Tuesday, December 8, 2009
"there are places I remember..."
I can still remember it, clear as day. My twin brother and I were getting ready for school, when my dad called us into the living room and sat us down on the recently upholstered chair. The last time he'd say us into this chair was to tell us that our grandfather had passed away, so this had to be serious.
"John Lennon was shot... and killed."
My twin brother and I remember this inflection identically, the beat between "shot" and "killed".
We gasped, of course, and immediately my thoughts went to my eldest brother-- the one who idolized Lennon, the one who became a musician thanks to one magical night watching The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.
My first words were probably Beatles lyrics. The first song I learned to play on the guitar was "Yellow Submarine". My mother appreciated Lennon's message of peace as much as the music. They were all like extended family members, but Lennon was special.
29 years ago today, John Lennon was murdered. Most of the world didn't hear about it until the next day. Many heard the news from the late great sportscaster Howard Cosell, who announced it during a Monday Night Football game. It was a world that didn't have instant access to all information, that didn't have 24-hour cable news channels.
The world mourned. So did my eldest brother. So did I, I suppose. I was 10 years old. I certainly mourned the tragedy of it.
The deaths of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Princess Diana, John Lennon -- such memories are etched in our psyches.
Where were you when you heard the news that John Lennon was murdered?