Paul McCartney Says He Still Has Trouble Accepting John Lennon's Murder

Paul McCartney said he's still somewhat in "denial," even 40 years after John Lennon's wanton murder.

Lennon was shot outside his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980, mere hours after he signed an autograph there for his killer.

McCartney told The New York Times Magazine in a recent interview that the tragedy is still hard for him to comprehend.

"I rerun the scenario in my head," he said. "Very emotional. So much so that I can't really think about it. It kind of implodes. What can you think about that besides anger, sorry? Like any bereavement, the only way out is to remember how good it was with John. Because I can't get over the senseless act. I can't think about it. I'm sure it's some form of denial. But denial is the only way that I can deal with it."

In October, McCartney participated in a BBC Radio special celebrating what would have been Lennon's 80th birthday with Lennon and Yoko Ono's son Sean Ono Lennon. Macca said he relishes opportunities to revisit the good times he had with John, and the positive impact John had on the world.

"That was nice — to talk about how cool John was and fill in little gaps in [Sean's] knowledge," McCartney said of the BBC conversation with Sean. "So it's little things that I am able to do ... but I know that none of them can get over the hill and make it okay. But you know, after he was killed, he was taken to Frank Campbell's funeral parlor in New York. I'm often passing that. I never pass it without saying, 'All right, John. Hi, John.'"

McCartney was then asked about his other dearly-departed Beatles bandmate, George Harrison, who passed away of cancer in 2001.

Whereas John's death was "particularly harrowing," McCartney recalls George being more or less ready to go when his time came. George has spent so much of his final months traveling the world, looking for a cure, when it seemed the inevitable was upon him, he and McCartney held hands and spoke of their hometown, Liverpool.

"The nice thing for me when I was holding George's hands [was] he looked at me, and there was a smile," McCartney recalled.

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