Today, December 8th, marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. The Beatles’ two surviving members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, have both posted tributes to their former bandmate, as have Lennon’s two sons, Sean and Julian. Update: Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, has also paid homage to her late husband.
“A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world,” wrote McCartney in a social media post. “I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouse X love Paul.” McCartney’s tribute was accompanied by a photo of the two musicians together as taken by his late wife, Linda McCartney.
A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world. I will always be proud and happy to have known and worked with this incredible Scouser! X love Paul#JohnLennon
📷 by Linda McCartney pic.twitter.com/oNL0ihzhvl
— Paul McCartney (@PaulMcCartney) December 8, 2020
Starr publicly called on “Every music radio station in the world sometime today to play [The Beatles’] ‘Strawberry Field'” in Lennon’s honor.
Tuesday, 8 December 1980 we all had to say goodbye to John peace and love John. I’m asking Every music radio station in the world sometime today play Strawberry Fields Forever. Peace and love. 😎✌️🌟❤️🎶🎼💝☮️ pic.twitter.com/dAEgekrvmW
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) December 8, 2020
Yoko Ono used the anniversary to deliver a message against gun violence. “The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 40 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him,” she wrote before quoting a line to Lennon’s “Imagine”: “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” Ono attached an image about the number of people shot and killed by guns since Lennon’s death.
The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience.
After 40 years, Sean, Julian and I still miss him.
'Imagine all the people living life in peace.'
Yoko Ono Lennon#enoughisenough #peace #guncontrolnow #gunviolence #nra #guns #gunsafety #firearms #endgunviolence pic.twitter.com/TsHWuCdu2YAdvertisement
— Yoko Ono (@yokoono) December 8, 2020
Julian Lennon, John’s oldest son, posted a photo of his late father alongside the caption, “As Time Goes By….” His half-brother, Sean Ono Lennon, meanwhile shared a childhood photo of himself with his his father, mother, and Julian.
As Time Goes By…. pic.twitter.com/2qQvYeN7qM
— Julian Lennon (@JulianLennon) December 8, 2020
John Lennon was murdered at the age of 40 on December 8th, 1980. The man responsible, Mark David Chapman, was recently denied parole for an 11th time.
To coincide with Lennon’s 80th birthday earlier this year, Sean Ono Lennon hosted a multi-part radio documentary for BBC Radio. During the program, McCartney spoke about significance of reconciling with John prior to his death: “It really, really would have been a heartache to me if we hadn’t have reunited. It was so lovely too that we did, and it really gives me sort of strength to know that.”