hit albums, including ‘Mind Games‘ (1973), ‘Walls and Bridges‘ (1974), and ‘Rock and Roll‘ (1975). It was during this time that Lennon had collaborated with David Bowie and Elton John. A reconciliation took place in 1974 between Lennon and Ono, and were gifted with the birth of their only child, a son named Sean. It was then that Lennon decided to leave the music industry to focus on being a family man.

In 1980, he returned to the music industry with the album ‘Double Fantasy’, featuring the hit single ‘(Just Like) Starting Over‘. Sadly, a few weeks after the release of the album, he was shot several times by a deranged fan, identified as Mark David Chapman. Lennon died at New York’s Roosevelt Hospital on December 8, 1980. He was 40 years old. His death left a profound impact on pop culture. Millions of fans worldwide mourned as record sales tipped the scales. His untimely death evoked deep sadness around the globe today, as he continued to be admired by new legions of fans. In 1987, he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

No Shooting Please. Just Posters 🙂

Show a burst of love and support for the British superstar and The Beatles by getting their posters below (we have three of John Lennon himself, and two of The Beatles) at our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus or place your order with us on our official Posterific Facebook page!

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Gandhi: A Spiritual and Political Leader

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi

An advocate for peace, independence, and for the human rights of Indians, Mahatma Gandhi was always prepared to fight for these three things. Even if it meant using the method of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi was not a fan of violence, nor was he a violent man. He was the primary leader of India’s independence movement as well as the architect and pioneer of Satyagraha, a form of civil disobedience that would influence the world.

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Mahatma Gandhi: A Man of India. Photo by Biography.com.

The Birth of a Leader

  • Date and Place of Birth: October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Kathiawar, India
  • Date and Place of Passing: January 30, 1948, in New Delhi, India

Mahatma Gandhi, born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, had studied law in England before travelling to South Africa in 1893 to fight for the rights of Indians there. Around 1914-1915, Gandhi returned to India and was given the titles ‘Father of the Nation’ and leader of Indian nationalism in the country, then ruled by the British. With this in mind, he became the leader of India’s independence movement and organized boycotts against British institutions in peaceful forms of civil disobedience.

The Fight for Liberation

This form of resistance through mass non-violent civil disobedience is known as Satyagraha, which he was a pioneer of, and with this, he became one of the major political and spiritual leaders of his time. Today, Satyagraha remains one of the most potent and worldwide known philosophies in freedom struggles.

In 1914, when Gandhi returned to India, he became the leader of the Indian National Congress, advocating a policy of non-violence to achieve independence for his country. His goal was to provide assistance to poor farmers and labourers to protest oppressive taxation and discrimination. He also struggled to alleviate poverty, liberate women, and put an end to caste discrimination with the objective of self-ruling for India. As a result of his strong contention following his civil disobedience campaign, Gandhi was jailed for conspiracy from 1922 to 1924. In 1930, Gandhi led a march to the sea and collect salt as a symbolic defiance of government monopoly. After his release from prison in 1931, he attended the London Round Table Conference on the constitutional reformation for India. In 1946, he negotiated with the Cabinet Mission and recommended the new constitutional structure for India.

The Assassination

Once India received its independence in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi tried to put a stop to the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Bengal. This resulted in his assassination in New Delhi at the hands of a Hindu fanatic by the name of Nathuram Godse. Even after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, his commitment to non-violence and his belief in a life of simplicity and devotion (making his own clothes, following a vegetarian diet, and fasting for self-purification as well as a means of protest) have become a beacon of hope for the oppressed and marginalized people throughout the world.

The Commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday which falls today on October 2 is now a national holiday in India. It is a widely celebrated event as well as one that is commemorated by the United Nations as the International Day of Non-Violence. Happy Birthday, Gandhi, and Happy International Day of Non-Violence to everyone! Let us enjoy the peace for just one day, love our neighbours the way we would love ourselves, and make love and peace, not war.

Support Gandhi and pray with him in our hearts by getting your posters at our physical store at Taylor’s University Lakeside campus or purchase one via our Facebook page!

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Happy Birthday, Michael Jackson!

Fame and fortune definitely can’t buy happiness, and it rings quite true for celebrities. Despite all the wealth amassed from making movies, and all the fame from sponsorship deals and big-time endorsements, they will still fall like ordinary folk.

Today marks the 56th birthday of Michael Jackson, the King of Pop; one of the world’s most successful performers! It’s a shame that he died in such an unglorified manner. That he left before he could make his comeback tour. And lost the chance to redeem himself for all the headlines he made in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Did you know…

… that Michael Jackson’s obsession with his skin condition was influenced by a serious injury sustained while filming for a Pepsi-Cola commercial in 1984? He suffered burns to his face and scalp, and had surgeries to fix his injuries. As a result, his interest in experimenting with plastic surgery led to his dramatic alterations to his face, especially his nose, in the coming years.

