John Lennon, 9 Oct 1940 - 8 Dec 1980

Posted: Wednesday, December 08, 2010 by Travis Cody in

There will be many profound words spoken and written today about John Lennon's legacy.  His music will be featured on radio stations and Ipods.  His lyrics will be quoted. 

Rightfully so.  Deservedly so.

People will gather outside the NY apartment building where he was murdered.  They will remember the moment they heard the news that he had been shot, and then they will remember the moment they heard that he was dead.

It was a Monday night.  I was 16 years old.  It was the winter of my senior year in high school.  I was gradually recovering from a devastating knee injury from the last football game I ever played, and coming to terms with the end of my dream of becoming a Marine.  I was watching the football game between Miami and New England.  Miami won 16-13.  I had to look that up because I didn't remember.

Howard Cosell told me and millions of others that John Lennon had been murdered.

I wasn't devastated, but I was affected.  I wasn't dead, just momentarily crippled.  My knee was going to heal reasonably.  We couldn't afford the surgery, so I'd have to make the best recovery I could without it.  Barely a month after the injury, I was hardly able to put much weight on the knee, even with the aid of crutches.  Although I would never play football in college or be a Marine, I was still going to have a life and a future. 

John Lennon was dead.

There are the obvious songs to post in tribute to a man who wrote so many wonderful lyrics and so much intriguing music either as a solo singer/songwriter or in partnership with others.  I wanted something less obvious, although no less significant.

I liked his solo work, but I loved his work with the Beatles.  On 8 December 1980, fans finally knew there would never be a Beatles reunion.  So that's what I want today.  John Lennon as part of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

This Boy (1963)

Please, Please Me (1963)

I Want to Hold Your Hand (1963)

In My Life (1965)

Nowhere Man (1965)

Ticket to Ride (1965)

My Ipod is on Beatles rotation.  Remember John Lennon, and The Beatles, with joy today. 


  1. I don't remember anything from December 8, 1980... but it's a sad thing that he didn't live beyond that and make more wonderful music.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I awoke to the alarm radio that day with a newscaster telling us that John had been murdered - I can't describe the shock and sadness I felt. John lives on in his music and his son's - have you heard Julian Lennon sing? - you could be listening to John!

    The first Beatles songs are some of my favourites because I was only 15 and grew up with their music.

    Thanks for remembering Trav.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Dad was picking me up for winter break my freshman year in college. That was when I first heard the news.

  1. I don't remember where I was when I heard Lennon was dead. I'd actually never really listened to the Beatles much, although I knew who he was, of course.

  1. Coco says:

    I remember. For some reason, the sorrow is stronger today than it has been in several years. I'll be posting about it tomorrow but my post today is wordless. Strangely, you and I chose the same picture - he was singing and that's how I have chosen to represent him on my blog. I remember ...

  1. Linda says:

    I was in the Air Force and stationed in San Bernardino when John Lennon was killed and I just remember being totally shocked that such a thing could happen. It still boggles my mind that someone would take another's life to supposedly impress another.

    As a kid I loved the Beatles and remember spending Sunday afternoons at my grandfather's house dancing with my cousins to the songs on "Revolver" or singing "Help" as we'd walk home from our Girl Scout meetings.

    This post is a lovely tribute to a man who died way too soon while the music he made over the years lives on forever.

  1. Wonderful tribute Travis. I need to set reminders for these things so i so not forget.

    Howard told me also and I loved in NYC and left my apartment that night to wander was a cold, weird evening of mixed emotions

  1. the day he was murdered,was a day of regreat for me. I loved his tunes that he and Paul wrote.that day is equipsed by the fact that I had a really bad day as a Co as well.

  1. JohnH985 says:

    That is one of those days that I will always remember.

  1. Jamie says:

    In 1995 "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" were the last of the Beatles songs with all four as Lennon demos were used as the base and the remaining three added vocals and overdubs.

  1. I was a sophomore in high school when the Beatles landed in the American top 40 with I Want to Hold Your Hand. Their music was the music of my high school years. I truly don't remember where I was when I got the news of John's murder. I probably was watching that same football game as you.

  1. TopChamp says:

    Didn't hear a peep about it here this year - too much news about the weather problems so I'm grateful for your post. Who doesn't love the Beatles?