John Lennon

It's hard to believe it's been 30 years to the day since John Lennon died.

To mark the anniversary, Rolling Stone released its full-length interview with Lennon conducted three days before his death. Excerpts from the nine-hour interview with writer Jonathan Cott previously ran in a tribute issue, but the tapes sat in Cott's closet for nearly 30 years.

"Earlier this year I was cleaning up to find some files in the recesses of my closet when I came across two cassette tapes marked 'John Lennon, December 5th, 1980,'" Cott says. "It had been 30 years since I listened to them, and when I put them on this totally alive, uplifting voice started speaking on this magical strip of magnetic tape."

As one of the founding members of The Beatles, Lennon found fame in the 1960s before embarking on a solo career with hits including "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine."

But on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon was shot and killed in New York City. Wife Yoko Ono scattered the singer's ashes in Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later created for him.

In memory of his death, check out the video of Lennon's signature song "Imagine," in which he sang for world peace:

Click here for more Lennon videos.