The Dallas Morning News Interactive division remembers John Lennon's death - December 8th, 1980 - 26 years ago today. This is a snippet of pop-culture before CNN, MTV & the Internet.
John Lennon's death is one of the first big events that I remember as a kid. I had the commemorative issue of Newsweek. And I remember going through my older brother's Beatles book: "The Beatles Forever" by Nicholas Schaffner, and marveling at the pictures. All those places they went - the colors, the phases they went through. It was all too much!
Even at that young age, you could feel the vacuum that Lennon's death left music & popular culture. We had a hard time getting our heads around it all - especially the sudden nature of it . "Why would someone shoot a Beatle? Why does it sound & feel like he's still here? He's all over the radio still. For such a character - who was so full of life, how can he really be gone?"
One good product of all this was the wave of Beatlemania that came in the years after his death. I remember recording the Beatles A-Z marathons on the radio. I would get the 10-packs of 90 minute Maxell blank cassettes to record them on. I would carefully pause the recording during the commercials and wait carefully for the DJ to come back on. I would cringe when the end of the side would approach in the middle of a song. Then I'd flip the cassette over as quickly as possible to continue recording the sequence on Side B.
I remember loyally listening to the Lost Lennon Tapes with Elliot Mintz and hearing about his 1970's post-Beatles wanderings. And who hasn't listened to Breakfast with the Beatles?
Photo of The Beatles Forever bookjacket courtesy of London Collectibles eBay account.