December 8th, 1980

Posted: December 8, 2015 in Music, Rock Music, Things I Love

John-Lennon_7Everyone knows what a huge Beatles fan I am. I will fight you if you say they were overrated or anything less than the greatest rock band of all-time. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times – The Beatles advanced rock music more in 6-years than music has been advanced in the 44-years since they broke up.

So trust me when I say there are not many bigger fans of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr than me. I wrote a blog about my first experience with The Beatles entitled The Transformation of a Kid that you can read by clicking here.

Fun fact: I was once paid off to leave a Beatles Trivia Contest on a cruise ship because I was dominating the competition and ruining the fun. The DJ running the contest actually asked the crowd to pitch in and buy me off. I think I was paid around $400.00 not to play. Not even kidding.

I tell you all this so you’ll better understand what this date means to me.

On December 8th, 1980 at around 11:30 I was relaxing on my couch with my headphones on, listening to “Double Fantasy”, the new album by John Lennon that had been released a couple of weeks prior. Lennon hadn’t recorded in 5-years so the album was a big deal. The Monday Night Football game was on but I wasn’t really watching, I was just lounging with my eyes closed, listening to the music. The TV was actually behind me and I was facing the fireplace. At some point I opened my eyes and glanced into the glass doors of the fireplace. There I saw the reflection of the TV and John Lennon’s face was on it. Weird. I took the headphones off and turned to the television, and they were talking about Lennon being a former Beatle who had just released an album, just giving a brief bio of his life.

Uh-oh. This wasn’t good.

I soon learned that John Lennon had been shot dead outside his New York City apartment. I was stunned. A few minutes later my phone started ringing as people were calling to share the news and talk about this unspeakable thing that had happened. Soon my friend Tom showed up and we spent the night just talking about it in disbelief.

The following Sunday Tom, I and our friend Andy attended a memorial in Columbus where thousands of people stood to honor John Lennon. Yoko, John’s wife, had asked the world for 10-minutes of silence and I’ll never forget standing with 20,000 people outside the statehouse in the midst of a complete and utter calm. Not a noise was to be heard, and even the cars and busses in the street had stopped. At the end of the 10-minutes “Imagine” began playing over the loudspeakers and there weren’t many dry eyes to be found.

John Lennon had been such a big part of my life. He greatly impacted me and how I viewed the world. He spoke his mind, even when he had an unpopular opinion. He was intelligent, witty, and thought-provoking. Oh, and he wrote such beautiful music.

And now, suddenly, he was gone. It was like losing a friend. I really felt as if I’d known him.

Music, such a influential part of my life, would never be the same.

And neither would I.

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