It was 25 Years Ago Today

I’m stunned, and almost at at loss for words, to reflect on the murder of John Lennon having occured 25 years ago today. I know this date well, it never escapes my thought as it rolls around, that it marks a profound and shocking event. When i went to New York in July 2001 i made the trip to the Dakota and to the ‘Strawberry Fields’ section of Central Park, at both places pausing to reflect on the man and the impact of that event to me personally. But to think it was really 25 years ago seems as surreal as a plasticine flower.

Lots of people have heard the question ‘where were you when….’. I was in my 20’s, living in Gilroy and working for Consumers Distributors. I had no car [and yes it was breaking my heart] at the time yet I recall a car ride home, probably borrowed from a roommate at the time, and hearing ‘Imagine’ playing. I was channel surfing and found it odd that it’d be playing on more then one station. They i heard the announcement. i remember being in a complete state of shock.

Only one or two weekends prior, i’d read a brief interview in ‘Parade’ or some other Sunday paper supplemental. What remains with me to this day was the buoyant tone of Lennon reflecting on the last 5 years of his life, spent out of the limelight and being focused on parenting and home life. He spoke of having recently hit this creative stride, releasing his new record [Double Fantasy] and really being so completely content and happy in his life. And then it was taken away.

I spent my high school years immersed in the Beatles as a group and as solo artists. I would pride myself on not just knowing the music and lyrics, but the trivial details of time, author, singer, instruments, even track placement on releases and what dates. I was the quintessential ‘Shrevie’ character played by Daniel Stern in Barry Levinson’s 1982 film, “Diner”.

When i heard the news, i’d arrived home at the rental in Gilroy. I cried. I felt such an overwhelming sadness, for not only the loss of so influential an artist, but the senselessness of it, the loss of what might have been for the world of music, and mostly for the simple connection to the thoughts he’d express about how happy he was with where his life had gone.

Read More about John Lennon

On a cold december evening
I was walking through the christmas tide
When a stranger came up and asked me
If i’d heard john lennon died
And the two of us went to this bar
And we stayed to close the place
And every song we played that night
Was for the late great Johnny Ace

– Paul Simon : The Late Great Johnny Ace


Written by gsm

12/08/2005 at 8:38 pm

Posted in  Journal 

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