John Lennon was killed by a
deranged fan on Dec. 8, 1980, as he returned to his New York apartment from a recording session.

At 22:49 the Lennon's limousine pulles up outside the Dakota and Jose Perdomo the doorman leaves his post to open the car doors for them. Yoko gets out first. She is followed closely by her husband, who is carrying a tape recorder and some cassettes. As Yoko passes him the killer says "Hello". Lennon gives the guy a long, hard look. As John passes him, the man steps back and pulles a snubnosed .38 revolver from his pocket. He drops into combat stance, with knees flexed, arms outstreched and one arm supporting the other at the wrist and says:

Mr. Lennon?


As John turnes, the guy fires two shots into him. They catch him in the back, spinning him round. Blood already starts spurting from Lennon's wounds as the assassin takes aim again. He fires three more shots. Two bullet smashes into John's shoulder, the other goes astray. There's a crash of shattering glass as the slugs, that had passed through John's body smash into the Dakota's glass frontage. Mortally wounded John staggers up the steps into the Dakota's front lobby, his face horribly conturted.

I'm shot, I'm shot


he moans as he fells to the floor. John's been shot! screams Yoko, who follows her husband into the hotel.Jay Hastings the security man reaches under his desk and presses the alarm button, which summones the police from the nearby 20th Precinct Station. After this, he rushes to John's side and removes his shattered glasses. Then he takes off his uniform to cover the victim.He wants to use his tie as a tourniquet, but can not decide where to apply it. John is dying, blood pours from his chest and mouth, his eyes are open but unfocused, he is gurgling and vomiting blood.

*** ALERT *** SHOTS FIRED *** 1 WEST 72nd STREET ***

is the terse dispatch that summones New York Police Officer Tony Palma and his partner Herb Frauenberger to the scene of the crime.From the sidewalk Palma sees Hastings and shouts up anxiously: "Is someone shot in there?" He runs up the steps with Frauenberger. In Hasting's office they find a man lying face down with a small woman standing over him crying. Palma turns the body over.He sees that the victim is badly injured and tells his partner: "Grab his legs and let's get him out of here!" As they lift him, Hastings hears as John's bones crack.Bythe time they lay him in the back of a squad car, John loses all control over his limbs. As the car takes off, the driver Officer James Moran yells at John:"Do you know who you are?". Lennon is unable to speak, but nods.The car jumps the red lights on Colombus Avenue.It speeds down Ninth Avenue into 58th Street and swings into the entrance of Roosevelt Hospital. The hospital's major trauma team is already alerted.The rapidly fading John is carried to the emergency room. He has virtually no pulse.The two bullets which had hit him on the back had both pierced a lung and passed through his chest. A third bullet had shattered his left shoulder bone, and a fourth had hit the same shoulder and ricocheted inside his chest, where it severed his aorta and windpipe.After an unsuccessful attempt at cardiac massage, a medical team of seven people laboures to save John using every device and technique available. Nothing works. The official cause of death is shock produced by massive haemorrhaging ... he lost 80% of his blood.












Of the four former Beatles, Lennon had perhaps the most varied recording career, often reflecting the vicissitudes of his personality. While he was still a Beatle, Lennon and Ono recorded two albums of experimental and frequently unlistenable electronic music, Unfinished Music volumes 1 & 2 and Wedding Album. His first 'solo' album of popular music was Live Peace In Toronto, recorded in 1969 (prior to the breakup of the Beatles) at the Rock 'n' Roll Festival in Toronto with a Plastic Ono Band including Eric Clapton and Klaus Voormann. He also recorded three singles in his initial solo phase, the sing-along "Give Peace A Chance", "Cold Turkey" (about his struggles with heroin) and "Instant Karma".

Following the Beatles' split in 1970, he released the Plastic Ono Band album, a raw, honest record, heavily influenced by Arthur Janov's Primal therapy, which Lennon had undergone previously. This was followed by Imagine , his most successful solo album, which dealt with some of the same themes. The title track is a lovely song which has become an anthem for world harmony, but Lennon himself was later dismissive of it, claiming he had "sugar coated" his message. Certainly there is irony in Lennon, a prodigious shopper, urging his fans to imagine life with "no possessions."

Perhaps in reaction, his next album, Sometime In New York City, was loud, raucous, and explicitly political, with songs about prison riots, racial and sexual relations, the British role in the sectarian troubles in Northern Ireland, and his own problems in obtaining a United States Green Card. Two more albums of personal songs, Mind Games and Walls And Bridges, and one of cover versions of rock and roll songs of his youth, came before 1975 when, following a fourteen-month split from Ono, he retired to concentrate on his family life.

