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Author Topic: 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death
Hephaestion
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posted 05 December 2005 10:26 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gawd.... Has it really been that long?

quote:
It was Dec. 8, 1980. A mentally disturbed fan who had collected Lennon's autograph earlier in the day waited outside of the Manhattan apartment building called the Dakota for the singer to return from a recording session. Mark David Chapman opened fire. Lennon didn't survive the trip to the hospital.

The musical hero of a generation was dead, and anyone who had ever sung along to "I Want to Hold Your Hand" or chanted "give peace a chance" also remembers where they were when they heard the news.

In his typically blunt manner, Lennon had told Beatles fans a decade earlier that "the dream is over."

Now it really was.

Twenty-five years later, the day stands as a cultural black hole. Lennon became an instant legend, even more so than before, but it was hardly worth the price. Millions of people who never met him felt they knew him, felt they knew all the Beatles. His music often felt like personal letters; on "Watching the Wheels" he explained why he needed to step off the merry-go-round of stardom. A friend was gone.


I had just got home from a friend's when I heard the news on the radio, and I was stunned. What do y'all recall?


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Michelle
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posted 05 December 2005 10:32 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was eight, and the Beatles were pretty much my favorite group - I listened to them all the time then. I think I was too young to really have the death itself hit home since it's not like I "knew" John Lennon, so I can't say that I grieved at the time. And it wasn't one of those "remember where you were when you first heard about it" moments. (I don't remember where I was when I first heard.) But I remember my parents thinking it was awful, and thinking myself that it was really bad that it happened.
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stupendousgirlie
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posted 05 December 2005 10:35 AM      Profile for stupendousgirlie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It has been that long

I understand there is a biopic in the works about Mark David Chapman.


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Hephaestion
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posted 05 December 2005 10:36 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
New details of Lennon's last hours

quote:
NEW details have emerged about the last hours of John Lennon, just days before the 25th anniversary of his murder.

An account of Lennon's final moments reveals the desperate efforts of doctors to save him and how an unfortunate chain of events and a blocked driveway led to the death of the famed Beatle.

Mark Chapman killed Lennon late on December 8, 1980, as Lennon walked the few metres from his limousine to the front gate of the Dakota apartment building in New York's Upper West Side.

The New York Post newspaper assembled interviews with all those who spent the day with Lennon, including:

THE radio interviewer who spent three hours in the Dakota with Lennon and Yoko Ono and watched as Lennon signed his autograph for Mark Chapman.

THE first NYPD officer on the scene after the shooting.

THE policeman who drove the mortally wounded musician to hospital.

THE doctor who sliced into Lennon's chest to try to clear his lungs of blood.

THE patient in the next bed who watched the futile attempts at resuscitation.

[...]

Lennon was laid in the back of a patrol car and taken to Roosevelt Hospital, where Dr Stephan Lynn had been called back to work.

"We didn't know who it was," Dr Lynn said.

The police were not 100 per cent certain who it was, Dr Lynn said. "When the victim came in he had three gunshot wounds in his left upper chest and one through his left arm.

"He also had no blood pressure, no pulse, no respirations and he was unresponsive . . . I held his heart in my hand and I pumped.

"But every time I pumped, most of what I pumped simply came out of all the holes."

Lennon was declared dead after 20 minutes.

A distraught Ono asked that announcement of Lennon's death be delayed for 20 minutes so she could have time "to make certain that my son Sean is not sitting in front of a TV set".

ABC sports announcer Howard Cosell interrupted a sports broadcast at 11.30pm to break the news to the United States.

"An unspeakable tragedy that came to us from ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous perhaps of all the Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital. Dead on arrival."

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skdadl
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posted 05 December 2005 10:56 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was an interesting, well-informed tribute to Lennon by Paul McGrath in Saturday's Grope and Flail.

It's a little hyperventilating at first, but he assembles his evidence well, and by the end I was convinced and moved.

I don't remember the moment I heard that Lennon had been shot, but I recall talking about it with my class of post-secondary college students the next day. They would have been nineteen or twenty, so a bit too young for the first wave of Beatlemania, their parents just a few years too old to have been Beatlemaniacs. I was *cough mumble mumble*.

