Monday, November 21, 2005

Yoko's instant bad karma: Airtime for John's killer

Yoko Ono is furious at "Dateline NBC" for marking the 25th anniversary of husband John Lennon's murder by giving airtime to his killer.

"The timing of this is macabre," Ono's spokesman, Elliot Mintz, tells us. "She thinks it's outrageous."

Assassin Mark David Chapman has been interviewed before by Larry King, Barbara Walters and other journalists, including Chapman biographer Jack Jones, who provided his audiotapes to NBC.

"We're not going to learn anything new from him," argues Mintz. "NBC granted an assassin's wish. It sends out a message to other disturbed people that killing is a way to fame."

An NBC spokesman declined to comment, but noted that "Dateline" did air Mintz's objections on its program last Friday. Mintz said Ono was unlikely to listen to Chapman's rantings, now or ever. As for the Dec. 8 anniversary, she and son Sean plan to stay inside their apartment at the Dakota, where Chapman gunned down his hero on the street.

"Yoko and Sean prefer to remember John on his birthday, Oct. 9, which is also Sean's birthday," Mintz says.

Ono is commemorating the late Beatle with a book, "Memories of John Lennon," out Dec. 1.

In it, she writes that when she remembers his murder, "my heart still shakes and will not stop."

Still unable to write about John, she's turned to others who knew or loved him. Among the memoirists are Pete Townshend, Joan Baez, David Geffen, Bono, Alicia Keys and Carlos Santana.

Elton John says, "I was terrified of meeting him because of his biting wit and musical genius. But it was like meeting an old friend — he was warm and sweet and very funny. "

Mick Jagger recalls that when John and Yoko split, "[John and I] had some funny times. We got really drunk and we went out on sailboats and we just sat around with guitars and played. When he went back with Yoko … I was probably considered one of the 'bad influences,' so I was never allowed to see him after that."

Jerry Lee Lewis remembers that when he played L.A.'s Roxy in 1973, "John and a couple of the other guys were sitting up in the balcony above us, and I don't know what they were smoking, but … next thing I knew, John was on his knees in front of me kissin' my boots! When he stood up, he said, 'Thanks, Killer, for showin' me how to rock 'n' roll.'"

What the Hell is NBC thinking?
This IS an outrage, if there ever was one.


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