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The Tragic Story of John Lennon’s Untimely Death

John Lennon’s death is still considered one of the appalling events in rock music’s long history. He was born on 9th October 1940 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, while a German air raid was going on.

John Lennon’s death was untimely and evoked shock and deep sadness around the world. Lennon continues to be respected and cherished, even today, by new generations of admirers and fans.

Who is John Lennon?

John Lennon was a singer and songwriter as well as the founder of The Beatles, a band that transformed the popular music scene as, arguably, no other group has ever been able to.

In 1957, Lennon met Paul McCartney and invited him to join the Quarrymen, a skiffle music group that he had formed as inspiration from Elvis Presley’s explosive entry onto the rock music scene.

Lennon and McCartney went on to form music history’s most successful songwriting partnership and founded The Beatles. In 1969, Lennon left the band and started producing singles as well as albums with his wife, Yoko Ono.

How Did John Lennon Die?

Lennon’s contract with EMI ended in 1975 with Shaved Fish, a Greatest Hits compilation, and Apple, the Beatles’ company, also dissolved in 1976. This brought about a five-year hiatus to Lennon’s music business.

He made a comeback in 1980 with his album Double Fantasy, which proved to be the very last he would ever release. Just a few weeks later, Lennon was shot multiple times by a deranged fan on 8th December 1980.

John Lennon’s death came just as he was about to embark on a new journey in his music career.

Where Did John Lennon Die?

Lennon was fatally wounded as he and Ono were returning to the Dakota after a radio interview. The fan who shot Lennon had met him that evening and asked for an autograph that Lennon duly gave him.

As Ono and Lennon approached the entrance of the Dakota, Lennon was shot in the back four times with a .38 special revolver. A police car rushed Lennon to Roosevelt Hospital, where, on arrival, he was pronounced dead.

The Dakota or the Dakota Apartments is a residential building situated on Central Park West and the Northwest corner of 72nd Street in Manhattan, New York City, New York.

Who Killed John Lennon?

John Lennon’s cause of death was four shots to the back from a close range fired by Mark David Chapman. When police arrived at the scene, Chapman was found sitting there reading The Catcher in the Rye, a novel by J. D. Salinger.

Chapman had developed a wish to emulate Holden Caulfield, the protagonist in the novel who resented hypocrisy. Chapman had been a fan of Lennon but grew resentment towards him looking at his lavish lifestyle and lyrics of the songs “Imagine” and “God.”

Why Was John Lennon Killed?

Chapman was especially incensed by a public remark that Lennon made about the Beatles, saying that the band was “more popular than Jesus.” He did not have any previous criminal convictions but admitted to having contemplated killing other famous figures, including Elizabeth Taylor, Ronald Reagan, Paul McCartney, and Johnny Carson.

Chapman took retirement from his job as a security guard in Hawaii and planned John Lennon’s assassination for three months before carrying it out. In Chapman’s own words, “He told us to imagine no possessions and there he was, with millions of dollars and yachts and farms and country estates, laughing at people like me who had believed the lies and bought the records and built a big part of their lives around his music.”

How Old Was John Lennon When He Died?

John Lennon’s death came just two months after his 40th birthday.

Where is John Lennon Buried?

John Lennon never got buried. He was cremated, and his ashes were scattered in the area of New York City’s Central Park, now called the Strawberry Fields.

John Lennon’s Funeral

John Lennon’s cremation was private, and there was no funeral for the legend. However, a vigil was held for him by Yoko and Sean (John and Yoko’s son) on 14th December 1980 with a minute of silence.

A distraught and mournful Paul McCartney was approached by the press when he was on his way out of a studio for remarks over John Lennon’s death. He could not articulate his sadness and blurted out words: “Drag, isn’t it?”

Though he later paid a proper tribute to his ex Beatle fellow with the song “Here Today.”

John Lennon’s last words, according to his wife, constituted his reply to her question, “Shall we go and have dinner before we go home?” To which Lennon said, “No, let’s go home because I want to see Sean before he goes to sleep.”

The conversation took place shortly before Lennon’s death while they were driving home from the Record Plant. Although, according to some accounts, Lennon shouted the words, “I’m Shot!” before falling to the ground.

John Lennon’s Wife

Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia Powell, was his fellow student at the Liverpool College of Arts. Cynthia got impregnated with Lennon’s kid, and the couple got married on 23rd August 1962.

Cynthia gave birth to Julian on 8th April 1963. However, in November 1968, the couple got divorced with an out-of-court settlement.

Lennon started seeing Yoko Ono even before his marriage with Powell had ended, and the two got married in March 1969. on 9th October 1975, Ono gave birth to John Lennon’s second son (first with her), Sean Lennon.

The Beatles

Lennon, as a performer and writer/co-writer, had 25 no.1 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He was ranked as the thirty-eighth greatest artist and the fifth-greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone.

However, his legacy with the Beatles, being the best-selling band of all time, is what he is known for the best. The band influenced pop culture in music, film, fashion, and global representation.

It all started in 1957 when Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time. The Quarrymen were getting ready for a performance at a church fete in Woolton when the bass player of the band introduced the sixteen-year-old rhythm guitarist, John Lennon, to his classmate, 15-year-old Paul McCartney.

McCartney joined the band for a couple of numbers that night and was offered a position in the Quarrymen.

Lennon and McCartney were the two songwriters in the band and they agreed to credit all the group’s songs to Lennon-McCartney. Even on occasions where one of them would happen to write a song entirely on their own.

After a couple of band name changes, as well as member changes, what was once The Quarrymen became who we know them as, ‘The Beatles.’ The name came from combining the words “beat” and “beetles.”

From 1960 to 1962, the band performed on and off in Hamburg with interspersed engagements in Liverpool. Brian Epstein saw the Beatles perform at the Cavern Club and approached the group about managing them on 10th December 1961.

The Beatles signed their first contract with Epstein in January 1962. They recorded four songs, “PS I Love You,” “Ask Me Why,” “Besame Mucho,” and “Love Me Do,” at EMI Studios in London with producer George Martin on 6th June that year.   

The Beatles released their first single, “Please Please Me,” in January 1963, which topped the UK charts. The song was just the first of a streak through 1970 that saw 11 of their 12 albums topping the UK Charts.

The Beatles have an estimated worldwide sales of over 600 million units and certified US sales of more than 183 million units. In 1988, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Band also appeared in five motion pictures between the years 1964 and 1970 and holds the records for most singles sold in the UK, most no.1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and most no.1 albums on the UK Albums Chart.

Written by C.P.

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