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Michael Jackson in his prime as a successful solo artiste. Photo by Billboard.

  • Date and Place of Birth: August 29, 1958, in Gary, Indiana.
  • Date and Place of Passing: June 25, 2009, in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Jackson (MJ) was born in an African-American working-class family, with a guitarist father who put aside his musical aspirations to provide for his family as a crane operator. His father knew his sons had talent, and molded them into a musical group in the early 1960s. The group initially consisted of the older Jackson brothers: Tito, Jermaine, and Jackie. MJ only joined the group when he turned five, eventually emerging as the group’s lead vocalist. Another older brother, Marlon, became a member of the group and they were known as the Jackson 5.

An Early Successful Career

At age 13, MJ launched his own solo career and became one of the most internationally famous award-winning solo pop sensations to date! His song “Got to Be There” from the album of the same name topped the charts in 1971, and with his album “Ben” (which featured an eponymous ballad about a rat) in 1972. That song became Jackson’s first solo No. 1 single. MJ continued to wow the music world with his next solo album, “Off the Wall” (1979), an infectious blend of pop and funk, with tracks like the Grammy-award winning “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough“, “Rock With You“, and “She’s Out of My Life“. In 1982, he collaborated with Paul McCartney in “The Girl Is Mine“, which appeared on his next solo album, “Thriller” that same year. The album generated seven TOP 10 hits, became the best-selling album in history, and received 12 Grammy Award nominations, out of which he won 8. MJ’s performance “Billie Jean” also became a No.1 hit, and his famous dance move, “The Moonwalk” debuted in it. By then, he was already a veteran performer, and he choreographed the dance move for the video of another No.1 hit, “Beat It“. Other hits included “Man in the Mirror” (1987), “Black or White” (1991 – with child star Macaulay Culkin), “You Are Not Alone” (1995), and “Scream” (1995 – a duet with his sister Janet).

MJ was on a roll to become the best of the best. He broke numerous records as an artiste. He earned several Guinness World Records titles, including the achievement for the longest span of U.S. Top 40 singles, 13 Grammy Awards (8 in a night in 1984), a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the first artiste to have 5 No.1 singles from the same album (1987’s “Bad“).

A Downhill Slide

He had more fame and fortune than he knew what to do with it, and made decisions with his wealth that if he was alive today, he’d regret his actions. MJ built a fantasy ranch retreat Neverland in California and kept exotic pets like a chimpanzee called Bubbles. He invited children for sleepovers at his ranch, leading to child molestation allegations pressed by parents of the children whom he had invited. Rumours surfaced, including one where he was believed to be lightening his skin colour to appear more white and slept in a special chamber to increase his life span! In 1994, he wed Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley in what critics believed to be a publicity ploy in response to the child molest allegations. The couple divorced in 1996, and he married nurse Debbie Rowe, with whom he had two children through artificial insemination: Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson Jr. (1997) and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson (1998). MJ may be a successful chart-topping singer but where marriages were concerned, his was not a happy ending. He divorced Rowe in 1999, with MJ receiving full custody of their children, and later on, having a third child with an unknown surrogate: another son, Prince Michael “Blanket” Jackson II.

Things became worse for MJ, more recognized then as a quirky eccentric. His odd behaviour overshadowed his success, and often appeared in public with a surgical mask and his children’s faces hidden under veils. He made headlines when he looked confused and disoriented at an MTV Awards Show in 2002. He was criticized for dangling his son, Prince Michael II, over a balcony while greeting fans in Berlin, which led to demands that Child Protective Services take his children from him. MJ faced more legal issues in 2004 when he was arrested on child molestation charges with a 13-year-old boy in 2003 for lewd conduct with a minor, attempted lewd conduct, administering alcohol to facilitate molestation, and conspiracy to commit child abduction, false imprisonment, and extortion.

A Superstar’s Tragic Death

In 2009, MJ suffered cardiac arrest in his L.A. home. He was rushed to hospital after his heart stopped but CPR attempts failed, and he died, at 50 years old, later that morning. He never got to experience the anticipated success of his comeback tour (all tickets for the show sold out in just 4 days). He may have lived out his final days as a nutcase to many, but he was still the most successful performer of all time, and his death resulted in worldwide grief and sympathy, and memorials for him were erected around the world.

Can’t get enough of the King of Pop even after his tragic death? Then celebrate his posthumous awesomeness and get your Michael Jackson posters from our official Posterific Facebook page, while stocks last!

