Just three days before John Lennon tragically died from gun wounds—an event marking its 30th anniversary today—he participated in a Rolling Stone interview that was never printed in its entirety. Until this Friday, Dec. 10, that is.
Jonathan Cott spoke with Lennon in his home and recording studio in preparation of the slated cover story promoting Double Fantasy. “His words are totally joyous and vibrant and hopeful and subversive and fearless,” Cott told The Associated Press Tuesday. “He didn’t mince words.”
Lennon waxed on the public’s obsession with dead artists, predictions about Bruce Springsteen, his gratitude for his wife and Paul McCartney and spirituality. “I’m not claiming divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answers to life,” Lennon said in the interview. “I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can … But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.”
November and December have proven as very Lennon-saturated. Last month, the planet celebrated his would-be 70th birthday through various means. Today marks the 30th anniversary of his devastating death. “On this tragic anniversary please join me in remembering John with deep love and respect,” Ono said in a news release. “In his short lived life of 40 years, he has given so much to the world. The world was lucky to have known him. We still learn so much from him today. John, I love you!”
Excerpts from the Q&A printed in a 1980 issue of Rolling Stone commemorating the legend’s passing. You can read the whole thing in Friday’s issue.