Three days before he was gunned down, John Lennon complained about his critics – saying they were just interested in “dead heroes”.
He also talked optimistically about his family and future, musing that he had “plenty of time” to accomplish some of his life goals.
He spoke in an interview released to the Associated Press by Rolling Stone on Wednesday, the 30th anniversary of the musician’s death.
The issue of Rolling Stone magazine containing Lennon’s final interview will be on US news stands on Friday.
While brief excerpts of Jonathan Cott’s interview with Lennon were released for a 1980 Rolling Stone cover story days after Lennon’s death, this is the first time the entire interview has been published.
“His words are totally joyous and vibrant and hopeful and subversive and fearless,” said Cott. “He didn’t mince words.”
Lennon saves some of his harshest words for critics who were perennially disappointed with his path in both music and life after leaving the Beatles.
“These critics with the illusions they’ve created about artists – it’s like idol worship,” he said. “They only like people when they’re on their way up … I cannot be on the way up again.
“What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean. I’m not interesting in being a dead (expletive) hero. So forget ’em, forget ’em.”
He also predicted that Bruce Springsteen, then hailed as rock’s bright future, would endure the same critical barbs: “And God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he’s no longer God. They’ll turn on him, and I hope he survives it.”