30 years ago today

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Beatles


On Dec. 8, 1980, a crazed sociopath (who shall remain nameless, since all he wanted was to be famous) gunned down one of the most influential musicians and songwriters of all time.
John Lennon was assassinated in front of the Dakota apartment building he shared with wife Yoko Ono and five-year old son Sean. They lost a husband and father, and the world lost a visionary.
I often wonder what John would have created had he lived. He was just experiencing a creative rebirth with the release of his first album in five years, Double Fantasy, a collaboration with Yoko. Another album’s worth of material was already in the can and was eventually released four years later as Milk and Honey.
I truly believe the Beatles would have eventually re-united, probably for some huge cause like 1985’s Live Aid, and possibly for another album or tour. Lennon and Paul McCartney had long put their differences behind them, so it really could have happened (Lennon himself said in a 1974 interview that he’d be open to recording with the Beatles again). It almost did actually happen in 1975, when, on one of the first Saturday Night Lives where George Harrison was the musical guest, Lorne Michaels made a joke offer of $500 for the Beatles to reunite. McCartney was visiting Lennon in New York at the time watching the show, almost calling a taxi to drive them to the TV studio where the show was being filmed. They decided against it, but man that would have been awesome!
Regardless, the world has been missing John for 30 years now. I was five years old when he was killed, so I really don’t remember that night (I was probably already in bed dreaming of my next Star Wars toy), but I’ve seen the TV footage of that night and following week many times over the years and get choked up every time.
So, wherever you are, crank up some Beatles and Lennon today. That crazy a-hole may have robbed us of a great man, but he couldn’t take away the timeless music. That will live on forever.

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