The retirement lasted until 1980, when he and Ono produced Double Fantasy, practically a concept album dealing with their relationship. Less than a month after its release, however, Lennon was shot dead on the night of December 8, 1980, by Mark David Chapman, in front of his apartment block in New York City. In a vicious kind of irony, the two Beatles most committed to pacifism were both brutally attacked; George Harrison was stabbed by an intruder in his home two decades later.

The Strawberry Fields Memorial was constructed across the street from the Dakota building in memory of Lennon.

Millions of Beatles fans had thought of John Lennon almost as a second father, an older brother, or a son. His murder touched off emotional outpourings of grief around the world - some fans reportedly committed suicide upon hearing the news and it ended the hopes of millions that the Beatles would someday reunite and stage one last world tour.

In March, 2002, his native city, Liverpool, honoured him by renaming their airport "Liverpool John Lennon Airport", and adopting as its motto a line from his song "Imagine", "above us only sky".

Lennon is included in the top 10 of the 2002 "100 Greatest Britons" poll sponsored by the BBC and voted for by the public. The BBC History Magazine comments: "Generational influence is immense".

John Lennon often spoke his mind. On March 4, 1966, in an interview for the London Evening Standard with Maureen Cleave, he made the following statement:


"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."


The statement was part of a two-page interview that went virtually unnoticed in Britain. In July of that year, Lennon's words were reprinted in the United States fan magazine Datebook, leading to a backlash by conservative religious groups mainly in the rural South and Midwest states. Radio stations banned the group's recordings, and their albums and other products were burned and destroyed. Spain and the Vatican denounced Lennon's words, and South Africa banned Beatles music from the radio. On August 11, 1966, Lennon held a press conference in Chicago in order to address the growing furor. He told reporters "I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I'm sorry I opened my mouth. I'm not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I was not knocking it. I was not saying we are greater or better."

Lennon's son with Cynthia, Julian Lennon, enjoys a notable recording career of his own, as does his son with Yoko, Sean Lennon.

Biographies and Books

Numerous biographies of John Lennon have been published. Notable among these are The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman and Lennon:The Definitive Biography by Ray Coleman.

John Lennon wrote two books himself: A Spaniard in the Works, and John Lennon: In his own write.








October 9, 1940: John Lennon is born at Oxford Street Maternity Hospital in Liverpool, England, to Julia Stanley and Alfred Lennon.

1945: Julia, separated from Alfred, entrusts her son, John Lennon, to the care of her sister, Mary Elizabeth Stanley Smith, “Aunt Mimi.”

1956: Julia, John Lennon’s mother, bought him his first guitar through a mail order ad. His incessant playing prompts John’s Aunt Mimi to say, “The guitar’s all very well as a hobby, John, but you’ll never make a living out of it.” John forms his first group, the Quarrymen.

July 6, 1957: John Lennon meets at the Woolton Parish Church in Liverpool during a performance by John’s group the Quarrymen. Impressed by Paul’s ability to tune a guitar and by his knowledge of song lyrics, John asks him to join the group.

February 1, 1958: introduces to the Quarrymen at a basement teen club called the Morgue. George joins the group.

August 1, 1960: make their debut in Hamburg, West Germany, with Stu Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums.

January 1, 1961: make their debut at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.

November 1, 1961: Local record store manager Brian Epstein is introduced to . He soon signs a contract to manage them.

April 10, 1962: Stu Sutcliffe dies of a brain hemorrhage.

June 1, 1962: audition for at Parlophone/EMI Records. He agrees to sign the group, but insists that Pete Best be replaced. Within months, Richard “Ringo” Starkey joins the group.

August 23, 1962: John Lennon marries Cynthia Powell. The marriage will last six years.

September 4-11, 1962: record their first sessions at EMI Studios in London, with as producer.

April 8, 1963: John Charles Julian Lennon is born to John and Cynthia Lennon at Sefton General Hospital in Liverpool.

February 11, 1964: begin their first U.S. tour at the Coliseum in Washington, D.C.

March 23, 1964: John Lennon’s first book, ‘In His Own Write,’ is published and becomes an instant best-seller.

July 6, 1964: The world premiere of ’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ takes place in London.

April 1, 1965: John Lennon composes “Help!” the title song for ’ second film. He later confides that the lyrics are a cry for help and a clue to the confusion and despondency he feels.

June 24, 1965: John Lennon’s second book, ‘A Spaniard in the Works’, is published.

August 15, 1965: play in front of almost 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City.

