James Taylor Recalls Encounter With Lennon's Assassin
Speaking to the BBC on the eve of the 30th anniversary of Lennon's death, Taylor said he encountered Chapman in front of a subway station on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where he and Lennon lived.
"His assassin had buttonholed me in the tube station," Taylor said.
"The guy had sort of pinned me to the wall, he was glistening with maniacal sweat and trying to talk in some freak speech with me about what he was gonna do, and his stuff ... how John was interested and he was gonna get in touch with John Lennon," Taylor said.
"It was surreal to actually have contact with the guy 24 hours before he shot John."
Lennon was killed 30 years ago today outside the Dakota apartment building at 72nd Street and Central Park West where he lived. Taylor, who lived one building away, heard the fateful shots.
Speaking on the phone to his manager's wife, Taylor said he heard "five explosions" and said the police had shot somebody on the street.
"She called me back 20 minutes later and said, 'That was John.'"
Chapman, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, is serving a 20 years to life sentence and has been denied parole six times.
Read more at the BBC.