December 8, 1980 John Lennon is shot dead outside his residence in the Dakota building in New York City. He was returning from a recording studio with his wife Yoko Ono, when 25-year-old Mark David Chapman shot him four times at close range. Chapman, an obsessed fan who had been photographed with the former Beatle giving him an autograph just hours before, waited on the steps of the Dakota after the shooting, waiting to hand himself over to police. At his trial, Chapman’s defence team was confident that he could successfully plead ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’ but Chapman pleaded ‘guilty’, claiming God had instructed him to do so. He was sentenced to 20 years to life imprisonment and remains in jail in New York despite having applied six times for parole since 2000. Lennon was cremated but Ono chose against holding a funeral.[ Copyright © 2011 euronews]
If you are going to be in NYC this week stop by Strawberry Fields in Central Park for the John Lennon “Imagine” vigil w/Yoko Ono and 2M [sad] New Yorkers
If not, you can still take a virtual tour here:
5 iconic moments from Lennon’s career:
1. Beatles’ First Appearance on The Ed Sullivan ShowThe U.K. had already been enthralled with Beatlemania when the group made its U.S. debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, performing “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to an audience full of mostly screaming females. As they performed “Till There Was There,” the names of the group members were superimposed over close-ups, including the famous “Sorry girls, he’s married” over Lennon. The appearance marked their breakthrough to international stardom.
2. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club BandThe Beatles’ 1967 album was part of the group’s experimental phase and spawned such singles as the title track, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life.” It was named one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” by Rolling Stone in 2003. The Bee Gees — Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb — starred in a 1978 film musical of the same name that featured new versions of songs from the album as well as 1969’s Abbey Road. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” also was featured in the Beatle’s Yellow Submarine movie.
3. “Imagine”After embarking on his solo career, Lennon had several hits, including this one, which endures today and is a staple on TV singing competitions like American Idol and The Voice. Lennon and Ono performed the song — which in 2004 was ranked No. 3 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” — together in Madison Square Garden in 1972.
4. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”
Lennon would became an anti-war activist, reflected in songs like “Give Peace a Chance,” his first solo single, and the holiday-themed “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” which still gets lots of play every December. To advertise the single, Lennon and Ono paid for billboards in 12 cities around the world that read in each country’s native language: “WAR IS OVER—IF YOU WANT IT.” Watch the official video below.5. Last Full Concert Performance
Lennon gave two benefit concerts in New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1972 to aid patients at the Willowbrook State School mental facility. They were has last full-length concert appearances. In the clip below, he performs “Mother.”