Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Heard the News Today, Oh Boy….John Lennon Murdered in NYC

It doesn't seem right that the man who gave us "All You Need is Love" and "Give Peace a Chance" met with such a violent end on December 8, 1980. John Lennon was a man whose music came to embody a generation as a member of the Beatles. After the break up of the Beatles, he made several solo albums and adopted a new hometown, New York City. After the birth of his son Sean in 1975, he retired from public life to be a stay at home dad. In 1980, he re-emerged with a new album called Double Fantasy about his life with wife Yoko Ono and son, Sean.

On December 8, 1980, the fantasy of John Lennon’s life came to an abrupt end at the hands of Mark David Chapman. Earlier in the day, Chapman waited outside of Lennon’s apartment building, the Dakota, to get an autograph. That evening, he returned and shot Lennon in cold blood with a .38 caliber revolver. After shooting Lennon, he waited for police to arrive as John Lennon lay dying nearby. He was sentenced to twenty years to life. In 2000, he was denied parole. At his hearing, the New York State prison officials explained their decision saying, his “vicious and violent act was apparently fueled by your need to be acknowledged.” He continues to live behind bars at Attica Prison in New York State.

After his death, John Lennon was honored around the world, and people gathered outside the Dakota to listen to his music in a candlelight vigil. Here is a clip of a crowd singing some of his songs during a candlelight vigil.

Here is John Lennon performing “Imagine” at Madison Square Garden in 1972.

Read an interesting article about John Lennon in the December 1980 issue of New York magazine.

Here is a very candid 1970 interview with Rolling Stone founder and editor Jann Wenner. The interview took place soon after the Beatle’s break-up, and John Lennon sounds bitter in his comments about his fellow Beatles. He would reconcile with Paul McCartney before his death.

[Images via eightiesonline and unfogged]

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