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  • Where were you when John Lennon was killed in1980?

    On 9th December 1980 I was preparing to travel up from our house in Poole, (in the south of England) to visit my sister in London. My two daughters were excited about the trip and were jumping around and adding things to the luggage; when there was a news flash on the radio. “Former Beatle John Lennon shot dead-he died almost instantly”.

    John Lennon dead!

    Next news flash “An unknown gunman opened fire outside Mr Lennon’s deluxe apartment building, the Dakota, in Manhattan’s Upper West Side; New York. As John Lennon entered the building, the forty year old man was shot several times. He was rushed in a police car to St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Central Park 23.00 local time”

    I was numb with shock. It was as if a brother had been killed. When my husband came home from work we hugged in mutual mourning.

    Nest news flash “the police reported that this was no robbery. He was probably shot by a deranged person.”
    Jack Douglas, Lennon’s producer said John had been at a studio called the Record Plant earlier in the evening. John is survived by his wife Yoko Ono and son Sean and his son by a previous marriage Julian.

    Memories flooded in of his brilliant, wonderful poetic songs. His funny quips and far reaching view of life. This unique guy, with his cutting wit and earnest search for world peace, whose record breaking song “Give Peace a Chances that representatives of countries all round the world had quoted during the Gulf War 1991; who had been such a big influence in my life, didn’t have a chance to finally find happiness after coming through a tough period in his relationship with Yoko Ono.

    John and Yoko were obviously made for each other, they even looked alike. I felt he deserved to live his life away from the harsh spotlights he had experienced as a Beatle.

    Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s songs and lifestyle. Had shaped my life. I had danced to, sang and written down their words right from the beginning of their careers. From the time they sand I love you Yeah Yeah Yeah, through the psychedelic stage, “I could do with a little help from my friends’ when they grew their hair longer and joined Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in his ashram in India; inspiring me and many of my generation to study eastern religion and practice Transcendental Meditation.

    Bringing myself back to the present I managed to finish packing and travelled to London by train to Waterloo chatting to our daughters but feeling a deep sadness about this unnecessary abrupt end to John’s life.

    When we reached my sister’s house we put on the radio to listen to John had taken part in just a few hours before his death. We sat in a sort of vigil, listening to John answering questions enjoying a few jokes and opening up about his optimistic hopes for the future.

    I will go on remembering John Lennon and listening to his most poignant songs: ‘Let it be’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘Blackbird’, ‘Imagine’ and ‘Nothing’s going to change my World’.

    Historians say Mark Chapman heard voices telling him to kill John Lennon and is serving a life sentence in Attica Prison. He has become as famous as John Lennon himself.

    John is reported to have foreseen that he would die young. What price fame when all you say is taken literally? My best memory of John in more carefree days was when he told the audience at the Royal Variety Performance, “Those in the cheaper seats, clap, and the rest of you rattle your jewellery.”

    PhPhoto from Ready Steady Go Magazine and my holiday photo.
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