translated from Spanish: 40th birthday of rock’s most tragic night: the assassination of John Lennon

Mark David Chapman appeared to be another fan, to which Lennon signed the cover of Double Fantasy, his recent album released at the time. The dialogue between them was immortalized: John asked him very kindly if he wanted anything else, and Chapman replied «no, thank you» and left. But at night he came back, to take Lennon’s life, and the world, one of his best artists. That cold night, Chapman fired five shots at the songwriter and singer returning from the recording studio, committing one of the most sounded crimes of all time.

Mark David Chapman in a photograph taken at Attica State Prison in New York in July 2010. Photo: Getty

It’s been 40 years when John physically left us, but not so his legacy and music that revives every song he performed and every artist he influenced. It hurts to think that he had his life taken away in one of his most full moments, both personally and professionally, as he was in promoting his return with a new album after five years of silence. It is inevitable to think what would have happened to John if the murder had not materialized, or if Chapman had repented. It’s hard to understand what went through his head on December 8th. In 1992, in a live televised interview with journalist Larry King, he recalled that moment like this: «Before I pulled the trigger, I was calm and prepared for it to happen. My own voice said from the inside, ‘Do it.’ But, after shooting, I felt like the film tape had broken. I was in shock. I stood up, with the gun in my hand. Joseph came, the doorman of the building, and shook my arm until the gun fell (…). I was stunned. I took The Guardian out of the rye [la novela de J.D. Salinger] out of my pocket, I tried to read… I wanted the police to get here. I was devastated.»

38-gauge revolver with which Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon on December 8, 1980. Chapman fired five shots at the ex-beatle, who arrived dead at the hospital.

In the midst of the depression, prior to the assassination, Chapman read about 15 times The Keeper Among the Rye, novel by J. D. Salinger, who had become his favorite book, and began to think that he was the protagonist: a rebellious and rejected teenager named Holden Caulfield and who was a means of isnpiration for his future murder.40 years after gunning down John Lennon from behind Chapman every time he has a chance, repents and apologizes for his crime, but the courts have rejected his successive requests for parole, alluding to various reasons, fundamentally, the preservation of public order: they fear for the integrity of others or chapman’s own.» I killed him… because he was very, very, very famous and that is the only reason and I sought in great, great, great extent the glory for me. Very selfish,» he said remorsefully in his last request for parole and was rejected for the eleventh time. Without a doubt, Chapman managed to achieve his long-awaited «fame» at 25 by murdering one of the icons of world rock, but not glory, because that will always be Lennon’s, something that can never take from him, nor anyone else. 

Lennon’s death generated a wave of dismay around the world. In pain, his fans took to the streets and starred in massive rallies.

Today Chapman is 65 years old and serves a 20-year sentence to life in prison at Wende Prison, east buffalo in the United States. But it also carries a condemnation to which he will never be able to escape: the social and all the fans of the world, who will remember him forever as one of the most wicked people who ended the life of the former Beatle.Se turn 40 years old that they took john from us, the same time Lennon could enjoy his life. Meanwhile, around here we continue to mourn the death of the co-founder of the most important rock group in history and which we will never forget. Thank you for your art, dear John!

Original source in Spanish

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