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Imagine: John Lennon shot on his doorstep 40 years ago

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After Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon, he calmly opened up Catcher in the Rye and proceeded to read it — before being apprehended...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I was three years when he was shot to death,but I grew up with his music thanks to my parents records at home.

Time pass and new generations come,but his message of love and peace will be here and forever.

After all he was the one that was singing simple but so obvious words like all you need is love.

John Lennon was a dream maker and we still miss him.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

It was the last time I tripped, the dream was over.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Personally, the one song that solidifies Lennon as a truly outstanding and gifted songwriter….

Watching the Wheels. - John Lennon (official music video HD)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVXR2LYeFBI

Also …. John Lennon The Final Interview BBC Radio 1 December 6th 1980…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVoXy9bDDwg

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I remember being in my car at night, and hearing the radio DJ say that John Lennon was shot to death. I thought it was a joke of some sort. It just seemed so incongruous. A Beatle being shot to death? Nobody saw that coming.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I was lying in bed still awake. The TV was on in the living room and I heard the news announce that John Lennon had been shot. My mother gasped from the kitchen and ran past my room to the living room. She was shocked and upset. I still remember that evening at home clearly.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Chapman, dazed and confused by life and lost in his own head, thoughtlessly took the life of another. It was a heinous act that cut short the life of an exceptional artist and hurt the feelings of millions whose lives John had touched with his music and life.

But after 40 years it is surely time to release from prison an aging man who has paid dearly for the blind folly of his youthful self. I imagine John would not disagree with the notion of "time to forgive".

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

I remember this very clearly. My mum was very upset, and the teachers at my school, who'd obviously been through the whole circus 10-15 years previously, were visibly shaken.

Our music master spent the remainder of December teaching us "Imagine" - chords, lyrics, message - and got into severe trouble from the De La Salle Brothers who ran the school with a rod of iron and an enthusiastic leather belt for boys who transgressed. Our music master believed that Lennon was a keystone of then-contemporary music, and his passing should be marked.

Brother Thomas was not happy with the line "Imagine no religion", and boys were thrashed if they were heard practising the song on the school piano at lunchtime. One boy was beaten under the Christmas Tree at the end-of-year School Assembly, which was a very mixed message.

For me, Lennon is a complicated character - world-famous peace activist, who was also a self-confessed wife-beater.

“I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her and kept her apart from the things that she loved" was me. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit"

Some good songs, certainly - but does that excuse a man for hitting women? Not in my book, I'm afraid.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

rest in peace legend. he might be dead but, he lives in our hearts.

in 100 years, Or less ,he will be forgotten forever..

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

OK, now you are making me feel old.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japantoday should never have published the name or the photo of the killer!

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Years later from a prison cell, Chapman, an evangelical Christian, told a journalist he was "angry at (Lennon) for saying (in the song 'God') that he didn't believe in God, that he just believed in him and Yoko, and that he didn't believe in the Beatles."

Guns and god. Bad combination.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

But after 40 years it is surely time to release from prison an aging man who has paid dearly for the blind folly of his youthful self. I imagine John would not disagree with the notion of "time to forgive".

What about Yoko? Would she agree that Chapman should be released? What about Sean or Julian? Would they agree?

I certainly don't.

The man is trash. He keeps begging for forgiveness, but he doesn't deserve it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

He took away the freedom of a person and therefore forfeits his own freedom for the rest of his life.

I respect your right to your opinion, but it's only a personal opinion and not engraved in stone or in the law which cannot but be humanely administered with emotion, prejudice and political considerations. Our "injustice" system abounds in endless examples of notorious individuals who have committed far worse crimes and were released early or never even spent a single day in prison. A little mercy would go a long way to making our cruel societies more humane. The pain and suffering the hapless Chapman inflicted on John's loved ones and the world is nothing compared the immense suffering of millions at the hands of innumerable well-known and (by many) respected public figures in positions of power. John Lennon was himself a damaged human being, but who possessed, I like to believe, enough imagination and compassion to understand human frailty and the power of forgiveness.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

aleefToday  10:13 am JST

I was lying in bed still awake. The TV was on in the living room and I heard the news announce that John Lennon had been shot. My mother gasped from the kitchen and ran past my room to the living room. She was shocked and upset. I still remember that evening at home clearly.

FACT. When the Canadian band RUSH were recording some noises to be mixed into the song 'Witch Hunt', they went outside into the snowy air, drank whiskey and made some noise to be recorded and distorted by tape manipulation for the song. When they go done noisemaking they came in and saw a news bulletin about the bad news on CBC. Also, Howard Cosell interrupted a football game broadcast in America to inform us of the same.

