Happy Death Day, John Lennon

Lennon Signing an Autograph for Mark Chapman/ wikipedia.org

About two months ago, I trotted out a Harry Potter-John Lennon post for what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday (which even makes me feel old somehow). Today as I drove a borrowed SUV home from a day of marathon Christmas shopping, the kind folks on the radio reminded me that today is the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death (again, making me feel curiously old even though I was not even a thought on the wind at the time).

97.9 in Chicago played a selection from the newly stripped down version of “Starting Over” from Double Fantasy, followed by a montage of Lennon classics with sound bites of newscasters breaking the tragedy thirty years ago.

97.1 did a tribute during their “Live at Five” hour, playing recordings from Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1972 benefit concert in New York, including a pretty entertaining “Come Together” in which Lennon mixes up a few words and remarks that the fans might “remember this one better than I do.” They followed it up by broadcasting his cover of Elvis’ “Hound Dog.”

The list of stations digging out Lennon and Beatles tunes during the rush hour slog home was endless in Chicago, as I’m sure it was—and will continue to be throughout the night—pretty much everywhere. And somehow, every time they play the old newscast announcements, you have to feel just a little teary. When I was little, I remember being devastated that the Beatles could never get back together because Lennon was dead, and puzzling over why even the most deranged of fans would shoot someone, much less a Beatle. I mean, a Beatle. Really. I was boggled. I still am kind of boggled.

Late one night last winter I found myself walking past the Dakota. Living in New York, Chicago and the like,  you have to figure you must be walking past murder sites fairly regularly (sometimes your friends live in a building where a man murdered his wife, cooked her into a soup and fed her to homeless people–true story), but I doubt there are many spots where more people pause to ponder than outside the Dakota.

Anyway, it seemed like an appropriate pondering for an otherwise random Wednesday in December since most people probably have no desire to hear about the excellent use of holiday coupons I made today. So have a listen to some Lennon—you know the Beatles are on iTunes now! He was never my favorite Beatle, but he was still pretty awesome. Truth.

The life-size cutouts of the Fab Four that Apple stores are currently displaying the front window make me giddy and a little uncomfortable. I feel like George Harrison is looking into my soul.


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