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John’s death: where were you, how did you react?
7 August 2014
3.16am
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Bongo
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I was 17, my Dad told me the news! yoko-ono_01

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7 August 2014
4.41am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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(I think I've posted this elsewhere on the Forum).

I was going through my surgical training at the St Lukes-Roosevelt hospital in New York. St Lukes was in a less desirable part of town, Roosevelt a couple of miles away in a nicer section.

Emergency Rooms are busy, noisy places, and on night of Dec 9 1980 I was in the St Lukes ER. At around 11:30 PM, it suddenly got quiet when word quickly spread that Lennon had been shot and taken to Roosevelt.

Roosevelt? Why not St Lukes! We saw at least one gunshot wound  a night - and most people survived (bad guys usually do). And then of course it was announced that he'd died. It got really quiet.

And what if he'd been taken to St Lukes? How would I have reacted? I've played out a thousand scenarios in my mind over the years.

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7 August 2014
4.57am
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Ron Nasty
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I think it has cropped up before. I know we've talked about it, and you spoken about the "What if?" of if the police car carrying him turned left instead of right, or right instead of left (whichever the choice was).

(You typoed the date! 8th not 9th!)

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7 August 2014
6.18am
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vonbontee
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I know I've posted about this before, but anyways...Not being a football fan or a regular viewer of 11 o'clock news programs, I didn't find out until the morning of the next day, shortly before school started, when I met my eighth-grade classmate across from the school, who informed me that one of the Beatles had been shot and killed. "Which one?" I asked. And I'll always hate to admit this, but my reaction was partial relief at the news that it was "only" John and not Paul. Paul's music meant the most to me - I owed several McCartney/Wings singles, and knew and liked several more; whereas I didn't know John's solo stuff at all, other than that one single (with the horribly ironic title) that the radio had started playing only a month earlier. I was kinda ignorantly blasé about the fact that anyone (much less a celebrity) could be murdered in NYC - maybe because I took it for granted that violent crime there was routine? (That's what MAD magazine taught me, anyways.)

Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

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7 August 2014
11.19am
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Matt Busby
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I was a couple months shy of 18, in a uni dorm lounge.  A few of us were waiting for a mind altering substance to start working.  Not long after 9pm (east coast USA time, so pretty soon after it happened), someone came out and told us.  Was a Wednesday night, wasn't it?  It was the epitome of a buzzkill.  All of us spent the rest of the night and at least the next day in disbelief.  I remember just walking around in sort of a daze, not caring about classes or meals.  Every speaker, radio or stereo, had Beatles & John solo coming out of it.  It was a big news event, bigger than most celebrity deaths.

John's death affected me more than any other had in my lifetime.  I was either too young to remember or not that close to any relatives who had passed.  It took quite awhile to get through the grieving process.

I think Stepping Out was popular at the time.  I remember feeling glad that fall that John had made some good music again.  It was also right after the Iran/Contra hostage/weapons deal, for those old enough or into history enough to remember it.  My most recent concert had been Jeff Beck, and I had my Jerry Garcia beard then.

Interestingly (to me anyway :), the 23rd anniversary was the night my 2nd wife and I fell for each other.

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7 August 2014
11.36am
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Matt Busby
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Into the Sky with Diamonds said

Roosevelt? Why not St Lukes! We saw at least one gunshot wound  a night - and most people survived (bad guys usually do). And then of course it was announced that he'd died. It got really quiet.

And what if he'd been taken to St Lukes? How would I have reacted? I've played out a thousand scenarios in my mind over the years.

Didn't Chapman empty his gun, 6 shots?  Probably would have been hard for anyone to save him :(

But yeah, that's a good point - I wonder what was going through the ER team's heads...

Half of what I say is meaningless...