October 26, 1965: are awarded England’s prestigious MBE (Members of the Order of the British Empire). John comments, “I thought you had to drive tanks and win wars to get the MBE.”

March 1, 1966: London’s ‘Evening Standard’ publishes an interview with John Lennon in which he states that are “more popular than Jesus now.” The comment provokes several protests, including the burning of Beatles records.

July 31, 1966: John Lennon’s comments on the state of Christianity – made in March, but only lately picked up in the U.S. - spark protests and record burnings on the eve of ’ 1966 American tour.

August 29, 1966: After their concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, declare this to be their final concert tour.

September/October 1966: John Lennon makes his first appearance away from in the role of Private Gripweed in Richard Lester’s film ‘How I Won the War’. He writes “Strawberry Fields Forever” during the filming.

November 9, 1966: Yoko Ono and John Lennon meet at a preview of her art show, Exhibition #2, at Indica Gallery in London.

June 1, 1967
‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ is released in Britain.

September 1, 1967: John Lennon writes “I Am the Walrus” while under the influence of LSD. He also anonymously sponsors Yoko Ono’s Half a Wind Show (subtitled Yoko Plus Me) at London’s Lisson Gallery.

May 1, 1968: Apple Corps, Ltd. begins operating in London. It is ’ attempt to take control of their own creative and economic destiny. Later that month, John invites Yoko to his house in Weybridge. They make experimental tapes all night.

May 1968 - June 15, 1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibit their first official joint venture at the Arts Lab in London. Soon after, they plant acorns outside Coventry Cathedral as a conceptual “living arts sculpture.”

Summer 1968: John Lennon moves out of his house in Weybridge. He and Yoko Ono move into Ringo Starr’s apartment in Montague Square.

July 1, 1968: John Lennon holds his first art exhibition, entitled You Are Here—To Yoko from John, with Love.

October 18, 1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono are arrested and charged with possession of cannabis.

November 1, 1968: John Lennon pleads guilty to marijuana possession charges. He pays a nominal fine but insists that the drugs were planted by police.

November 8, 1968: A divorce is granted to John and Cynthia Lennon.

November 11, 1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono release their first album together, ‘Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins’. The cover, a full-frontal shot of them naked, is banned.

December 11-12, 1968: film the ‘Rock and Roll Circus’, with guests , John Lennon, Jethro Tull and .



January 30, 1969: make their last performance as a group on the roof of the Apple building during the filming of ‘Let It Be’.

March 20, 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono marry on the island of Gibraltar.

March 25-31, 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono celebrate their marriage by hosting a “bed-in” – their “commercial for peace” – at the Amsterdam Hilton.

April 22, 1969: John officialy changes his name to John Ono Lennon.

May 26 - June 2, 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono conduct a bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. They record “Give Peace a Chance,” with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary and others.

June 4, 1969: “The Ballad of John and Yoko” - a musical summary of Lennon and Ono’s relationship, containing the lines, “The way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me” - is released. Credited to , it will reach #8.

July 26, 1969: “Give Peace a Chance,” recorded by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, enters the charts. It will peak at #14, which barely suggests its lasting significance as a peace anthem.

August 1, 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono move to Tittenhurst Park, a 400-acre estate in Ascot.

September 1, 1969: John Lennon returns his MBE. He says it is to protest the British government’s involvement in Biafra, its support of the U.S. in Vietnam and the poor chart performance of his latest single, “Cold Turkey.”

September 12, 1969: John Lennon appears at the Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival concert, accompanied by , Klaus Voormann, Alan White and Yoko. ‘The Plastic Ono Band – Live Peace in Toronto’ is released in December.


September 13, 1969: John Lennon appears at the Toronto Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival concert, accompanied by , Klaus Voormann, Alan White and Yoko Ono. ‘The Plastic Ono Band – Live Peace in Toronto’ is released in December.

December 16, 1969: “War Is Over! If You Want It!” billboards go up in 11 cities around the world, as a Christmas message from John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

April 5, 1970: “Instant Karma (We All Shine On),” credited to John Ono Lennon and produced by , hits #3 on the singles chart. The #1 album that week is “Let It Be,” by .

December 26, 1970: ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band,’ Lennon’s debut album as a solo artist, enters the album charts. This stark, confessional recording is regarded by many as his greatest achievement.

June 6, 1971: John Lennon & Yoko Ono jam with at the Fillmore East in New York City, recorded for subsequent release on the Plastic Ono Band album ‘Sometime in New York City’.

July 1, 1971: John Lennon cuts ‘Imagine’ at his home studio. The anthemic title track is inspired by a message in Yoko Ono’s book ‘Grapefruit.’

