When John Lennon Died

In the afternoon of December 9, 1980, I was sitting on the couch with my bowl of cereal and the soap opera I was watching was interrupted by the news about John Lennon's death the night before. My first thought was who was John Lennon? Then it dawned on me. You see I was 17 and I wasn't into the Beatles. But that very year John Lennon released the Double Fantasy album with a couple of songs that were becoming very popular and I started to really get into them. I didn't know much about John Lennon, or about his politics or beliefs, which I wouldn't have cared about anyway. But I heard something in those songs that made me smile and I invariably was delighted with my discovery of John Lennon. Especially the song Starting Over, because it sounded like a wish for a change in his life and a promise for a new tomorrow. I also like Watching the Wheels because it was so telling about his life with the Beatles and his life now.

John Lennon lived in the Dakota apartment building, a classy old brownstone building that was home to various movie and music stars and was also the building in which they filmed Rosemary's Baby, by Roman Polanski. John Lennon died as he was returning home from the studio with his wife Yoko Ono. Mark David Chapman, a psychopath who had been stalking him for awhile and actually had the audacity to ask for an autograph while he had plans to kill the singer,  he shot  John Lennon 5 times at point blank range which would make it almost impossible for anyone to have survived no matter how fast they got him to the hospital. John Lennon died in the most horrific and undignified way that night and the world changed just a bit.

I know I was old enough to have known all about the Beatles and should have known all their songs, but I didn't, it was the beginning of the 80s and a new wave of music was coming on the scene that I was digging too much to think about the fossils like the Beatles (remember Blondie?). But with these new songs John Lennon had me captivated and I had to know more about him, I had to know it all. I was voracious in getting information about the Beatles and listened to everything I could get my hands on. I was in love, not only with John Lennon but with the Beatles. And now this insane man in an instant took it all away from me and the rest of the world.

The Fab Four
The Fab Four

I have heard it said that John was the brains, Paul was the heart, George was the soul and Ringo was the drummer. Whatever the case may be, no one can take away the reality of what the Beatles were. They were a band that revolutionized music and forever will. They each had their own philosophies and beliefs and that is their business, I do not judge people by who they worship or what deity they believe in. I am Christian but not the kind that judges people, because as Christians we aren't supposed to, correct me if I'm wrong.I just think that there are those that misunderstood the Beatles, especially John. He was hated for his politics and his little faux pas about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus at the height of their popularity, and he was right as far as I am concerned. Teenagers of the 60s were on a downhill spiral to "anything goes land" and most of American teenagers and probably English teens as well would have rather been listening to the Beatles than sitting in church (in fact church going had declined so rapidly in Europe in the second half of the 20th century that many believed the place of religion would be reduced only to serve weddings and funerals). I know because church was boring to me when I was a teenager. I propose that the whole affair with John thinking he was above Jesus was a little exaggerated if you ask me, and people should stop judging John or any of the Beatles with whatever they may have said or done 30 years ago. I know I certainly wouldn't want to be judged for something I might have said 3 years ago much less 30.

John Lennon was about peace. His song Imagine is the anthem for hope, peace and love, and it's sad that some people find this song offensive or anything other than what it is. A song that describes a world without pain. Some take it as John putting himself above God or trying to be his own God because of his imaging what the world would be like without religion. I wonder that too myself sometimes, considering that so many people have died in the name of religion, and I think that is what John was trying to convey. Some people dissect every word from every song and his inquisitors, mostly ones claiming to be Christian so ready to judge when they should not. In case of Imagine, one of those people was Chapman.

I believe it would have been great to have such a person as John Lennon still around us because he had something to say and expressed it through his talent, his art that touched millions of people.

Forever Silenced

This is the memorial to John Lennon in New York City
This is the memorial to John Lennon in New York City

Watching the Wheels

John Lennon-1940-1980
John Lennon-1940-1980

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Comments 62 comments

50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Wow, It's just a few days since I sat down and listened to a collage of Johns music. It lead me back in time, I remember where I was and what I was doing, when I heard the news. I was still tripping on the 8 years the Marine Corps twisted my life from the care free days of John and others like him. No one in the world was really like him, it was his ability to touch on things that should be but in this life never will be. News of his death by a coward, shooting him in the back, a Smith and Wesson revolver only two hits of five shots, he staggered in the Dakota and collapsed on the floor, it was there he slipped away, leaving his album he was working on that day. The song "So This is Christmas" tore a hole in me that still today hurts me to hear, but I can't turn it off. I'd gladly kill the son of a bitch that shot him and rip out his heart, he robbed the world of things one can only Imagine.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

I feel the exact way that you do Caliber. John was special and didn't deserve being shot down that way on the street. The song that you mentioned about Christmas is indeed a sad song and it does tear my heart out too. There are so many Beatles tunes that do. Well as always thanks for reading and cheers.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

It was an awful tragedy for sure. No one deserves that type of death and certainly his talent and life was cut way too short. Good hub.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks Pamela I agree with you completely, it was quite a tragedy not just because of his status but because no one should have to die that way. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

MollyJones profile image

MollyJones 6 years ago from Over there.

