Monday, December 8, 2008

Imagine...28 Years Later

28 years ago on 8 Dec 1980, a cultural icon was murdered.

Former Beatle John Lennon was shot dead by a deranged gunman, Mark Chapman, who opened fire outside the musician's New York apartment.

Lennon was with his wife, Yoko Ono, on that fateful night. Since then, Yoko, who was a Japanese artist, has worked tirelessly to maintain his image as a music icon and peace campaigner.

Nearly three decades later, the impact of Lennon's death is still being felt by many people today.

The Beatles (1960-1970) are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over one billion records internationally. Musicians from many parts of the world still regularly pay homage to the band.

Japan is one country where John Lennon's memory is kept very much alive. Beatlemania has never really died.

Every night in Tokyo, bands dressed as John, Paul, George and Ringo faithfully reproduce their sound. Even though many of the musicians would struggle to hold a conversation in English, they know every word of the entire Beatles songbook.

After his marriage with Yoko in 1969, Lennon became a frequent visitor to Japan and even tried to learn their language. 28 years after his death, his widow, now at the age of 75, is back in Japan for an anniversary concert at the same venue where the Beatles played their legendary shows in 1966.

Mark Chapman took Lennon away from many who loved him till today. For that, we was put behind bar for life. In 2000, his first parole bid failed. He tried again in 2002, 2004 and 2006 and did not succeed.

In August this year, his bid failed for the fifth time. Chapman had a history of mental illness before he committed the murder. The panel which refused his parole is concerned that his release may not be in the best interests of the community. He will be allowed to apply again in 2010.

Looks like Chapman will remain behind bars for at least another two years, while the world remembers the great star, perhaps with one of his best songs, Imagine ....

Enjoy the

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