08 December 2010

John Lennon

On 8 December 1980, John Lennon was murdered and the world lost a brilliant artist. I was born in September that year and I am happy to say that I shared a world with John for a brief amount of time.

The week Lennon was gunned down in front his apartment complex in New York City, Barbra Streisand's record Guilty reclaimed the number one album spot after a month-long run at the top of the charts by Bruce Springsteen's The River.

"Lady" by Kenny Rogers was on top of the singles chart the week Lennon was killed. Regrettably, "Lady" had been on the top of the charts for weeks.

Thankfully the song that booted that horrific soft-rock tune off the top of the charts on 27 December was the amazing single "(Just Like) Starting Over" by John Lennon.

"(Just Like) Starting Over" was on the top of the charts for five weeks.

There are plenty of tributes and commentary out there about John Lennon but what I found most fascinating was just a straight-forward breakdown of what happened that day. Check out the article and read the timeline of what happened on 8 December 1980 at The Daily Mail. It's a great read.

Here's a little excerpt:
10.45PM As John [Lennon] gets out of the car, [Mark] Chapman comes forward, still clutching his autographed copy of Double Fantasy. He softly calls out 'Mr Lennon', produces a .38 handgun and, dropping down into a combat stance, fires five shots, four of which hit John. John keeps walking, goes up the stairs into the porter's vestibule, then collapses, scattering the cassettes he's been carrying.

A few seconds later, Yoko [Ono] bursts in screaming: 'John's been shot.' The duty porter, Jay Hastings, rings the alarm that goes through to the police, then kneels beside John to try to administer a tourniquet. This being futile, he removes John's glasses and covers him with his porter's jacket.

10.50PM Police patrolman Steve Spiro gets a call in his radio car to say there has been a shooting at 1 West 72nd Street. He and his partner, Peter Collin, get there in less than a minute.

'There was a man pointing into the vestibule and he said, "That's the man doing the shooting," ' says Spiro. 'We realised this is for real. I peeked in and saw a man with his hands up, so I threw this guy against the wall and at that point the porter says to me, "He shot John Lennon." And I said, "You what?"

'I saw two of my fellow police officers carrying a man out, face up with blood coming out of his mouth. I recognised John Lennon.'

[The Daily Mail]
But - as it is when death comes knocking on the door of a loved one - it's a time to celebrate life and not mourn death. And what better way than to listen to John?

We miss you John.

{ I haven't heard this so-called "stripped" version yet, but the original is pretty darn good. }