“I want to be with her.”
On Dec 8, 1980 Annie Leibovitz was sent to photograph John Lennon—explicitly alone—at his apartment, for the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Pointing at Yoko, Lennon politely requested otherwise: “I want to be with her”.
Inspired by John and Yoko’s kiss on the cover of their recently released album Double Fantasy, and what Leibovitz perceived as a “lack of romance” at the turn of the decade, she obliged Lennon and ignored her editor’s instruction.
Leibovitz requested both John and Yoko be nude, and when Yoko refused it was only John, naked as the day he came, warmly embracing the woman he referred to as “mother”. Looking at the Polaroid, Lennon said, “this is it”.
Tragically, just hours later Lennon was shot and killed by a deranged fan in front of his apartment.
Six weeks later, the image made the cover of Rolling Stone as a poignant farewell to Lennon and would become one of their most popular covers of all time.