|Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, December 9, 1980
EX-BEATLE LENNON SLAIN
NEW YORK--John Lennon, the driving force behind the legendary Beatles rock group, was shot to death late Monday as he entered his luxury apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Lennon, 40, one of the most prolific songwriters of the century, was rushed in a police car to St.Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he died shortly after arrival.
Police said Lennon was shot outside the Dakota, the century-old apartment house where he and his wife, Yoko Ono, lived across the street from Central Park.
New York Chief of Detectives James D. Sullivan identified the alleged assailant as Mark David Chapman, 25, of 55 South, Kukui St., Hawaii.
Sullivan said Chapman arrived in New York City about a week ago and stayed at several YMCAs before checking into the Sheraton Center Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Chapman was seen at the Dakota on Saturday and Sunday, asking about Lennon, Sullivan said. Chapman was there again Monday afternoon when Lennon and Ono left their apartment about 5 p.m. to go to a recording session, Sullivan said. Chapman stopped Lennon and got an autograph on a record album, the chief said.
When Lennon and Ono returned shortly before 11 p.m. New York time, they left their limousine at the curb and walked up the driveway toward the courtyard. Chapman came up behind them and called out, "Mr. Lennon," Sullivan said.
As Lennon started to turn, Chapman went into a combat stance, and emptied a Charter Arms .38 revolver,which contained five bullets, Sullivan said.
Lennon staggered up six steps into the vestibule and said, "I'm shot," before collapsing on the floor, Sullivan said.
Chapman was standing there when policemen arrived, Sullivan said. He had dropped the gun, and an elevator man had recovered it, Sullivan said.
Sullivan said that Chapman had bought the gun in Hawaii and the detective didn't know how he got it to New York. Chapman has given no motive, according to Sullivan, who refused to say whether he had confessed. Chapman was charged with homicide and is to be arraigned Tuesday morning.
compiled from reports filed by three Tribune reporters--Michael Coakley, Carol Oppenheim, and Barbara Brotman--who rushed to the scene of the slaying of former Beatle John Lennon, to the hospital, and to New York police headquarters immediately after the shooting. It was written by Sallie Gaines.
Detroit Free Press, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1980
From UPI and AP
A police spokesman said a suspect was in custody, but he had no other details of the shooting. "This was no robbery," the spokesman said, adding that Lennon was probably shot by a deranged person.
Lennon, 40, was shot three times, police said, and was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where he died in surgery. His wife, Yoko Ono, was with him.
"There's blood all over the place," a hospital worker said when Lennon was taken into the hospital. "They're working on him like crazy."
|The collaboration ended abruptly when the group disbanded in 1970
amid talk of falling out between Lennon and McCartney in addition to recriminations
against the management of their recording company.
Some critics blamed Lennon's 1969 marriage to Ono for the breakup of the Beatles after she was denied a "fifth Beatle" status. But Lennon denied it.
Lennon, who released a dozen solo albums after the Beatles breakup, said he was most affected by early rock 'n' roll, blues music and Elvis Presley.
In the near-decade of their collaboration, the group sold more than 250 million records.
Detroit Free Press, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1980
The Beatles were really the creative marriage of two men: Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
McCartney was the softener, the musician, the pop-brain who understood the musical marketplace. Lennon was McCartney's manic alter ego - the cynical wit, the brillant madman.
After the break-up of the band 10 years ago, McCartney became just another pop musician. Lennon became an eccentric recluse, married to an equally enigmatic Japanese-American artist, Yoko Ono.
He was killed Monday just as he was re-emerging onto the music scene after a five-year silence. He and Ono had just released a collaborative album, "Double Fantasy."
The Beatles came out of the lower middle class in Liverpool, England, during a period of social confrontation among England's youth. The times produced warring cliques of Mods, foppish intellectual sorts, and Rockers, leather-clad bikers.
Lennon was once asked which group the Beatles belonged to. His reply: "Neither, we're mockers."
It was his sarcasm and scorn that gave the Beatles their anti- establishment tag. Ringo Starr was the bemused child, George Harrison the lonely introvert and McCartney the shrewd conservative.
Lennon's songs, such as "I Am the Lawless," "A Day in the Life" and "Strawberry Fields Forever," were wanderings through existential uninviting worlds. They told of depression, angst and bizarre discovery. He played the inspired crazy jester to the pop-sensibility of McCartney, whose songs were often slick and frothy, such as "Yesterday" and "When I'm 64."
When the two worked together, however, legendary music was made.
Lennon led the band members through most of their experiments with the bizarre and metaphysical. His fascination with Eastern religion promoted the Beatles to take up study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and helped spur the fascination with Transcendental Meditation in the mid-'70s.
Recently, however, Lennon had given up most of his attachments to organizations and religions. Asked recently about Bob Dylan's conversion to Christianity, Lennon replied, "I'm not pushing Buddhism because I'm no more a Buddhist than a Christian. But there's one thing I admire about the religion. There's not proselytizing."
Lennon was always willing to poke fun at himself and others. At one of the Beatles early concerts, he instructed those in the "cheap seats" to clap, then added, "The rest of you can rattle your jewelry."