I feel good in a special way, I'm in love and it's a sunny day

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7 August 2014
11.47am
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I was in my MG Roadster……..The sun hadn't risen, it was cold in the 'cock-pit' as the heating was still struggling against the early morning freeze.….I was stationary staring at the on-coming headlights and looking to turn right and join the traffic onto the Amersham by-pass. I'd left home about 5 minutes before. I flicked on the radio whatever music was playing it didn't register.

When the record finished the normally chirpy DJ said somberly ……"And this is for John Lennon who was shot and killed in New York this morning…..'Woman '..."

Shocked to attention……"Shot and Killed"  ……….No hope……dead……forever……over. It sunk in as I took my turn onto the by-pass.

And then his voice, still with us……."Ooooooh, oooo, oooo, oo, ooooo, oo, well, well dododadodo…..." Warm, loving….. Beatle'ish……Dead.

I filled up………I remember being glad I was alone and could cry.

That was my grieving moment

Yoko's speedy and unceremonious dispatch of John's body robbed me and all of us of another. 

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7 August 2014
1.15pm
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Ahhh Girl
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@Into the Sky with Diamonds, I found your previous post on the topic.
http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....on/#p44108

That is one disturbing thread.

Just for cross reference also, here's the thread discussion John's assassination. I can't handle reading through it right now after having read through the one about the last photograph.
http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....ssination/

7 August 2014
2.38pm
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vonbontee
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Matt, I think that "mind altering substance" may have affected your memory - or given you the ability to see the future! It was a Monday night after 10pm, not a Wednesday at 9; "Steppin' Out" wasn't released until 1984; and the Iran/Contra thing didn't happen until 1986!

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Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

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7 August 2014
3.16pm
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Ahhh Girl
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vonbontee said

I didn't find out 'till the morning of the 9th, walking to school, meeting one of my 8th grade classmates: "Hey, did you hear? One of the Beatles got shot last night!" I asked him which one, and was surprised to hear it was John Lennon . I knew that "Just Like Starting Over" had just begun to be played on the radio a few weeks previous, and I found it totally surreal that a performer could be killed while having a hit record that was still on the charts.

@vonbontee, I found your post and merged that thread in with this one to get the conversation all together. Here's the link to your 2010 post on the topic.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....ct/#p16884

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7 August 2014
6.28pm
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I was 10 and I don't remember it at all. I may have seen footage on TV, but John Lennon didn't mean anything to me at that time. My parents were not Beatles fans. I remember Reagan getting shot, but I don't care for Reagan at all.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

7 August 2014
6.33pm
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Can't remember if I already answered this thread question and I'm too lazy to look back, but I was only 10 months old when he was killed so obviously I don't remember the moment it happened, but I *DO* remember when I first learned of it in 1985 when I was about 5...I was already a big Beatles fan thanks to my parents and when I said I liked them at school, another boy asked me if I knew John had been shot and killed. I thought he meant it had JUST happened so when I got home from school I remember running into the house telling my mum "did you know John was shot and killed!?" and she had to explain to me it had happened five years before. It still bothered me, and it still bothers me now any time I think about it, especially if I happen to be listening to the Beatles when doing so (as I am now...Rubber Soul on earphones, in fact "In My Life " just started playing...think I'm gonna cry!)

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7 August 2014
6.55pm
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DrBeatle said
... and it still bothers me now any time I think about it, especially if I happen to be listening to the Beatles when doing so (as I am now...Rubber Soul on earphones, in fact "In My Life " just started playing...think I'm gonna cry!)

Crying is definitely allowed @DrBeatle. I think we could create a memorial pool with our collective tears being shed as we think about John's death.

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7 August 2014
7.14pm
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When John died my father was not even a teen. But when I learned this I was depressed for months and once I almost cried oh yea i also have written a song for John  

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9 August 2014
10.49am
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vonbontee said
Matt, I think that "mind altering substance" may have affected your memory - or given you the ability to see the future! It was a Monday night after 10pm, not a Wednesday at 9; "Steppin' Out" wasn't released until 1984; and the Iran/Contra thing didn't happen until 1986!

paul-mccartneyyou got me! i apologize...i may have believed i could see into the future at the time, but i couldn't really lol - actually, i can backtrack and find where all the errors leaked in (short term memory, not long term), i shouldn't have rambled on so.  The scene and the emotional impact were how it went down, even if the details are wrong.

