“I just want to reiterate that I’m sorry for my crime,” said John Lennon’s murderer Mark Chapman to the parole board at the Wende Correctional Facility in New York. “I assassinated him because he was very, very, very famous and that’s the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory, very selfish.” Thankfully, Chapman was denied parole for the eleventh time. I am not a hanger or a flogger but I’d like to see Chapman live to be a hundred, rotting in his prison cell.
Lennon was only 40 when Chapman shot him back in 1980. He was making new music, too, including his Double Fantasy record with his wife Yoko Ono. One of the greatest songwriters of all time, there was surely so much to come. When you think of his bandmate Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Bob Dylan, you have musicians in their late seventies who are still performing and making great new music. It is hard to believe that the man who gave us In My Life, A Day In The Life and Imagine had run out of creative steam. On the contrary, all the evidence from latter tunes such as Starting Over, Woman and Beautiful Boy suggests the opposite to be the case.
Mark Chapman took Lennon away. Away from his family and friends and millions of people all over the world who adored his music. With McCartney, he literally changed the world of music. Without Lennon and McCartney, little of the music we enjoy today would have happened. I’m usually one who believes in the power of rehabilitation. For Chapman, a man I have never met, I don’t feel he deserves anything other than a cold, dark prison cell.
Sorry was not the hardest word for Chapman but I don’t care. I only wish there was a hell for him to go to.