My dad always talks about when he heard the news, during the football game. I wasn't born yet, but I can tell you John has had an amazing impact on my life. I'm such a Beatles/Lennon nerd that in 3rd grade, a picture of John covered my trapper keeper. Mark David Chapman is clearly insane, and even said to the doorman to the Dakota the previous day he was going to shoot Lennon. It is sad that no one took that threat seriously. All You Need is Love

Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

It was a sad day! I love John Lennon...Good hub!

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Molly thanks for reading and commenting. I didn't know that information about Mark Chapman and the doorman but it is a shame. Lennon was so well known on the streets of NYC that he never felt the need for a bodyguard either. He was such a big star that he should have realized something like this may happen. Cheers.

@Michael thanks for reading I agree. Cheers and thank you.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I am glad to read this hub. Now I know when the John Lennon Died. He is my favorite singer also. And "Imagine" still stuck in my mind. Thanks for reviewing the history of John. It remind us back about John Lennon. I hope his song never die.... Good work, Ladyjane. Please allow me to rate this hub Up.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

praseteio thank you very much you are a sweetheart and I appreciate your thoughts and comments. Cheers.

billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

A nice tribute - I still remember the moment I heard John Lennon die - was a true waste - we would play Beautiful Boy every night when we got our boys ready for bed - the result they get a smile when they hear him to.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

A lovely piece of writing, ladyjane. You brought John Lennon to life with this hub.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

billy thanks for reading and you are right it was a waste. Beautiful boy was a great legacy to leave for his son. Thanks for reading. Cheers.

drbj thanks for reading and I appreciate the compliment. Its always nice to see you cheers.

Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

It was a sad day when he died. Thanks for the share.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks for reading Sandy and I appreciate all your help it is appreciated.

Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

I have just recently taken an interest in the Beatles as a whole and often wonder what it would have been like to live when they first made a name for themselves. May he rest in peace and thanks for another good hub, ladyjane!

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Wonderful hub. I remember the day he dies like it was yesterday. I was in awe of his talent.

MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

Imagine there's No Lennon,

I wonder if you can,

some bullets well directed,

from one demented man,

imagine all the music

he had yet to weave,

You might say

that's it's tragic....

that too soon

dear John was gone,

Mark stole his soul,

but not his magic

the dreams of John

will live on and on.

Great Hub...it brings it all back~~~MFB III

Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

I was sitting on the couch in my basement apartment watching television with my mother when the news came that John Lennon had been shot. My best friend was pregnant and my mother had brought her my old maternity clothes when she visited Florida, I was in Ohio. My husband came home, and I didn't know how to tell him, before any words could come out of my mouth the news caster said it again "John Lennon has been shot..." We went to a memorial candle light service, in the dead of winter. It was as if the world would not go on.

I thank you for writing this hub. John Lennon deserves to be honored, remembered, and to stop being judged. He was one of the most amazing individuals of our time.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Ann thanks for reading. Im glad you have discovered the Beatles as well most of their music is timeless and the ability of them to be able to write and sing their own songs made them very unique and some of the songs that paul and john wrote were nothing short of genius. Cheers.

@pop thanksfor stopping by, I think everyone that was around then remembers when he died. It was one of those momentous occasions where the feeling stays with you and one remembers it forever. Cheers.

@MFB III yesI can imagine a life without John and the music yet to be weaved from him because we are living it now. And everyone has been deprived of more beauty that was still left inside him. Thanks as always for reading. Cheers.

@Faybe thank you for sharing your story with us. I agree with you that he was an amazing individual of our time and in times to come he will always be remembered as such. Yes he was gone too soon as so many great ones are. Cheers.

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TattoGuy 6 years ago

To be honest I really couldn't read all of this, I loved John Lennon, jeeez in my teens I used to wear the Lennnon coloured glasses just to be cool. My sons middle name is Lennon, and god John Lennon was just a genius, I cried when I heard he was murdered, I still mourn the guy, nobody will ever have talent like his again, great hub !

