April 1, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz….

The Beatles were my favourite group when I first entered into the field of music, way back during the late 60s. Rather, “The Beatles” were almost disbanded by then. Of the quartet, Ringo Starr had been my favourite, since I had started playing the drums but as time moved on John Lennon started becoming my favourite.

During the last 50 years, I listened to many groups and solo musicians and I developed a special liking for Eric Clapton and George Harrison, besides some others. But John Lennon remains still on the top of the list of my favourite musicians.

In my calendar, the date of 8th December has got a special place in my heart. It was on this date, in 1980, when 25 years old, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon at close range as he was entering his Manhattan apartment. Interestingly, Mark had received an autograph from Lennon the same morning. Lennon had given his autograph on a copy of the Double Fantasy. Later on, he waited for a suitable time, and when he found him entering his apartment, he shot him four times.

John bled profusely and was already dead when he arrived at the hospital. Interestingly the killer remained there, till the police took him away. For over a week, the bereaved fans of John Lennon remained outside his apartment building to display their sorrow for the loss of life of such a valuable and talented musician.  Still, on this date, the fans of John Lennon, remember him the world over.

Mark Chapman, who was 25 at that time, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He still is inside the walls of Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York.  More than 40 years have passed, and this one time great fan of “The Beatles”, is still serving his life sentence. During this long period, repeatedly his application came before the parole board but was never granted freedom. One of the main reasons is that Yoko Ono, the wife of John Lennon, always campaigned against Mark Chapman, for not letting him go free.

Mark Chapman, who was once a great fan of “The Beatles” and of John Lennon in particular, was deeply religious and was said to become furious over the famous remarks of John Lennon, saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus. This particular statement of John has been said to lead to an instant reaction from Mark Chapman. The 25 years old fan of the Beatles, became furious to the extent, that he decided to kill John. He had planned the assassination and travelled from Hawaii to New York. Ultimately, on 8th December 1980, he shot and killed John Lennon.

Though more than 40 years have passed, still there are too many fans of John Lennon, who remember and love him very much and I am sure the same would continue forever.


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