Do You Remember?

December 8, 2010 at 9:51 am 4 comments

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I was 19 years old and as I was getting ready for bed, my phone rang.  Through the sound of my friends’ sobbing, I caught the words “John Lennon has been shot”   Sure that I hadn’t caught the words correctly, I asked them to be repeated.  “Go turn on the TV – they’ve interrupted Johnny Carson”  By the time I turned on the TV, they were announcing that John was dead.

As long I can remember, I have been a Beatles fan. There is a home video of me at 2 years old, doing the twist to the Beatles.  As I got older, I collected the master vinyl recordings of all of the UK releases, and while I had enjoyed Paul’s solo career, it was always John’s voice, words and music that spoke to me the loudest. Only a few weeks had passed since I had purchased my latest record album. It was one that I had been waiting for with such anticipation. John had decided to record again after 5 years away from the music business. After purchasing Double Fantasy, I played that record over and over again, savouring all of the new songs, and just enjoying John’s voice.  I wasn’t crazy about the Ono songs, so it wasn’t long before I had recorded only John’s songs on a cassette.

There was no question that I was going to honour and mourn the passing of this great man, and while I would have loved to have gone to New York to one of the memorials there, I attended the one held at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Ontario.  What a cold day that was!  We arrived early, and actually found a spot standing right at the front of the stage, against the barriers. There are so many memories of being there, but two come to mind.  The wax from the candles melting over my mittens, and how warm we started to feel as the thousands of people gathered to say goodbye.  I also remember Ronnie Hawkins and the wonderful words he spoke.

My parents, god love ’em, never understood my music.  They were children of the depression and WWII in England, and their music was Vera Lynn, Big Band, and all of the other music of that era.  You can imagine what they thought of my 60’s and 70’s music!

I never told my parents where I was going that day, but thanks to being right at the front of the barriers, our pictures appeared in the newspapers and on the TV news that night.  In addition to not understanding my music, they never understood why I went to the memorial.  My only response to them was, remember how you felt when Kennedy was shot.

When his beloved New York was hit by terrorism on 9/11, I tried to think of what John’s response would have been.   I know that he would have definitely expressed everything in music, and oh, what great music we have missed from him. Would there have been another song as powerful as “Imagine”? One can only imagine what John Lennon’s thoughts would have been on everything that has happened in the world since his death.

On Sunday, a columnist in one of our Toronto newspapers, speculated on What Could Have Been.  In it he asks us to think about what could have been, had things been different on the night of December 8, 1980.

I can only imagine.

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Post It Note Tuesday – How Much Time Is Left?? I Know They Mean Well, But…

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Uyen  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:21 am

    well, I was way too young to remember this incident but I can totally feel your emotions after reading your post. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I love the snow affect on your blog…how did you do that?

    Reply
    • 2. Patricia Eales  |  December 8, 2010 at 10:25 am

      Thanks for stopping by! The snow effect is something that WordPress.com is offering for the winter.

      Reply
  • 3. Jamie Creason  |  December 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    I do remember exactly what I was doing and where I was the moment I heard the terrible news….still find it hard to believe even today….

    Reply
  • 4. SaysJamie  |  December 8, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    What a beautiful post. John Lennon even still has such a positive and moving effect on people and this world. Yes, what would have he said or done in response to world events since his death and especially after 9/11? We’ll never know 😦 Thanks for your post. ~Jamie

    Reply

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