Thirty years later, Lennon interview released

NEW YORK – John Lennon’s fans celebrated his life Wednesday by visiting Strawberry Fields, the Central Park garden dedicated in his honor, while a newly released interview he gave shortly before his death showed he was optimistic about his future.

On the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s murder outside his Manhattan apartment building, admirers played his music nearby at Strawberry Fields and placed flowers on a mosaic named for his song “Imagine.”

The steady stream of visitors represented the range of people who love Lennon, from those who watched his career unfold as it happened to those who know only his music.

Father-daughter pair Paul DeLuca, 50, and Marissa DeLuca, 17, came from Boston to mark the day.

“I grew up with his voice,” said Marissa DeLuca. “The Beatles are the soundtrack to my childhood.”

In Liverpool, where Lennon was from, hundreds were expected to gather for a vigil Wednesday around the Peace and Harmony sculpture, recently unveiled by Lennon’s former wife, Cynthia, and their son Julian in Chavasse Park.

In the newly released interview, conducted just three days before he was gunned down, John Lennon complained about his critics, saying they were just interested in “dead heroes” and mused that he had “plenty of time” to accomplish some of his life goals.

The interview, believed to be his last print interview, was released Wednesday to The Associated Press by Rolling Stone magazine, which uses the full interview for a story that will be on stands Friday. While brief excerpts of Jonathan Cott’s interview 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.

Oprah: I’m not ‘even kind of’ gay 

NEW YORK – Oprah Winfrey says she’s not a lesbian, not even a little bit.

Her long personal and professional connection with Gayle King has sparked rumors that they are gay, but Winfrey denies it in an upcoming interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters.

“I’m not even kind of a lesbian,” Winfrey says.

Persistent gossip to the contrary annoys her, she says, explaining that, if it were true, “Why would you want to hide it? That is not the way I run my life.”

Asked to describe her relationship with King, Winfrey calls her “the mother I never had, the sister everybody would want. She is the friend that everybody deserves.”

Winfrey will end her daytime talk show next spring and, on Jan. 1, is launching a cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

That new venture has given her moments of panic.

“I would wake up in the middle of the night literally like clutching my chest, like, ‘What have I done?’” she tells Walters.

“A Barbara Walters Special: Oprah, The Next Chapter” will air tonight at 9.

Sorkin: Palin is just as bad as Michael Vick

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is calling former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin a “witless bully” after her cable TV travelogue series featured her shooting a caribou.

In Sunday’s episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate hunted north of the Arctic Circle. In a Facebook posting, she wrote that unless people have never eaten meat, they shouldn’t condemn her.

Sorkin said in an article for The Huffington Post that Palin didn’t kill the caribou for food, just for fun.

He said he couldn’t distinguish between that and Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Michael Vick’s role in a dogfighting ring, for which he spent 18 months in prison.