November 1, 1971: John Lennon appears at a benefit concert at the Apollo Theater for the families of inmates at Attica Prison.

January 1, 1972: The staff of the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee prepares a memo about John Lennon’s involvement with such radicals as Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman and Rennie Davis.

February 4, 1972: In a secret memo, Senator Strom Thurmond suggests to Attorney General John Mitchell that John Lennon, whom the government suspects of consorting with “known radicals,” be deported.

February/March 1972: With the expiration of John Lennon’s U.S. non-immigrant visa, deportation proceedings begin. Lennon will wage a four-year battle with the federal government to remain in the U.S.

June 12, 1972: ‘Some Time in New York City,’ a double album by John Lennon backed by the New York rock group Elephant’s Memory is released.

August 30, 1972: John Lennon performs at Madison Square Garden. It will be his last concert as a headliner. The show will posthumously be released in 1986 as Live in New York City.

April 1, 1973: John Lennon and Yoko Ono purchase an apartment at the Dakota on Central Park West and West 72nd Street in New York.

Fall 1973: John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin an 18-month separation, during which Lennon embarks on his infamous “lost weekend” in Los Angeles.

November 1, 1973: John Lennon’s ‘Mind Games’ is released. It peaks at #9, and the title track reaches #18.

August 1, 1974: John Lennon records his ‘Walls and Bridges’ album. He claims to have written ten of the songs in a single week. The album goes to #1, as does its leadoff single, “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night.”

November 28, 1974: John Lennon performs three songs with at Madison Square Garden. It will turn out to be his last public performance.

January 2, 1975: John and Yoko are reunited. ’ final dissolution takes place in London.

January 11, 1975: “#9 Dream,” from John Lennon’s Walls and Bridges, enters the Top Forty, where it will peak, appropriately, at #9.

September 20, 1975: “Fame,” a song from David Bowie’s ‘Young Americans’ album, tops the US singles charts. It is cowritten by Bowie, John Lennon and guitarist Carlos Alomar.

October 9, 1975: Sean Taro Ono Lennon is born at New York Hospital on father John Lennon’s 35th birthday.


July 26, 1976: John Lennon’s application to remain in the U.S. as a permanent resident is approved at a special hearing.

1977 - 1979: The majority of John Lennon’s time is spent as a “househusband” – taking care of Sean – while Yoko handles the family’s business affairs.

June 1, 1980: John Lennon takes a cruise to Bermuda, where his songwriting muse is rekindled.

October 23, 1980: John Lennon’s first new single in more than five years,, “(Just Like) Starting Over,” is released.

November 17, 1980: ‘Double Fantasy,’ by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, is released.


December 8, 1980: John Lennon is shot by a deranged assailant as he and Yoko return to the Dakota after a recording session. He is pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital.

December 27, 1980: “(Just Like) Starting Over,” by John Lennon, reaches #1 for the first of five weeks.

February 24, 1982: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Double Fantasy’ wins Album of the Year for 1981 at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards.

January 21, 1984: “Nobody Told Me,” by John Lennon, from the posthumously released ‘Milk and Honey’ album, cracks the Top Forty. It will peak at #5 and be the last of 13 charting singles by Lennon spanning 15 years.

March 21, 1984: An opening ceremony is held for Strawberry Fields, an area in New York City’s Central Park dedicated to John Lennon.

October 9, 1990: On what would have been John Lennon’s 50th birthday, “Imagine” is broadcast simultaneously in 130 countries.

January 19, 1992: John Lennon is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the ninth annual induction dinner. is his presenter, and Yoko Ono accepts the award on behalf of her late husband.

February 25, 1992: John Lennon is given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards.

November 19, 1995: “Free as a Bird,” the first new Beatles single in 25 years, is premiered on the televised Beatles Anthology. The song, a 1977 demo by John Lennon completed in 1995 by the three surviving Beatles, reaches #6 on the singles chart in early 1996.

March 23, 1996: “Real Love,” a 1979 John Lennon demo finished in 1995 by the other Beatles, becomes the second new Beatles single to chart in less than three months. Released as part of ‘ Anthology’ recordings and TV special, it reaches #11 – not bad for a band that broke up in 1970.

November 3, 1998: ‘John Lennon Anthology,’ a four-CD box set of unreleased songs and performances, is released.

Must Have Recordings

Instant Karma (We All Shine On)
Give Peace a Chance
Jealous Guy
Watching the Wheels
Working Class Hero
Mind Games
(Just Like) Starting Over
Whatever Gets You Thru the Night





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