It was 30 years ago this past Wednesday, Dec. 8, that marked the anniversary of former Beatle, John Lennon’s, tragic death.
Last Sunday night, CNN presented the documentary, “Losing Lennon: Countdown to Murder,” a chilling tale of the twisted mind and actions of Lennon’s deadly assailant.
As I watched the show, I couldn’t help but feel a rage swell within me and then tears streamed down my cheeks as the story unfolded.
The program focused on the last two months of John Lennon’s life, from his birthday Oct. 9, 1980, to Dec. 8. It was interspersed with research that documented what his soon-to-be killer, Mark David Chapman, was doing during those months to plot Lennon’s murder.
The program was, just like prior programs that have been aired in memory of John Lennon’s death, a gut-wrenching, sad experience that left me longing for a different ending.
Despite knowing how the telecast would end, the new details, documents and interviews in the show shed new light on John’s last two months and on his death.
It was certainly hard to watch. Seeing John so happy, being a daddy to 5-year-old Sean, and hearing the interviews about his newfound hope, freedom and upbeat attitude were in direct, searing conflict with the mind of his killer, who was manic, confused, angry, and on an obsessive mission to do business with Satan himself to rid the world of Lennon.
The show began with John’s 40th birthday Oct. 9, 1980, and previously unseen video footage of his birthday party with Sean, at the Tavern on the Green in New York. John was just completing his newest album, “Double Fantasy,” after being a daddy for five years.
“Double Fantasy,” a joint project by both John and his wife, Yoko Ono, was released just three weeks prior to John’s death and featured the enormously successful hits, “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Woman” and “Watching the Wheels.”
The show ended not only with the shooting and attempt to save Lennon’s life, but also with the heartfelt sorrow of four human beings whose lives could have been so different without this senseless act — son, Julian, fatherless since 17; wife, Ono, who still resides in the same apartment building in New York, next to the crime scene; Gloria, wife of the killer, who continues to make yearly visits to her husband in jail; and the killer himself, Mark Chapman, who lives every day of his life in solitary confinement and has been denied parole six times.
This week’s music trivia question is: Which of the following is a true statement about John Lennon: A) John’s son by a previous marriage, Julian, scored two Top 10 hits in the mid-1980s, B) John and his son by Yoko, Sean, shared the same birthday, C) John fought a four-year deportation battle with the United States government for his criticism of the Vietnam War, until he was granted a permanent visa in 1976, D) All of the above.
If you are caller number three this week with the correct answer, you’ll win a custom CD of your favorite artist’s top hits!
Now, let’s check out last week’s music trivia question, which was: In 1964, the Beatles scored an unprecedented six No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Which of the following was not a No. 1 hit for the group that year? A) “The Long And Winding Road,” B) “I Want To Hold You Hand,” C) “She Loves You,” or D) “Can’t Buy Me Love”?
The right answer was “The Long And Winding Road,” which climbed to No. 1 on June 13, 1970 and was the last of the Beatles’ 20 chart-topping hits.
Following Bobby Vinton’s “There! I’ve Said It Again,” which spent four weeks at No. 1 in January 1964, the Beatles held down the top spot the next 14 consecutive weeks with “I Want To Hold You Hand,” “She Loves You” and “Can’t Buy Me Love,” before Louis Armstrong’s “Hello Dolly” jumped to No. 1.
Congratulations to last week’s music trivia winner, Doris Green, who won a CD of all of the Beatles’ No. 1 hits. She is a regular caller and has won once before — at the end of this past summer.
I asked Doris if anything significant or exciting has happened in her life since the last time she won. “No, not really,” said Doris. “I’m just glad to be alive and doing well for 84 years old. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and I’ll be hosting all of them again for Christmas. Indeed, life is good.”
Lastly, new pictures I have recently added to my Web site are from last Saturday’s Payson Care Center’s Christmas party, held at the American Legion Hall. A “Ho Ho Ho!” good time was had by all.
Have a great week, everyone!
Web site: www.DJCraigInPayson.com