John Lennon’s name resonates throughout the halls of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was inducted posthumously twice, first time as a member of the Beatles and the second time as a solo artist. He was not only a member of the greatest band to ever record, he was a successful solo artist, songwriter and actor.
Fans around the globe were shocked when they heard John Lennon had been shot and killed by Mark David Chapman. Howard Cosell made the announcement during Monday Night Football and the world wept. John Lennon's legacy not only includes an enormous catalogue of music, it includes his sons Julian and Sean, both successful musicians in their own right. John’s widow Yoko Ono has never let the world forget how important he is to the history of rock and pop music.
John Lennon, assassinated outside the Dakota in New York City on December 8, 1980, was one of the most famous men in the world. Fans still mourn his loss to this day and may think they know everything there is to know about him. But here are five things that may have escaped notice about John Lennon, an icon in rock and pop music.
John not only wrote music, he wrote satire, a stage play and personal memoirs. In high school, he kept his stories and poetry in a journal that he called "The Daily Howl." Lennon’s love of writing evolved into other works later in his life. Two of his books, "In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard in the Works, evolved into a stage play "The John Lennon Play: In His Own Write." The stage play opened at the Old Vic in 1968.
On March 23, 1973 John Lennon was ordered to leave the United States within 60 days. His wife, Yoko Ono, was granted permanent residence. The couple held a press conference to announce that they had formed the state of Nutopia and were seeking political asylum. Not long after the Watergate scandal was exposed. The ensuing hearings and Nixon’s resignation pushed John Lennon’s deportation into the background. President Gerald Ford overturned the deportation order in 1975. The next year Lennon was given permanent residency status.
A disc jockey named Bob Wooler was joking around with John Lennon about John's relationship with Brian Epstein at Paul McCartney’s twenty-first birthday party. Rumors about Lennon’s sexual orientation had been circulating and that night John, who had been drinking heavily and notoriously a bad drunk, nearly beat Wooler to death. The disc jockey was lucky to escape with just a few broken ribs.
Lennon always wanted to double –track his voice and once asked George Martin if he could “smother [his voice] with tomato ketchup or something?” In addition to hating the sound of his own voice, John was unhappy with every song the Beatles recorded. While enjoying dinner one night with his former producer, Lennon said he wished he could re-record every Beatles song. Martin queried, “Even ‘Strawberry Fields’?” John replied, “Especially ‘Strawberry Fields’”.
Mark David Chapman approached Lennon and asked for him to autograph his copy of "Double Fantasy" just hours before he assassinated him. Later that evening Chapman returned to the Dakota and shot John Lennon. The former Beatle was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital in the back of an NYPD police car.