Today is the 30th anniversary of the night that John Lennon was killed outside his apartment at the Dakota, in New York City. I am one of the many people whose life was undoubtedly influenced by Lennon's work, but I wasn't born for another six years after Lennon's life ended. My parents' only recollection was that the night was beautiful, still, and iced with big, floppy snowflakes. They drove to a hill in Manhattan, Kansas, and watched the snow fall while the radio -- and the sad fallout of events -- crackled in the background.
After the jump, a couple of firsthand recollections from the New York Times. Where were you, when you heard the news?
I was in my junior year of college in San Francisco, a sullen punk lying on the bed in my room in my parents' house listening to Devo. My nemesis, my mother, entered looking ashen. I asked sarcastically, "Who died now?" When she told me, my face mirrored hers. That news shut me up. -- VA
I heard the gunshots, the first I'd ever heard. They sounded so much different than on TV. Crack-crack-crack. My parents and I looked down at the chaotic scene unfolding on West 72nd Street, 22 stories below and just east of our terrace. It was the first time I saw my parents both cry at the same time. -- Dinny