Remembering the Night John Lennon Was Shot

We filed out of the Spectrum in Philadelphia that warm December night, my three high school buddies and I, exhausted and exhilarated, echoes of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” ringing in our heads. Bruce Springsteen had rocked us righteously, and all was right with the world.

One of us had brought a copy of “Born to Run” for Bruce to autograph. We waited around by the rear stage door for a while. Then we heard someone shout something strange. He was saying that John Lennon had been shot. We weren’t sure what to make of it. He was probably just drunk, we thought.

Eventually we gave up waiting and set out across the parking lot. We piled into my car (a ’69 Chevy with a 307, no less) and flipped on the radio. Out poured chaos — yelling and screaming. It took a few seconds for us to figure out what it was about. Then it sunk in. Stations playing music had gone into all-Lennon mode. All that tired ride home to central Jersey, Beatles songs and endless replays of “Imagine” were our soundtrack.

That’s where I was the night John Lennon got shot, 30 years ago Dec. 8. What were you up to? How did you hear the news? Tell us, and we’ll post your recollections on Wednesday.

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