They knew all the songs, though, and they were genuinely interested in what it had been like. I felt a twinge of guilt for not having followed any of John's music for years, and just the beginnings of a sense of loss that is, if anything, greater now. It was such a waste, arbitrary, incomprehensible even now.


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brebis noire
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posted 05 December 2005 11:02 AM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
From what I remember as a kid, John Lennon's death happened pretty close to the attempted assassinations of Reagan and Pope John Paul II, so all of those events remain connected in my mind, as if there was some kind of craziness going on and famous people were walking targets.

[ 05 December 2005: Message edited by: brebis noire ]


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oldgoat
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posted 05 December 2005 11:06 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'll pass your compliments along to Paul. He used to hyperventilate a lot more back when he was editor of the Varsity, but no one noticed 'cause those were hyerventilatin' days.

I remember waking up to the news. Mrs. Oldgoat and I had a live-in position in a CAS run group home, and one of the kids came to our room with the news. Even though the kids were a bit young to have had the real experience, everyone was pretty sombre.


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Hephaestion
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posted 05 December 2005 11:09 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by brebis noire:

... John Lennon's death happened pretty close to the attempted assassinations of Reagan and Pope John Paul II ...



Yes, but the Lennon shooting was a tragedy... well, so was the Reagan one, in that it didn't succeed...

[ 05 December 2005: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


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rinne
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posted 05 December 2005 11:21 AM      Profile for rinne     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was sitting in a deli, near Market and Castro, with a friend. I remember the silence and I felt, once again, that a voice with the power to illuminate the world was gone.
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Boarsbreath
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posted 05 December 2005 07:16 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Me, I was in Europe, France, first time, 23 years old and hitch-hiking alone through this strangely wonderful place and loving it...then a guy giving me a lift, a young fella who drove way too fast through the Pyrenees, mentioned it. Like there'd been a traffic accident somewhere. It meant nothing to him...and, as I realised over the next few days, it meant almost nothing to France generally. To me it was the first public death that meant a damn, which was to say -- since I'd been fortunate -- the first death period that meant a damn. A devastating damn.

I got just a bit of a chill as it sunk in on me, first time, how the culture I knew really was just one of many in this world.


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nuclearfreezone
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posted 05 December 2005 09:56 PM      Profile for nuclearfreezone     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had just left work and was driving east along Victoria Avenue in Regina, SK. I turned the radio on when I came to a stop at a red light and that's when I heard the news. I burst into tears. I cried all night.

I can't believe it's been 25 years.


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Clog-boy
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posted 06 December 2005 07:41 AM      Profile for Clog-boy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Was only three years old at the time, so I can't recall diddly 'bout it...
Although, I do remember finding out about it at the age of about 8 or 9. Couldn't understand why anyone would kill a musician, who made such happy sounding songs

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Boom Boom
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posted 06 December 2005 07:46 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was 31 when I heard it on the news, and was living and working in Thunder Bay. I immediately called my best friend in Kemptville (south of Ottawa) and we were both pretty depressed, because we were huge fans of the Beatles and Lennon in particular. We both were pretty pissed at how the world was going. _At the time_, it had about the same effect on us as the JFK assassination.

ETA: I stopped reading Rolling Stone after Lennon's death, because there didn't seem much point to it anymore. Haven't read it since; I started a new job and basically did nothing but work for the next 23 years, then retired, early.

[ 06 December 2005: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]


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Hephaestion
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posted 06 December 2005 07:53 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Verily, "the day the music died", Boom Boom...
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Boom Boom
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posted 06 December 2005 09:20 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
Verily, "the day the music died", Boom Boom...

Precisely. That's exactly how I reacted.


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The Hegemo
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posted 06 December 2005 10:07 AM      Profile for The Hegemo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't remember for certain where I was when I heard -- at the time I was seven and just getting interested in rock and pop music. Lennon had a couple of songs that were hits around the time he died -- "Woman" and "Watching the Wheels Go Round" -- that I remember hearing a lot on the radio around that time, both before and after he died.

I do have a very distinct memory of being in the car with my parents, driving through the northern suburbs of Cincinnati on the way to my aunt's house in Springdale and listening to a radio special retrospective about Lennon shortly after he died. I think I knew by then that he had died, but the way that sticks out in my head, maybe it was the first I'd heard of it.

