Tag: John Lennon

Five bullets from a madman’s gun

On December 8, 1980 at 10:50 p.m. outside the Dakota Apartments on the Upper West Side, a man who had been stalking the Beatles legend stepped out of the shadows and fired five hollow-point bullets from a .38-caliber revolver.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono had just returned to the Dakota after a recording session downtown. They got out of their limousine at the 72nd Street curb.

The psycho was standing just inside the arch to the building. As the Lennons walked by he called out, “Mr. Lennon.” Then, he reportedly dropped into “a combat stance” and fired five shots, emptying the chamber. Four of the bullets struck John Lennon, two in the left side of his back and two in his left shoulder. All four caused massive internal damage and bleeding.

Lennon staggered up six steps to the room at the end of the entrance used by the concierge and said, “I’m shot.” He fell to the pavement.

Police artist sketch of the shooting


New York City cops Steve Spire and Peter Cullen were in their patrol car at 72nd Street and Broadway when they heard a report of shots fired at the Dakota. They raced to the scene and found the shooter “very calmly” standing there.

He had dropped the revolver. He had a paperback copy of J.D. Salinger’s ’The Catcher in the Rye,’ and a cassette recorder with 14 hours of Beatles tapes.

The second police team to arrive, Bill Gamble and James Moran, picked up Lennon and stretched him out on the back seat of their patrol car. Lennon was still alive. One of the cops asked him, “Are you John Lennon?” Lennon moaned, “Yeah.”

The cops sped to nearby Roosevelt Hospital.


In the emergency room, Dr Stephan Lynn and his team worked frantically to try to bring the music icon back to life.

“He had no signs of life, no blood pressure, no pulse,” Dr Lynn later told reporters. “We opened his left chest with a scalpel. I held his heart in my hand as the nurses rapidly transfused blood. But there was no way we could repair the massive injury to all of the blood vessels in the body.”

John Lennon was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. No one could have lived more than a few minutes with such injuries, said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Elliott Gross.

Yoko Ono was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, crying “Tell me it’s not true,” She was led away in shock when she learned her husband was dead.


Within minutes, hundreds of people, many openly weeping, began to gather at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota, reciting prayers, singing Lennon’s songs and burning candles.

TV sports reporters interrupted a tied game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins with less than a minute to play with a news bulletin of Lennon’s murder. The NBC network broke into its East Coast feed of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with a bulletin of the tragedy.

New York rock station WNBEW-FM immediately suspended all programming and opened its lines to calls from listeners. Stations throughout the country switched to special programming devoted to Lennon and Beatles music.

Throughout the world there was an outpouring of grief on an unprecedented scale. At least three Beatles fans are known to have committed suicide.

Lennon was cremated on December 12 at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. His ashes were given to Yoko Ono, who, instead of holding a funeral, asked fans around the world to observe ten minutes of silence.

The shooter, Mark David Chapman, pleaded guilty to murdering the music icon and was sentenced to 20-years-to-life. Now 64, he has been denied parole ten times since he became eligible in 2000. His eleventh parole hearing is scheduled for August, 2020.

Imagine all the people living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people sharing all the world




‘Everything can wait but the search for God.’


The youngest member of the Beatles died on November 29, 2001, of lung cancer, in Beverly Hills. He was 58.

Most Beatles albums included at least one Harrison song, including ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps‘, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and ’Something’, which became the Beatles’ second-most-covered song.

After the Beatles broke up, Harrison was the first of them to have a No. 1 hit as a solo artist with ‘My Sweet Lord’ in December 1970.

The lead guitarist of the Beatles played 26 other instruments — the sitar, four-string guitar, bass guitar, arp bass, violin, tamboura, dobro, swordmandel, tabla, organ, piano, moog synthesizer, harmonica, autoharp, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, claves, African drum, conga drum, tympani, ukulele, mandolin, marimba and Jal-Tarang.


In 1962, Harrison and The Beatles recorded a song, ‘Love Me Do’, that landed in the U.K. Top 20 charts. Early that following year, another hit, ‘Please Please Me,’ was released, followed by an album by the same name.

“Beatlemania” was in full swing across England, and by early 1964, with the release of their album in the U.S. and an American tour, it had swept across the States as well.

Known as the “Quiet Beatle” Harrison took a back seat to Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr. 


Harrison’s interest in eastern spiritualism prompted him to take the Beatles on a journey to northern India in 1968 to study transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

In January of 1970 the group recorded Harrison’s ‘I Me Mine’ — the last song the four would ever record together. Three months later, McCartney announced he was leaving the band and the Beatles were officially over.

After the breakup of the Beatles, Harrison pursued a solo career. He assembled a studio band including Ringo Starr, guitar legend Eric Clapton and keyboardist Billy Preston to record all the songs that had never made it on to the Beatles catalog. 

In 1988, Harrison formed the Traveling Wilburys, an English-American “super group” consisting of Bob Dylan, Ray Orbison Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne that and turned out two successful albums. In 1992, the new group went on its first international tour.

Harrison put together a series of ground-breaking benefit concerts at New York City’s Madison Square Garden in 1971 to raise money for refugees in Bangladesh.


The “Concert for Bangladesh”, featuring Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Ravi Shankar, raised $15-million for UNICEF. It also produced a Grammy-winning album, a successful documentary film and laid the groundwork for future benefit shows like “Live Aid” and “Farm Aid”.


In 1988, a deranged 33-year-old Beatles fan managed to get through Harrison’s security system and broke into his home, attacking the musician and his wife Olivia with a knife.

Harrison was treated for a collapsed lung and minor stab wounds. Olivia suffered several cuts and bruises.


In 1997, Harrison, a longtime smoker, had been successfully treated for throat cancer, but four years later the cancer returned. The lung cancer had spread to his brain. That autumn, he traveled to the Unites States for treatment and was eventually hospitalized at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

He died November 29, 2001, at Paul McCartney’s house in Los Angeles, at aged 58, with his wife and son at his side.

Harrison was cremated within hours of his death, and in accordance with his last wishes, his ashes were scattered along the Ganges River in India.

— IMDb biography: Gary Richard Collin.


Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait.” — George Harrison