With each passing year, it still seems incredible that John Lennon is no longer with us. His unwavering message of peace and a strong belief in freedom of expression has and continues to affect his many legions of fans. That winter day in New York back in 1980, Lennon was happy–an effervescence cut short by Mark David Chapman (still serving the sentence for his crime) and his depraved interpretation of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.
After having just released Double Fantasy (which he autographed for Chapman before he later killed him at around 10:50 p.m. on the night of December 8th), Lennon was more confident in his artistry and life than ever before. He had spent the past five years caring for his youngest son, Sean (which would, of course, intensify Julian’s–his more neglected eldest child–resentment), and had found inspiration from an entirely new place.
It isn’t just the manner in which Lennon was sent away from this earth that is upsetting, but the thought of the musical output Chapman deprived the world of. How Lennon would have reacted to the music industry of today, we’ll never know, but he surely would have increased its richness. Thirty-five years later, there still isn’t anyone who can hold a candle to him.