Tag Archives: John Lennon

John Lennon Too Soon Gone

John Lennon Too Soon Gone

John Lennon Too Soon Gone
John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1980

Too Soon Gone

For the parents of Boomers, December 7 is the day that would live in infamy.

For Boomers, we all know where we were crying on December 8, 1980 after hearing that Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon five times and killed him.

Too Soon Gone.

Earlier that day on an ignorantly innocent morning, Rolling Stone photographer Annie Liebowitz had met John and Yoko to take a portrait. One of the most photographed couples in history posed for another historic photo.

Historic in too many ways.

John Lennon Too Soon Gone

John Lennon Too Soon Gone

Annie Liebowitz

Liebowitz recalled years later that Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner “never told me what to do, but this time he did. He told me, ‘Please get me some pictures without [Yoko].’ Then I walk in, and the first thing [Lennon] says to me is ‘I want to be with her.'” An angry Liebowitz reluctantly agreed to John’s request, and the image she captured proved to be one of her most famous—one that Lennon told her on the spot had “captured [his] relationship with Yoko perfectly.

John Lennon Too Soon Gone

Crowd Gathers

From the NY Times: A crowd began to gather at West 72d Street and Central Park West immediately after John Lennon…was shot and killed last night. Some of the first people to gather were eyewitnesses to the murder. Others had been only a block away. (NYT article)

John Lennon Too Soon Gone

Aftermath

John Lennon Too Soon Gone
Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park, NYC
John Lennon Too Soon Gone

MDC

Mark David Chapman pleaded guilty and remains in prison. In 2000 he became eligible for parole. It was denied and he has continued to request parole every two years (again as permitted) since then. All have been denied.

In 2014 he said, “At that time, I wasn’t thinking about anybody else, just me….But now, you know, obviously through people’s letters and through things I hear a lot of people were affected here. I am sorry for causing that type of pain. I am sorry for being such an idiot and choosing the wrong way for glory.” (USA Today article)

John Lennon Too Soon Gone

On August 29, 2016, a three-person state parole board panel rejected Chapman’s ninth parole attempt. In part, the panel stated, ““In spite of many favorable factors, we find all to be outweighed by the premeditated and celebrity seeking nature of the crime.”

Also that, “From our interview and review of your records, we find that your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate that seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.”

His next parole hearing was August 2018. The Board denied parole again.

John Lennon Too Soon Gone
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November 29 Beatles Singles

November 29 Beatles singles

November 29 Beatles Singles
Beatles 1963

The way most fans first heard the Beatles was by way of their singles, those little records with the big holes. By late 1963, the Beatles were exploding in the UK and the Ed Sullivan fuse was lighted for early 1964.

They recorded “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on October 17, 1963 and Parlophone released it in the UK on November 29, 1963, more than two months before that famous Sullivan Show appearance. There were more than one million advance orders. With such numbers, it must have hit #1 immediately, yes?

November 29 Beatles Singles

No

Their hit “She Loves You” blocked “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for two weeks before it finally reached #1 on the British charts. Once there, it stayed for five weeks and remained in the UK top fifty for twenty-one weeks in total.

Capital records released “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in the US on December 26. With great backing by Capital (unlike their previous US releases). It became the Billboard #1 single on February 1, where it stayed for seven weeks to be replaced by, you guessed it, “She Loves You.”

November 29 Beatles Singles

Exactly six years later…

A lot of troubled water had passed under the Beatle bridge between the UK release of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and the double-A sided “Come Together/Something” hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly six years later on November 29, 1969.

John Lennon wrote “Come Together” though writing credits showed the traditional Lennon/McCartney authorship.

Beatles singles
Come Together/Something

According to Lennon, “The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?”

For a more contemporary view of the song and Lennon, see >>> Imagining John Lennon, In a Time Of Anguish

November 29 Beatles Singles
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November 17 Music et al

November 17 Music et al

Kingston Trio

In 1958, The Kingston Trio hit #1 with Tom Dooley. So? Their success and their company Capital Record’s $ucc$$ allowed the company to invest in other folk type musicians. ABC TV’s Hootenany is less than 5 years away and Bob Dylan will be playing acoustic in New York.

November 17 Music et al

BUT…

The Beatles will arrive in the US, Shindig will replace Hootenanny, Bob will go electric and not work on Maggie’s farm no more, and the Fab Four and Bob will sit down and have an enhanced conversation about writing music. 1965 is the tipping point.

November 17 Music et al

November 17, 1958: the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” hit #1 on the Billboard pop chart. Three guys with crew cuts and candy-striped shirts who honed their act not in Greenwich Village cafes, but in the fraternities and sororities of Stanford University in the mid-1950s. Without the enormous profits that the trio’s music generated for Capitol Records, it is unlikely that major-label companies would have given recording contracts to those who would challenge the status quo in the decade to come. Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, for instance, may have owed their musical and political development to forerunners like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, but they probably owed their commercial viability to the Kingston Trio.(see October 20, 1960)

November 17 Music et al

The Four Seasons, Big Girls Don’t Cry

On the same date in 1962, these Jersey boys had their typical early-1960s pop hit when “Big Girls Don’t Cry” became Billboard’s #1 pop single.

November 17 Music et al

John Lennon Double Fantasy

November 17 Music

It was November 17, 1980, the Beatles had been gone for 15 years, and John Lennon (with Yoko) released his Double Fantasy album. It was his seventh studio album release.

At first the LP was not received very well, but 3 weeks later, when John was murdered it became a worldwide commercial success, and went on to win the 1981 Album of the Year at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked John Lennon’s Double Fantasy as the 29th best album of the 1980s. (see Dec 8)

Our life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere aloneIt’s been too long since we took the time
No one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over, starting overEveryday we used to make it love
Why can’t we be making love nice and easy
It’s time to spread our wings and fly
Don’t let another day go by my love
It’ll be just like starting over, starting over
Why don’t we take off alone?
Take a trip somewhere far, far away
We’ll be together all alone again
Like we used to in the early days
Well, well, well darlingIt’s been too long since we took the time
No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly
But when I see you darling
It’s like we both are falling in love again
It’ll be just like starting over, starting overOur life together is so precious together
We have grown, we have grown
Although our love is still special
Let’s take a chance and fly away somewhere

Starting over

November 17 Music et al
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