I also remember that Elton John tribute song "Empty Garden" that came out a year or so later...I always liked that song. My best friend moved to Texas around when that song was a hit, so I remember listening to it and feeling sad because it made me think about my friend moving away.

The date of Lennon's death always sticks out in my head, though, because it happened on my father's birthday.


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josh
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posted 06 December 2005 10:13 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

ABC sports announcer Howard Cosell interrupted a sports broadcast at 11.30pm to break the news to the United States.

Yeah, that's how I heard it. During a Dolphin-Patriot game. And I agree, Empty Garden was a good song, better than Harrison's All Those Years Ago.


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Michelle
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posted 06 December 2005 10:30 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
"Empty Garden" is one of my all-time favorite songs, by one of my all-time favorite singers (or, who used to be, before he joined Phil Collins in the Disney House Band of Pap).
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josh
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posted 06 December 2005 10:36 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, it's certainly far better than his flatulent re-working of Candle in the Wind for Diana.
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ronb
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posted 06 December 2005 10:47 AM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, but then George surpassed them both with When We Was Fab.

December 8 is one of the very few dates that I can remember. I only know that Pearl Harbour was on December 9 because it is the day after December 8.

I'm still not over it. But I'm a little Beatles obsessed. Have been since I was about 3.


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Michelle
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posted 06 December 2005 10:48 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by josh:
Well, it's certainly far better than his flatulent re-working of Candle in the Wind for Diana.

God almighty, you're not kidding. Horrid.


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 06 December 2005 10:49 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I only know that Pearl Harbour was on December 9 because it is the day after December 8.

Pardon the pedantry, but wasn't it the 7th?


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Hephaestion
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posted 06 December 2005 10:59 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
... before he joined Phil Collins in the Disney House Band of Pap).

So, what is that, a pap smear?!

(Sorry, I just could NOT resist that straight line. )

[ 06 December 2005: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


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Boarsbreath
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posted 06 December 2005 06:42 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know, there was a science fiction story in the early 70s, Doing Lennon, I forget by whom, whose plot was a fellow killing JL then going forward in time impersonating him to the future people....
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Américain Égalitaire
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posted 06 December 2005 07:07 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, I heard Cosell announce it during Monday Night Football. I turned off the game and got on the radio for more. I couldn't believe it. I had real problems getting through the day at school the next day and even dropped by to see the counselor. It seems silly now I guess, but I was really broken up over it.

And then I made the mistake of telling my dad I saw the counselor about how I was feeling. He almost backhanded me. "Over THAT commie asshole you left a class!?!?" etc.

And the very next Sunday at church, I had to listen to our Monsignor disparage all the "fuss" made about John Lennon's death.


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ronb
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posted 06 December 2005 07:20 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Pardon the pedantry, but wasn't it the 7th?

Meant as humour, turned into unintentional pendant trap.


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Gold_n_blonde
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posted 06 December 2005 07:45 PM      Profile for Gold_n_blonde     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't remember what I was doing the day that Lennon died, however I remember quite vividly the fact that some people were committing suicide (their reaction to grief) and Yoko Ono making an announcement that John would not have wanted people to commit suicide over his death. The other thing that I do remember is driving to my parent's place two weeks later for Xmas (an 8 hour trip) and all that was on the radio was Lennon/Beatles music rather than the usual Xmas carols.
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FabFabian
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posted 06 December 2005 11:02 PM      Profile for FabFabian        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
1980 was a bad year for people getting asassinated/murdered. Lennon, Reagan, Pope John Paul, Sadat, the Queen. Funny how at the time it was all a weird coincidence, yet I didn't feel any more paranoid than usual. My own life was already falling apart with my parents going splitsville that year. I remember thinking how horrible it was and vaguely knowing a pop icon was dead. I still didn't quite get why people, who didn't know him other than through the music were bawling. I was 10, so that is my excuse. I remember loads of Beatles music too, more than I have ever heard before.

I don't get sentimental over Lennon's anniversary, because it wasn't my experience. I don't get the idolatry either, he was important musically, yet as a person an asshole.


