Today marks the 36th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon, December 8th, 1980. Most people tend to remember how old they were, where they were, and how they heard about his death…
Many hear about the news during Monday Night Football..
Lennon was fatally shot by fan Mark David Chapman outside the New York City apartment on Dec. 8, 1980.
Chapman, who is still alive and in prison, told the court in 2012 that he killed Lennon “because he was very famous.”
Chapman sold a painting by American artist Norman Rockwell in order to fund his trip to New York City to kill Lennon.
How does Lennon’s death resonate with us today?
Here at fm96, we don’t play the Beatles very often in our station format, although we recognize that many of our musicians have been inspired by Lennon & McCartney and the band.
Here’s an example…
Back in 2012, iTunes would release a new Beatles compilation titled Tomorrow Never Knows. To mark the release, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl penned a note through Rolling Stone:
If it weren’t for The Beatles, I would not be a musician. It’s as simple as that. From a very young age I became fascinated with their songs, and over the years have drowned myself in the depth of their catalogue. Their groove and their swagger. Their grace and their beauty. Their dark and their light. The Beatles seemed to be capable of anything. They knew no boundaries, and in that freedom they seemed to define what we now know today as ‘Rock and Roll.’
“Recently I showed my 6-year-old daughter, Violet, the brilliant Yellow Submarine movie. It was her introduction to The Beatles, and she instantly shared the same fascination I felt when I was her age discovering The Beatles for the first time. She wanted to know their names, which instruments they played, who sang what song, etc etc etc….it made me so incredibly happy (and proud!). Within days she knew the verses and choruses to every song on the album. But, there was one song that stood out for her….
‘”Hey Bulldog” is not one of The Beatles’ greatest hits. It’s what most people would consider a ‘deep cut.’ But it is a quintessential Beatles rocker. The rolling bass line, the trademark Ringo drum fills, the gritty distorted guitar, and that sound that only the back of Lennon’s throat could produce. It stomps. It grooves. It makes your head bob. It makes your hips shake. When Lennon sings, ‘If you’re lonely you can talk to me!’ it soothes your heart, like you’ve finally found something to believe in. It’s so raw and real. It is 100% timeless Rock and Roll…
From one generation to the next, The Beatles will remain the most important rock band of all time.
Just ask Violet.
Here’s a message from Lennon’s widow today on Facebook:
With today’s 5 @ 5 we’ll pay tribute to the Beatles with some FM96 covers and some original John Lennon writing.
For School of Rock today, we’ll take a look at some FM96 songs that have a sample or reference to John Lennon or the Beatles:
Metric’s “Gimme Sympathy”
“After all this is gone who would you rather be
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?”
Arkells “John Lennon”
Ramones “Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio”
Will you remember Jerry Lee
John Lennon, T. Rex and old Moulty?
It’s the end, the end of the seventies
It’s the end, the end of the century
The Clash “London Calling”
London calling, now don’t look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
‘Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing
Beastie Boys “I’m Down”
Beastie Boys sample Beatles Help with John Lennon and George Harrison singing “How Can You Laugh”