I Read the News Today O Boy (Fuck You, Mark David Chapman Edition)

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Over at Ragged Thots, Robert A. George runs through memories of John Lennon, who was killed a quarter of century ago today by the worst-ever explicator of apparent urine-swilling proto-slacker J.D. Salinger. Writes George:

I never saw him play live and, in many ways, only got to know him posthumously (I raced out and picked up multiple magazines, books and Beatles compilations…could get my hand on. True fact: My first Playboy was the one on the stands the week after the murder—with a Lennon/Ono interview that issue's featured article)….I am still thankful for his imagination, inspiration and talent that created treasures for millions.

He also tells a story of how mourning Lennon's death helped forge a friendship that continues to this day. Whole thing here.

The NY Post marks the day with a good editorial, "John Lennon, New Yorker," which recounts Lennon's famous Valentine to Fun City:

"He enjoyed New York very much. He said if he lived in the time of Rome he would want to be in Rome. He said New York was similar in the sense that it was the center of the world, certainly the center of the creative world."

Where were you when learned Lennon had been shot? I was coming home way late from high school reading group where we'd been puzzling over some opaque European modernist novel. As I entered the house, my father–a World War II vet who hated hippies and hardhats with equal vigor and who had stopped paying attention to popular culture once Ernie Kovacs wrecked his car–told me that one of "those Beatles" had been shot. Which one, I asked. "Not the one with the nose," he said. "The one with the wife." (Years ago, I gave props to the much- and unfairly maligned Yoko Ono in the pages of Suck, of all places).

A few years back in Reason, Charles Paul Freund explained "Why we still listen to the Beatles."

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  1. I don’t know if this is going to go on all day. But for every thread regarding John Lennon, I will feel obligated to post a comment on the soul-sucking, no-talent assclown, nature of Yoko

  2. Where were you when learned Lennon had been shot?

    I was 3. I didn’t care.

    Still don’t.

    Sorry.

  3. I’ve always hated Yoko Ono, but the letters she writes to keep that nobody in jail are very eloquent. She’s completely dedicated to keeping that nobody irrelevant and locked away, and I support her 100%.

    I disgusted by all the attention given to “the assasin”. The public’s interest (even negative interest) in these worthless beings only fuels their egos. I think the media should refrain from making any direct references, much less christen them with the sexy “three-name” convention. Just lock them away forever and never mention their names. The only issue of importance here is that the world lost an amazing artist.

  4. Your dad was right. Culture ended with Ernie Kovacs. 🙁

  5. Where were you when learned Lennon had been shot?

    On the way back to my freshman dorm room. Fired up the stereo without looking to see what was on the turntable, and it was “Imagine.”

    Which I liked a great deal at the time, but can’t stand now. Still, it was blow to the gut to be ambushed by that song at that precise moment.

  6. Am I a geek or what? I don’t remember where I was when I heard that Lennon was shot, but I do remember where I was when I heard Sadat had been shot.

  7. Where were you when learned Lennon had been shot?

    I was just a twinkle in my father’s eye back then.

    Now that I’ve made us all sick before lunch…

  8. I was in my freshman year in college and had mixed feelings about the groups music at the time (my tastes have broadened since then, but I still don’t worship at the feet).

    My memory is of a vague sense of saddness that the artistic community was deprived of an unusual individual.

  9. I was too young to remember. But anyone who gave us “Working Class Hero” was a great artist.

  10. I was a second trimester fetus. Does that count?

  11. Let’s face it, Chapman did us all a favor. Have any of you listened to “Starting Over” lately?

    Of course, I always thought the Stones were way, way better than the Beatles.

  12. Correction!: I was a fetus, swimming around in my mommy’s belly.

    Again, sorry for making everybody sick…

  13. I was in my freshman year in college and had mixed feelings about the groups music at the time (my tastes have broadened since then, but I still don’t worship at the feet).

    My memory is of a vague sense of saddness that the artistic community was deprived of an unusual individual.

    Jesse: maybe, as I don’t remember where I was either, yet I have clear memories of where I was when Reagan was shot & when Challenger exploded. Maybe its part of being over 40 and under 50?

  14. Have any of you listened to “Starting Over” lately?

    Hey, I like that song.

  15. Guys & Gal’s, sorry for the posting duplication – the server isn’t run by squirrels (have you seen how fast a squirrel runs up a tree), must be gnomes, short, slow, nasty gnomes, and they apparently really hate me today.

  16. I was about 10 and confirming Walker’s post I remember both Lennon and Sadat getting about the same treatment in terms of magnitude.

    the J/P melody in “there’s a place” gets me.

