Wednesday, December 8, 2010

John Lennon Tributes in NYC



Today marks the 30th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. His death was a shock and a sad occasion for those who were fans of The Beatles and those still following Lennon's career after the group broke up.

I was not even a teenager when The Beatles popularity grew in the USA with their hit single "She Loves You," in 1963. I remember looking at the cover to the record and trying to decide which Beatle would be my favorite. Ringo won that honor, but John was a close second. The Beatles phenomena then became so much a part of my developmental years. When Lennon chose to live in New York City in the seventies I felt excited, as if he was indirectly part of my world.



When Lennon and Yoko Ono first moved to New York City from the UK in 1971, they lived briefly at the St. Regis Hotel and then moved to 105 Bank Street in Greenwich Village, (the white building in the photo above), which they rented from Joe Butler, from the Lovin’ Spoonful band.


They lived here for one year between 1971 - 1972, and Lennon enjoyed meeting the social and political activists of the time that shared this Greenwich Village neighborhood. His personal life was chaotic and controversial at times but the eventual birth of his son Sean in 1975 seemed to give him a peace and meaning that he lacked before.


The couple moved to the Dakota building located at 1 West 72nd Street on Central Park West in 1973.


Lennon was killed in front of the Dakota building by the very troubled Texas native, Mark David Chapman on the evening of December 8th, 1980.


Strawberry Fields in Central Park is located almost directly across the street from the Dakota building, between 71 Street and 74th Street.  It was a favorite area for John and his family to visit. Named after a song written by John Lennon, it is a 2.5 acre area in the park that pays tribute to John as a singer, songwriter, and musician.


The iconic black and white "Imagine" mosaic in Strawberry Fields was a gift from Italy and designed by a team of artists from Naples.  Named after another famous song by John Lennon, "Imagine" is another lasting tribute to Lennon and his vision for the world.


Visitors and fans from all over the world still come to this spot to remember John Lennon on his birthday on October 9th and today, the anniversary of his death, to remember and imagine what might have been if his life was not ended in such a tragic way.

You can watch a PBS American Masters full two hour documentary exploring Lennon’s life in New York City during the 1970s as a father, husband, activist and artist on this link.



Bookmark and Share


Don't forget you still have time to enter my Jacques Torres Chocolate give away --leave a comment on this link, and also the Chronicle Books $500 book give away on this link!

42 comments:

Cheryl D. said...

I'm still sad about this! John Lennon was brilliant.

Ginny said...

How cool, you have done a walking tour of the places Lennon lived in New York! Was that Imagine plaque put there after he was killed? He never saw it? I was a teenager when the Beatles became famous, and I went to one of their concerts. I got all their albums on the first day of release!

Lily Hydrangea said...

thanks for remembering one of my favorite artists Pat.

Joanne Kennedy said...

I'll never hear a John Lennon song or hear his name without remembering my last trip to NY when I got to go by where he lived and to see Strawberry Field.

What is it about NY that makes me long to be there? I tell you it is the strangest feeling I've ever had. It's like I know I belong there and it's my home. Odd.

Jenny said...

The rose wreath around Imagine was really touching. Thanks for this little tour.

pam said...

I still remember being in the park looking at that Imagine Mosaic and wondering what the designer was thinking to make it look like that...then I realized that it made one imagine...so it had been a wise design.

diane said...

They were a great group. I saw a doco on him last night. He got quite screwed up before he went to NY.

RH (aka Lucy) said...

I want to seee all of those photos in reality. I remember where I was when I heard, but I was at a time in my life when I was more than irritated with him so I didn't care much then. Since then, I've learned more about him and my respect has come back. I always liked his music. I just watched the CNN special about him and it was so interesting. And Mark David Chapman? What a piece of work he was. Idiot.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Thank you for the tour, Pat. John Lennon was a very interesting and gifted man. Sad that his life was cut short.

Beverly said...

This is such a wonderful post, Pat. John Lennon was a great talent, and his murder was a tragic loss.

I never knew about the tributes in Central Park, but they make me smile. Don't you think they would make him smile, too?

Maria M. Boyer said...

I've been laboring over a comment, Pat. There's just so much to say about the Beatles, and we just watched a couple documentaries at my brother's last week. I never realized how "watched" Lennon was by the U.S. Government. I was born in 1964, so I'm just a few years too young to have fully appreciated them, but if I had been old enough, I'm sure I'd have been a screaming girl at Yankee Stadium. Nice post, and of course, lovely pictures as always!

Theanne and Baron... said...

Thank you for the remembrance of John Lennon...I did not know about the Imagine mosaic...it's quite beautiful!!!

Vee said...

Would you believe that I stayed up way past my bedtime to listen to Nightline and the "lost interview" with John Lennon? (After listening to it, I thought he might have benefited from medication. I'm getting to be a terrible armchair shrink.) I still think of him as an amazing talent and wish that we had not been deprived of the music he would have written. It was great to see the sights you've shared here. I wasn't aware of them all.

Claudia said...

I had no idea Lennon lived on Bank Street - right where I took acting classes in the 70's for four years. Only knew about the Dakota. I was in grade school when they appeared on Ed Sullivan and fell in love with George. In my teens grew to appreciate and love John. Was on my way home to NYC from L.A. when the pilot came on and made an announcement that Lennon had just been shot. Silence all the way home. My coming of age was definitely influenced by Lennon and all the Beatles. The memories you just evoked.

Lovella ♥ said...

