It was 30 years ago today that John Lennon was senselessly murdered. He was 40 years old.

Many people remember where they were when they first heard the news. Like when JFK was shot in 1963, or when the second plane hit the World Trade Center building. These attacks to all common decency changed history forever and stand out in our minds.

Coincidentally, it was 50 years ago that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best first met with Brian Epstein. Epstein wanted 25% of their gross fees each week to manage them. He promised that they would never again play for less than £15, except for Cavern lunchtime sessions. Lennon, as leader of The Beatles, accepted on their behalf.

The Beatles mean so many things to so many people. To encapsulate their musical heritage and philosophy in one word is difficult. But for me that word is “Imagine.” In the 60’s The Beatles rose to stardom and anything seemed possible. In the 70’s there was still hope that the dream was alive as they entered their solo careers. By the time Lennon was killed in 1980, all the frustrations, disappointments and disillusionments of the previous decade had taken their toll. The dream was over.

When The Beatles dissolved in 1970, Lennon embarked on a creative musical journey that would produce the critically acclaimed album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (released 40 years ago this Saturday). Interestingly, Daniel Richter who worked as an assistant for the Lennons at the time snapped the cover photo with an Instamatic camera. In 1975 Lennnon removed himself from the music business to devote time to his family, then reemerged with a new album called Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.

For great sounding Lennon albums look no further than original UK LPs. For Double Fantasy, either the MFSL CD or Nautilus LP will do. Or if you’re not picky you could always download an MP3…

(Cover Photographer: Dan Richter)