Wednesday, 8 December 2010

'I'm not interested in being a dead hero': John Lennon's eerie last interview... three days before he was shot

By JAMES WHITE

Rolling Stone releases full interview on 30th anniversary of murder

Optimistic: The interview reveals Lennon's hope for the future and his anger at critics


John Lennon's last interview, in which he complains of his critics wanting 'dead heroes' to worship, has been revealed on the 30th anniversary of his killing.

The former Beatle was speaking to a journalist from Rolling Stone magazine just three days before he was shot by Mark Chapman outside his New York apartment building.

The December 8, 1980 murder was set to be marked today by fans at vigils across the world as Rolling Stone prepared to publish the full interview for the first time.

In it, the singer spoke optimistically about his family and the future and said he had 'plenty of time' to accomplish some of his life goals.

Lennon saved some of his harshest words for critics who were perennially disappointed with his direction, in both music and in his life, after leaving the Beatles.

'These critics with the illusions they've created about artists — it's like idol worship,' he said.


Sadness: Fans of John Lennon mark the 30th anniversary of his death at the Imagine Mosaic in Strawberry Fields, New York. The star's final interview is to be published in Rolling Stone magazine


'They only like people when they're on their way up... I cannot be on the way up again.

'What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean. I'm not interested in being a dead (expletive) hero... So forget 'em, forget 'em.'

He also predicted that Bruce Springsteen, then hailed as rock's bright future, would endure the same critical barbs: 'And God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he's no longer God... They'll turn on him, and I hope he survives it.'

But Lennon also talked about trying to be a good father to his youngest son Sean, learning how to relate to a child (he admitted he wasn't good at play) and spoke of his strong bond with wife Yoko Ono.


Partnership: John Lennon and Yoko Ono released their album Double Fantasy three weeks before John was killed


Target: John Lennon signs an autograph for Mark Chapman, just hours before he was killed


He said: 'I've selected to work with... only two people: Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono... That ain't bad picking.'

At 40, he was also reflective of what he had accomplished so far in life and exploring life's themes, and remained committed to his goal of peace and love on earth.

'I'm not claiming divinity. I've never claimed purity of soul. I've never claimed to have the answers to life.

'I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can... But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.'

Jonathan Cott, the journalist who conducted the interview, said: 'His words are totally joyous and vibrant and hopeful and subversive and fearless. He didn't mince words.'

Cott interviewed Lennon at his apartment and recording studio.


Scene of the killing: The Dakota Apartments in New York


The interview was originally planned for a cover story for Lennon and Ono's upcoming album Double Fantasy but in the rush to put out a story after Lennon was shot, only snippets were used.

Cott said he never went back to the three hours' worth of tapes until a few months ago when he was cleaning out his closet.

'On a strip of magnetic tape, it was sort of a miracle that first of all, the tape had not degraded after 30 years,' he said.

'All of this sudden, this guy's voice, totally alive... just made me feel so inspired that I felt that I should really transcribe the whole thing.'

The journalist said he was struck by how much he was thinking about his life and mortality.

'There was a lot of strange consideration of where he was and what he felt like sort of in the middle of his journey,' he said.

'I think it was like a mid-life meditation, I was struck by that.'

The magazine also includes an essay by Ono recalling her final days with her husband.
Last night she said: 'On this tragic anniversary please join me in remembering John with deep love and respect.

'In his short lived life of 40 years, he has given so much to the world. The world was lucky to have known him. We still learn so much from him today. John, I love you!'

John Lennon's death, 30 years later



source: dailymail

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