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John Lennon's final day remembered

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with Keith Elliot Greenberg, author of December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died, now out in paperback from Backbeat Books.

Lennon was cut down 32 years ago this week, the victim of a crazed fan who flew to New York from Hawaii and waited for the ex-Beatle outside his home at the Dakota, where Lennon and Yoko Ono were living a mostly quiet life with their young son.

It was a cultural watershed, one of those moments that becomes a before-and-after fulcrum for those who remember exactly where they were when they heard of Mark David Chapman’s awful deed.

December 8, 1980 – John Lennon’s last day in his adopted hometown — was a typical Manhattan day, full of traffic and noises and coincidences and ultimately, unspeakable violence.

More than three decades later, Chapman remains imprisoned, his parole hearings coming and going.

Meanwhile, Lennon’s influence on the world is still felt on a daily basis, though we must wonder what he could have accomplished in all the years he lost.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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