30 years ago this coming Tuesday December 8, sometime later in an uneventful night I got a phone call. The caller told me John Lennon had been murdered outside his Dakota home in New York City. I’m sorry, what did you just say? Why would someone shoot John Lennon? But it had happened. An obviously sick individual, on a twisted, stalking mission had shot Lennon just a few short hours after having Lennon sign an album for him.
Just like that the world lost a voice. A voice for peace. A father and husband. A life ending way too soon. For what? As shown in the you tube video for “Watching the wheels” a father trying to get it right this time.
I was working in a record store at the time Lennon was killed. I remember everyone being excited about the new record coming out “Double Fantasy“. “Watching the wheels” was already getting some airplay and it was marked to be John Lennon’s creative return. The music that helped shape a generation was in large part Lennon’s work. John’s edge was always apparent in the Beatles catalog, and it was just that edge coupled with McCartney’s sense of perfect pop, that made them one of , if not the biggest band in the world, even today.
I remember reading about the memorial gathering in Central Park and how it was apparent just how many lives Lennon and his music had touched through the years. Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono called for a “worldwide moment of silence”. We at the Pensacola, Florida Record Bar participated in. We told customers we were going to close the doors for 10 minutes to observe this silence. They could leave or stay with us. Many chose to participate with us. we closed the doors and everyone found a place on the floor to get lost in their own space, prayers and thoughts of John.
Take a minute to re listen to some Beatles or Lennon music. It’s still great stuff, and a minute to remember an artist that was trying to speak to things that are important. In one way his voice was silenced, but in a million other ways it could never be silenced.