It doesn't seem like 30 years ago that I strolled into high school on a Tuesday morning (cheers to John from Rockit Scientist for correcting me and reminding me that it was not a Monday morning) to meet my then friends, Woody, Rudie and Johnny X at the wall near the drama hall where we'd slouch every morning before classes began not cool enough to freely mix in the commons without getting smacked or verbally abused. Stupid bloody Tuesday?! Leaning on the wall in the shadows by the drama hall was suitably punk rock enough. Rudie and Woody were punks, I was a 14 year old mod. I can't quote it verbatim, as it was, well 30 years ago but a visibly anguished Johnny X blurted out "John Lennon's dead" "They shot him". I seem to recall making some flippantly glib response that if it wasn't Paul Weller or Joe Strummer I couldn't care less, one dead B.O.F. (Boring Old Fart). I felt like a complete tw*t by the day's end and did my penance by borrowing a "Sgt. Pepper" square LP badge from Johnny X and wore it around for a bit.
Despite being a Beatle's fan since the moment my mom handed me three dog eared LP's in 1975 ("Meet The Beatles","Something New" and "Beatles '65") I never felt affected by Lennon's passing. I never worshipped at the church of Lennon failing to see his genius beyond that of his music. I'm sure this was fostered by being a nearly lifelong believer that he lost the plot once he took up with the lady who's name forever sealed the fate of meddling musician's girlfriends and went out of his way to be "weird" and swinging at the rails about everything. I still never got my head around his "solo" material for some reason. Though I've got the rest of my life to try.......
At the time we joked that if only Chapman had aimed a bit differently....., crass I know but what do you expect from 14-15 year old's. I think the saddest part was he felt really safe, secure and almost anonymous living in New York City which he'd adopted as a second home and that he got killed by some creepy fan who personified "celebrity stalker". 30 years on we're still all scratching our heads on that one....
My generation's take on Lennon:
Great Piece I was woken by my mum to tell me the news. I had been a Beatles fan, but was into punk at the time. The news literally stunned me. Shocking then, and more so now..
Nice bit of balance Bill.
I was (in my head) a 12 year old punk (I had three punk records) and Lennon's death meant absolutely nothing to me then and means little to me now either. But surprised this sort of thing hasn't happened more often in these celebrity obsessed days.
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