EXCLUSIVE: John Lennon had finally achieved a life of personal and creative happiness shortly before the former Beatle was gunned down outside his Manhattan apartment.
It has been 40 years since the singer and songwriter was assassinated on the night of December 8, 1980, at the age of 40. While many books have since been published on Lennon’s heinous death, Kenneth Womack was determined to take a closer look at the final days. of his life.
The author’s new book, “John Lennon 1980”, examines how Lennon rediscovered himself as an artist and was enjoying his family life with his wife Yoko Ono and their son Sean Ono Lennon.
After releasing “Double Fantasy” in November of that year, he was ready to hit the road and create more music. Womack told Fox News he reached out to those who collaborated with Lennon in 1980 to paint a picture of a brilliant life that was tragically overshadowed.
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“I loved learning how creative John felt at this point in his life,” said Womack. “You could almost feel this change taking place in him as you study his material. And that change has moved to other parts of her life, such as her life with Yoko and their son.
“You can feel that positive emotion over the course of this year,” Womack continued. “It was really heartwarming. Even in the last days of his life, John was so excited about what he was doing and how fully involved he was in his music. He was delighted to help Yoko with his own music and was proud to be a good husband to her. He wanted to be a great cheerleader for her like she was for him. He was also a devoted father to Sean, an experience he greatly appreciated. “
Womack shared that previously Lennon faced insecurity by going out on his own. The Beatles stormed Britain in 1963 before “Beatlemania” spread to the United States in 1964, Histoire.com Noted. The group sold millions of records before breaking up in 1970.
According to the outlet, Lennon took a break from music in 1975 to focus on his family life with Ono, now 87, and their son. It wasn’t until 1980 that Lennon made a comeback with “Double Fantasy”, a famous album that pays homage to his love for the Japanese artist.
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Lennon and Ono married in 1969. This union lasted until his death.
“John even has a song called ‘I’m Stepping Out’,” Womack said. “If we study his music, we can really see him come out, using his own words. The music industry had changed since his so-called retirement. You have punk and disco. John knew he really wanted to do it right on his own terms. So you really see this focus, this determination for John to say, “Hey world, it’s me. “
The British artist also had a different kind of love – with New York City.
“He loved New York,” Womack said. “He wanted to be in this place which was the starting and ending point of so many journeys. He was drawn to what felt like a kind of anonymity where he could be surrounded by people and have private experiences in the city. He liked it very much.
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“Sometimes someone would ask for an autograph or just wave hello,” Womack continued. “But at the same time, he could be in a restaurant or walking around Central Park and no one was paying attention. He loved the energy that New York City offered, but also the kind of access to privacy he couldn’t find elsewhere.
Womack said many fans still believe Lennon and former bandmate Paul McCartney weren’t on good terms after the Beatles split. However, he said it was far from the truth.
“They were definitely in a place where they weren’t afraid to pick up the phone and call each other,” he said. “And they would do exactly that over and over again. They really seemed to have hit a good point in their relationship. John would follow Paul’s music and really admire the fact that his ex-partner was taking risks and doing something different and interesting. We also see John very often refer to Paul in a very positive light. At one point he would say, “My dear.
“Even on the last afternoon of his life, speaking to his sound team, John was asked about Paul. He said, ‘I would do anything for him. And I think he would do anything for me. We care deeply about each other, ”Womack revealed. “Their friendship was amazing and it showed.”
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Mark David Chapman, who killed Lennon just hours after the singer signed his album, was denied parole for the 11th time in August this year. The 65-year-old is serving a 20-year life sentence at Wende Correctional Facility, east of Buffalo.
Chapman previously said he felt “more and more shame” every year for the crime.
“I was too far away,” Chapman told a 2018 parole board. “I remember thinking, ‘Hey, you have the album now. Look at that, he signed it, go home. But there was no way I was going home.
Chapman’s next parole hearing is scheduled for August 2022.
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Womack said he intentionally left Chapman’s name out of his book because it aims to focus on Lennon’s life – not how he died.
Womack hopes his book sheds light on Lennon’s positive outlook on a life cut short.
“It’s an inspiring story of what it’s like to come back, fight your demons and pursue your passions,” he said. “I hope readers will experience the same kind of momentum John experienced as he worked on his music and was at the top of his game. It was an exciting journey for me. I know it was exciting for John and I hope readers can experience it as well.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.