Yoko and fans mark 30 years since Lennon's death
Fans gathered in Liverpool on Wednesday for a vigil to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon, as part of a global day of celebrations of the music icon's life.
In the city which produced the Beatles, the focus of the memorials were the Peace and Harmony monument unveiled earlier this year in memory of Lennon, who died when he was only 40.
Fans were to light candles and sing songs and remember the singer whose life was abruptly ended by a lone gunman's bullet outside the luxury Dakota apartment block in New York on December 8, 1980.
The Peace and Harmony monument was unveiled on October 9 -- his birthday -- by Lennon's first wife Cynthia and their son Julian in Chavasse Park.
In the northwest English port city, local musicians will lead the wellwishers and Beatles fans as they celebrate the life of one of Liverpool's best-loved sons.
In Tokyo, Lennon's widow Yoko Ono marked the anniversary with a concert, saying the world still had so much to learn from his life and his songs.
"Today, on this painful anniversary, please join me in remembering John with deep love and respect," she said in a Japanese language tweet, as she prepared for the annual charity show, which features Japanese performers.
"Despite his short, 40 years of life, he gave so much to the world. The world was blessed with fortune to have known John.
"We continue to learn so much from him even today. John, I love you. 2010/12/8 Yoko Ono Lennon," said Ono in a message on Twitter.
Japanese-born Ono was with her husband when he was shot.
In Liverpool, Jerry Goldman from The Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to the band, was behind the European Peace Monument coming to the city.
He said: "Although the European Peace Monument has only been on public display for just over a month it's already taken on a global significance of its own.
"People from all over the world are coming to the city to pay their respects and consider Lennon's message of peace through his music.
"The city is very excited that we finally have a focal point at which to remember Lennon and look forward to a vigil that will reach out to people the world over."
A charity concert will take place on Thursday at Liverpool's Echo Arena, called "Lennon Remembered -- The 9 Faces of John", which will feature the Liverpudlian's friends and former bandmates performing his most famous songs.
The acts will include his first band The Quarrymen.
A poll found that "Imagine" remains Lennon's most popular song.
The chart was released by PRS for Music, which collects royalties on behalf of songwriters, and is based on airplay and live covers of the songs since 2005.
"Lennon's iconic songs inspired and symbolised the ideals of the masses, so it's no surprise that 30 years after his death his songs are still as popular as ever," said Chairman Ellis Rich.
© 2010 AFP