Anyway back to a more reverent tone...

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9 August 2014
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I had just started running my own small computer store and was busy setting up some stuff on shelves when I heard this on the radio - I was just stunned and kind of in a daze - I remember drinking a lot of coffee with folks who came in just to chat about it.

I also thought - and I apologise to my US and other friends who love their warm guns - but I clearly remember thinking about 'Americans and their bloody guns'.  There is a fascination with them in some countries that many of us in other countries just can't fathom - and John's death just seemed to symbolise that for me.

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9 August 2014
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I wasn't born until 1995, so luckily I never had to experience the shock of hearing. 

Whenever I've talked to my parents about it (fairly big Beatles fans themselves), they've said that in the days that followed the world had basically stopped due to the shock of it all. Mourning all over the world. As much as I wished I had lived during the 60s, I am glad I never had to live through that. 

9 August 2014
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Expert Textpert said
I was 10 and I don't remember it at all. I may have seen footage on TV, but John Lennon didn't mean anything to me at that time. My parents were not Beatles fans. I remember Reagan getting shot, but I don't care for Reagan at all.

We're of a similar age. I do remember, but my main awareness of the band was through the cartoon, so I hadn't really come to think of them as real people. When I saw photos of John in the 70s, I couldn't really connect that the person in the cartoon was that same person. I remember being sad, but it didn't yet register as a personal sadness.

parlance

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18 August 2014
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I was born in 1996. I have absolutely no relation to that year (1980).

I knew Lennon was killed before, it was common knowledge already, perhaps. Now, I have just watched the videos of reaction, the news etc... for the first time.

But that video, with people singing All You Need Is Love for John? I actually don't recall when I've been sadder then now. I haven't cried for a long time, and I don't know when I'm going to if I haven't done it now. Goosebumps all over, strange feeling in stomach. It'll pass, probably nothing serious, but it's still awful.

Then you realize... a person that wasn't even born then, watches this video in 2014. Maybe another one will do so in 2060. That sadness is still there. You can see how people are hurt. The atmosphere is transported through a video, and that's something. This is why I believe we are all connected on a higher level. I can't possibly imagine a living human being that wouldn't be moved by that video I saw this night. Even if you never heard of him. It's scary.

On the other side, if this is what happens when all great people die, then it's the same even without videos. Remember the Pope John Paul II.? I remember that too, it's a scary atmosphere. Just watching the television, cameras on his little window in hospital or wherever - and then the light turned off. That was absolutely it.

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18 August 2014
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Matt Busby said

vonbontee said
Matt, I think that "mind altering substance" may have affected your memory - or given you the ability to see the future! It was a Monday night after 10pm, not a Wednesday at 9; "Steppin' Out" wasn't released until 1984; and the Iran/Contra thing didn't happen until 1986!

paul-mccartneyyou got me! i apologize...i may have believed i could see into the future at the time, but i couldn't really lol - actually, i can backtrack and find where all the errors leaked in (short term memory, not long term), i shouldn't have rambled on so.  The scene and the emotional impact were how it went down, even if the details are wrong.

Anyway back to a more reverent tone...

Actually, @Matt Busby, the Iran-Contra thing happened during MY first year of lolcollege, and I we all felt we should become aware of USA politics at the time (so much more interesting than boring-old Canadian affairs), so I can kinda put myself in your place as far as that goes. I remember when I first heard "Steppin' Out", too (I didn't think it was as good as the recent "Nobody Told Me", was my main reaction. Oh, and I remember being mildly impressed that in this year of 1984, that somebody could get away with using the phrase "screw it" on a pop single. It would've been a much-less-accepted phrase in 1980.)

Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

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