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks tattoguy appreciate you stopping by and commenting. There are so many people that still mourn him and always will. Peace

Marko M profile image

Marko M 6 years ago from Kingsville, Tx

John would have loved you. You're a sincere, honest and loving person. I use to have a Beatles wig I won at a Drive-Inn movie theater my mother took me and my sibling to see the Beatles movie, "Hard day's night." Unfortuately, my brother's distroyed it. I have always been a Beatles fan and I plan to have their music played at my funeral. I'm glad someone so young got a chance to experience The Beatles and especially John Lennon. Thanks for your wonderful salutation. Peace and Love is the answer.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Marko thank you for that wonderful compliment. I appreciate it very much. You are right Peace and Love is the answer if we only give peace a chance aye? Cheers.

flinchwymer 6 years ago

Written pieces like this make me so glad I found hub pages. I was persuaded by my elder (60s child) brother about the brilliance of John Lennon and The Beatles many years ago. My life is so much richer for their brief existence. This hub was a very moving accolade to an extraordinary artist. I loved reading it. Very well done ladyjane1

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Some people leave their influence behind them in ways that affect all fo us. Strange how a musician and/or a group of musicians can do this

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Mark David Chapman apparently was just enough off center bubble to convince himself that he could achieve greater fame than the man he would kill by committing the act. Sadly, in committing the act, he only killed a mortal man and in the process sent the image projected by that man, the celebrity, his writings, his thoughts and philosphies soaring into the stratosphere of eternity. Lennon's memory will stand in time like that of Abraham Lincoln and Chapman will be relegated to the history books much the same as John Wilkes Booth. Lennon and I could have been friends musically but less so philosphically. Still, there is no diminishing his impact on the world. Thank you for a nice perspective.

wilbury steve profile image

wilbury steve 6 years ago from Great Wakering, England

I was working early mornings & mom woke me at 6.30 a.m.here in England to tell me what had happened. I was 22 & fan from the age of 5 of The Beatles. The radio & TV were full of it & although it was incredibly sad the joy of all their songs still came through & was uplifting.

you're right about john's comments with regard to religion. He was chatting to journalist maureen cleave,a personal friend. He'd been reading extensively about religion & was really just saying that young people would rather watch/listen to The Beatles than go to church. Today you could substitute any number of things that a lot of young people would rather do, & some no doubt enjoy having christian beliefs too.

A lovely hub, I really enjoyed it! :-)

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

@ flynchwymer thank you for reading. I appreciate the compliment. I love John Lennon and still listen to him often. There is just something about his music that moves me to the point of comfort. Thanks again for reading.

De Greek thanks for reading pal. You are right, there are so many muscians that leave us with their brilliance and influence us so much and always will. They leave behind a great legacy. CHeers.

@Wayne thanks for reading cowboy I appreciate your comments, and you are so right, MDC thought that he would be famous for killing John Lennon but for selfish reasons. JWB killed Lincoln because he was a radical against the president and thought he would be hailed a hero for getting rid of him. Both succeeded unfortunately and left their mark in the world but will never come close to the mark left by the men that they killed. Thanks for reading this hub it is appreciated. Cheers.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

wilbury thank you for sharing your thoughts about Lennon it must have been incredible being in England at the time and so sad. I appreciate you reading my hub and sharing. Cheers.

jayjay40 profile image

jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

What a lovely hub, there will only be one John lennon -much missed

geegee77 profile image

geegee77 6 years ago from The Lone Star State!!

That was a great hub sis John Lennon was a musical genius, I love his music.

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Aww thanks and nice to see your face on my hubs again. LOL Cheers.

licot profile image

licot 6 years ago

Good hub...i was very young when john lennon died, but love all the beatles song. i get to know beatles when i was 4 years old...ow im 32 already... john lennon your are the legend...they only be one john lennon in this world...

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Licot you are so right about that. There was only one John Lennon and there will never be another. Thanks for reading and for the compliment Cheers.

Mike Lickteig profile image

Mike Lickteig 6 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

John Lennon was a genius and I miss his songs. I was an art student at the time, and I remember sitting in the studio with a few friends, too stunned by the news to work. His murder was such a senseless tragedy. Thanks for remembering this great artist.


BTW, thanks for finding me on RedGage also!

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Mike hello and I agree with you that John Lennon was indeed a genius and you know genius's are so misunderstood at times. I was stunned even though I didn't know his music as well as I do now. I appreciate you reading and I consider myself lucky to have found you on Redgage, mister you are very talented. Cheers and Blessings.