  17. I was a wee man so I don’t remember, but I do know that if Lennon was alive today, he wouldn’t be living in the mundane, sanitized city known as New York.

    And the Beatles are better than the Stones, but no one is better than Zeppelin

  18. Geezer alert:
    We like the Beatles because we can understand the words because they are enunciated clearly. We like the message because it tells a story without moralizing, and the stories are just goofy enough that we seem to be hearing an inside joke. We like the songs because they are upbeat and optimistic.

  19. Surprised I’m the first here to say it, maybe cause y’all are yung’uns, but I heard it from Howard. Cosell, that is. I remember writing in my diary that New England lost a heartbreaker, oh boy. (I know Nick scooped me here, but I still did it 25 years ago; yeah, as if I was the only one…)

  20. I Read the News Today O Boy (Fuck You, Chicago City Council)

  21. If Lennon was alive today, he would be living in New York. He’d be the sanitized, commercialized shell cruising on his former name. He was well on his way to being the hetero Elton John.

    I was also three, and I also couldn’t give a rat’s ass, then, or now. A foppish brit made fatuous and indolent by cruising along on past wealth just doesn’t speak to me the way Elvis or Johnny Cash did. Whatever problems they had, at least they kept it to themselves.

  22. I don’t remember where I was at the time. I know I was a kid living in Deutschland. I knew who the Beatles were, but I was still under the impression that they made music for kids.
    I remember wondering what the big deal was, like JPJ (heh) said. It’s not like they were Zeppelin or anything.

    John Waters said that The Beatles ruined Rock & Roll. I wouldn’t go that far, but I do think that they were overrated.

  23. Well it’s true that we were probably saved from the bad evil boring Lennon, or shall I say more of it. FWIW.

  24. The Beatles were great; John Lennon was an asshole.

  25. I kinda agree with Mynack. Starting Over is a decent song, but most of the Double Fantasy album is awful, easy-listening tripe. I sometimes wonder what Lennon would have gone on to had he lived. The 80’s was a particularly rough time for artists of his generation [see Bob Dylan, Neil Young]but maybe he would have had a good record or two in the 90’s and, yes, he probably would have joined the eventual renunion.

    To answer Gillespie’s question, though, I was at home watching Johnny Carson when the news came on with the announcement he had been shot. Some time later, maybe an hour, they announced he had died. It was about a week before exams in high school and so many students were bummed out that they had to curve many of the finals.

    Oh, and even though most of Yoko’s work is atrocious Plastic Ono Band and Fly are great albums and feature the most hard rocking guitar playing of John’s career. Seriously, Mindtrain and Why are some of the greatest tracks he ever worked on.

  26. John Waters said that The Beatles ruined Rock & Roll.

    In a sense they did. But watch out before agreeing with that just cause it feels cool to say it. What I think Waters likes is the bubblegum pop and pure rock n roll from before the Beatles era. And there’s a part of me that definitely thinks that was the best pop music of all time, and that’s why I can relate. But do YOU see it that way? (By “YOU” I mean mk and/or anyone else who thinks that’s a cool mantra.) One reason I feel like an old fart when hearing new rock is it all seems so serious, always trying so hard to sound so profound and passionate. I’m sure there’s plenty of meaning there for those who are interested (thus, I’m not really dissing it all, okay?), but unless you REALLY get into it, it doesn’t often have much for the casual listener. And The Beatles kinda started that (along with Dylan, but the B’s joining that trend had a bigger impact). But my point is, if you’re taking Waters’s POV, you’re rejecting all that seriousness and passionateness too. You can’t really have it both ways. But then the next question, almost as important, is could pop music really have stayed as innocent as it was before The Beatles anyway?

  27. I was only 7, but my sister was a huge beatles fan, so I remember being kinda bummed about it.

    I like the beatles fine, they’ve got some really good songs, but I also think Zep blows them outta the water.

    ‘Course, I’m more into electronic music these days, but there’s some really good modern rock, too (Queens of the Stone Age come to mind).

    Hell, I just like music, so all the haters suck!

  28. I was a high school kid listening to a WPLJ tribute to Jim Morrison (whose birthday is today) when the DJ broke in to say Lennon was shot.

    It didn’t bother me becasue I thought the Beatles were very boring and I was way more into obscure Pink Floyd albums at that point in my life.

