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Rolling Stone magazine is giving Beatles fans a rare gift to remember John Lennon, who was murdered outside his New York apartment on December 8, 1980, by publishing the iconic musician’s last print interview.
Due to hit stands on Friday, the music magazine’s new issue will mark the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death with a feature interview culled from a nine-hour discussion with journalist Jonathan Cott conducted three days before his murder. Rolling Stone ran brief excerpts from the chat shortly after Lennon’s death, but this will be the first time the majority of the full transcription will hit print.
“Earlier this year I was cleaning up to find some files in the recesses of my closet when I came across two cassette tapes marked ‘John Lennon, December 5th, 1980,’ ” Cott told Reuters. “It had been 30 years since I listened to them, and when I put them on this totally alive, uplifting voice started speaking on this magical strip of magnetic tape.”
Highlights from the interview include the singer-songwriter pondering a return to touring, and responding to fans and critics who chastised the former Beatle for his infamous five-year hiatus from music in the late ’70s.
“What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean,” Lennon lamented. “I’m not interested in being a dead f—ing hero… so forget ’em, forget ’em.”
Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, also contributed to the special commemorative issue.
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