John Lennon's convicted murderer Mark Chapman was once again denied release from prison yesterday, Friday, Aug.22, according to the New York Daily News. Millions of Americans first heard word of the Beatle's shocking assassination from sportscaster Howard Cosell who interrupted an ABC Monday Night NFL game in 1980 to break the sad news to a stunned nation.
Lennon, considered by many the leader of the greatest rock band in history, was approaching his apartment in the Dakotas when Chapman emerged from a dark New York City night and shot him dead. Only hours earlier the British superstar had autographed his latest album for Chapman who reportedly had been stalking him. Lennon was returning home from a late night recording session with wife Yoko Ono when Chapman ambushed him by firing messengers of death from his .38 caliber Charter Arms firearm into the surprised Lennon.
In denying his parole for the eighth time, the board made note of the fact that the victim had done an act of kindness for the killer the same day he was gunned down. Part of their decision was based on the fact Chapman still consitutues a danger to possible future victims if released. He was sentenced to a stay of 20 years to life by a New York court.
Widow Ono reportedly sent a letter to the parole board opposing Chapman's release. She is said to be concerned for the safety of Lennon's two sons if he is released back into society. She also is credited with stating that Chapman's life would likely be at risk from persons who might still be irate at him for gunning down the rock legend.
Under the New York legal system, Chapman will be entitled to yet another parole board hearing in two years. One would probably be safe in betting that he will not be released then either.
Lennon teamed up with Paul McCartney to write an incredible number of No. 1 hits for the Beatles who shattered records in the 1960s. Lennon was known as the master of lyrics while McCartney created the melodies in the historic Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo. Along with McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison, Lennon toured the United States including a historic event at New York's Shea Stadium. The frenzied crowd was so loud that there were reports the music was drowned out. Reports indicate the fact their music was drowned out by the unparalleled roar of the crowd led the Beatles to reach a decision to no longer tour.
Screaming fans were the norm for the Beatles beginning with their first tour of the U.S. and appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Fab Four perfected their original style while performing at nightclubs in Hamburg, Germany before they hit the big time. Pete Best, the original drummer for the group, was replaced by Starr. Best would later perform at a nightclub in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Following the Beatles' breakup, Lennon continued his career with his new wife Yoko Ono. His first post-Beatles album was entitled the Plastic Ono Band in 1970. Following the Fab Four's 1970 breakup Lennon became somewhat of a counterculture figure in the U.S. as he actively protested the Vietnam War.
Lennon was born Oct. 9, 1940 and died Dec. 8, 1980. As leader of the Quarrymen, Lennon invited McCartney to join his group which Paul did. McCartney later introduced Lennon to George Harrison and the name of the group was changed to the Beatles with Best as the first drummer.
The Beatles changed music history forever on Feb. 7, 1964 when their plane landed at JFK Airport in New York. They were greeted by a mob of screaming fans and the rest is history.
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