  29. All right, I’ll admit I didn’t read the entire Suck article but just skimmed through to the part where I saw Yoko’s name mentioned, but it seems to me that whole gave props to the much- and unfairly maligned Yoko Ono consisted of saying “Despite the bad things said about her, she is quite wealthy right now, quite an impressive accomplishment for any single mom who happens to be a Beatle widow and heir.”

    Mad props indeed from a libertarian. Sigh.

    [Nelson Muntz Voice] Stop parodying yourself! (smack) Stop parodying yourself! (smack) Stop parodying yourself! (smack) [/Nelson Muntz Voice]

  30. A foppish brit made fatuous and indolent by cruising along on past wealth just doesn’t speak to me the way Elvis or Johnny Cash did.

    Ha ha ha ha. I was with you there for a while. But Elvis? Seriously Elvis?

    I had similar reactions to Elvis’ and John’s death. I was surprised at how big a deal was being made over someone who I considered to be an overrated has-been.

  31. I said it on another thread yesterday, so I hope you guys’ll forgive me saying it again. I was on the way home from the hospital after being born, on November 30 actually. I had been in intensive care for nine days– having been born dead or nearly so.

  32. Yoko deserves to be maligned in a Big Big way. What has become clear to me since the breakup is that John Lennon was the top talent. Or maybe I just liked his style better. And no, I don’t mean that Plastic Ono Band crap but the later stuff that came out closer to his death. OTOH, McCartney hasn’t done a single song in 30 years that I would buy. Which proves that I am way out of step with mainstream American tastes I suppose. He is the only one of the Fab 4 whose post Beatle music doesn’t reside on my hard drive. Even Ringo had a song or two worth playing at a party.

  33. I don’t know exactly where I was, but probably at home listening-to/watching the news. I remember some vague nine-year-old disdain, but that’s probably just echoing my elitist folks’ taste (at the time mom liked only classical, dad only dixieland).

    Still kinda think their over-rated, but then I’m one of those pretentious prog-rock jerks, so don’t mind me.

  34. My major memory is of my old man bitching that they devoted more than 20 minutes of the nightly news to coverage of JL (more than Sadat I think, i was 12 so…)

    In the, slightly dated words of the Meatmen:

    One down three to go
    One down three to go
    One down three to go
    fu-fu-fu-fuck the beatles

  35. Jim Morrison (whose birthday is today)

    Sammy Davis Jr.’s, too!!

    I had similar reactions to Elvis’ and John’s death. I was surprised at how big a deal was being made over someone who I considered to be an overrated has-been.

    So was Reagan. But then, nothing brings out idol worship like death. And please note that the manner of death is rather significant, too!

  36. One down three to go

    Damn, I chanted that in my own cover of Revolution #9 that I did years ago, didn’t realize someone else had done it too!!

    But my favorite part of my own piece, if I may say so myself, was linking together the lines “I know what it’s like to be dead” and “I feel fine”!!

  37. On the very day Lennon was shot the Little Woman and I were selecting cemetery plots for ourselves.

  38. I don’t have any idea where I was when I heard
    about JL’s death, and I was both grown and a bit of a Beatles fan.

    Narr

  39. Fyodor,
    Like I said. I wouldn’t go that far.I empathise with Waters’ view but I don’t really relate to it.
    I agree that hipsters score easy points by rubbishing the Beatles. FWIW, I still listen to early Queen albums and other junk like that. Hipsters would find plenty cause to make fun of me and my music collection.

  40. In high school at the time. Woke up to hear the news on WPLJ. I was in the midst of a big Beatles phase at the time, so I remember it hitting me really hard. My girlfriend at the time totally didn’t get it.

  41. “Am I a geek or what? I don’t remember where I was when I heard that Lennon was shot, but I do remember where I was when I heard Sadat had been shot.”

    jesse – i had just come back from egypt, so i really remember that, too!

    lines from bad religion’s “don’t prey on me”

    “well hanson did it to hester/
    and mark david did it to john
    and maybe jack did it to marilyn
    but he did it to south vietnam…”

    and as a non beatles fan, i like it how pearl harbor got largely ignored, but this didn’t.

    hear hear James Bond from the beginning of “Goldfinger”. (right before Jill gets painted).

  42. So, so tired of hearing about John Lennon every single year…I will be happy when every last Boomer is pushing up daisies and I don’t have to hear their self-indulgent crap about how their music was better than anyone else’s, ever, and their politics were better than anyone else’s, ever, and their cars, and their drugs, and their parties, blah blah blah. A lot of good musicians died young, some of them better musicians than Lennon. We get over it, though.

