Tonawanda News

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December 9, 2013

MUSIC NOTES: The day Lennon died not to be forgotten

Tonawanda News — On the morning of Dec. 9, 1980, my father knocked on my door the way he did on every school day. As part of his morning routine, he would often give me a quick news flash like, “by the way, the pope died.”

On Tuesday morning Dec. 9, my father said, “John Lennon was murdered last night.”

Most of the nation learned of Lennon’s death during a Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins. At just 14, I was too young to stay up to watch an entire Monday Night Football game.

My first reaction to the news was utter disbelief, and I reached up to turn on my clock radio, which was set to the local rock station. They were playing “A Day in the Life,” and after the song, the disc jockey confirmed that Lennon had indeed been murdered.

Like many of my peers, I was caught up in all of the emotions of the death even though I didn’t even have a recollection of The Beatles being together. I was a fan. My first album was The Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” their final recording session.

Lennon’s death meant that there would be no reunions, which I have little doubt would have eventually happened had Lennon not been murdered.

That Christmas I asked my parents to purchase me a copy of John Lennon’s last album, “Double Fantasy.” The demand for the album was so high that most record stores and department stores ran out of the album, so my parents bought me “Mind Games” instead, an album I wasn’t particularly fond of.

For months afterward, I listened to tons of Beatles music and bought many Beatles albums. Oddly enough, as I sat here writing this I realized that I have never listened to “Double Fantasy” and I actually purchased a copy of it online today, my early Christmas gift.

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