In honor of what would have been his 74th birthday, here’s a rare clip of John Lennon performing “Imagine” live.
The performance was filmed at New York City's Apollo Theater December 17, 1971.
Rather than playing the piano, which the song was composed on, Lennon plays an acoustic guitar and is accompanied by a group of acoustic players.
Several poems from Yoko Ono's 1964 book Grapefruit are said to have influenced Lennon's lyrics for "Imagine."
The song can be found on Lennon's 1971 LP of the same name. The album features a more heavily produced sound when compared to the simple arrangements of his previous album, Plastic Ono Band.
"Imagine" is the best-selling single of Lennon’s solo career; it peaked at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Since its release, it has been performed by a number of artists, including Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, Cee Lo Green and Train.
Enjoy the performance below and take a second to remember the brilliance of John Lennon! You can find out more at johnlennon.com.
Here's another video showing Lennon in the studio recording "Imagine":