“And so dear friends, you just have to carry on, the dream is over.”
John Lennon, singer, song writer
It was 24 years ago today that Howard Cosell interrupted Monday Night Football to inform the world that John Lennon, 40, had been shot and killed. Immediately, thousands attended candlelight vigils in front of Lennon’s Dakota Brownstone. A 25-year-old man has since been charged and sentenced for life with the killing (The Misanthrope is purposely not naming the killer). Fans with tears streaming down their faces sang Lennon’s songs from his Beatle days and his solo career.
Lennon’s killing shocked and outraged a world. A then President Jimmy Carter had said, “I know that I speak for many millions of Americans when I say that I am saddened by his death, and distressed by the senseless manner of it. It is especially poignant that John Lennon has died by violence, though he had long campaigned for peace. His work as an artist and musician was far from done.”
A President-elect Ronald Reagan, who was visiting New York at the time of the slaying. said, "What can anyone say? It's a great tragedy.”
Radio airwaves around the world, including countries that were then Communist were filled with the music of the Beatles in tribute to John Lennon, which was a big deal since Western culture was mostly ignored. Moscow newspapers carried a brief report by the Soviet official news agency Tass on the death of John Lennon and Radio Moscow's English-language international service devoted a half hour to playing Lennon's 1971 album "Imagine."
A Hungarian government newspaper praised Lennon for his music and his "commitment to the cause of world peace," and Belgrade's most influential newspaper, Politika, said the Beatles were "youth's breakthrough into all pores of life ... the sound rebellion against established visions. ...
Former British Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson, on whose recommendation Queen Elizabeth awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire medal to the Beatles, issued a statement praising Lennon.
Lennon had recently emerged from a five-year sabbatical. He was excited about the beginning of a new decade and a new LP (long playing) record titled "Double Fantasy." Lennon died leaving behind his wife Yoko Ono, son Sean, who was 5-years old, Julian his 17-year-old son from his first wife, and millions of admirers around the globe.
The Misanthrope would have loved to hear what Lennon, a peace activist, would have sung about the tumult of the world today and the wars taking place. We will play Lennon's music today in remembrance.