Today marks the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder. For people of my generation (Baby Boomers), this is one of those events where we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news. I was too young to understand the impact of Kennedy’s assassination (although I do have a distinct memory of watching his funeral with my parents), and I do remember the King and Bobby Kennedy assassinations, but I was still in elementary school and not really able to understand the bigger picture.
But I absolutely remember everything about the evening of Monday, December 8, 1980. I was a senior in college, and was in my room doing homework when a guy who lived a few doors down started running down the hall yelling. He was telling all of us to drop what we were doing and follow him. I did, and half our hall ended up in that room watching the news and trying to wrap our heads around the horrible news. It took a while to get over the shock, and I remember playing all of my Beatles records for days.
Here are audio clips from the last interview John Lennon ever gave. The interview was for a Rolling Stone cover story which the magazine is re-running in their latest issue. There’s a lot of good stuff at this page, so check it out. And here is a link to a bunch of video clips showing how the news was reported by a variety of outlets; this includes Howard Cosell’s famous Monday Night Football announcement of John’s death. For you youngsters out there, we had no Internet in those days (nor cell phones or even answering machines), so if you weren’t near a radio, a television or a landline phone you had no way of knowing what happened.
I think I’ll listen to some Beatles music this evening and remember the night my childhood ended.