The next day all my HS teachers told us about how the Beatles influenced their younger years. My English teacher spent the whole class talking about seeing them in 1965 and about rock's 'religious undertones'. Soon there would be a wave of New Beatlemania. The Dutch studio band Stars On 45 hit #1 around the world with a song consisting mostly of Beatles covers with a drum machine beat. That song was sneaked into clubs in Communist East Germany. Roxy Music hit #1 with a cover of 'Jealous Guy'. Phil Collins covered 'Tomorrow Never Knows' on his first solo album (it's GREAT), and so many other acts had songs about John or the Beatles. In 1982 there was even a 'Beatles Movie Medley' and Paul paid tribute to John on his solo album. George hit #2 with 'All Those Years Ago' which was a tribute to John and had Paul and Ringo as guests on it. Too much to list here. Also the Stars On 45 led to a wave of similar medleys as well. And of course John's album hit the top and there were all those hits.

An ugly day for rock'n'roll. My own generation would experience it again when Prince died.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

An ugly day for rock'n'roll. My own generation would experience it again when Prince died.

There's a crucial difference between the kind of death Prince suffered and the violent death of John Lennon. The fact that Lennon was murdered - that someone would murder a Beatle, for Christ's sake - was what made it so hard to believe and to accept when it happened. That was what made it so ugly, so sordid even, for millions of people worldwide. It's still hard to accept today, which is why I feel the way I do about Lennon's killer.

I think Prince's death (and his age is closer to mine than Lennon's, btw) was more like the deaths of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin and Al "Blind Owl" Wilson, all coming along within a year or so of each other in 1970-71. It's always tough news when someone you admire dies early, but it's not the same as murder.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Don’t forget that George was also attacked by a deranged fan with a knife.

That's called the "price of fame". In our celebrity-besotted societies, now dialed up to crazy eleven by social media, not a few deranged, identity-damaged individuals can be sorely tempted by any opportunity to make themselves known to the world for a small share of momentary fame with their victim through some heinous act of violence. Anonymity has its quiet charms.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

u_s__reamer:

I'm usually in enthusiastic agreement with your posts, although pretty obviously on this issue we don't see eye to eye. But I think there's enough in what you say about Lennon and the possibility of his forgiveness for Chapman that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable about the generally negative reaction to your first post (none of those downvotes from me, btw). Lennon was a sarky bugger at the best of times and always unpredictable, and it is indeed possible that he might well have, as you said, possessed enough imagination and compassion to understand human frailty and the power of forgiveness.

On the other hand, as a typically tough-minded Scouser, he might well have condemned Chapman to eternal hellfire and damnation. We'll never know for sure, and your opinion is as likely to be true as mine or anyone else's.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I was ten. My teacher was sad that day. I asked him what was wrong. They shot John Lennon, he sighed.

In 2002 In August I was walking on Houston street in New York. There was a small woman between two tall men walking down the sidewalk in the other direction. The woman looked familiar but why I thought.

Oh it was Yoko Ono. Two bodyguards? It makes sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BigYen

I very much appreciate your thoughtful reply. I'm against the death penalty and I have an instinctive dislike for and even fear of revenge and the hurt and damage it can inflict on those who lust for it. Lennon was a Scouser, but they are not all made in the same mold (I'm intimately acquainted with the tribe). Lennon's life journey took him far beyond the confines of his petty-bourgeois Woolton stomping ground. I like to believe that before he died he might have become a different man from the aggressive youth with a chip on his shoulder , a more humble person aware of his personal failings and more ready to show forgiveness to others.

I was enraged by his murder, especially since he was my favorite Beatle despite his all too obvious character flaws, but I know John's type well and can feel sympathy for the hurt they feel and hide inside their macho posturing. Fortunately, we who miss him can always hear his voice still singing out his life "across the universe".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Lennon's quip that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus" also irked him.

This loonie only helped make it even truer.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I’m surprised how many people here knew Lennon.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"All we are saying is give masks a chance"

Elvis couldn't have written better himself

Appreciate you are a fan of Elvis, but Elvis did not write any songs at all. He sang them, but never wrote them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Beatles music - fabulous.

But John knew the limitations. You cant save the workd with songs.

When asked in the early 1970s how much the Beatkes music was a force for change he said, “All I see are a lot of uptight people, but now they have long hair.”

Imagine what he’d say now!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately, its been all downhill since John set the standard for the “artist ” as “activist”. Preening, vacuous posing hypocrites abound in the entertainment world now.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I still remember it like it happened yesterday. I was trying to get some sleep in my dorm room and I heard a drunk student in the hallway saying, "Who shot JL?" At the time the TV show Dallas was popular and that was when everybody was saying, "Who shot JR?" At the time I couldn't understand why he was saying JL and not JR, but the next morning it was sadly clear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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