It was just another winter morning for the residents of Dakota, Central Park. Annie Leibovitz photographed what would go on to become the most popular cover of Rolling Stones magazine.
Lennon was on a sabbatical for over five years, leading just another New Yorker life. There was no paparazzi, no media bytes, no controversies, nothing – far from the madding media or fan frenzy. An autograph here, a photograph there, that’s about it.
An album was growing within him. He decided it was time to put the songs out there. A small-time solo project, or so he believed. Final touches of the recording got over at around 8pm. He was rushing home to see his five-year-old son, Sean, before he crashed for the day. Meanwhile, young man from Hawaii – Mark Chapman – was waiting at the entrance of the apartment to get an autograph of the forgotten star.
Just moments before the former Beatle could step into his apartment, the fateful gun shots were fired. Four of them – three hollow bullets straight into the chambers of his heart, and one at the back.
Nothing could save him. He was gone. Way too early. Way ahead of his time. 40 years of genius, 40 years of speaking his mind and cynicism, over in less than four minutes.
Here’s remembering the Misunderstood Beatle – John Lennon – on his 36th death anniversary with some amazing films that attempted to unearth the legend.
The Day John Lennon Died: Documentary (2010)
Through archival footage and candid chats with people close to the artist, this heart wrenching documentary looks at how the day panned out for John Lennon and the world of his fans. The brilliant docu brings to the fore the struggle of the hospital workers, doctors, reporters, and photographers who were closely associated with the incident. If you’re a Lennon fan and this film doesn’t make you cry, check to see if you’re made of stone.
The US vs John Lennon (2006)
This is one of the most befitting documentaries of one of the most influential pop culture figures in the world. The film traces in Lennon’s growing involvement with the protests during the Vietnam War, his silent war with Richard Nixon’s government, and his quest for world peace. His attempts to unite young minds for peace prompted White House officials to run an illegal and almost unethical conspiracy to deport the singer. The documentary examines the scheming and the ultimate result of the propaganda.
Nowhere Boy (2009)
We all know of the frenzied life of John Lennon – the rise of The Beatles, his years with Yoko Ono and his solo career. However, not many know about the troubled childhood he led. The young Liverpool lad spent his growing years with his aunt, after his mother, Julia, abandoned him. This biopic presents the lesser-known episode of Lennon’s life – his childhood angst and teenage years.
Bed Peace: John Lennon and Yoko Ono
When the couple got married, and announced that they would conduct a seven-day-long bed in, the media raised eyebrows. They couldn’t believe the couple was inviting them to witness their week-long honeymoon. However, it turned out to be another step towards World Peace. Whether it made a difference or not, is something we are yet to figure out though. The documentary features John and Yoko in conversation with comedian Tommy Smothers, psychologists Timothy Leary, journalist Ritchie York, film-maker Jonas Mekas and hundreds of fans.
John Lennon: Live in Madison Square
Yes, people around me are looking forward to more Global Citizen Festival concerts and Megadeth coming down, and so on. However, the one artist I would have done anything to attend the concert of is John Lennon. Sadly, I don’t see the concert happening anytime soon. Some consolation is provided by YouTube and older concert videos. And this one from his August 1970 concert at Madison Square Garden is a gem.
Special mention: at the 33rd minute, Lennon croons the best version of Come Together! 😀