John Lennon’s life ended in NYC when he was shot in Dec 1980. He had lived here, mostly with Yoko Ono, from August 1971, and it was a deeply significant time for him and his adopted city. He immersed himself, not just in his music, but also in the anti-war movement of the time centered around opposition to the Vietnam War. His activism resulted in a 4 yr long attempt to deport him and meant he was under constant surveillance.
However at the time he died he was just emerging from a 5 yr gap in his musical career, he and Yoko Ono were installed in the Dakota and his 2nd son, who was born in NYC was thriving. It was a good time for this incredibly takented musician and then he died. NYC was in many ways his spiritual home. He thrived in a city that treated him more as an individual than a celebrity and found great comfort in the immigrant foundations of the City having felt all his life that he was ‘displaced’ in some ways.
Below are significant places that were part of his time here. Follow along in his footsteps and discover something of his NYC experience.
-St Regis Hotel 2 East 55th St @ 5th Ave. This is where he and Yoko Ono stayed when they first arrived, and where he initially found sanctuary from the glare of public scrutiny.
-105 Bank Street Greenwich Village a quiet house where he and Yoko Ono set up house. But their house was robbed and that precipitated their move to the next palce on the list.
-The Dakota 1 West 72nd St @ Central Park West where he lived until his death. A beautiful Renaissance/Victorian building it will forever now be known as the building where John Lennon died when he was shot at the entrance.
-The Hit Factory 353 West 48th St @ 9th Ave this was the studio where Lennon recorded the music he worked on while in NYC.
-Smith’s Bar 701 8th Ave @ W 44th St was the place where Lennon got his burgers.
-Madison Square Garden 4 Pennsylvania Plaza was the arena where Lennon made his last public appearance. He joined Elton John on stage during one of John’s concerts and they sang 4 songs together.
-Strawberry Fields in Central Park not far from the Dakota building. It is a memorial to John Lennon where many people lay flowers on the day of his death each year.
Rest in Peace John Lennon you brought us wonderful music and we thank you.