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Chicago Remembers Lennon, 30 Years Later

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John Lennon

John Lennon appears in Cannes May 17, 1971, where he presented his movies “Apotheosis” and “The Flu.” (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – WXRT-93.1 FM radio will air a two-hour special on John Lennon’s final interview Wednesday night, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of his assassination.

The interview was released by Rolling Stone on Wednesday. While brief excerpts of Jonathan Cott’s interview with Lennon were released for a 1980 Rolling Stone cover story days after Lennon’s death, this is the first time the entire interview has been published.

At 9 p.m., XRT will air a two-hour special revisiting the interview, which was recorded the same day he died, at the apartment he shared with wife Yoko Ono on New York City’s Upper West Side. The special will include music from the “Double Fantasy” album and memorable Beatles songs with commentary by John and Yoko.

Lennon was shot to death outside his building, the Dakota, on Dec. 8, 1980. The following day, the world mourned and played his music – Chicago very much included.

On Dec. 9, Bob Sirott reported for CBS 2 that WBBM-FM – now known as B96 – spent the day playing Lennon’s music and that of the Beatles, as on-air talent talked about the tragedy with listeners.

Meanwhile, Lennon and Beatles records sold briskly at record stores across the city, which saw their busiest day since the death of Elvis Presley about three years earlier.

“We’ve had people coming in front the beginning of our business day looking for John Lennon records, Beatles records, Paul McCartney – anything that had to do with him,” said record store manager Doug Brown. “People are upset, but not crestfallen. But they’re motivated to buy the records and make sure they get it before it’s gone.”

Lennon fans in the record store remained shocked a day after the assassination.

“It’s exactly what I grew up with,” one man said. “It’s something that pervaded my adolescence and becoming an adult. It’s something important.”

Lennon had no direct connection to Chicago, but the Beatles did play three concerts in the city – at the International Amphitheatre on Sept. 5, 1964, and Aug. 12, 1966, and at the old Comiskey Park on Aug. 2, 1965. Chicago was also the site of the 1966 news conference where Lennon was asked to address remarks in which he said the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus.”

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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