The day John Lennon died

toymaker

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So most know Dec 8th marks the anniversary of John Lennon being murdered outside of The Dakota.

How remember hearing the news for the first time though ? Anyone join in the memorials that began after ? Any good stories to share from this sad event.

I can still remember it - even though I was a little over 6 at the time. I of course wasn’t up watching Monday Night Football like a lot of people were when they heard the news. I was up with my mom when the Today show came on and announced the news.

I remember my mom breaking down and crying - and asking her what was wrong. She explained thaa a man from the band whose album I liked (Sgt Peppers - I was 6 and I liked the artwork and some of the simpler songs) had been shot. I remember asking why - was he a bad man…no, he was ahoy by a bad man. I probably asked another hundred annoying questions like 6 year olds do - and I am sure she tried to answer them as best she could while watching the news and dealing with with emotion of it all.

She talked for years about the night she and her sister saw the Ed Sullivan show. Her sister was a couple of years older - mom would have been around 12 at the time. Her sister told her they had to go to someone’s house that had a TV (they didn’t at the time - living with their grandmother) so her sister talked one of her friends mothers into letting her and mom sleep over as her friends dad was working out of town. Mom loved telling the story of the 3 girls staying up - watching the Beatles for the first time. It was one of her most vivid memories of her sister who would pass away 8 years later.

Mom loved the Beatles from that moment on - she had all their records. When they broke up - she bought all of Paul’s records too. The death of Beatle John was probably a rude reminder to her of how short life could be.

Truth be told - I always credited my dad for my taste in music. I mean after all he is the one who PLAYED music…but mom certainly had her influence too. Beatles/Wings-McCartney, Neil Young and James Taylor were a few of the absolute faves she introduced me to. Dad liked the Beatles - but he was country music at heart. Mom was pop and rock.

I think about that day today and I think of her. I never gave her proper credit for being such a positive influence on my musical taste. Thanks mom .


Today Show - John Lennon Death
 

Fiat Lux

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I was driving when I heard the news on the car radio. I remember it vividly. It was a day hotter than hell.

I immediately rang and told my brother, who was a big John Lennon fan. Sad day.

cheers.
 

Tone deaf

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I have never been a big Beatles fan and definitely wasn't a John Lennon fan.*

Like most, I found the news of JL's murder jarring. The thought that some random asshat FAN would just walk up and murder some unsuspecting, innocent guy floored me. It wasn't much later that Hinkley tried to assassinate Reagan. I was a preteen and could not comprehend the pretzel logic of a deranged killer. ** I was stunned to think that there were random mental cases walking the streets just killing people (hey, I was kid, what did I know).

Years later, I lived a few blocks from the Dakota. Every time I walked past the entrance to the Dakota, I could see in my mind's eye the police photos from his murder. I saw it as a shocking reminder of how fragile life is.

"Strawberry Fields" in Central Park (a memorial to Lennon) isn't too far away. Every time we walked through, I'd look up and there was the Dakota.

strawberry-fields.jpe


The only reason why I could recognize the building and pick it out from the skyline was from the news coverage of Lennon's death.




*I absolutely recognize the impact that they had on rock and roll and truly respect their contributions to the music I love.

**I think that these experiences are part of why I enjoyed the movie "Conspiracy Theory" (Mel Gibson, CIA trained killers, triggered by "Catcher in the Rye").
 

Roberteaux

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I was sitting around with a buddy drinking beer on his front porch. It was fairly warm for a December evening in Upstate New York, and we were comfortable enough out there.

He had his FM radio going inside the house. It wasn't cranked or anything, but we could hear it well enough from where we sat...

At about 11:15pm-- which would have been about a half-hour after JL was shot-- the DJ stopped whatever song he was in the middle of spinning to announce that John Lennon had been shot in NYC, and had been pronounced DOA at Roosevelt Hospital...

And that was it. The radio actually went dead for perhaps five minutes... as if the station went completely off the air. But then the DJ came back on to verify that what he had said earlier was true: that John Lennon was gone, the victim of a shooting. And then he started spinning Beatles tunes-- especially John's signature material... :(

I remember that we just sat there and gawked at one another. About the only thing I could think of to say was, "Well... shit!"

Never did get drunk either. Just kinda wasn't in the mood any more. We planned on getting pretty bombed, with me crashing on his living room couch... but instead I drank about one more beer and then headed home. The whole thing was just one big bummer.

