It was right about now....
1980. I was 14 and living in Philadelphia. My mother was falling asleep in front of the CBS Late Movie. Back then they didn't have a talk show in that time slot. They would just show old reruns of old TV shows like "The Saint" and "Harry-O". I could here the television from my bedroom. I was reading or laying in bed trying to fall asleep.
A news bulletin came across the television. It was the familiar voice of Larry Kane, a long time Philly news anchor. He came on and said John Lennon had been shot outside his New York apartment building and was reportedly fighting for his life at a New York area hospital. He repeated himself and sent us back to the CBS Late Movie.
I turned on the light in my room. I looked to my wall. On it were the posters I pulled out of my copy of the White Album. I looked at the picture of John; stringy hair, the famous round-rimmed glasses, the dungaree jacket and blank expression. I pictured him months later giving his first television interview with Yoko by his side, saying that it had been a long recovery, but that he was getting better. Yoko would say that the get-well wishes keep coming. John would say that the whole experience had strengthened his resolve to fight for a better world.
About five minutes later, Larry Kane came on again. John Lennon was dead. A suspect was in custody.
In my experience, kids tend to discover The Beatles between the ages of 12 and 14. I was in full-on Beatle mode at the time. I was, and still am, devastated by the loss of one of my heroes. It happened in December. For the rest of that month, the main Christmas song that was played on all the radio stations in Philly was "Happy Xmas(War Is Over)". That song still makes me cry. Every time I hear it, all those memories come flooding back to me. My brothers and sister, not understanding my sense of hero worship, made fun of me for being so sad for so long. I don't think I ever truly forgave them for that.
John would have been 64 this year. If only the world could recapture just a little bit of the love he left behind for all of us. It's a dark time in the world right now. There's no love out there. There's no peace being given a chance. For all of you who read this out there in the world, and for all of you who create rather than destroy, I pray that we all band together as one and shine the light of truth into the hearts of the seemingly heartless. Throw down your guns, live a little, laugh a little and be tolerant of one another. Go out of your way to make this a better place.