Today is the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death in New York.
John’s death was the lead news item on the following day as he was shot before midnight in New York. So this anniversary is a day early for me. As readers may have guessed from my earlier blogs, I grew up with The Beatles from their first singles to their last albums and then onto as many of their solo records my budget would run to.
Like many fans I was playing his latest album with Yoko and coming to terms with Yoko’s songs. Vinyl records not being very easy to skip tracks, like many I found some of these songs a little difficult to take. The criticism being levelled at the album didn’t help either.
We had moved back to Scotland from the USA a few months earlier and we had acclimatised to not seeing police with guns or pickups with rifles across the back window. I had never felt comfortable going into the local K-Mart and there being a gun counter with everything from hunting rifles to revolvers being on sale. Where I then lived, Alva (close to Stirling), seemed a long way away from all of that.
Now my musical hero for most of my adult life had been shot by a fan outside his apartment. That night, after our girls had gone to bed, I played The White Album and then Imagine and had a few beers and was very sad.
It was all so unfair how could someone shoot John? Fans don’t do things like that do they?
For me that night as I listened to those albums I went back to when I was 12 and watching The Royal Variety Performance and John introduced The
Beatles’ last number with
“For our last number, I’d like to ask your help. Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’ll, just rattle your jewelry.”
That was the year that my obsession with music of all forms began and the first time I remember laughing at the TV while my folks severely disapproved !
(His killer Mark Chapman is still prison and so far has been refused parole at every hearing)