Beatles drummer Ringo Starr was the last member of the group to see John Lennon alive. Their last encounter was during November 15, 1980, 3 weeks before his bandmate’s death. Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman in cold blood at the age of 40.
In an interview with Barbara Walters back in 1981, Starr recalled his last meeting with Lennon, saying:
“I was staying at the Plaza; we went over to New York for a while. I hadn’t seen him for a while because, you know, we see each other wherever we are. And he came over with Yoko for an hour. And we had such a great time, cause they stayed five hours.”
“It didn’t matter that it was a year between we didn’t see each other, it was always fine when we did – but it was a particularly great time that we, that I had, anyway.”
Lennon was happy about having released Double Fantasy and he also gave some tapes for Ringo and they were talking about going into the studio in January. “And then the asshole appeared. There’s no understanding it. You think about it, but I’m telling you, you never understand it. The world has lost a wonderful man.”
Paul McCartney saw John Lennon for the last time in 1976. George Harrison saw Lennon for the last time in 1978.
December 8, 2020 marked the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s departure and Ringo Starr asked on his social networks that all radio stations in the world played his bandmate songs: “Tuesday, 8 December 1980 we all had to say goodbye to John peace and love John. I’m asking Every music radio station in the world sometime today play Strawberry Fields Forever. Peace and love.”
John Lennon’s death
The Beatle was killed with four shots by an obsessed fan. The crime occurred on December 8, 1980, in New York, in front of the Dakota building, where Lennon lived with his wife, Yoko Ono, and his son, Sean.
Mark Chapman, the killer, later revealed that he was angry that Lennon had asked the public to “imagine no possession” (in the song “Imagine”) while living a millionaire life. A big fan of the book The Catcher in the Rye, Chapman projected itself into the protagonist, Holden Caulfield, feeling like a pure person among “false” people – what Lennon would have become.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 20 years. Since 2000, he has asked for freedom seven times (two years to wait between requests), but he remains behind bars.