    BTW, Sean Lennon went to my elementary school, and I actually went over to his place to play once. I’m pretty sure that this was after Lennon had been killed. I met Yoko, too; all I remember was that she seemed quiet and kind of sad. I was something like six, so I was pretty oblivious to it all.

  43. Next question: Where were you when Mick Jagger got old?

  44. I still listen to early Queen albums and other junk like that. Hipsters would find plenty cause to make fun of me and my music collection.

    Heh, Queen was officially my second favorite band during the one period of my life (early high school) that I had such rankings! Saw them headline for Argent and Kansas somewhere in NJ, maybe when Queen II was their latest as I think they opened with Father to Son, which I loved at the time but now think of as rubbish. Though there’s not much I put down nowadays. I like to say that I have no standards!! (Somewhat copping Lou Reed whom I once read say in an interview, “I like trash.”)

  45. I didn’t hear about it until the next day. I remember my parents talking about it more than anything else, but I was only 6 years old so it’s all a little fuzzy.

  46. I stand amazed. The H & R squirrels fixed my post for me! I posted a long link for the smoking ban article and it came up withe hyperlink! Who did that!? Way cool! It’s like MAGIC.

  47. and I don’t have to hear their self-indulgent crap about how their music was better than anyone else’s, ever

    This is one of those types of comments that I hear rebutted a lot, lot more often than I hear it made in the first place. Now, I don’t doubt there are boomers who think and say such stuff. But I also think there seems to be a lot more energy expended rebutting it than there is in saying it in the first place. Reminds me of the first time I heard that Generation X’ers were slackers. It was in a magazine article assuring us that they weren’t.

  48. I was not aware that it was Jim Morrison’s b-day today (or woulda been, whatever)

    I’m not a big Doors fan, but would anyone agree that JM was more important to American culture than JL was?

    I dunno, I wasn’t alive so…..

  49. but would anyone agree that JM was more important to American culture than JL was?

    I wouldn’t, but I’d be curious to know why you think he was (in lieu of it being based purely on your liking him more), your concluding comment:

    I dunno, I wasn’t alive so…..

    …notwithstanding! Hey, that’s what historians are for!!

  50. I don’t know about “important to American culture”, but I have more respect for the Doors than the Beatles. Jim’s poetry was better and Jim expressed the dark side much better.

  51. Where were you when learned Lennon had been shot?

    I was lying in my bed at 6:00 am on December 9; the clock/radio had just gone off and announced “Beatle John Lennon is dead.”

    Maybe not as bad as waking up for the umpteen millionth successive Groundhog Day to the sound of Sonny and Cher singing “I Got You Babe,” but right up there on the list of bumming ways to begin the day.

  52. hear hear James Bond from the beginning of “Goldfinger”. (right before Jill gets painted).

    So explain to me why, after putting those words into Bond’s mouth, Cubby Broccoli turned to Paul McCartney for the theme music to “Live and Let Die”?

  53. Well JM WAS an American. So as a symbol, he was certainly more important than JL who just kinda lived here at the time that he died.

    Semi-interesting factoid – JM went to the High School right down the street from where I am sitting.

    Fyodor,
    I’ve often said that there will never be another Gay Persian Zoroastrian rockstar as great as Freddy Mercury. I’m standing by that statement.
    BTW, I still like “Father and Son” but not as much as “Ogre Battle” which is possibly the most Jack Blackest song ever

  54. I gave props to the much- and unfairly maligned Yoko Ono

    Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

    She should have been drawn and quartered for Don’t Worry, Kyoko alone. I hope she gives generously to Guide Dogs for the Blind. Who knows how many poor souls gouged their orbs from their sockets after hearing that mess.

  55. For those of us not in an amniotic sac or prior at the time of Lennon’s death, I was in sophomore year of college when a fellow in the dorm announced Lennon had been shot. Not a grat trauma but the next day or so, the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder (remember that, geezers?) ran an excellent rerun interview that made think alot more and better of Lennon.

    What I regret is not knowing where I was when Ernie Kovacs was shot.

  56. Fyodor:
    One reason I feel like an old fart when hearing new rock is it all seems so serious, always trying so hard to sound so profound and passionate.

    I suppose it depends on what you consider “new”. I despise Creed-esque modern rock, but enjoy somewhat older stuff like Live.

    You might find the New Pornographers worth a listen, though.

