John Lennon Remembered

On the 30th anniversary of his death, 'Rolling Stone' looks back

Photograph by Annie Leibovitz
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Thirty years ago today — on December 8, 1980 — John Lennon was murdered outside of his New York apartment building by a deranged fan. Just three days before that Rolling Stone sat down with Lennon for an extensive interview, which we're finally running in its entirety as the cover story of our new issue — on stands and in the digital archive Friday.

In the interview Lennon explains that he has no desire to be a rock n' roll martyr. "What [fans] want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean," he says. "I'm not interested in being a dead fucking hero...so forget 'em, forget 'em."

Yoko Ono also contributed an essay to the issue in which she opens up about her final hours with John. "We nearly became late for the studio," Ono writes. "I rushed into the car and saw John signing an autograph for a fan in front of the Dakota. 'John, we'll be late.' I remember being irritable. 'Why one more autograph?'"

All of Rolling Stone's John Lennon Anniversary Coverage

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