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Long Live the Anti-Apartheid Hero

“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela, President of South Africa (1918-2013)

When you see the name ‘Nelson Mandela’, you remember the anti-apartheid period that he fought against for many years to free his people, and achieve human rights and a better future for the South African masses. As a result of his political attempts to overthrow the pro-apartheid government, he spent 27 years in prison. Nelson Mandela became famous for his long fight against bad government and racial prejudice. He became a hero to people all over the world.

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President Nelson Mandela of South Africa (1918-2013) from Northampton Community College

Biography of a Great Statesman

Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918 in South Africa. He was nine years old when his father passed away, and he was looked after by the Regent (Acting Chief) Jongintaba Dalindyebo. Mandela was given the name of ‘Nelson’ by his primary school teacher Miss Mdingane in Qunu, as it was customary for all school children to receive Christian names. Nelson Mandela was could have completed his education in several universities but due to his interest in politics and participation in a student protest, he was expelled from Fort Hart University.

South Africa: The Past and the Present

Back then, black people had no say in how their country was run. The government consisted of white people, and most black people were poor and could only afford to work as servants, farmers, and in factories and gold mines. In 1948, the government created new laws to keep white people and black people apart. The law was called ‘apartheid’ (pronounced as A-PART-HITE). Mandela voiced out against this new law and played his part by joining the African National Congress (ANC) to fight for equalities and human rights for black people. Due to his constant protesting and heightened political interest, the government arrested Mandela in 1956 for treason. After a lengthy five-year trial, he was set free in 1961. That same year, South Africa left the Commonwealth. Despite having the support of millions of people in other countries for the anti-apartheid movement, the refusal of other nations, sports teams, and entertainers to want to have anything to do with the country, yet the government refused to change. A year later, Mandela was re-arrested on charges of sabotaging and plotting to overthrow the government. In 1964, at age 46, he was given a life sentence.

Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990, and in 1991, he became the leader of the ANC. In 1994, all black people were finally given their rights to vote. The ANC won the elections and a new government took over. In May 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black President of South Africa before retiring in 1999. As South Africa’s President, he was respected for his courage and wisdom in bringing people together to live in peace. Nelson Mandela’s unwavering efforts to bring together a nation of mixed races and backgrounds turned him into a legendary man, famously recognized all around the world. The great leader passed away on December 5, 2013 from an illness in the lungs.

Today, we will pay a tribute to the inspirational leader who secured a better future for his people. Together, we celebrate the 96th birthday of Nelson Mandela. Happy birthday from us at Posterific to the anti-apartheid hero! To show your support for Mandela, you can get posters of him from our Facebook page:

Nelson Mandela

An All Starr Birthday!

Ringo Starr, a drummer and singer-songwriter of the Beatles, will be celebrating his 74th birthday  on July 7. Starr is a member of the successful British band who made headlines in the 1960s, creating hits like ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand‘, ‘A Hard Day’s Night‘, and ‘Yellow Submarine‘. Hardcore Beatles fans will definitely remember more songs than what are mentioned here.

A Brief Tale of a Talented Artiste

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Drummer Ringo Starr for The Beatles by PopSugar

Ringo Starr was born as Richard Starkey in Liverpool, England, on July 7, 1940. He was a school dropout as he often fell ill and missed out a lot in school. Starr started off as a percussionist in a skiffle band (a group of musicians who used common objects instead of regular instruments) before joining a popular local band called Rory Storm and the Hurricanes in the late 1950s. He was nicknamed ‘Ringo’ because of the rings he wore, and his drum solos for the group were called ‘Starr-time’. Despite everything, he made it big in the music industry and secured a successful career. Starr is known for his easygoing personality and rose to fame in 1960s as a member of The Beatles. He may have started out as a drummer for them, but he is also a fantastic singer, songwriter and actor, which only cements the fact that he is a successful musician as a whole.

Life with the Beatles

Starr found fame and fortune after joining Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison to form The Beatles in 1960. They made music, created top hits, gathered many adoring fans, and left a mark in musical history forever be remembered by everyone. The band broke up in 1970 with McCartney announcing his separation from the band and Starr pursued his own musical interests. In the end, he was as successful as the rest, making a name for himself, and getting married twice! He has three children from his first marriage (one of whom became an accomplished drummer like himself), and later on, found love in the arms of another and they have been happily married since.

Let’s join Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, in a ‘Peace and Love‘ celebration by thinking or saying “Peace and Love” on July 7 at 12:00 noon in honour of his birthday. Send your own #peacerocks message or photo and share it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We will get the ball rolling with our own #peacerocks message:

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For the Beatles fans, you can get your posters here at our Posterific Facebook store!

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