The Morning After John Lennon's Passing

I don't know why I never wrote about this sad event before today. Inspiration came from a recent tweet I saw that said John Lennon has now been gone from planet Earth longer than he was on it. So, better late than never, here is the story of how I found out about his assassination.

For whatever reason my wife and I went to bed earlier than usual on Monday night, December 8, 1980. We normally watched the local 11:00 PM news and Johnny Carson's monologue, but on this night we didn't. Neither were we tuned into Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football for his big announcement on ABC-TV, so we didn't learn about my favorite Beatle's passing until the next morning.

On Tuesday, the alarm went off as usual and we awoke to popular morning drive DJ, Harvey In The Morning on alternative rock station WIOQ, 102.1 FM, in Philadelphia as we did every single day.

On this particular morning there was something unusual happening on the radio. Harvey was playing the long Abbey Road medley, which is not music normally heard during morning drive time due to its length. There were no commercials or DJ patter. We heard nothing but music. I knew immediately that something was up.

Then, when Paul McCartney finished off the song, appropriately tilted "The End," with his famous line, "And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make" Harvey solemnly said (and I paraphrase) "We are mourning the death of John Lennon."

Suddenly quite alert, I sat up in bed very quickly, shocked, and said, "What? I wonder what happened?"

Then my wife said - and she still doesn't know why - "Maybe somebody shot him." My response was "Why would somebody want to shoot him?" It was quite eerie that she guessed what happened and her words just added to the weirdness of the day.

I know John Lennon was not a perfect human being but his music made me very happy.