John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940 to a troubled, working-class Liverpool family. At art school Lennon became involved in music, buying a guitar and starting a skiffle band in early 1957. That band, the Quarrymen, evolved over the next few years into the Beatles. Shortly after forming the Beatles, Lennon married an art school classmate, Cynthia Powell, with whom he had a son, Julian, in 1963. Cynthia divorced John in 1968, clearing the way for John and Yoko to begin living and working together full time. Shortly after the release of 1968's The Beatles (aka The White Album), John and Yoko released the experimental "found sound" collection Unfinished Music, No. 1 -- Two Virgins. As Lennon spent more time collaborating with Ono, he began to distance himself from the other Beatles. In late 1969 he informed the group that he wanted to quit the band, but because contract negotiations were underway with EMI, his decision was kept quiet. Lennon and the Plastic Ono band recorded the single "Cold Turkey". In early 1980 Lennon came out of retirement and signed a new record deal with Geffen. While leaving his New York apartment on December 8, Lennon was approached by a sleazy-looking fan who requested an autograph. When John returned home several hours later, the fan was still outside his apartment, and shot Lennon several times.