--R
 

Crotch

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I think I was 3. I do remember my parents still talking about it when I was 5-6
 

Bigfoot410

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Even if Chapman didn't pull a Baldwin, this woulda got him eventually....

tenor.gif
 

Dr. Arkam

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I was about 4 months old, so it was probably about 12 years later I learned he was shot when I was in the city by the Dakota and my mom told me that John Lennon was shot right here. Freaked me out.
 

Tim Fezziwig

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I was in 8th grade- Jim Jerrigan-HUGE BEATLES fan had just sold me a gram of hash for $8- he carried the hash behind a Lennon pin- All the sudden,

"We are sad to inform you that John Lennon is dead."

Poor Jim almost collapsed!

"Jim, lets forget this stuff, let's go to my house, pick up my box and Revolver cassette, we will smoke hash and listen to John."

We did just that-smoked hash all day in the woods while Beatles played. It was a very sad day.
 

slug_maine

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I was rolling down the interstate in an 18 wheeler headed for New England. Pulled into an all night diner in Fishkill NY. Waitress was blabbering about it, told her "yeh, that's a shame, I'll take the chopped sirloin well done with fries smothered in gravy", like to tell you then I gave her a slap on the ass, but I'd be lying.
 

SteveC

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Like with millions of others, Howard Cosell broke the news to me on Monday Night Football. I was 24 at the time. I woke my wife up to tell her the news, and she cried for hours.

We went to the NYC memorial. It was surreal.
 

Uncle Vinnie

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Bowled on a Monday night league back then. My buddy/bandmate Gary went to the bar to grab a beer, came back with a shocked look on his face and said "They shot Lennon." Mind numbing, couldn't process it.
 

mtgguitar

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I was in a room in a barracks on Okinawa listening to classical music on a Jap station. The program was interrupted by a woman speaking Japanese interspersed with 'John Lennon', 'New York' and 'Beatles'. The rest of the evening they played Beatles songs.

I did not find out what she was talking about until the next morning.
 

Fillmore

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I remember the first time I heard The Beatles, way back in the mid sixties. I'm in my seventies and they remain my favorite band. I remember when John was murdered and George died, and my feelings haven't changed, both days were awful...and still are.
 

fry

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I was about 4 months old, so it was probably about 12 years later I learned he was shot when I was in the city by the Dakota and my mom told me that John Lennon was shot right here. Freaked me out.
I had a similar experience on my first trip to NYC back in 2009. We did a guys weekend thing, and our host knew the city like the back of his hand. He drove us all around and showed us what he thought we needed to see. He pulled right up along the Dakota and stopped the car. He pointed at the entryway and told me that’s where John Lennon got shot. I said “right there?“ he said “Yep, right there“. I just sat there looking, and I swear my blood turned to ice.
 

fry

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This is a pretty cool little video that came out back on the 30th anniversary of his death. It’s pretty informative, but it’s mostly about the Monday night football thing, and how Howard Cosell ended up being the one to deliver the news to the nation. There’s a really cool part where Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford were off the air during commercial discussing whether or not it was the right move for Howard to deliver the news, and Frank told him there was no way he could not do it, so Howard agreed.
 

meatball

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I Got a phone call in the middle of the night from my best friend that he just had his first child ,, I was not able to sleep so I turned on the radio ( AM) and heard the news that John Lennon had been shot ,, man that was a shock ,, a Life and Death in the same day … I just sent a text to my buddy that I didn’t forget his sons birthday ,,,
 

LocoTex

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I had just gotten off work at 11:00 pm Central Time (I worked second shift). Got in the car, turned on the radio and the first thing I heard was John Lennon had been shot dead. I was stunned. Of all the people to be assassinated.
 

six-string

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I was in Toronto at the El Mocambo club when we heard the news.
It was completely shocking and I think most of us felt like we had been punched in the gut.
Disbelief. Someone's idea of a bad sick joke or something.

The next night we put together an impromptu gig with a bunch of local popular players (at the time).
And we played hours of Beatles and related tunes. Everyone taking turns.
Doors were open wide and all were welcomed with no cover.
I remember a lot of people including a bunch of famous faces showing up for that.
We didn't know what else to do.

If I had to point to one moment...that was the end of the innocence as Don Henley later sang.
 

Phil W

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I was 16 and cynical but also English and a 'The Beatles' fan ... I was horrified and then followed that with the thought (genuinely) that now Double-Fantasy WILL go to number one.
 

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