By Aglaia Staff

John Lennon would have turned 75 on Friday.

He was two months past his 40th birthday when he was murdered as he entered his apartment building, the Dakota, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, on Dec. 8, 1980.

Absent from the music business for five years — most of it spent living the quiet life of a house husband and father in New York — he had just returned to recording. The “Double Fantasy” album he made with his wife, Yoko Ono, had been in stores less than a month. A single from the album, “Just Like Starting Over,” pretty much said it all.

This “starting over” was chronicled in a profile by Robert Palmer in The Times on Nov. 9, a month before the murder. The article, based on a series of interviews with the couple during the making of “Double Fantasy” and after its completion, featured a reflective Lennon and began like this:

“ ‘Is it possible to have a life centered around a family and a child and still be an artist?’ asked John Lennon.”

 

He answered his own question as Mr. Palmer interviewed the couple in their apartment. “In a way,” he said, “we’re involved in a kind of experiment. Could the family be the inspiration for art, instead of drinking or drugs or whatever? I’m interested in finding that out.”

In another of the interviews with Mr. Palmer, Lennon said: “You know what I listened to for the last five years? Muzak! For the kind of chores I was doing around the house, it was perfect. I know people are going to say, ‘Oh, that’s because he’s got to be 40 and got soft.’ Well, it might be that; it’s irrelevant to me. The attitude is that when you change when you get older, there’s something wrong with that, but the world is stupid enough as it is; if the young were running it, it would be really dumb. Whatever changes I’m going through because I’m 40, I’m thankful for, because they give me some insight into the madness I’ve been living in all my life.”

670px 1 West 72nd Street %28The Dakota%29 by David Shankbone When John Lennon Was Starting Up

Visit aglaia.co.in 1 West 72nd Street (The Dakota) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lennon’s son Sean was then 5, and it was not always certain that he would be raised in New York; both Lennon and Ms. Ono fought immigration battles for years, but when Sean was an infant, the last hurdle was cleared when Lennon was granted permanent-resident status, despite an old marijuana conviction that might have resulted in his deportation.

“This is the best place to bring up a Eurasian child,” Lennon said in a 1976 article reporting on the hearing that decided the matter. “This city is cosmopolitan. Everywhere else, there’s only one flavor.”

The article began: “Yesterday, all of John Lennon’s troubles seemed so far away, and now it looks as though he’s here to stay.”

He wasn’t.

 

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