I haven’t watched an NFL football game in quite some time, probably three years or more, but it seemed to matter to me to watch the Cowboys and Ravens game last night. That isn’t because I really cared who won or that I thought watching it would be all that enjoyable to me; rather, last night was the 40th anniversary of another game that I watched when I was a boy.
Forty years ago last night I was watching the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football. Being a Buffalo Bills fan at the time–my relationship with that team would end when my favorite former Bill, OJ Simpson, led police on that white Bronco chase a few years later–I stayed up for the whole game, as both of those teams were in my team’s division. Otherwise, I would have possibly been asleep when Howard Cosell announced that John Lennon had been murdered outside his apartment in New York.
Despite not realizing just how significant a death it was in the rock and roll world, I knew enough to know that it was a death of more than average importance. My mother had the Beatles’ Yesterday and Today 8-track when we were kids, and I knew a lot of other Beatles songs from the radio. I also knew the significance of “John, Paul, George, and Ringo,” but I never delineated them in such a way that would lead me to have a favorite Beatle.
What hit home for me was that it was the first rock and roll death of significance for me. I recalled the day when Elvis died, but Elvis was old people music to me; John Lennon was a Beatle, and it mattered.
Over these 40 years, I have, of course, grown to know how big of a blow that night was to the music world, and even if it didn’t matter as much to me then as it did to others, it has come to mean more to me. For that, I’m glad that I can recall where I was when the news broke. It was sad news, yes, but I’d rather have learned about it like that than not.
Over the years, my appreciation of John Lennon and the Beatles has indeed grown, and, while I wish I’d known more of their work earlier and that John had been around to produce more, I’m thankful for the gifts they gave us.
Here are just a few of the songs that John Lennon gave to this world, which have made a big impression on me. A deranged man’s bullets could take his life, but they couldn’t erase what he had done while he was here, and, for that, we can be grateful.
So, there you have it, friends. Just a little offering from a man who was taken from us too soon. It would have been nice to see what all greatness John would have had in store if he’d lived longer, but, since he didn’t, how blessed we are to have what he did do while he was here.
Thanks for reading and listening, my friends. I hope this little bit of sharing has uplifted you as much as it has me.
I hope to see you back here sometime soon. Until then, wear your masks, and be kind to one another.