The Lennon Wall

John Lennon (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the band “The Beatles”, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. With fellow member Paul McCartney, he formed a celebrated songwriting partnership.

Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager; his first band, the “Quarrymen”, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance”, “Working Class Hero”, and “Imagine”.

The Lennon Wall, or John Lennon Wall, is a wall in Prague, Czech Republic. Once a normal wall, since the 1980s it has been filled with John Lennon-inspired graffiti and pieces of lyrics from The Beatles’songs.

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In 1988, the wall was a source of irritation for the communist regime of Gustáv Husák. Young Czechs would write grievances on the wall and in a report of the time this led to a clash between hundreds of students and security police on the nearby Charles Bridge. The movement these students followed was described ironically as “Lennonism” and Czech authorities described these people variously as alcoholics, mentally deranged, sociopathic, and agents of Western capitalism.

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Lennon Wall in August 1981
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Evolution of the Lennon Wall 1993

The wall continuously undergoes change and the original portrait of Lennon is long lost under layers of new paint. Even when the wall was repainted by some authorities, on the second day it was again full of poems and flowers. Today, the wall represents a symbol of global ideals such as love and peace and is a continuous inspiration for many generations.

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