October 9, 2010 — John Lennon would have been 70 years old today. Imagine
December 8, 1980 — John Lennon was murdered outside the Dakota in New York.
Lennon’s death was one of those seminal events where you remember exactly how you first heard the tragic news.
That night, I was at the old Orange Bowl in Miami to see the Miami Dolphins face the New England Patriots in Monday night football.
Late in the fourth quarter, famed broadcaster Howard Cosell informed the nationwide audience on ABC-TV that Lennon had been shot.
No public announcement was made at the Orange Bowl. There were no cell phones, no text messages, no wireless Internet to deliver the story.
The game went into overtime, and the Dolphins win 16-13 on a 23-yard field goal by Uwe von Schamann.
It was a beautiful December South Florida night.
After the game, I took a bus back to my car, drove home with the radio off. Still hadn’t heard about Lennon.
The next day, as I was driving in to work the sports desk at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, I turned on the radio. Every station was playing Beatles music and John Lennon songs.
Finally, one of the DJs reported that Lennon had been shot and killed the night before.
At work of course Lennon’s death was the only topic of conversation. I still remember the rock & roll writer at the paper writing his piece on Lennon.
And the story that referred to John as “The Thinking Man’s Beatle.”
John Lennon was just 40 years old when he was killed. Although he is gone, he is still with us in his music.
Happy Birthday, John.