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loriamoore 6 years ago

I remember that day. My older brother, a musician, was very upset by the news. I thought it was sad news, but it didn't really affect me as much being younger and not a huge Beatles fan.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

loriamoore thanks for visiting I appreciate your feedback. It didn't affect me until much later after he died. And now I just think that it was just a sensless thing. Cheers.

K Partin profile image

K Partin 6 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

Hi lady, thank you for commenting on my Rain Tribute To The Beatles. I enjoyed this hub about John. Hard to believe there is only 2 left now....but their music will live on forever. Thank for sharing. K.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

K Partin thanks for visiting this page. You are right it is hard to believe that there are only two now. George Harrison really had an influence over me during the 80's. He was a very spiritual person and it was a sad day when he died as well but at least he had time to be with his family before he died as he knew he didn't have much time left. John's life was just stolen. Thanks again for visiting. Cheers.

ltbarbara profile image

ltbarbara 6 years ago from Cincinnati, OH

Another had to read. I have always been a fan of the Beatles and know all of their songs by heart. This always amazes friends of mine, but as soon as I hear Beatle music I am inspired to sing along. I have always felt a deep connection to especially John, Paul, George.....I think John is so connected to the deepest part of many because he communcates so well to our deepest, intuitive aspects of Self. Thanks for sharing your story. Johns soul is one of immense beauty. Read the book The Beatles for a full story of all four of The Beatles.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

IBarbara thanks again for visiting. I know what you mean about the Beatles John and George have always been dear to my heart and always felt a connection especially to George as he was such a spiritual person. Thanks again for your feedback.Cheers.

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

What a tribute to a memory of a man who in my opinion was the sage of the Beatles. I was blessed to have seen him perform with Paul, George and Ringo in the Montreal Forum in 1964,little did I know at that time that this Iconic of a man would be gunned down so tragically. We named our first son Sean after his song, beautiful, beautiful boy. We have a cd collection of John's songs and listen to them when we have the nostalgia come over us and that is often, you become much more reflective as we age, something about not wanting to let go. Thanks again for the share LadyJane, much appreciated, a big UP from me.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

saddlerider you are very kind and thank you for reading my hub. It would have been amazing to see the Beatles and yes I get very nostalgic with the Beatles as well as with Simon and Garfunkel. I like to listen to them both as they are near and dear to my heart for several reasons. I apprecate you visiting as always. Cheers.

Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

I've finally come around to read your hub! I'm glad to see your side of the story, and I must say this is a well-written hub. John Lennon's death was a tragedy, and he obviously meant a lot to so many people. You already know what I think about what John believed... so I won't go into that again. But I just wanted to say hi :)

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Rose hello again I appreciate you taking the time to read my hub I guess you could say that you inspired it lol. Whatever the politics of John Lennon was it was just horrible the way he died and that is what this hub is all about of how it effected me. I appreciate your visit. Cheers.

MojoJojo49 profile image

MojoJojo49 6 years ago

Firstly, nice hub. Enjoyed the read and especially the personal touches added by outlining your own background to Lennons demise. I too share stories of fondness for him.

Secondly, and this may or may not be true (I haven't fully researched it) but didn't John Lennon die because Mark David Chapman wanted to get The Catcher In The Rye to a much bigger audience than it currently had. He did just sit down on the steps after shooting Lennon and started to read it while he waited for the cops. Salingers career then sky-rocketed when associated with this book and everybody wanted to read it to see what the fuss was about. That's why Catcher In the Rye is famous cos lets face it, its a terribly bad book.


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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Mojojojo49 Thanks for reading. Firstly I am not sure about the attempt from Chapman to make the Catcher in the Rye anymore famous but I do know that he made several references throughout the stay in New York that were associated to the book. He acted out several scenes from the book from what I understand and he did read the book after shooting Lennon and said that he was playing the protaganist in the book. That's basically all I know about this topic. I did however read the Catcher in the Rye and do not "get it" either. Cheers and thanks for visiting.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

