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John Lennon Lives!

According to a popular fan theory, John Lennon was in bed watching Monday Night Football when Howard Cosell broke in to announce that Lennon had been shot. Rather than come out and deny the reports (as Paul McCartney had done when his death rumors swirled in 1969), Lennon embraced them as an opportunity for privacy and quietly welcomed his fate.

Now, let’s extrapolate: A public figure like Lennon could keep his continuing existence a secret in New York for only so long, so he was outed the next day by a fan who climbed onto his balcony and observed the musician dancing naked in his living room, singing “Free as a Bird” at the top of his lungs. Thirty-five years have passed since then, and today Lennon turns 75. He has grown into a hoary rock star, jumped without abandon into the realm of social media and become a familiar staple on late-night talk shows. Let’s see what he’s been up to so far in 2015.

January: On Twitter, Lennon calls Paul McCartney’s new single, “FourFiveSeconds,” an “insipid piece of twaddlecock.” McCartney, in turn, calls Lennon an “insipid twaddlecock of peace.” Kanye West’s response is retweeted so many times, it briefly causes Twitter to crash: “Yo all these music egos need to CHILL.”

February: Lennon is nominated for, but fails to win, an Academy Award for best voice-over performance for Pixar’s 3-D adaptation of Yellow Submarine. At the Oscars, he presents the award for best visual effects alongside a CGI Blue Meanie, voiced by Sasha Baron Cohen.

March: Inspired by the “Blurred Lines” plagiarism lawsuit, Lennon sues the United Nations Security Council for copyright infringement over Resolution 2199, a piece of antiterrorism legislation passed in February, alleging “intrinsic resemblance to the title and numerical concept of plaintiff’s composition ‘Revolution 9.’” The court rules in favor of Lennon. Resolution 2199 is thereafter credited to Lennon–UN Security Council.

April: In its first “Most Popular” issue, People magazine ranks Lennon the fourth most popular person of all time, two spots ahead of Jesus Christ. Twitter erupts. Beatles albums burn. Nobody seems to notice that Pope Francis came in at number three.

May: A dispute between Lennon and McCartney over a Spotify deal results in the splitting up of the rights-holding entity Lennon–McCartney. Lennon then makes his portions of all Lennon–McCartney songs available free of charge, while McCartney restricts his to premium subscribers. Spotify users can now listen to the bridge of “Michelle” for free but have to pay up to hear the verses.

June: The day after Donald Trump announces his presidential run, Lennon goes on The Daily Show and performs a slowed-down acoustic version of “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.” A chorus of Syrian refugee children sings backup. Yoko Ono plays bongos.

July: Lennon’s latest album with Ono, Two Virgins 2, is an international hit. The album art, which reprises their original pose, is not.

August: Lennon’s memoir, In My Life, is published. In a surprising revelation, it turns out that the original name of the Beatles was, in fact, the Bee-Uhls, as Lennon has always pronounced it, but a band booker had wrongly transcribed it in 1960.

September: Lennon’s benefit concert for Phil Spector, which includes the reworked Beatles classics “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Spector” and “The Continuing Saga of Bungalow Phil,” is panned by Rolling Stone as “the most ill-conceived benefit concert of all time. It would be for the benefit of Mr. Lennon that the album never sees the light of

day.” The review sparks such curiosity that Concert for Phil shoots to number one on iTunes.

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