The news was rather sad
On Dec. 8, 1980, I was sitting comfortably in my small Redondo Beach home, celebrating another day of show business glee and watching the Miami Dolphins against the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football when the world changed.
“This, we have to say it, is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses,” an obviously stunned Howard Cosell announced to his football audience. “An unspeakable tragedy, confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City.
John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous perhaps of all of The Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival.”
Howard wasn’t the only one who was stunned.
Disbelief turned to grief and I immediately called my friend Andy, who I played in a garage band with years before.
We were both dyed-in-the-wool Beatle fanatics and I sensed we both needed to talk to each other.
We spoke about how privileged we were to be able to sing his songs and we felt bad for his young son who would have to go through life without a dad.
Trying to explain the feeling of that time to someone who was too young to remember or wasn’t yet born, is tough.
Rock stars were famous for leaving us too early, it seemed like it was expected of Hendrix, Janis and Morrison, even Elvis, but while they all traveled the road to self-destruction, John Lennon was starting over and it was someone else in the driver’s seat.
While all of us who grew up listening to The Beatles can gain solace from the fact that their music has become a soundtrack in our everyday lives, I still get choked up when I think about what could have been, save for one lunatic seeking fame at the expense of the world.
When Lennon was killed, all hope of one of the greatest cultural icons re-uniting for one last concert or recording session vanished.
Sadly, when George Harrison succumbed to cancer in Nov. 2001, the news seemed almost anti-climatic because the Beatles died with John, and it was left to the purest of Beatle fans to mourn the loss of the “Quiet Beatle” with the same intensity they’d felt in 1980.
Needless to say, I and millions of other Baby Boomers still feel the pain and frustration of that Dec. 8, but can gain some relief in the fact that John, Paul, George and Ringo will probably have another platinum album with the release of “Love.”
Yeah, Lennon’s still here, but I still think of that Monday Night Football broadcast on Dec. 8 1980, Cosell and my friend Andy.
And I still get a lump in my throat.
n Jack Carrerow is sports editor at the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. He can be reached at 831-4666 ext. 119 or at email@example.com