I wonder what ever happened to my thick Beatles song book that was often found on our piano when I was a teen. I wonder too how many times I played the song Imagine. It might not have been my favorite Lennon song but it was the one I could play the best. .so I did.

Dishesdone said...

Super post, Pat! Great tribute. I remember that day so clearly.

Twyla and Lindsey said...

The saddest day of my life. It was the end of a dream, a hope. Thank you for this tribute to John. Twyla

Jo said...

I was so relieved when my daughter was born on the 10th, by minutes ... my doctor promised me she would be born on the 9th ... something i really didnt want ...
John, was, is and always will be someone who touched me in so many ways with his music and actions and words ...

Cynthia said...

Pat, this is yet another outstanding post. Thanks for the tour and the info. Thank you. You are a true Ambassador for your city.

By the way, that new header image makes me wish I was there.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Imagine...thirty years have come and gone already. He was a talented man! Though most of our old albums and 8-tracks have long since been discarded, I have hung on to a few of the Beatles originals.

Thanks for the tour of Central Park...and the Lennon connection.

Riet said...

Yes that was a sad day.JOhn Lennon was remembered here on TV all day and what we saw here was that he and Yoko were here on their honeymoon and stayed in bed a whole week to demonstrate for peace. The Hilton hotel in Amsterdam still has the room as it was then with words like peace written on the walls.
HOw wonderful it was you went to see your family and your lovely little grandson that is growing so fast. Grandchildren seem to do that.:))))

nanny said...

What a great post....they were an important part of my teenage years....I remember when they were called hippies with their long hair....Oh how times have changed.
I bought Rubber Soul album for my ipod the day they hit itunes....I love it!

Old Kitty said...

Oh I can't watch the documentary cos it's restricted to US viewers only!!! But nevermind!! These pics would do me - especially that beautiful picture of the memorial and the circle of roses around the word "imagine". Absolutely lovely.

A very sad day indeed!!! It was nice going home today - a busker outside the building where I worked was playing "imagine" on his guitar - and very apt it was too!!

Take care
x

Grandmother said...

I graduated high school in 1963 so this was part of my history. The "imagine" mosaic from Italy is lovely. Its message important.

La Petite Gallery said...

I saw a program on Lennon. Maybe
it all could have been stopped if more people had spoken up about that NUT.
Great post, sorry we didn't get intouch. I am home SICK now..
took the z pack and covered with red rash.
yvonne

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

what a lovely memorial....

i see your sweet note and perfect timing...i am in the kitchen bakeing Grissini out of the October Food and Wine. Mario's recipe from Eataly !!!!!

oh, how i would love to go there....

hope you are enjoying the holiday season too, Pat.

sending december love,
kary and teddy

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

We've read a little...and talked about him today! I'm so glad you posted all of this...it still makes us sad! ♥

Janie said...

I can't believe it is 30 years..he is so missed..I graduated in 1964 so he (they) were a big part of my life history...he was my favorite Beatle...(well, of course, I liked them all, but he was my favorite..)

Thanks Pat...

M.Kate said...

Hello Pat, tks for the tribute and its such a pity he left us early. Happy week ahead.

Kathleen said...

My old neighbor, Steve Spiro was a NYC cop who responded to the call. It was fun to see him on TV this weekend talking about that night. We hadn't seen him in years. A night he will never forget for sure.

Nora Johnson said...

Such a wonderfully reflective tribute to a great singer.

XOXO Lola:)

Mary said...

I love touring NYC with you! I've only visited once about 15 years ago, much too briefly. What a wonderful tribute to have a 'Strawberry Fields' in Central Park!

Gracie said...

I had a huge crush on him when I was a teen and I'm still shocked he can't produce beautiful lyrics anymore! Thanks for the tribute Pat.

Oliag said...

Each time I have walked by the Imagine mosaic there has been a large number of people...and always flowers...It really is a beautiful memorial.

Tracy said...

A beautiful tribute, Pat. I've been weepy for days, John Lennon and The Beatles being all over the the radio and news now. I was only 8 when Lennon's terrible death happened, and I have few memories of seeing about it on the news. I became a huge Beatles fan a few years later in my very early teens when discovering all sorts of music. My parents weren't Beatles fans, the early 50's more their times, so not much Beatles in the house I grew up in. My husband is a big Beatles and Lennon fan too. We've been listening to CDs... The music and spirit lives on... ((HUGS))

nanny said...

I know you are having a wonderful time with your grandson.....I am ejoying my short visit with sweetpea...going home tomorrow and I always dread leaving...my heart hurts to leave her.

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Life is always short...
Went to the Herbie Hankcock concert on «Project Imagine», a nice tribute to Lennon!!

Waiting for you in the Valley of the Kings!! ;)

Vittle me this... said...

Beautiful post!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

The 'Imagine' memorial is beautiful indeed!
Imagine~~

From the Kitchen said...

Thank you for a beautiful trip down memory lane. I loved seeing John's first residence in NYC as well as the lovely old Dakota. I just had another "trip" to NYC with Jojo. I'm headed into Chicago for the day. Now, if I could do San Francisco for the evening.....!

Best,
Bonnie

RNSANE said...

John Lennon and the Beatles were so much a part of my life. I was a young student nurse at Charity when they came to New Orleans. What a frenzy we created in the French Quarter one night as we headed up Bourbon Street after an evening at Pat O'Brien's when we told tourists, "The Beatles are at Pat O'Brien's" - people started racing down the street to get there ( they were performing the next night in the city! ).

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I remember this day all too well. Very sad part of music history.
Thank you for remembering one of the world's great musicians.