December 8th’s Sad Anniversary

John Lennon VVS81

I was 16 years old when John Lennon was shot in New York City.

The night we found out is mostly a blur lost to history. I recall being at home when news reports began coming in during the late evening. He was still alive in the first reports I heard, but by the end of the night the news went fatal. By the next day Shoreline High School was buzzing with John’s death as a singular subject. From December 9th on, radio stations across the dial were playing John Lennon and Beatles music constantly. It was bad enough that someone had shot and killed Lennon. Listening to any track off Double Fantasy countless times over the next month didn’t make the pain go away. I had never been a big fan of John’s solo work, and listening to it countless times just made things worse.

While I don’t remember which DJ on KISW I heard, I do recall that announcer being verbally agitated about the killer. Several days after the attack he still hadn’t come to grips with the tragedy. It was the first time I ever heard a DJ express honest rage on the air. That is the moment which sticks with me today, because it summed up the senselessness of John’s death.

December 8th is a sad anniversary for certain.


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