Wednesday, December 8, 2010

When 400 Characters aren't enough

This blog is designed as a companion to the Rediscover Records website (still under construction as of this writing, please be patient), the Facebook page, and the Twitter page. As we have moved to this rapid fire, tweet, status update world, sometimes 400 characters (the space allotted for a FB update) or 140 characters for a tweet just aren't enough.

Sometimes 400 characters are not enough to say... where I was when John Lennon was assassinated.

By 1980, I was a freshman in high school and Beatlemania was in full force in my world. In the summer of 79 or 80, I had bought the "Red 1962-1966" and "Blue 1967-1970" and a batting glove for all of $20 at the K-Mart on Route 25 in Elgin. It was a big sale and to top it off, the "Red" record was on red vinyl and the "Blue" record set was on blue vinyl! By this time, I had fully realized that Paul McCartney was in another band before Wings. It had become my first musical passion.

Another passion was the Miami Dolphins. On December 8th, 1980 the Dolphins were playing the New England Patriots. In those days, I still *cough* kinda had a bed *cough* time and could only stay up until after Howard Cosell's "Halftime Highlights", except, when the Dolphins were playing I could watch the entire game.

I can still remember Cosell delivering the news that John Lennon had been shot outside his apartment in New York City. I was stunned. Here is some original footage of the announcement.

Sobering, isn't it? When the rest of the school was listening to bands like REO, Foreigner, and Styx, I was listening to the Beatles. I had a Beatles T-Shirt. I had my "Red" and "Blue" records, that I have to this day. Ironic how, for me anyway, that two of my fluff passions in this world, the Dolphins and The Beatles are forever tied together on December 8th, 1980. I was 14.

That night before bed, before I set my clock radio alarm, the song playing before I went to bed was "A Day In the Life". Some of this stuff I'll never forget, even 30 years on.

In the days thereafter, WMET in Chicago played all The Beatles songs A-Z. My Dad, bless his heart, started rolling tape that morning while I was at school. It took up seven 90 minute cassettes! I then listened to those cassettes all the time. All. The. Time. When tape 7 ended, I started again at tape 1. Over and over and over and over and over. There are Beatles songs that I hear today, I'll hear the next song alphabetically, Ticket to Ride to Til There Was You, Hey Bulldog into Hey Jude . . .I bought all the tribute magazines & saved the newspaper articles. One macabre story was from the Rockford Register Star that my aunt had saved for me. It was a photo that amateur photographer, Paul Goresh, took of John Lennon signing a copy of "Double Fantasy" for his assassin, Mark Chapman. Here is the photo. I still have the newspaper.

As time went on, I developed different tastes, styles, obsessions of different music, but there is one running current of water under all these other hip, slick and cool bands, and that band is The Beatles.

"There are places I remember all my life though some have changed."

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