In celebration of what would have been John Lennon’s 41st birthday, a seven foot bronze statue was unveiled outside City Hall in Los Angeles.
The statue was by 27-year-old American sculptor Brett Livingstone-Strong, and took three months to create. Begun in 1979, it was the only statue of Lennon created during his lifetime, although final work wasn’t completed until 1981.
It weighed three tons and cost $75,000. Shortly after its unveiling, Lennon fans began laying flowers at the foot of the statue’s plinth.
Livingstone-Strong intended for the statue to remain outside City Hall for one year, in the hope that someone would buy it and donate it to the city, so it could be put on permanent display. However, after 18 months there was no buyer. Livingstone-Strong sent it to a number of destinations around the world during the 1980s, including Japan and Australia, and in 1988 it was sold to Rock Legends Ltd of Australia for $1 million.
The Lennon statue was on show at the Grammy Awards Music Academy in Los Angeles for almost a decade. In 2010 it was once again put up for sale, with price tag of $2 million.
Also on 9 October 1981, Yoko Ono designated the day as International World Peace Day.
Also on this day...
- 2020: Celebrations take place for John Lennon’s 80th birthday
- 2017: New book! Riding So High – The Beatles and Drugs
- 2015: Ringo Starr live: Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- 2013: Paul McCartney live: Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, New York
- 2011: Sir Paul McCartney marries Nancy Shevell
- 2010: Photograph of John Lennon is projected onto Liverpool’s Albert Dock
- 2010: “And the world will be as one”: Global tributes take place for John Lennon’s 70th birthday
- 2010: Yoko Ono requests a million tweets for John Lennon
- 2009: Yoko Ono unveils Imagine Peace Tower in Second Life
- 2000: Tributes for John Lennon’s 60th birthday
- 1998: Yoko Ono dedicates a tree to John Lennon in Strawberry Fields
- 1990: Imagine is broadcast around the world
- 1988: John Lennon tributes are broadcast on US television
- 1985: Strawberry Fields is opened in Central Park, New York City
- 1984: Yoko Ono donates $90,000 to Strawberry Field in Liverpool
- 1980: John Lennon’s 40th birthday
- 1979: John Lennon’s 39th birthday party, Tavern On The Green, New York
- 1978: John Lennon’s 38th birthday party, Tavern On The Green, New York
- 1976: John Lennon’s 36th birthday
- 1975: Sean Lennon is born
- 1971: John Lennon’s all-star 31st birthday party in Syracuse, New York
- 1971: Yoko Ono’s art exhibition This Is Not Here opens in Syracuse, New York
- 1970: Recording: Remember by John Lennon
- 1970: John Lennon sees his father Alf for the final time
- 1969: Yoko Ono is taken to hospital in London
- 1968: Recording, mixing: The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill, Long Long Long, Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
- 1967: John Lennon’s 27th birthday
- 1966: John Lennon celebrates his 26th birthday in Spain
- 1965: The Beatles celebrate John Lennon’s 25th birthday
- 1964: Live: Gaumont Cinema, Bradford
- 1963: Radio: The Ken Dodd Show
- 1962: The Beatles promote Love Me Do in London
- 1961: John Lennon celebrates his 21st birthday with Paul McCartney in Paris
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
- 1956: John Lennon’s 16th birthday
- 1940: John Lennon is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.