John Lennon is murdered
Years before he was murdered, somebody asked John Lennon how he thought he would die. He replied that he would probably be killed by a mentally unstable person. This is exactly what happened. On the evening of 8 December 1980 the former Beatle, who was an outstanding musician and songwriter as well as an author and peace activist, was on his way home with his wife Yoko Ono after a recording session. The couple got out of their car in front of the Dakota Building, where they lived near New York’s Central Park, and a young man called Mark Chapman fired five shots at John. Four of them hit him, and he was dead when he arrived at hospital.
The news of John Lennon’s death shocked people all over the world. News of the murder was read on radio and TV all over the world, programmes were interrupted so that people would hear about it, and crowds gathered outside the Dakota Building and the hospital where John died. On 13 December millions of people stayed silent for ten minutes in memory of John Lennon, and 100,000 got together in Central Park. A garden was set up in the park and named “Strawberry Fields”, and Liverpool renamed its airport after him. Memorials were built everywhere from Iceland to Japan.
Strawberry Fields Memorial to John Lennon in Central Park, New York City (Copyright: Getty Images)
Mark Chapman is in prison in New York State, and will probably spend the rest of his life there. He spends most of his time alone, as the authorities are afraid other prisoners might kill him because of what he did on a December evening in 1980.
Write short answers to these questions:
- Who was John Lennon married to?
- Where did he and his wife live?
- How did he die?
- What sort of person killed him?
- What happened in Central park on 13 December 1980?
- What and where are “Strawberry Fields” in New York?
- What is the name of the airport serving Liverpool?
- Why is Mark Chapman by himself for most of the time?
Activities for the links below
1) Who, what, where? Go to the first website below. Identify these people, places and songs.
- Most people think this song was inspired by narcotics, but that is not true.
- He wrote a song for John Lennon’s little boy.
- These two streets are important Beatles landmarks.
- When he was very young, John lived near this place where poor children were housed.
- This Liverpool lady’s name is the same as the title of a famous Beatles song.
- This was the first Beatles song to be played on American radio.
- John Lennon got his first guitar from this relative.
- This Beatles song was recorded in Canada.
2) Read the lyrics of “Imagine” on the second website below. What does John Lennon want to get rid of in his ideal world, and what does he want to bring into it?