I remember talking to my mother in the living room when my father came out of his bedroom about midnite and said that John Lennon had died. I told him that I didn't think his joke was at all funny (my father was notorious for thinking his "jokes" to piss my mother off were funny - so I assumed this was one on me) - but he insisted he just saw one of those "We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this special news bulletin..." things they would run before the dawn of 24-hour news channels on television. I flipped the television on and there was nothing...so that furthered infuriated me that my father would make such a flippant remark regarding the death of someone I "grew up with" and loved. Then I turned to the radio station, WMMR in Philadelphia, as no one in their right rock and roll mind in the vicinity of the broadcasting airwaves of WMMR would listen to anything other than that.
They were playing a Lennon song. I thought to myself, "Well, that's quite coincidental..." but as they did typically play Beatles songs...and songs of them individually, I thought the timing was a bit odd...but, again, in disbelief that he had died, I waited. The next song they played was another Lennon one, but figuring this was, technically, Tuesday...and "MMR" (as we called it) played "Two for Tuesdays" songs, this was again, nothing atypical.
When the next song was his...then it began to have some credence. When they broke after that song, they did indeed state that "Lennon had died of an apparent gunshot wound."
I don't think I will have to describe what anyone with any regard for life was thinking. I was thinking this was not true...that someone couldn't have done this...this is a man who, while sometimes embroiled in controversy, was just a man who sung songs we all enjoyed at one point or another in our lives. Hell, my father, who was born in 1914, and always told us to "turn that damn music down already" had asked me once who was singing a song that I had on...it was "Happy X-mas (War is Over)" by John and Yoko. He said it was "really pretty".
This man, who even made my father say a nice thing about a "hippie with long hair", was now dead -- never to pen another song, sing another note, nor cause another issue for the media to blow out of proportion.
I don't know how many of you have ever seen "A Hard Day's Night" - but, if you haven't, you really should -- it's one of the best films ever made and, in it, you will probably fall in love with the extremely likable persona who was John Lennon. While I used to love Paul back in the day...I grew to like John later in life...and then later still, after his death, I grew to admire and respect George most of all.
But John will always hold a special place in my heart...and that heart broke...along with so many others'...when that bullet broke the silence back on this December day in 1980.
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