October 9th, 1940
December 8th, 1980
The year was 1980. John and I were living in a duplex on 13th Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. By day I was the co-owner and manager of Shirt Off My Back / Rockarama, selling T-shirts, posters, buttons, stickers, collectibles, and 45 RPM records (used and import).
One night at home, the phone rang around 11:30 PM. I answered it. John's friend from college, John Berton, was on the line. "Lennon's been shot," he said.
I could not believe what Berton was trying to tell me. "Is he all right?" I asked.
It took us months to wrap our brains around the idea that John Lennon was no longer in the world. Every day for a year, I wore one button or another as a memorial. My favorite said, "Hold On Yoko."
All he was saying was Give Peace a Chance. But a deranged young man couldn't stand it that John Lennon was in the world.
So for the past quarter century, we've had to make do without him.
(Top: the cover of Relix Magazine, with a photocopy of my check from the publisher. I wrote the cover story, a memorial tribute. I later did an article on Beatles collectibles and a review of the Clash for the same magazine.
In the other picture, that's Harry Nilsson, working for gun control after the murder of his frend. Yes, that's our Lennon autograph at the bottom of that scrapbook page. No, we didn't meet him ourselves. )