  57. I overslept big-time that morning. Upon arrival at work my boss, more concerned than angry, said, “we were worried about you; I mean, first John Lennon, and now this…”

    That’s how I found out…

  58. mk,

    Yeah, Ogre Battle is pretty cool, if a little goofily over-indulgent. I think that whole “Side Black” probably has all their best music to my way of looking at things now, peaking with that song about the painting right after Ogre Battle, forget what it’s called…Oh yeah, something about the Master Stroke, I think? Though Killer Queen may have been the best one song for capturing what they were about at their best. I have mixed feelings about the Boho Rap and We Are the Champions hurled them WAY out of my universe!

  59. I was listening to The Knack.

  60. “The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke” Oh yeah. The goofily over-indulgent stuff is the best. I demand that rock bands start ending their songs with gongs again.

    You might find the New Pornographers worth a listen, though.

    Semi-interesting factoid, Neko Case also went to school somewhere around here. Somehow we started talking about John Lennon’s assasination and ended up namechecking two of Alexandria’s most notable contributions to rock music. Ah well, six degrees of separation and all that.

  61. Fyodor – I see your point, but I think a lot of the raging comes from the fact that the boomers don’t have to say much; a lot of stuff in the culture reflects their viewpoint already, and they can afford to be complacent and smug. Like I said, every December 8 we have to dig up Lennon’s corpse all over again, while a lot of other more deserving people are forgotten. I should say, though, that not everyone who buys into the idea is actually a boomer; some are younger people who just go along with the idea because they heard so much great stuff about the era.

  62. matthew hogan:

    I was a little too young to care about Lennon, but your story is exactly the way I found out about Stevie Ray Vaughan. I was bummed the rest of the day. Instead of Tom Snyder, I got to watch MTV actually play his videos for once, which was kinda cool.

  63. while a lot of other more deserving people are forgotten

    Well, as Boyd Rice once said to me when in a weak moment I grousedly wondered why I wasn’t as well-known as a bunch of people I was compared to in a magazine article: “Because there IS no justice!” Of course, when everyone’s tastes differ and are thoroughly subjective anyway, there’s no way for it to be any different. As for digging up Lennon’s corpse, as I alluded to earlier, I think the manner of death is a significant factor in that.

    But I’ll throw away all the diplomacy for a moment and state the abhored obvious that the sixties were a powerful, intense and special time. And therefore interesting. It doesn’t mean that boomers’ shit don’t stink, but then, that’s what’s rebutted more than it’s actually said. And their shear numbers give them an unfair advantage. Oh well. You can cry about it, get steamed about it, hit yourself over the head with a hammer about, or accept it and not give a shit. Choice is yours.

    BTW I mostly missed the sixties myself, so I don’t feel I’m defending my own turf here.

  64. Tom Snyder! I had totally forgotten about him. Didn’t he have the Late Night show before they gave it to Letterman? I remember staying up to see him interview Manson.

  65. I demand that rock bands start ending their songs with gongs again.

    Bang a gong, dood!! 🙂

  66. John Waters obviously prefers that Hairspray stuff (Chubby Checker, Mashed Potato, Gene Pitney, early soul) and anything thereafter he calls “the Hit Parade from hell”.

    As far as Ringo goes I really like “Octopus’s Garden”.

    Eric M, glad you survived.

    And JD, you went over to the Dakota?! Cool.

  67. “Next question: Where were you when Mick Jagger got old?”

    Rephrase the question: Let’s get a pool going for when Mick WILL get old.

  68. I pity the young. All the good music was done before they were born. But at least they have Playstations to keep them amused. And Green Day.

  69. Dan Ankroid used to do the best send up of Tom Schnider on the old SNL. Every other phrase was “okay, I’ll buy that.” It was hysterical.

    The dirty little secret about the Beatles was that after the White Album and through the solo records the best song writer was George Harrison.

  70. From my understanding of the events in the 70s, Lennon never got arrested for being “lewd” or singing songs that really scared the crap out of America … aside from the “bigger than Jesus” comment

    i dunno maybe I was trying to hard to stretch the JM b-day/JL murder connection

    like me some Neko Case mk

  71. Yoko’s talent or lack thereof is irrelevant to the Beatles’ story. She didn’t break up the band, she was an excuse that John used to finally get out. The latest CW is that Paul was increasingly becoming a control freak and a pain-in-the-ass and by ’68 John and George both wanted to leave the group but didn’t have the guts. John always felt the Beatles were too soft and poppy and was envious of the Stones for getting to be ‘bad boys.’

