Today is the thirtieth anniversary of John Lennon's death. Some asshole with a handgun walked up to Lennon outside his apartment building and put four bullets in the man who wrote "Give Peace a Chance."
This past Sunday, ESPN's Outside the Lines had a really good segment (part of which was replayed on SportsCenter this morning) on Lennon's death, which was announced to the nation for the first time by Howard Cosell during the final minute of an important late-season Monday Night Football game between the Dolphins and Patriots. It was fascinating to hear how Cosell and fellow announcers Frank Gifford and Fran Tarkenton discussed, off the air, whether and how to break the news to the country.
Every time I see a special about John Lennon's death, and I hear about him being rushed to the hospital and what the doctors did to try to revive him, there is a part of me that has hope that somehow he pulls through and the story will end differently.
I wrote about it five years ago, and I don't think I can put my feelings into words any better now than I did then. Like I said then, I don't think my generation can comprehend how big of a loss it was for the world, since we don't really have anyone that could possibly compare. Michael Jackson was probably the closest thing, but he was too weird and molesty to be considered the voice of a generation. He wrote a song about playing with a mouse, for Christ's sake. Cobain was okay, but not everyone loved grunge, and he was a heroin addicted who offed himself, so that's not exactly a positive message. "Rape Me" just doesn't have the same universal appeal as "Imagine." Bono is a great philanthropist, but not as universally loved or relevant (musically and otherwise) as Lennon. Let us never forget the Pop album.
Anyway, listen to The Beatles and Lennon's solo material today, and don't shoot anyone.