Remembering John Lennon
Posted by Michael Mueller on December 8, 2010 at 10:07 AM
Thirty years ago, outside the Dakota apartment building on the west side of Central Park in New York City, a disturbed young man named Mark David Chapman senselessly shot and killed rock legend John Lennon. Depending on your age, it was one of those rare "Do you remember where you were when it happened" days that will live in eternal infamy. And while that day's story has been told many times, it's never been told quite like it has in this new 256-page tome from Hal Leonard.
In a breathtaking, minute-by-minute format, December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died (see below for large cover image) follows the events leading to the horrible moment when Mark David Chapman calmly fired his Charter Arms .38 Special into the rock icon, realizing his perverse fantasy of attaining perennial notoriety.
New York Times bestselling author Keith Elliot Greenberg takes us back to New York City and the world John Lennon woke up to. The day begins with a Rolling Stone photo session that takes on an uncomfortable tone when photographer Annie Leibowitz tries to maneuver Yoko Ono out of the shot. Later Lennon gives the last interview of his life, declaring, "I consider that my work won't be finished until I'm dead and buried and I hope that's a long, long time."
We follow the other Beatles, Lennon's family, the shooter, fans, and New York City officials through the day, and as the hours progress, the pace becomes more breathless. Once the fatal shots are fired, the clock continues to tick as Dr. Stephan Lynn walks from the emergency room after declaring the former Beatle dead, Howard Cosell announces the singer's passing on Monday Night Football, and Paul McCartney is lambasted for muttering "Drag, isn't it?" - his bereavement confused with indifference.
The epilogue examines the aftermath of the killing: the considerable moment when 100,000 New Yorkers stood in silence in Central Park, the posthumous reunion of the Beatles in the studio – with George, Paul, and Ringo accompanying the recordings of their old friend – the unveiling of a bronze John Lennon statue in Fidel Castro's Cuba, and the durable legacy that persists today.
Click here to purchase December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died.