LJ...The man had an immense capacity for both musical creativity and song writing. I admire that about him greatly. He became part of a magical moment in musical history when four guys actually changed the face of music forever. Much of their music is timeless and will probably be played as classics in the long distant future. That said, I cared little for the man as an idealist. True, he was a lover of peace and held a desire to see the entire world live in peace. That is a noble desire and cause. Unfortunately he chose his ideaology poorly and was convinced that socialism/marxism was the best path to world peace. I have often wondered how a man of his intelligence could buy into such a flawed path. Regardless, he did. I had entered my teenage years as the Beatles were hitting the American market. I have never yet seen anything like it and the only other time it even came close was during the era of Elvis' rist to fame and controversy. Once the Beatles had litterally achieved every success, Lennon remarked that "The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ." While there may have been an air of truth to his statement, it certainly was an error in poor judgement on his part...another dumb step by an intelligent man. I remember it set off a firestorm of Beatle album burning in the Bible Belt. This was a good piece and did justice to the memory. Thanks for sharing! WB

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

That one simple analogy by John was also taken out of context it was part of a radio interview where he was implying that young people shouldn't put the Beatles above more important matters. It's ridiculous to suggest that John Lennon sought anything more than a simple peaceful world to live in. No one can make a statement without it being made political. How much more simple can you get than. Give peace a chance!

Thanks ladyjane, you have the right commonsense attitude to the motives of a non-perfect but decent man. John Lennon.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

attemptedhumour thanks for reading my hub and for giving such an honest and insightful comment. Im glad that you are one of the people that didn't try to crucify John Lennon for his statement. Regardless of is ideologies that others may dissagree with, the fact remains that he was brutally murdered and he didn't deserve to be killed like that, he was a great musician and a great humanitarian in my opinion. Thanks again for reading. Cheers.

justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

The Beatles were my first live concert in 1966 and as far as I'm concerned John WAS The Beatles. I remember hearing about it on Monday night football (of all places) but Howard Cosell gave a very moving account of it. The following day I called in sick from work and drove around playing his music and just reflecting. It was really crushing. Good hub, Peace!!Tom

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Tom thanks for reading my hub and for your nice comments. I appreciate what you mean about John being the Beatles, afterall he was the brains behind them that's for sure. I was not that familiar with John Lennon's music at the time of his death but consider myself one of his biggest fans. The same thing happened with Elvis for me, I didn't appreciate him when he was alive but now I am his biggest fan. Thanks again, Cheers.

TwoPints profile image

TwoPints 6 years ago

Nicely put, a tragic day for sure. I wasn't even a year old when it happened, but I think it was sadness that followed through the ages. Listening to a John Lennon tribute day on the radio at the moment. R.I.P. John Lennon on this 30th anniversary of his death.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Twopints thanks for reading and yes it is quite a sad day. I still feel the senselessness of what happened 30 years ago and also outrage. Alas I think John is resting in peace after a life that will forever be remembered and sadly a tragic end. Cheers to you for reading.

Roulette Sniper Review 6 years ago

I was not alive when John Lennon was murdered but it speaks volumes for the man that his message of peace is still alive today.

Ryan Hall 6 years ago

It is definitely one of those "I remember where I was when....". The only other one i remember is princess Diana. 2 sad days.

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

Roulette I agree with you and thanks for reading cheers to you.

Ryan you are right, the way in which Diana died was also horrific and I remember that day just as well. Thanks for commenting. Cheers.

azure_sky profile image

azure_sky 6 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

I remember waking up and hearing the news that morning. This is a beautiful and awesome tribute to a beautiful and awesome man... Thanks for writing and sharing this ladyjane:)

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ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas Author

azure thanks for reading and for your compliment. I guess we will never forget that fateful day. I don't know why things like this have to happen its a shame. I appreciate your reading me. Cheers.

james555 profile image

james555 3 years ago from Hudson Falls New York USA

Thanks for honoring John with your story. I was talking to a friend on December 8, 1980 and he said he felt old because all the women on the base where we were stationed were too young. I replied, "I don't feel old. But the day John Lennon dies I'll be old..." he was killed a few hours later. As far as his quote about Jesus. Nobody got that one right. John didn't explain it well although he tried. John hated being a super star. He hated the fact that people were so carried away by the celebrity of THE BEATLES that they didn't listen to the MUSIC! That really "cheesed" John off. He didn't like the fact that the BEATLES were more popular than Jesus. He was saying it was a sad thing that Christianity was being replaced by the cult of celebrity. It was superficial and stupid. Years later John said, "People think I'm anti-religion but I'm not. I'm a most religious fellow." Thanks again. Was the maniac that shot John just another "Manchurian Candidate" controlled through post-hypnotic suggestion? Think about it...

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ladyjane1 3 years ago from Texas Author

Wow what you say makes so much sense and I never would have made that connection. Thanks so much for reading my hub and leaving your comments. Cheers.

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