I was in the Edge (the premier punk club in Toronto) on that fateful night. I was in the men’s room and someone told me they shot Lennon.
I didn’t think they meant “shot dead” so we laughed because a few of us, at the time, thought Double Fantasy wasn’t edgy enough.
I’m ashamed to say, I probably made some snide “serves him right for that MOR album” comment. Be kind to me though, I was a stupid kid
I was a little concerned though, so I left The Edge and went over to Atlanta Variety And Gift, where they had Monday Night Football on TV
I didn’t want to interrupt the Greeks watching football, but I said “Hey, did you hear anything about John Lennon being shot?
The greek guy behind the counter looked at me like I’d asked him for underage cigarettes. “Lennon? What?,” he said, “Oh that guy’s dead”
To be fair, I don’t think this guy knew that he’d just ended my childhood. Lennon meant nothing to him. But I now knew Lennon was dead.
I walked back over to The Edge club and told my friends the grim news about Lennon. They didn’t seem appropriately stunned. I was pissed
Later, when it sunk in, a few of us went back to a friends house and stayed up all night, listening to Marsden on CFNY, playing Lennon songs
I was still living at home, and after the all night Lennon vigil, I had just got to bed when my dad walked in to wake me up.
My dad was from Liverpool and knew how much the Beatles and Lennon had meant to me. “Son,” he said, waking me, “are you up?”
My dad stood above me, I was hungover, “Wake up son, John Lennon’s been killed” It was like he was telling me that a family member had died.
Dad looked like it was killing him to tell me Lennon was gone. “I know dad,” I said, my eyes fused with sleep glue, “We stayed up all night”
“Oh,” said Dad, relieved but obviously still shaken, “The bastard shot him”. I sighed and we mourned in silence, the way men often do.
Waking up, hours later, I joined the world in mourning Lennon, a little colder and feeling like Childhood was over.