    Despite the never-ending and annoying Beatles hype can I just vote for the Rolling Stones as the most overrated band of all time? Much as I love them, in a 40 year career they have produced only 4 truly great albums (from Beggars Banquet through Exile), maybe you can make a case for Some Girls as 5. The Beatles did better in 3 years (from Rubber Soul through the White Album). Even at their peak the Stones live were not a patch on the Who, Zeppelin or even Cheap Trick (none of the Stones’ live albums are very good). One of the more entertaining things in the Stones Rock’n’Roll Circus is watching Jagger suck up to Lennon. Lennon is very naturally cool, hip and funny – Jagger is desperately trying to be cool but he comes off like an 8th grade honors student trying to pal around with high school seniors – Peter Brady trying to hang with Ferris Bueller.

  72. Old Fart,

    Green Day? You have got to be kidding. Yeah, we wanted to be the Clash but we just weren’t cool enough and that singing in key thing was just too hard. Ugh, I can’t stand those guys.

  73. Vanya,

    Part of the problem too was that John and Paul both treated George like a studio musician at worst and junior partner at best. There is a bootleg of the Beatles doing the George song, “All Things Must Pass” during the Let It Be Sessions. Its only a demo, but it sounds great. One can only imagine how fabulous it would have been had they taken the time to record it properly and it been a Beatles song rather than a Harrison song. Sure enough, even though it sounded good, John and Paul wouldn’t do it. When Paul walked out on the session, John was ready to replace him with Clapton. God, can you imagine that?

    I think the heart of the matter, is that after they grew up there was too much song writing talent between Harrison, McCartney and Lennon for one band. There are only 10 songs a record and somebody has be in charge and give the band direction. Epstein did that when he was alive. After Epstein died, Paul tried to be in charge, but Harrison and Lennon were not going to listen to him. They just weren’t interested in sacrificing their own artistic visions for the good of the band. It was just a matter of time before it ened. I am just glad they were able to put aside their differences long enough to do one last great record in Abbey Road.

  74. My misttype. IT wasn’t Paul who walked out and John wanted to replace with Clapton, it was George who walked out.

  75. Fyodor – I see your point, but I think a lot of the raging comes from the fact that the boomers don’t have to say much; a lot of stuff in the culture reflects their viewpoint already, and they can afford to be complacent and smug.

    JD: Like those goddamn Ameraprise Financial commercials that are all over the TV with their “That was you then and the good news is, that’s still you now…For a generation as unique as yours…etc” featuring all of that hippie dancing and boomer bullshit. Yeah, because the 60s and 70s sure were great! The pill is too new to be as effective as it is now (and there weren’t rings or patches), there was the draft, abortion largely wasn’t legal, cancer treatment was crappier, transplants were much more rare…. The only boomers I’ll miss are my parents and other relations.

    Sorry, that ad drives me absolutely batshit insane.

  76. Timothy,

    I can barely keep from vomiting during those commercials. I just hate the “were the most unique and important generation ever” crap. Them as opposed to the generation that fought the Revolution or the one that fought the Civil War settled the West or the one that survived the Great Depression and saved the world from the Nazis. Naw, those things are small potatoes compared to Woodstock. UGH!!!!

  77. For the record, yes, nostalics are either stupid or deluded.

  78. John and Paul weren’t the only ones who wanted to swap George for Clapton. George’s wife Pattie felt the same way.

  79. Well, if you really want to know about it, I don’t even remember where I was when old John Lennon got shot. That stuff kind of bores me, if you want to know the truth … /Holden Caulfield.

    I don’t remember where I was when Reagan got shot, either, and I was a bigger fan of his than I was of John Lennon. I do remember where I was when the Challenger blew up — at work (a couple of jobs ago) and standing in the doorway that led to the graphic design department.

    Next question: Where were you when Mick Jagger got old?

    This I remember. It was around 1990, and I tuned in for the first time to this new radio station, 105.7 “The Point,” that played something called “alternative music.” It was an alternative, all right, to the other four rock stations in town that played the same seven Fleetwood Mac, Boston and Rolling Stones songs over and over. I don’t think I’ve listened to a Rolling Stones song ever since. Although I do like “Paint It Black” and “Jumping Jack Flash” and, most of all, “Gimme Shelter.” And the one that goes “Woo-hoo hoohoo hoohoo hoo! Woo-hoo hoohoo hoohoo hoo! Babe, ah miss you…”

  80. Yeah, and unlike John and Paul, she really did. I wonder how one woman could inspire both “Something in the Way” and “Layla”. Either she was greatest lay ever, or Harrison and Clapton were loosers. I suspect it might be the latter.

  81. John,

    I usually yell at that ad, as well as the damn “Respect the van” Toyota ad. I. HATE. THAT. AD. HAY-ATE!

