John Lennon was the Beatles' most committed rock & roller, their social conscience, and their slyest verbal wit. After the group's breakup, he and his second wife, Yoko Ono, carried on intertwined solo careers. Ono's early albums presaged the elastic, screechy vocal style of late- '70s new wavers like the B-52's and Lene Lovich. L7 and Babes in Toyland have also been influenced by and benefited from Ono's attitudinal, emotionally trailblazing work. Lennon strove to break taboos and to be ruthlessly, publicly honest. When he was murdered on December 8, 1980, he and Ono seemed on the verge of a new, more optimistic phase. In the years since Lennon's death, many critics and music historians have revised their view of Ono to recognize her contributions as a pioneering woman rock musician and avant-garde artist.