Late Night: 29 Years Ago, RIP John Lennon

29 years ago tonight, in the middle of Monday Night Football, Howard Cosell announced there had been an "unspeakable tragedy in New York City." John Lennon had been shot. (Video here.)

This is my seventh annual blog post about that night, and how for me, it's a day of both sadness and celebration. [More...]

From 2003:

I was 3 1/2 weeks overdue with my first [and only] child. On Dec. 8, I went to the hospital in the afternoon to be induced. It didn't work, they sent me home. At bedtime, my then-husband and I were in bed-- he was watching Monday Night Football, I was reading a book. All of a sudden, Howard Cosell's huge voice boomed out: "An unspeakable tragedy this evening in New York City. John Lennon has been shot."

The minute I heard that I gasped and felt a pop--the shock of the news had caused my water to break. We went racing to the hospital. We learned John Lennon was dead. Within 2 hours, at 1 am on Dec. 9, our son Nic was born. I have always believed, and told him, that when John Lennon's spirit went out, his came in. So for the past 23 years, this day is not only a celebration of a birthday, but a time to reflect on the nature of the extraordinary soul who has touched my son's soul.

In 2006, on the 26th anniversary of Lennon's death, I wrote:

There are millions of people in this world whose lives were enriched by John Lennon, his persona and his music. He told his truth and it was the truth of an entire generation. His death was a tragedy, but his life was an inspiration. His legacy is timeless.

R.I.P. John Lennon, and Happy Birthday, Nic.

< Senate Reaches Agreement on Health Care | The Camel's Nose Barely Sneaks Under The Tent In The Health Insurance Premium Assistance Bill >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    27 years ago, plus a few weeks, (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Peter G on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:35:51 PM EST
    having heard that first deliveries can sometimes involve a long labor, we made several mix-tapes of our favorite music - many hours' worth - to bring with us to the birthing suite.  As John Lennon's "Imagine" came around on the tape, our daughter was born.  Happy Birthday to Nic, the TL Kid.  And thank you John for the music.

    We were in each others' FBI file (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 10:39:59 PM EST
    While John and I never met, we had a professional informant, Julie Maynard in common.

    we'd hung out just before she left on a delegation hitting John and Yoko up for support for protests at the the upcoming 1972 Republican Convention.

    Since we were not a tax deductible charity, John came up with the idea of buying an ad for Yoko's record, for $50,000 in tabloid we did at the Convention, making it deductible as a business expense.

    When Strom Thurmond got roughed up in the street the last night of the Convention, he went to J. Edgar Hoover, and asked "Who are these Zippies, and where do they get their money?  Hoover handed over Julie's report, and Strom went to Attorney General John Mitchell, demanding that deportation proceedings against John and Yoko commence. Eventually, a deal was struck wherein the coupler  could remain in the US, but had to drop out of political activity.

    Now thats something to be proud of... (none / 0) (#6)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 08:01:34 AM EST
    sharing an FBI file connection with John Freakin' Lennon...damn your cool Ben.

    If heaven exists John is there...and if hell exists I hope Julie Maynard likes it hot.


    Wow, 29 yrs ago?! (none / 0) (#3)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 11:32:47 PM EST
    Oy. I def remember where I was and what I was doing. Was in an apt lobby/front steps in SF. Just left a friend's apt and he called down to us on the intercom as we were on our way out.

    Very sad night. But thankfully, he lives on in his music and self.

    I will never get over the shock (none / 0) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 12:14:23 AM EST
    Assasinations and the Beatles (rock-and-roll in general, but the Beatles most essentially) both having been a huge part of my teenage years, to have them suddenly merge was just incomprehensible.  I was watching something on TV when the news came over (certainly not a football game!), and I remember just staring at the TV with my mouth literally hanging open in disbelief and tears running down my face for hours.  Just totally unreal and very disorienting.

    i was watching (none / 0) (#5)
    by cpinva on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 03:10:11 AM EST
    the game, when cosell made that announcement. i was stunned for the rest of the evening.

    More then anything (none / 0) (#7)
    by SOS on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 10:22:10 AM EST
    what I liked most about John, he wasn't a phony he was totally honest about everything.

    People for example at one point used to call him an intellectual and he said 'I'm not an intellectual I'm a working class type of guy.'

    If John was still alive he would be having a field day scrutinizing our plastic society.