The Day John Lennon Died: A Fan’s Story
hell..if my dad could still love frank sinatra 40 years later why does everyone expect us to “get over” our rock and roll heroes? i still don’t get that
i am showing my art work at a show at USC the next day. i stare at the passing kids and wonder how they can be so unaffected…as if the world were still the same place it had been on december 7. i finally see one kid who is obviously upset and he stares at the beatles tee shirt i am wearing that i bought outside of the forest hill tennis stadium show in 1964. he nods and i nod back. but then some spoiled brat of a sorority girl makes a snide comment about john and i rip my work out of her hand. as if i’d let that little bitch own something i created while she’s joking about lennon’s assasination. fat chance. i pack up even though it’s only 1 pm and we are obligated to stay for the rest of the show. fuck’em…..i’m going home. i make a reservation for a flight to nyc. i have to be home for the memorial service in central park and to just be where other fans are going to understand the way i’m feeling.
when i got home, i hung outside of the dakota with all the rest of the beatles fans, singing songs and taking endlessly about what the beatles meant to us. but being home also handed me another reality. when i tried calling some of the friends i grew up with to share the grief.. girls who had fought over paul with me..who swore eternal devotion to the beatles…who had gone to carnegie hall with me..all had “moved on”. though sad, they were just not affected by john’s death in teh same way that i was. that was like another small death….. part of my childhood dying along with john. i just didn’t get it.
but there were funny moments too. a very NY moment happened when some huge 6’ 6” vulture of a guy came by hawking john lennon buttons. these 2 tiny girls grabbed them and told him that no way was he going to make money off of john’s death and proceeded to throw them under a bus and chase him through central park. to see this 6’6” guy running away from 2 small furious girls made me laugh hysterically. if they hadn’t done it, i would have done it myself…
the day came for the central park memorial and it was beyond weird how the city i grew up in came to a screeching halt for those 10 minutes. nothing…no sound, except for the far off honking of cars looking to move faster through the city.
i looked at those other faces and thought about how much this man was loved. and how much more he could have done with his life and in music.
when it was over i felt more alone than ever. but as i started to walk out of the park i started singing “in my life” and some guy and his friend next to me joined in. it was so corny. like out of a bad hollywood movie. but by the time we got out of the park we had about 20 people walking with us. we walked down 5th avenue from central park south all the way back to washington square (for those of you who don’t know this is about 3 miles of city walking) singing beatles songs with people along the way leaving, others joining in, and everyone clapping as we passed them on our way downtown. it was one of the most amazing experiences i ever had in my city. i finally left the group to walk home. i never got their names and they never got mine. but we made each others’ day i know. and we took a sad song and made it better. if only for that one day……
if you were around on that day….what’s your story?
PS text and images courtesy of Dari Silverman, who is in the fuzzy background of the middle photo…
- Fans Share Wishes, Tributes For John Lennon 33 Years After Assassination (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- If you don’t like me, blame John Lennon (hopeisloud.wordpress.com)
- Fans gather in Central Park to mourn John Lennon 33 years after his death (pix11.com)
- Today in history: John Lennon killed in NYC (pbs.org)