  82. Pattie couldn’t have been the greatest lay ever, I thought among rock circles it was common knowledge that Stevie Nicks held that crown.

  83. Or how about the Toyota add a few years ago with the doofus who goes camping with the bear as a pet to the tune of the Buzzcocks and of course gets the rediculously hot chick.

  84. Vanya,

    Yeah, Nicks would have been pretty good before she got off coke and balooned up and became an honorary member of Heart. Like I said, I think Clapton and Harrison were probably just loosers.

  85. I’ve always been partial to the Stones live doin’ Midnight Rambler.

    “I’m gonna smash down all your plate glass windows
    Put a fist, put a fist through your steel-plated door”

    …and I think Jumpin’ Jack Flash is an excellent nomination for first punk rock song ever.

    Mick got old twice. Once in the early eighties, it was after they did Too Much Blood, they haven’t recorded anything since that’s worth listening to. The second time was the moment he stepped off the stage after Guns & Roses opened for them at the Coliseum in ’89. They haven’t done anything since worth paying attention to.

    I think I was in Jr. High when Lennon was shot. …I can’t remember what I was doing. I was eating pancakes at the Denny’s in Hawthorne, CA when Joe Strummer died. My waitress’ name was Olga, and she had rings on every one of her fingers and her thumbs. The toast was cold, and I had to ask for ketchup. There was a bum sitting next to the place as I left, he asked me for $0.35 instead of a quarter.

  86. baaaa!

  87. Ken Shultz,

    I have a bootleg of the Stones doing Midnight Rambler at MSG in 1972. It is 13 minutes long and fantastic. Much better than the one on Get Your Ya Yas out recorded three years earlier. Very few bands ever could pull off a 13 minute song, although lots of bands in the 70s thought they could. If you ever hear that song, its easy to see why at least at one time they were a big deal and why their shows were so legendary.

    BTW, someone said the Stones never did a great live record. I will take Get Your Ya Yas Out over Live at Leeds any day. For my money that is on of the most overrated records of all time. How could there be a great Who live album done before they even recorded Who’s Next or Quadraphinia?

  88. I pity the young. All the good music was done before they were born. But at least they have Playstations to keep them amused. And Green Day.

    Sorry old timer, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

  89. I said the Stones never did a great live record. Who can you rank “Get Your Ya-yas” above “live at Leeds”? ‘Young Man Blues’ is one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded. I will grant that Midnight Rambler is excellent live and some of the bootlegged stuff that I’ve heard from the early 70s is really good. So why haven’t the Stones ever released this stuff officially? Are Mick & Keith scared Mick Taylor was stealing the show?

  90. The real question is, where were you when Yacht Rock first hit the airwaves?

    http://www.channel101.com/shows/view.php?media_id=805

  91. Vanya,

    I can’t explain why they haven’t released those things. They really should. They have a great catalog of stuff and God knows its not lack of greed that is preventing it. My guess is not so much that Mick is stealing the show as much as they refuse to admit there was a guitarist who was ever in the band besides the dead and unthreatening Brian Jones and Ron Wood.

  92. Put any live Stones or Who against Zeppelin’s How the West Was One or even Song Remains the Same — Page had more blues in his left nipple than both those bands combined — plus Pete Townsend ripped off his windmill from Page as well

  93. I was -7 years old when Lennon was shot. I used to not care, but the Beatles have grown on me like no band ever has.

    I pity the young. All the good music was done before they were born. But at least they have Playstations to keep them amused. And Green Day.

    While the assertion itself is debatable (ever heard the Mars Volta?), I don’t see how it (if it is indeed true) makes people in my age group unlucky. We have the whole catalog of great music right before us, plus Playstation and Green Day, while your age group had to wait for the artists to release it.

  94. My husband (a Frank Zappa man) put it this way: Lennon wasn’t a nice guy, but he didn’t deserve to get plugged. Actually, I think he was a very nice guy — and a very nasty guy, and a very sweet and angry and rude and kind and petty and dumb and brilliant guy, a complex and interesting character. In any case, he didn’t self-destruct like Morrison and several other major rock stars we could mention — he was trying very hard to live his life when he was downed like a deer. F*ck Chapman, indeed.

  95. I think Lenon would have greatly disapointed many of his leftist supporters had he lived. He was a lot of things, but dogmatic was not one of them. He never liked authority and I think he would have had some real problems with the authoritarian left as he got older. Its too bad the world will never find out. He did not deserve to get plugged and the creature who did it should have gotten the needle if for no other reason than to spare the world the yearly prison interviews of him explaining himself.

