John Lennon, the prolific songwriter for The Beatles, was assassinated in the evening of December 8, 1980, outside his home in New York City. The musician was shot four times outside The Dakota Apartment while travelling home with his wife, Yoko Ono. The star was later pronounced dead at the Roosevelt Hospital.
As word about Lennon’s death spread, different members of the music industry found out. Many of whom were close friends with the star.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards recalled the event in 2000, saying: “I was downtown on Fifth Avenue in New York [when I heard about the shooting]. The first bit of news I got, I thought: ‘He’ll make it. It’s just a flesh wound.’ And then, later on, the news really came.
“He wasn’t just a mate of mine, he was a mate of everybody’s, really. He was a funny guy. And you realise that you’re stunned. You really don’t believe it. And you think: ‘God, why can’t I do anything about it?'”
The guitarist added: “I got well drunk on it. And I had another one for John.” (Via The Guardian)
Richards went on to add that his thoughts quickly went to Lennon’s widow. He said: “Then there was the confusion, the phone calls, trying to find out if Yoko was okay.”
After Lennon’s death had been made official, he remembered the star fondly throughout the years. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones had a friendly rivalry in the charts over the decades. But in reality, they were good friends who spent a lot of time together behind the scenes. Specifically, however, Richards had a special connection with Lennon.
Keith Richards spoke about John Lennon’s death (Image: GETTY)
John Lennon with Mick Jagger (Image: GETTY)
Richards recalled: “There were the Beatles, and there was John. As a band, they were a great unit. But John, he was his own man. We got along very well. We didn’t see each other very often, but he would sort of turn up at your hotel.
“Usually, if I was in the city, I’d stay at the Plaza. If John turned up, that meant he wanted to party. He didn’t come there to discuss, you know, philosophy, although it would end up like that.
“I would just get into town, and there’d be a knock at the door: ‘Hey, mon, what is going on around here?’ We would get the guitars down and sing. And, in our spare time, discuss world domination.”