I was in eighth grade when John Lennon died. The way I felt when I heard was similar to the way I felt when I was on a plane, and the plane was going to crash into the tarmac. We pulled out within the last second, and I said to myself, "That's weird." It was the same thing when he died. I remember thinking about New York and how fucked up it was. I remember he had that New York city T-shirt. I thought about the pornography of it - that he was shot in front of his wife. And the irony that he loved the city and felt comfortable there.
Lennon put the punk rock in the Beatles and took off a lot of the sugar coating. He had such good sense. He wasn't always trying to explain himself, and so a lot of times he is misunderstood. He was a contrarian with goodwill.
Julia Baird (John's Sister)
"I had not seen John for years, but when he died it was like having an arm cut off. I can't explain my feelings, even to myself. During the following week I avoided the radio & television, although I could manage newspapers.
They weren't as emotionally demanding as a voice or picture going over John's life or, even worse, a re-run of an interview with John looking out from the television as if he was really still there. As for listening to any of his records, the very thought made me wince with pain."
Bob Batz Jr. (Dayton Daily News)
"When Lennon died, I lost a friend I've never met, a friend I've never talked to, a friend I've never seen in person, but a friend nevertheless."
"John Lennon was brilliant, so gifted, so giving. He was the Bach, Beethoven, the Rachmaninoff of our time."
"Since the time they had one of their first hits with Roll Over Beethoven, I've always felt very close to the Beatles. I fell as if I lost a little part of myself when John died."
"John used to joke around a lot. The funniest incident I remember occurred when I was an engineer on Mind Games at the record plant. John had taken the finished tapes of the album into the cutting room. When I walked in, loose tape was piled all over the place; John was sitting there with this sad face. I went out to the elevator, I guess to count to 100 or something, and John came running out. It had been a joke, and the tape all over the room was blank."
"Here's a nice story that comes to mind concerning my time with the Beatles. It was 1968 in India, we were all gathered together in the Maharishi's bungalow, four Beatles, one Beach Boy, Mia Farrow and me.
Maharishi was on the floor sitting cross-legged, but the rest of us were all still standing around as we'd just arrived. Anyway there was a kind of embarrassed hush in the room and John Lennon (always the funny one)
decided to break the silence so he walked up to the Maharishi, patted him on the head and quietly said, 'There's a good guru.' John certainly had a wicked tongue all right, but he was honest to a fault. Therefore, many people often considered him to be very hard and forward. Actually, that's how he protected his sensitivities, by saying exactly what he felt. As far as I'm concerned, he ranks up there with Kennedy, Martin Luther King and
Gandhi as a figure for peace in the world."
"John and the Beatles were doing things nobody was doing. Their cords were outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid. Everybody else thought they were for the teeny boppers, that they were gonna pass right away. But it was obvious to me that they had staying power: I knew they were pointing in the direction where music had to go."
"After all we went through together I had and still have great love and respect for him. I am shocked and stunned. To rob life is ultimate robbery. This perpetual encroachment on other people's space is taken to the limit with the use of a gun. It is an outrage that people can take other people's lives when they obviously haven't got their own lives in order."
"The first time I worked with John was in 1968, when I played electric piano on Revolution. He was real pleased with the way things went and told me there'd be a lot more sessions he'd be inviting me to. But I didn't see him again until 1971, at his home in Ascot, where he was recording Imagine. I reminded him of his comment and asked why I hadn't been invited to any more sessions. "Well Nick," he said, "we thought you were to involved with the Stones, and we were afraid to ask." If only I'd known that was the reason! Later that year, John and Yoko invited my wife and me to his birthday party. It was in Syracuse, New York, where Yoko's "This is not Here" art exhibition was being held, and John flew us there and back to California. He gave everybody silver zodiac necklaces, even though it was his birthday."
"I liked John a lot. He was the one I really got on with the most. We weren't buddy-buddies but we were always friendly. But after the Beatles and the Stones stopped playing clubs, we didn't see each other that much until he separated from Yoko, around 1974. We got really friendly again. And when he went back with Yoko, he went into hibernation ... when I went to visit someone in the Dakota, I'd leave him a note saying: 'I live next door: I know you don't want to see anyone, but if you do, please call.' He never did."
"John Lennon profoundly affected a generation. His music and that of the Beatles was worldwide in import. Every death by violence is a trauma to society. The death of someone of John Lennon's stature intensifies this trauma. We mourn his loss."
