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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

26th Annual John Lennon Tribute is Thursday

Thursday marks 25 years since John Lennon was shot dead in New York City on Monday, December 8th, 1980.

That night I was doing my regular evening DJ shift at WMOI FM in Monmouth, Illinois (cool job for a 16 year old, eh?) The phone rang, and it was my father. He'd just seen on TV that John Lennon had been shot and suggested I'd better check the news wire.

Running to the newsroom, I found the AP machine chugging away. The paper from the news roll had touched the floor -- a no-no, which meant it had been more than 15 minutes since I last checked it.

Confirmations of Lennon's death had already been printed by the time I ripped the paper and ran back to the on-air studio. In an ironic twist, I was playing a Paul McCartney song. "Waterfalls" from McCartney II, if I recall, which had come out just that Spring.

I didn't wait for the song to end. Unprofessionally I abruptly turned down the pot, and breathless and shaken up, said into the microphone, "I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but....."

That same night in Minneapolis, legend has it Curtiss A. headed down to the 7th Street Entry and took over the stage to play Lennon songs the remainder of the evening. And so has it been, each December 8th ever since.

THE 26TH ANNUAL JOHN LENNON TRIBUTE Featuring CURTISS A "WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS" $10.00/ $12.00/ 5:30pm/ 21+ - First Avenue

Read HowWasTheShow reports about last year's event here and here.


Anonymous said...

Where was I? Working as assistant manager of a movie theater in Indianapolis. The projectionist came in my office and said he had heard the news on the radio.

I didn't believe him. I mean, who would want to shoot John Lennon?

It just didn't make any sense. It still doesn't.

Anonymous said...

we're having a tribute at the terminal bar on thursday night as well
Terminal Bar presents : Gimmie Some Truth

starts at 10pm
so for more of a lennon fix come on down to the t-bar after first ave ends at 11pm.

David said...

Thanks for sharing that. I'll add the Terminal Bar gig to the calendar and try and make it down.

DramaJim said...

David's dad thanks him for the mention. The readership of his blog may increase from 1 to 2 as a result.

rocknrollstar said...


Such a sad day... I often "imagine" what the world would be like with JWL still around. Very different I would hope!

Have fun tomorrow night @ First Ave and Terminal Bar! If my Spoon tickets don't work out I may bump into you somewhere along the way.

Andrea said...

I wasn't alive yet when John Lennon died, but I feel saddened every year around this time at the thought of his assassination. I was raised on Beatles music and taught from a very early age that the Beatles had a profound impact on pretty much all of the music that has been made ever sense. It was literally ingrained into my brain at the same time as the alphabet and all that other junk. I had five father figures growing up, and it was hard to understand why one of them was already dead and gone.

David said...

Another bit of age perspective. Lennon (b. 10/9/1940), died at 39. If that seemed old from my perspective at 16, it seems a whole helluvalot younger now that I'm 41.

To think of the things he had already acheived by that age!

(More age perspective. By the time Mozart was Lennon's age, he'd already been dead for four years!)

Anonymous said...

thanks for coming out to the terminal bar for the show!