December 8, 2009 by A.C. Rhodes
where were you on that dreadful, fateful night?
Category: Question of the Week
I was just a kid, not quite 12 years old, and found out about it the following morning. I was already a Beatles fan, and devastated. What I didn’t know until several years later is that on that same night Darby Crash died too.
I was hanging out with my best friend Marty (RIP) and his wife Barbara, listening to the Sex Pistols’ NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS… When the phone rang and Barbara told me that it was my mother calling, I knew it must be something bad. I remember we turned down the music and turned on the TV. Monday Night Football was on and Howard Cosell was telling what had happened based on early, sketchy reports. The ride home that night, listening to non-stop Beatles and Lennon music on the car radio, was one of the longest, loneliest rides of my life. And I’ve never been able to listen to the Sex Pistols since without being reminded of that night.
This was just relayed to me from writer Sukey Pett:
I was at home, watching Hill Street Blues. They broke into the program right before the end to announce John Lennon had be killed. I called my friend Maggie right away and we cried and cried on the phone. Then we each started calling other friends. We gathered numbly by the Dakota with candles (I lived a few blocks away). People were crying and hugging. A few months prior to Lennon’s assassination, Maggie and I had been walking down Central Park West. We saw John Lennon outside the Dakota. He saw us seeing him. He smiled at us, and flashed a “peace” sign. We did the same. It was a John Lennon moment, and a New York moment.
I was recently divorced, living in Denver. I sat on my carpet in front of the television for days, trying to get my mind around it, actually more obsessed with who killed him and why than anything else. I was still in denial that Elvis was dead.
I was at work- at the time, I worked the 3-11 PM shift in a magazine printing factory, and the news came over the radio. Hit like a ton of bricks. After my shift was over, I stopped by a friend’s house who was as big a Beatle fan as I, and we shed a tear or two.
I was at the Bruce Springsteen concert in Philadelphia. leaving the arena we knew something was amiss because people were gathered around car radios. When we got to our car and turned on the radio, we discovered what had happened. Apparently Springsteen was made aware of Lennons’ death during the show and did not mention it. The following night he did a special Lennon portion of the concert.
I remember waking up in the morning and EVERY station was playing John Lennon music. I immediately knew he had died. Found out the circumstances later.
Watchin’ the Jets/Dolphins game on TV in Dallas. I am still surprised, to this day, that I wasn’t shocked at the news. It just seemed rather.. almost… expected, somehow. I think perhaps I had the residual sense that the Government was never gonna allow John to regain his uncontrollable “power to the people” status and must therefore have found themselves another patsy.
I have a friend who, to this very day, views MDC as another brainwashed “on-tap” assassin-in-waiting. I still have enough Nixon/Cheney experience to be unable to completely dismiss this theory.
With my girlfriend…turning the TV on one evening…not planing to watch anything in particular…the news was everywhere…which, in those pre-cable days meant the three networks. Watched in silence for an hour or so…suddenly feeling very old at 31.
This was our shot heard across the world, or at least the one that hit home most since, for many of us, the Beatles were our first ‘rock band’ and music was what saw us through many tough times socially, politically and personally. I’ll never forget that night; watching TV to see the newsbreak, then rushing to the radio to hear #9 Dream and just staring at it. The first time I was moved beyond tears.
The next day our resident pioneering free-form rock DJ used his new morning show to play John’s music and take calls, talking many people in tears through their experiences, thoughts and feelings. It was a cold, drab day with the only consolation being the community coming together to share their grief.
I was studying for my last round of undergrad exams when the news came on the radio. Stayed up all night writing an obit for the college paper. My wife (who I hadn’t met yet) was at the Philadelphia Springsteen concert the night after Hipster006. I’ve never been a big fan of the Bruce but that tribute has always sounded awesome in her telling.
Amazingly enough (because I’m not a football fan), I was watching Monday Night Football with my parents when Cosell came on and related the news. I was able to dig up the clip on YouTube last week to show to my grade 6 students, and it was pretty much exactly as I remembered it–Cosell talking about how unimportant the game was next to news of this magnitude.
I was in college, in Missouri. Not watching TV that night, and apparently not hanging around anybody else who was. So I didn’t hear the news today oh boy until I went to the office of the *Columbia Missourian* the next morning (daily paper for the city of Columbia, written by students and edited by journalism profs), and somebody who assumed I was this huge music fan (which I was, in a way, though I’d been one for less than two years, and the Beatles really meant nothing to me) asked me what I thought about Lennon being shot. Totally caught me off guard. And honestly, this is heartless, but I can’t remember being shell-shocked. (In 1981, though, “Watching The Wheels” made my top ten singles list.)
In my mom’s basement in Baltimore reading Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I was working in the reserve room at East Carolina University’s Joyner Library when my girlfriend called sobbing. She said “They’ve shot John Lennon. He’s dead.” I told her that couldn’t be true. Surely it was just a terrible rumor.
I was at the Bruce concert that night too. I was 14 and had been a rabid Beatles fan for several years already. The parking lot news was a hard hit after such an ecstatic experience. I’ve never heard that Bruce was informed of the murder during the show. He certainly didn’t skimp on the fun, straight through the encores. My sister and cousin and their friends weren’t much affected by the news so I had to wait until I was home to commiserate with fans via call-ins to WMMR, all night long.
I was in a Ramada Inn hotel on break in the room smoking a joint – ticker tape no sound. Bummer.
I was in Los Angels at Sound Castle studio doing overdubs on our first album, Silver Condor. We were very close to the situation because Earl Slick was my partner. We started the band and he had just gotten back the previous week from NYC playing on guitar on Double Fantasy. In fact, we were all looking for to John coming out and hanging. Then it happened. I’ll never forget it. I was playing the pinball machine while watching Monday night football. When we heard the news Slicks face turned white, I spent the rest of the night listening to the radio crying.
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