John Lennon death – Beatles star’s final hours ‘full of excitement and singing’
John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial – Official trailer
John Lennon was shot dead on December 8, 1980, 43 years ago today.
Despite his life being cut tragically short, it’s comforting for fans to know that the Beatles legend was having a lovely day in his final hours, according to the author of a book on his last year.
The star and Yoko Ono had given a Rolling Stone magazine photoshoot for Annie Leibovitz before he had his final interview that afternoon with San Francisco DJ Dave Sholin.
Speaking previously with Express.co.uk, Kenneth Womack, author of John Lennon 1980: The Last Days In The Life, said: “When Sholin completed the interview that afternoon they all went outside. They were waiting for their van, I guess, to take them to the airport because they had all their sound equipment. And John and Yoko were waiting for the limo so that they could go to the Record Plant.”
But it turns out that that limo never turned up.
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Womack continued: “So Dave Sholin said, ‘Well why don’t you guys just jump in, we’ll drop you off on the way there?’”
The author pointed out that back in those days you didn’t have to worry about the six hours it takes to get on a plane, you could walk on with your cigarette, so the crew had the time to spare.
He said of the car journey: “John was just so excited about the session and he was singing old rock tunes to them. They got stuck in a little traffic, so they got to experience that. There is a little bit at the end of the Sholin material that is quite interesting.”
Womack shared: “Before they leave The Dakota [John and Yoko’s home], they’re on the first floor and they’re signing autographs for Dave and his crew. When they’re doing this you can hear Yoko on the phone saying, ‘Where’s the car?’ And when Sholin’s team thanked John for signing all autographs for them all, he couldn’t have been kinder. John can be heard in the recording saying: ‘Oh it’s a pleasure! I’m a fan of people too y’know.’ And then, of course, they walk out and it’s terrible because you know what happens next.”
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The author added: “That’s when they go out there and they get in the limo and while they’re putting their stuff in you see the fan who will kill him [later that evening] walk up. And Sholin witnessed John signing the autograph for the killer.”
It was a copy of Lennon and Yoko Ono’s new album Double Fantasy. The Beatles star then headed to a recording session at the Record Plant before returning home to the Dakota where he was tragically shot dead.
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