Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thirty Years

In 1980, my neighbor in homeroom -- later destined to become a highly influential and long-time friend -- took a look at me one morning early in the semester and declared, "You probably don't even listen to the Beatles, do you?" Thus began a brief enchantment with the Fab Four, during which I accumulated a small collection of Beatles cassettes and consumed everything I could on their history that was available pre-Internet.

Serendipitously, it was that same year that John Lennon -- everyone's favorite Beatle, if we're honest -- decided to emerge from seclusion to release his "comeback album", Double Fantasy, adorned with a now iconic snapshot of him and Yoko Ono, sharing a tender kiss. It was one of the first vinyl LPs I bought with my own money. The single from that record was "(Just Like) Starting Over", which had the double meaning of being a return to music and also John reuniting with Yoko after what he described as an eighteen month-long lost weekend with another woman. It's a nice song, but I prefer this one.

Well, I don't know what this has to do with OnceWereBachelorhood, really. In fact probably 28 or 29 years have gone by without my giving much thought to December 8, 1980, or it's faint aftermath. You see, I moved on from the Beatles pretty quickly, to much harder stuff. In fact, if you assigned me the task of listening to British Invasion, I'd probably choose anyone else but the Beatles, nowadays.

But I won't ever forget that, at the very summit of my interest in the Beatles, on December 8, 1980, as I was sitting down to a monday night dinner with the TV on, the news reported that John Lennon was shot dead in front of his wife and within steps of his home. That was thirty years ago.

The coda to this is that my homeroom teacher, aware of our love of the Beatles at the time, sewed black arm bands for my buddy and me to wear around school. Perhaps more importantly, my father bought me a second copy of Double Fantasy, which to this day remains wrapped in it's original shrink wrap. He was always thinking of me.

1 comment:

Bill Cohen said...

My recollection was that I didn't find out until the next morning, when I opened the Honolulu Advertiser in our apartment at 739 Hausten Street, the headline blared "Honolulu Man Kills John Lennon" or something like that. I knew about The Beatles because you and your friends were so very into them of late, I knew this would affect you guys greatly and, to get into your good graces, I switched my shoelaces to black ones. My love for the Beatles commenced that day and grew into a veritable obsession and remained so for a year and a half, until Judas Priest's "Screaming for Vengeance" was released. Lennon's assassination enabled my Beatles education, one that may or may not ever have happened. I can only sadly wonder what amazing music we have missed in the last thirty years, music that died in New York City thirty years ago.