Wednesday, December 8, 2010


John Lennon was murdered 30 years ago tonight, and even though there will be more than enough "Where you when...?" stories, I'll add mine.

I was like much of America that night, watching Monday Night Football on ABC.  It was late, and I was drifting in and out of sleep, but I distinctly heard Howard Cosell break the news about the shooting, and how John Lennon was pronounced dead at a New York Hospital.

I was a sophomore in college at the time.  I don't know if I didn't have a class the next day, or if I just had one early in the morning, but I do remember picking up my friend Mark in my 1978 Chevrolet Blazer and going for a long ride.  Markie, as he was known in the 'hood, was back from a break in the U.S. Army.  We spent a lot of time catching up and talking about what had happened the night before.

We wound up at the Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg.  Hess's was one of the anchor stores back then.  It had a decent record department, and I remember it was mobbed the day after the murder.  Anything Beatles or Lennon was flying off the racks.  I wasn't sure if people were showing their love for John Lennon or if they were just speculating the stuff would be worth a lot of money down the long and winding road.

There was a lot of radio listening on our journey that day.  Of course, Lennon music was on every station.  I was in the single digits during the height of the Beatles' popularity, so I really didn't appreciate their greatness, and Lennon's loss didn't hit me quite hard as it did some others.  Sad, nonetheless.  I always marveled at how the Beatles re-invented themselves a few times over the years.  What you heard at the beginning was a lot different than what you heard at the end.  That's talent.  The Beatles' captivated a nation.  Again, that's talent.

I was on the college radio station a couple times a week back in '80.  Beatles, both solo and as a collective were usually part of my rotation.  I remember playing a few selections that week, but not going nuts.  I reasoned that there were others capable of doing a better job at looking back, and we were supposed to be an alternative radio station, anyway.

30 years later, emotions still run high, and that shows how important John lennon was to so many people.