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Joel_Goldenberg
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posted 07 December 2005 03:59 PM      Profile for Joel_Goldenberg        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Before the shooting, Starting Over was shaping up to be my favorite song of the year. Heard about the shooting the morning after. Felt anger because I assumed he was shot during a mugging.
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Maddie
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posted 08 December 2005 02:31 AM      Profile for Maddie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was 8 years old and had no idea who John Lennon was. However I remember it clearly because of the reaction of my grandmother.

I was in the living room and the TV news was on (guess it was the evening of the 9th here). Grandma practically ran into the room: "Who did they say? Who died?" My response was "someone called John Lennon or something like that." And then she just stood there next to me and watched in absolute silence.

It wasn't until about 10 years later that I started getting into The Beatles, by which time she had died. I wish I had thought to ask her why she was affected by his death. She was born in the early 1900s so she wasn't exactly of the Beatles generation.


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Hephaestion
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posted 08 December 2005 03:28 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Maddie:

I wish I had thought to ask her why she was affected by his death. She was born in the early 1900s so she wasn't exactly of the Beatles generation.



Perhaps because, regardless of what you might have thought of him personally, he had such an enormous influence on the popular culture and, in many ways, was an icon for an entire generation -- maybe not *her* generation, but still... And maybe simply because of how, at one point (before my time, granted), he represented so much of the enthusiasm and hope -- hope that things might really change.


In many ways, Lennon's death was about so much more than just the death of one man. And the fact that a man of peace had been killed in such a violent and senseless way was simply the most bitter irony to many.


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skdadl
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posted 08 December 2005 09:58 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I wish I had thought to ask her why she was affected by his death. She was born in the early 1900s so she wasn't exactly of the Beatles generation.

Maddie, one odd thing about the Beatles and our parents (when I say "our," I mean that I was a teenager in the early sixties and my dad was born in 1907):

When the first wave hit (1964 in North America), it's true that our parents were shocked and bothered and clueless, standard older-generation behaviour. And they went on, many of them, being bothered by other things their kids were doing for the rest of the decade.

But the Beatles translated. By the time of Sergeant Pepper, older people were actually bopping along, and they were listening. I remember one of my sisters coming to my room one Friday night when my parents had some friends over - she motioned me to be quiet, and we crept down the basement stairs and sat there, hidden, listening. My dad had the other two men in the rumpus room, where the stereo was, and he was saying to them, "Listen to the words. Listen to the words." And then he played for them "She's Leaving Home."

And they all did listen, sort of in awe. My dad would then have been - what? 61?

Sister and I giggled, of course, but we were affected. As obviously those old guys were too.


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Agent 204
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posted 08 December 2005 06:55 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was ten at the time. I didn't find out till the next day.

The shooting occurred on my mum's 40th birthday. A friend of hers called and said, "It sure makes you feel old, doesn't it?" She hadn't heard what had happened, and assumed he was talking about her turning 40.

BTW, John Lennon was the best musician murdered on this date, but not the only one.


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 08 December 2005 07:26 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's strange to think that Lennon has been dead now longer than he had been famous while alive.

I saw the news on "The National." I'd always been a Beatles' fan ("She Loves You, Ya Ya Ya" was the first pop music lyric I remember singing) and so was quite upset by the news.

As I was sitting, shocked and stunned on the chesterfield, my Dad made some kind of nasty crack about Lennon. I was surprised at that as well.

My buddy Norm, who is the biggest Beatles fan I've met, was due to host his all-night show on CJGX radio in Yorkton in a couple of hours, so I made a point to stay up and listen , even though I had to go down in the mine in the morning.

Norm played nothing but Beatles and Lennon tunes all night. I'll never forget how he kept announcing, "John Winston Ono Lennon is dead."


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obscurantist
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posted 08 December 2005 08:46 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FabFabian:
I don't get the idolatry either, he was important musically, yet as a person....

Lennon could be narcissistic, cruel, whiny, and a whole bunch of other bad things, but he wasn't in the habit of making sanitized, airbrushed songs. The human failings in him shone through in the confessional lyrics and the raw tone of his voice. Above all, he wasn't afraid to reveal his vulnerability, as early as the song "Help", which could be addressed to a lover but could just as easily be addressed to a friend or relative.

