The United States Postal Service unveiled a new commemorative stamp featuring former Beatles musician John Lennon. The stamps feature a 1974 photo of Lennon taken by Bob Gruen, photographer to the rock and roll world. Gruen said he hoped the Lennon stamp would attract a new generation of people to Lennon’s art and his music.

In psychedelic shades of colour fading to black and white, the new stamp was launched in Central Park on Friday. Lennon’s partner, Yoko Ono-Lennon and their son Sean were at the event. Sean Lennon said his father would have been thrilled to be featured and accepted in this fashion.

New York and John Lennon

As reported by the BBC, while John Lennon was born in Liverpool, England, he made New York City his home. The former Beatle was shot dead in 1980 at the age of 40, while about to return his apartment in the Dakota building in New York.

New York hasn’t forgotten the legend and the US Postal Service unveiled the new stamps at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, where his eulogy was originally delivered.

Unveiling of commemorative John Lennon stamp

As reported by the New York Post, Yoko Ono-Lennon and their son, Sean, were at the commemorative event.

Yoko said that when John died, she had said there would be no funeral and that he was “going to be forever.” She said her biggest complaint was that he was not there today, adding that she thinks he is in the sky somewhere watching.

Sean Oko-Lennon, 42, went on to say that his father was always proud to call America his home.

He said while many in England say being born British was to win the lottery of life, the fact he, himself, is American was evidence that his father had disagreed with that sentiment. He said John and Yoko arrived in New York as immigrants and had fought hard for his green card. He said John wanted to live in the US and that he loved the country and the beautiful city of New York.

Commemorative stamp of Lennon

The image of Lennon on the stamps was taken as the cover of the singer’s fifth solo album after leaving the Beatles, titled “Walls and Bridges.” Gruen explained that when he took the photo 44 years ago, he never dreamed it would end up on a US commemorative postal stamp.

However, Postmaster General Megan Brennan called the former Beatles singer a “musical and lyrical genius.” Brennan went on to say that Lennon championed the cause of peace through his music, asking everyone to “imagine a better world.”

Ironically, it turns out Lennon was an avid stamp collector who wrote many letters throughout his life to fans, family and friends. He then saw the world through the stamps he collected along the way. Lennon’s stamp collection was placed on display at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Friday in Washington, DC.