Everyone remembers where they were on days of historic importance, especially if there is an element of tragedy involved. On December 8 1980, I was heading off to work and pulled my car over to buy a newspaper at a local shop. When I got back in, I turned on Howard Stern, who was then a star-on-the-rise on New York AM radio. Stern's off-the-wall humor was cutting edge at the time and his antics made my lousy morning commute tolerable. When I turned on the radio, Stern was in the middle of discussing John Lennon's murder. "This is crossing the line", I thought, feeling that Stern was making one of his usual sick jokes. I suddenly realized, however, that this was a rare occasion when the shock jock was playing it straight. The idea that someone might murder John Lennon was so mind-boggling that I couldn't think of anything else- in fact no one could. The term "loss of innocence" has been so overused that it long ago became a cornball phrase employed to describe every tragic event. However, with the death of Lennon it seemed approrpriate. Like just about everyone on the planet, my mind drifted back to all the wonderful moments in my life that his music seemed a part of: buying my first record as a kid (it was a 45 rpm of I Feel Fine by The Beatles), having my dad take me to see A Hard Day's Night at the Loews Theatre in Jersey City- and not being able to hear any dialoguge because of the girls screaming every time there was a close up of one of the Fab Four, and so many other great memories. Doubtless, so many people felt the same way, which is why tonight, fans from around the world will congregate at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park across from Lennon's home, the Dakota.
Making this anniversary of his death so poignant is the fact that Rolling Stone reporter Jonathan Cott, who conducted the last interview with Lennon just days before his murder, has unearthed the original interview tapes and they are being published this week. Only snippets of the interview were originally used because the issue it was supposed to run in was largely devoted to his life and legacy. Cott forgot he had possession of the original tapes until he came across them while cleaning out his closet. In one portion of the interview, Lennon eeriely says he'd be more interesting if he was dead, but being a icon who dies young was an idea that appalled him. For more click here