He'd be amused by the way people have deified him in the years since his death, as he was frustrated by the same phenomenon happening in his lifetime, because of the ultimate irony that he was trying to make music that spoke directly from one screwed-up person to each screwed-up listener.

Had a dream several years ago, set on Granville Mall in downtown Vancouver. They'd closed down a section of the street for a concert that was taking place in the middle of the transit mall. It wasn't a gigantic crowd, but people were standing facing the stage, watching a man dressed casually in a blue sweater and jeans, in late middle age with shoulder-length dark brown hair liberally flecked with gray. He didn't wear any glasses -- must've got contacts in the intervening years. I don't remember the music he played. But the atmosphere at the concert was a nice one. Upbeat yet subdued at the same time, laid-back, like an impromptu jam session.

In this dream, Lennon had never died, or at least his appearance in concert was unremarkable in that sense. The dream had the same sort of matter-of-fact quality, the same internal logic, as many of the dreams I've had about my mom since she died. And I woke up with the same feeling of calm, satisfied acceptance as the dreams about my mom often instill in me. I thought, "Cool. I got to see John Lennon playing live."

quote:
I was reading a magazine
And thinking of a rock and roll song
The year was 1954
And I hadn't been playing that long
When a man came on the radio
And this is what he said
He said I hate to break it
To his fans
But Johnny Ace is dead
Well, I really wasn't
Such a Johnny Ace fan
But I felt bad all the same
So I sent away for his photograph
And I waited till it came
It came all the way from Texas
With a sad and simple face
And they signed it on the bottom
From the Late Great Johnny Ace

It was the year of The Beatles
It was the year of The Stones
It was 1964
I was living in London
With the girl from the summer before
It was the year of The Beatles
It was the year of The Stones
A year after J.F.K.
We were staying up all night
And giving the days away
And the music was flowing
Amazing
And blowing my way

On a cold December evening
I was walking through the Christmas tide
When a stranger came up and asked me
If I'd heard John Lennon had died
And the two of us
Went to this bar
And we stayed to close the place
And every song we played
Was for The Late Great Johnny Ace


-- Paul Simon

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MartinArendt
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posted 08 December 2005 10:40 PM      Profile for MartinArendt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Regardless of Mr. Lennon's supposed personal faults (never met the fella, I'm afraid, so all I have is rumour to go on), I think we all agree that he, along with the rest of the Beatles, changed the way music is made. They changed rock and roll, R&B, Soul...they affected everybody.

From Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles covering Eleanor Rigby to Beatles songs being sampled and mixed with Jay Z lyrics, they remain a quintessential, integral part of music. John Lennon was a huge part of that, as well as a social activist.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stephen Gordon
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4600

posted 08 December 2005 10:53 PM      Profile for Stephen Gordon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Parenthetical comment: I was in a Future-Shop-type store the other day, and on the big-screen TVs, they were showing some concert in which Paul McCartney was up on stage with U2 in front of a gigantic throng of people.

He's probably the only person in the world who wouldn't have been intimidated by being in that position. I know it's not cool to have this opinion, but Paul McCartney is cool. He's been there, done that, and he really doesn't care what you think.


From: . | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
The Hegemo
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5176

posted 08 December 2005 11:15 PM      Profile for The Hegemo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Agent 204:

BTW, John Lennon was the best musician murdered on this date, but not the only one.

You know, until they did the big 'one year' anniversary article in the paper this morning, I hadn't remembered that happening on my dad's birthday, even though it was obviously huge news here. I remember hearing about it on the local news when it was a "breaking" story. Very sad, tragic event.

I also discovered today that December 8 is also Ann Coulter's birthday, so yet another bad association for the date. I e-mailed my dad to tell him, and he said that since he was born on Dec. 8 before Coulter, maybe he should sure her for violating his intellectual property...


From: The Persistent Vegetative States of America | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boarsbreath
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9831

posted 10 December 2005 06:51 PM      Profile for Boarsbreath   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know what just occurred to me? And not because his was the only other artist's death that personally struck me (I mean, not a reasoned opinion that it is awful, but the sort of stun effect that hearing of the death of a person you really do know creates). There was someone else like Lennon, only not as strong -- Kurt Cobain.
From: South Seas, ex Montreal | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged

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