John Lennon's last year — 1980 — will be the subject of both a new documentary and book, according to Deadline. The film, John Lennon: The Final Year, is being produced by Reda Films along with noted Beatles author Ken Womack, whose own book John Lennon 1980: The Final Days In The Life Of Beatle John will be published on what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday on October 9th 2020.
Lilla Hurst, the co-managing director of the film's distributor Drive, said, “This groundbreaking film gives exclusive access to people who were part of John Lennon’s life during his final year and sheds light on a part of his life that hasn’t been previously revealed. We were fascinated by this story as soon as it was brought to us and we look forward to launching the film to the content industry.” No release date or platform has been announced yet for the doc.
Yoko Ono recalled the summer of 1980 as being a special time for the couple: “It was one of the most exciting summer (sic) for us. Because there was a five years (sic) hiatus, or whatever. And, y'know, both of us are workaholics. We weren't really happy about that. We were trying to make the family life well, and in that sense we were happy — a happy family. But there was something missing, y'know, 'cause both of us are artists. And so, it was great to finally come out and do something.”
John Lennon's personal assistant, Fred Seaman, was present during Lennon's final songwriting and demo sessions in Long Island and Bermuda prior to his 1980 studio comeback. He told us that Lennon thought long and hard on the material which became his final set of songs: “The official recording started in August of 1980, but the idea started in the spring of 1980 when John and I were in Cold Spring Harbor. And then in June of 1980, when we were in Bermuda. That's when John really started recording the demos and Yoko was recording her own demos. And they were on the phone and he was telling her what he was recording and she was telling him what she was recording.”
Double Fantasy producer Jack Douglas explained that John Lennon was the quintessential New Yorker: “When he was in New York he was 'John' — he wasn't a Beatle any more. He could never escape that in England. And the other thing was Yoko was a New Yorker already, and so, she made him feel really at home there in New York. I mean, you could see it in his face, he felt this, like, incredible freedom. And I think that's reflected in the music. The rhythm of the city, he loved it. He loved everything about it. He loved being in the Village.”