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John Lennon at 70: Imagine Google's animated homage

John Lennon – the former guitarist and vocalist for the Beatles – would have been 70 on Saturday. And to celebrate, Google UK has uploaded an interactive Lennon doodle to its homepage.

By Matthew Shaer / October 8, 2010

Google UK honored John Lennon today with a new homepage design – and an MP3.

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John Lennon, the pioneering songwriter and a member of the most-famous pop group of all-time, would have turned 70-years-old on Saturday, and to celebrate, Google UK is running an interactive doodle on its homepage. (Video below.) Alas, American users get nothing more than the regular old Google logo (at least today), but if you're longing for a look at the Lennon doodle, navigate over to Google.co.uk.

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Update: The doodle is now on Google.com as well.

The logo initially appears to be a static illustration; click on the play button, however, and a short video – set to the song "Imagine" – will begin to play.

IN PICTURES: Google's Doodles

This weekend also marks the release of "Nowhere Boy," a movie about Lennon's adolescence in England. "Nowhere Boy" – which has been praised by no less an eminence than Yoko Ono – has received middling marks from reviewers. "Director Sam Taylor-Wood and screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh are overfond of British kitchen sink/Angry Young Man realism – surely there must have been more larky spiritedness in the young Lennon – and the scenes involving the nascent stirrings of the Beatles are undercut, through no fault of his own, by the actor playing Paul McCartney, Thomas Brodie Sangster, who looks to be around 11 instead of 15," writes Monitor critic Peter Rainer.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Ono remembered that Lennon dreaded his 40th birthday; she said he would have been more relaxed about turning 70.

But she also said the state of the world today would have made her husband "totally angry.... He would have felt like he wanted to run somewhere and just bang something or strangle someone, you know? But then I think, I'm sure he would have relaxed and decided he should still be an activist. We need to really do something about the world. Otherwise, we're all going to blow up together," Ono said.

IN PICTURES: Google's Doodles

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