John Lennon fans to mark 30th anniversary of death

Hometown Liverpool to stage several events honouring former Beatle killed outside New York apartment on 8 December 1980

Fans of John Lennon will mark the passing of 30 years since he was murdered outside his New York apartment, triggering a wave of grief around the world.

In Liverpool, home city of the Beatles, several events will honour the singer and political activist, with local musicians leading a candlelit vigil in Chavasse Park at the European peace monument, dedicated to Lennon on 9 October, which would have been his 70th birthday.

Further homage may be paid at the Lennon statue in Mathew Street, home of the Cavern, where the Beatles played some of their early gigs, and at the original Strawberry Field, above.

On Thursday a concert – Lennon Remembered: The Nine Faces of John – will be held at Liverpool's Echo Arena, to bring to a close the city's two-month Lennon tribute season.

Members of the Quarrymen, his first band, will play to celebrate the life of the boy they had known at Quarry Bank school.

"We're playing not to mark his death, but to celebrate his life," said Rod Davis, banjo player with the Quarrymen, who had known John since they were five years old at Sunday school. "To talk too much of his death casts a shadow. There's more than a bit of sadness this week, so we'll be trying to focus on celebrating the John we knew."

As they have every year since Lennon's death, fans are likely to gather in front of the Dakota building in Manhattan, where he was shot. Others will mark the day at a candlelit vigil at Central Park's Strawberry Fields, dedicated to the memory of the musician and located directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon lived with Yoko Ono.

Lennon was shot four times in the back by a crazed fan, 25-year-old Mark Chapman, who hours earlier had asked the former Beatle for his autograph. He lay in wait for the singer, killing him as he arrived home. The security guard from Honolulu, Hawaii remained at the scene until arrested by police, and pleaded guilty to the crime. Since 1981 Chapman has been in jail, serving a sentence of 20 years to life. He has been denied parole six times.

Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty

Contributor

Alexandra Topping

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
John Lennon statue tour proposed to mark Beatle's 80th birthday
Sculptor Laura Lian wants statue of musician to tour boroughs around Merseyside

Henry McDonald

12, Jul, 2020 @1:41 PM

Article image
Beatles' Cavern club debut marked by 50th anniversary celebrations
Rebuilt Liverpool basement venue marks half century since first sparsely-attended gig in 1961

Alexandra Topping

08, Feb, 2011 @7:52 PM

Article image
Cynthia Lennon obituary
First wife of the Beatle John Lennon who never escaped his shadow

Adam Sweeting

02, Apr, 2015 @2:12 PM

Article image
John Lennon's childhood home to go on sale at auction

Late Beatle's first home – a three-bedroom terrace in Wavertree, Liverpool – is expected to fetch between £150,000 and £250,000

Hilary Osborne

01, Oct, 2013 @4:09 PM

Collected John Lennon letters to be published

This story was taken down on 25 January 2011 pending investigation.

Alexandra Topping

20, Jan, 2011 @7:40 PM

Article image
Beatles’ unused Abbey Road photographs to be auctioned
Full set of six pictures of John, Paul, Ringo and George to be sold along with image of street sign used on back cover of album

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

15, Oct, 2014 @3:35 PM

Article image
Unreleased John Lennon recording sells for £43,000 in Denmark
Song and interview were recorded by Danish schoolboys during Lennon and Yoko Ono’s stay in Thy in 1970

Daniel Boffey in Brussels

28, Sep, 2021 @4:57 PM

Article image
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite to record John Lennon song
Grow Old With Me is latest collaboration between the surviving Beatles members

Mattha Busby

14, Sep, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
When the Beatles met Elvis, and John Lennon put his idol's nose out of joint

Liverpool exhibition reveals what happened at the first and only meeting between the English group and the American singer

Alexandra Topping

04, Oct, 2011 @7:05 PM

Article image
John Lennon fans mark anniversary of singer's murder in New York City
Candles lit and flowers laid at Central Park's Strawberry Fields, opposite site of Dakota death 30 years ago

Paul Harris in New York

08, Dec, 2010 @7:49 PM