Leila (John's Cousin)
"Our poor long lost little cousin. At work he was a Beatle but at home always, always a brother. Our dear Judy's finally got him back at last."
"I would like to say how terribly upset we are at the sudden death of John Lennon. I have always had the deepest affection for John since the divorce and have always encouraged his relationship with Julian, which I thought was best. It came so suddenly. Julian remained very close to his father in recent years and is hoping to follow a career in music. He was looking to his father for guidance. Julian was hoping to see his father shortly."
"Now Daddy is part of God. I guess when you die you become bigger, a part of everything."
Yoko Ono Lennon
"... the only way you can better John is by copying him exactly."
"I have hidden my self in work today. But it keeps flashing in my mind. I feel shattered, angry and very sad. It's just ridiculous. He was pretty rude about me sometimes, but I secretly admired him for it, and I always managed to stay in touch with him. There was no question that we weren't friends, I really loved the guy. I think that what has happened will in years to come make people realize that John was an international statesman. He often looked a loony to many people. He made enemies, but he was fantastic. He was a warm man who cared a lot and with the record Give Peace A Chance helped stop the Vietnam War. He made a lot of sense."
"We have lost a genius of the spirit."
"First up John was always a good friend. He was never the abusive, aggressive guy some people made him out to be. When John was killed I think he was just hitting his peak, both as an artist and a human being. And that's the saddest thing of all isn't it? John's death."
"I can remember very distinctly every minute I spent in the studio with John; it was probably the greatest thrill of my career. He had amazing energy and electricity. He worked at a fast pace, and it spread to everyone else. He loved the record-making process as much as anyone in the business, and whenever he was in the studio, he was smiling."
"Forty is an early age to have to leave this planet, but as a performer, the way Lennon was killed is very frightening and tragic to me. He was truly one of the world's greatest musical innovators and I'm sure he'll be missed and mourned by many, especially those of us who are his peers."
"Chris Montez and I were headlining a tour of England and Scotland in 1963 and the Beatles were at the bottom of the bill, but they soon became the stars. It was a 30 day bus tour, all one-nighters. My first record, Sheila, was a hit in '62 but I had no real experience as a performer, while the Beatles had a lot of stage experience but no hit. When I met John, he told me the group used to sing Sheila at the Star Club in Hamburg, and I thought he was kidding until the "Live" album came out years later and Sheila was on it. He was inquisitive about the States, asking about my hometown, Atlanta, and everywhere else. He was a bundle of energy, always talking, always clowning. I have a photo of him backstage during the tour, and he's coming at me with his hands up like a claw, his
glasses on crooked."
"Almost everyone who becomes famous ends up acting the way famous people act. It isn't so much that famous people want to act that way; they are forced into certain patterns of behavior. John Lennon was trying to act some way other than the way famous people act and people wouldn't let him."
"I first encountered John in England during the Let It Be period, when I took a bunch of pictures of him and Yoko in a basement. Being only twenty-one and an amateur; I overexposed the photos, but I got great pictures of Yoko. They liked them so much they asked me to take more, and I was surprised that someone of his stature would overlook my mistakes and give me another chance. Years later, I sent John some videotapes to show him what I had been up to and he asked me to shoot a promotion film for (Just Like) Starting Over that Yoko would direct and produce. Once, while we were shooting in Central Park, he laughed and said, 'This reminds me of Rubber Soul, only my face has fallen.' "
"John was one of the handful of true rock poets and his lyrics always bore the stamp of his unique mind. Listening to them now they seem unbearably poignant, full of other meanings now that he has gone."
"It was a staggering moment when I first heard the news. Lennon was a most talented man and above all, a gentle soul. John and his colleagues set a high standard by which contemporary music continues to be measured."
" I had a couple of conversations with John during the recording of the 'White Album' and I remember him being very busy and devoted to his craft. I watched him work on the two or three versions of Revolution and he was really intense. He believed very passionately about what he wrote. It was obvious that the song was a response to people making demands on him concerning his radical point of views, and you realized that by adulation of the group, we were making it more difficult for them to continue."
"John Lennon's death was a great tragedy. What the Beatles were doing for
kids was taking them off the streets and giving them a new interest in
"I first met John in March 1963, when the Beatles came down to see the Stones play in this dingy club called the Station Hotel in Richmond. They stood in line in their little leather coats and later came back to the flat; we stayed up all night talking about music and became good friends. John knew where he was going, and was very strong; he really got it together: Very determined."
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