Remembering December 8th, 1980: Rest in Peace, John Lennon

Posted by Billyjam, December 8, 2010 09:30am | Post a Comment
John Lennon "Give Me Some Truth" (HD version)

The videos above and below are both in honor of one of the true greats of our age, John Lennon, whose beautiful creative life was brought to a premature, screeching halt exactly thirty years ago today (December 8th, 1980) when he was senselessly gunned down outside his home in New York City.

John Lennon holds a special place in the hearts of so many people and those of us who were alive on this date 30 years ago have our own personal memory of that tragic night and of learning the news. For me, I had emigrated a year earlier to America from Ireland and was living in the Upper West Side, a couple of miles from where the murder took place.

Like most people I knew, I too was a big John Lennon (and Beatles) fan. And if you lived in NYC at the time, odds of a Lennon sighting were pretty good. He was always out and about. He and Yoko would sometimes come to the Japanese macrobiotic restaurant I worked at as a waiter at the time (Souen on Broadway near 91st - long gone location). The album Double Fantasy had been released a few months earlier but was still a "new album" by 1980 standards, back when the shelf life of music seemed much longer than these days. It was on my turntable at the time, although I must admit that it was not my favorite Lennon release. Anyway, none of that mattered once the tragic news hit that night, which I learned when one of my room mates came rushing into my room with the unbelievable announcement.

It was unreal, unimaginable! Immediately we turned on the radio for news updates. Up and down the FM and AM dials every station (which I taped all through that night -- I still have those old cassettes) was either playing Lennon / Beatles music or retelling the shocking news, over and over. But even more shocking, by New York City circa 1980 standards, was what we saw when we went down from our fourth floor apartment, outside onto the street -- West 107th Street. There clusters of people all over, all total strangers who normally would never talk to or even look at one another. They had gathered in the cold night crying and commiserating together. It was such a collective shock to everyone in New York City. It felt like someone had kicked us all in the stomach. It was unbelievable. It still is. Rest in peace, John Lennon.

John Lennon "God"

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