Thursday, April 06, 2006


I heard about it from Howard Cosell.

Probably quite a few of us did, that evil Monday night in December, 1980. Cosell's pompous tones reached into my life and ripped my heart out by the roots.

In the intervening years I thought I'd grown a few layers of exoskeleton over that raw, bloody wound.

But no. I hadn't. I simply became numb.

A friend sent me this link tonight -- no particular reason, no anniversary or anything -- and it's just opened it all back up again, ripped away whatever protection -- cynicism, hardness -- I'd built up. I've just noticed that my t-shirt sleeve has reached saturation and won't accept any more tears.

This will never be OK. I'll carry this grief to my grave.

A month later, Reagan was inaugurated. More than a rock star died that night. Much, much more.


XTCfan said...

You're a braver man than I, listening to that. When I saw the link, I just deleted the e-mail and moved on, knowing exactly what would happen if I did listen. As you say, the end of a era. What a tragedy.

(FWIW, I was in college and starting an all-nighter when my roomates, who were watching Monday Night Football downstairs, shouted up the news -- oh boy -- when they heard it from the Mouth.)

roxtar said...

I was the morning show DJ at XL-102 in Richmond at the time. I, too, heard about it from Howard Cosell on MNF. Needless to say, we went to all-Lennon programming through the morning. The phone calls from listeners ran the gamut from grief to disbelief to paranoia. No wacky morning show antics that day, obviously.

olbeqe, olbeqa, life goes on.

helmut said...

I was a high school lad in Texas. Not many people gave a fuck except for a small group of us outsiders. It seemed almost ordinary in the context.

Maybe this is why, when George Harrison died, I felt the full brunt of it. That made me bawl.

Blue Wren said...

I'm not sure where I heard Lennon had been murdered. I do remember being so very sad, struck by the utter senselessness of the act.
"But why?" I wondered. And there was no "why," only madness on the part of the shooter.
The world lost a great artist and a great mind, but Lennon's memory lives and continues to inspire anyone who takes the time to listen.

beyond passionate said...

When I heard about John Lennon I was in the TV studio of the San Antonio PBS affiliate running camera for a pledge drive- you know, the banks of telephone operators "standing by to take your pledge". I'll be honest- the loss of Lennon had more impact on me than losing my own father. It was just a generational thing. As in: my father & I were sitting watching coverage of the 1968 Democratic convertion in Chicago where the Mayor Daily goons stormed into the crowd of protestors and bashed heads. My father's response was, "I think they should be using guns & shooting the protestors, clear out the varmin, etc".

Watch the last whisps of your childhood drift away.

The Beatles, on the other hand, were my moral compass during my formative teen years. As such, I'll forever be hopelessly pre-ironic.

Kevin Wolf said...

I heard the news from my brother who yelled it up the stairs. Disbelief, plain and simple.

I was amazed at how fast the newsmagazines turned around the story - seemed the next day when my Newsweek issue showed up.

It was a rag but they got this right: Simple, full-face pic in B&W of the young, cheeky Lennon looking for all the world like he knew much more than you ever would.

And he did, ya know.

KevinHayden said...

I was working that night but brought a TV in to watch that game. It was certainly a stunner, and clearly marked a change in the mood of America, the beginning of a long decline that only had a brief respite in the late Nineties.

And John, he died for nothing after living to create so much that I valued...