  96. Ahhh, death memories.

    I’m another one who heard it via Cosell on MNF. I was 9 but allowed to stay up late and watch football (it’s a Texas thing). I remember not really caring, although I love the Beatles these days.

    Reagan – heard about it playing at a friend’s house. I remember realizing (or at least feeling) this was a much bigger deal than Lennon.

    Challenger – We were pulled out of biology class (9th grade) and dragged to the library to watch news of the event. Very somber day.

    I also vividly remember the Saturday night that Buckwheat got shot.

  97. Brett,

    Buckwheat getting shot, now that is a significant event in my childhood. I still write to the parole boards to make sure John David Stutts stays in jail.

    Speaking of MNF, supposedly in 1974 Lenon and Reagan were in the booth at the same time, God only knows why, and they apparently hit is off and Reagan put his arm around Lenon and spent like 10 minutes explaining football to Lenon. Wouldn’t a snap shot of that be wild one to have?

  98. Lennon, I was watching “Lou Grant”. Sadat, I was upstairs in the Upper School building between Slevin’s classroom and O’Connor’s, and the girl I had a three-year-long crush on was completely freaking out like it was Armageddon come.

    Aside from a passionate juvenile affair with a Fisher-Price record player and a scratchy, coverless copy of the Magical Mystery Tour LP, I was never much of a Beatles fan — that was my acid-dropping kid brother’s thing. So I was never really seriously bummed about Lennon’s death, though if he hadn’t been killed his Rick Rubin-produced comeback album would have been amazing.

  99. Why do you still listen to the beetles? Because memory is the first thing to go, and you keep forgetting to switch the radio channel off of the oldies station.

    Also, are loosers just extra loose or just the product of losers who can’t spell?

  100. No wonder I don’t remember what I was doing when I heard he died.
    I’m just now learning it was a bulletin on the Johnny Carson show.
    I was sound asleep.
    Lights out @ 10 P.M. Eastern.

    Oswald was much more media savvy, a marksman.

  101. i was 3 and probably very excited about my birthday.

  102. So, so tired of hearing about John Lennon every single year…I will be happy when every last Boomer is pushing up daisies and I don’t have to hear their self-indulgent crap about how their music was better than anyone else’s, ever, and their politics were better than anyone else’s, ever, and their cars, and their drugs, and their parties, blah blah blah.

    ROTFLMAO!!

    Interestingly enough, one of Gillespie’s finest columns is on exactly that topic:

    http://suck.com/daily/98/12/29/

    I think he was a bit more fun back when he was more vicious, no?

    I was in my early 20’s when Lennon was killed. I remember I was home at the time, and I was listening to the radio when his shooting was announced. I was probably drunk or high at the time, as was my habit in those days. My girl-friend at the time, a super Beatles freak, called me up and kept me up half the night having hysterics over it.

    I had one friend who absolutely worshipped the Beatles, and he could be really annoying about it. I remember telling him, “Well, if he doesn’t rise again on the third day, you were wrong!”.

    Shortly thereafter, I met a guitar player who bore an amazing resemblance to Mark David Chapman, and tried to entice him into forming a punk-rock band with me. Somebody suggested we could call the band, “Three More Bullets”. Unfortunately, said guitarist didn’t have much enthusiasm for the project, for some reason, and it never materialized. Oh well.

    A piece of period humor:

    Q:What does Yoko Ono have in common with the Ethiopians?

    A: They’re both living off of dead beetles.

  103. I was in the Air Force, in bed when my roommate started banging on the door to tell me that Lennon was dead. My shocked response was “You’re lying?!?!?!?” at which point he got pissed and stormed off. He always was the sensitive type.

    I was a huge Beatles and Lennon fan and actually took my Lennon posters down after one too many people asked if I had put them up in response to his death.

    Around ’81, we went to see the Stone’s “Start Me Up” tour. We were convinced that this was absolutely their last of course and we were seeing history. That’s the last Stone’s album I ever bought.

    I pity the young. All the good music was done before they were born. But at least they have Playstations to keep them amused. And Green Day.

    I have a boomer friend (I’m on the cusp) who has complained at length about how his father never understood Dylan (boohoo) and how they just don’t make good music anymore (boohoo) all in the same conversation.

    Without any sense of irony.

  104. Wow–a lot of people, including me, learned about the death of John Lennon by hearing it from Howard Cosell. Strangely enough, it was from John Madden that I leared of the passing of Joey Ramone. OK, I made that up.

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