Monday, October 16, 2017

Our Life Together... (by Jody Casella)

I wasn't a big John Lennon fan when I was thirteen.

I knew who he was, of course. I had a couple of Beatles albums. I listened to them (and him) on the radio. Even back then, which seems like a million years ago, pre social-media and You-tube and the ability to listen to any song you want to at any time, the Beatles had permeated the culture enough that any random American thirteen-year-old could sing the lyrics to the "Yellow Submarine" and would have seen the famous magazine cover featuring John and Yoko naked in bed together.

My big thing when I was thirteen was listening to the Top 40 stations and trying to be the certain number caller to win a ticket to a concert or a free record, and one time, 

I was the caller, 

and I won the new song by John Lennon.

The DJ answering the phone was the DJ I heard every time I listened to that radio station and I was shaking with excitement when he asked me for my home address so he could mail me the record, a 45-single, (which, for the kids in the audience, is a small disc with one song etched onto each side). 

I wasn't particularly interested in the song. Maybe I had heard it played a few times and I thought it was just Okay, but I was still looking forward to getting my prize in the mail. 

A few weeks later John Lennon was murdered outside his apartment building in New York City. 

I heard the news of his death on the radio, saw the horror and shock and sadness of the people on TV, the gathering crowds outside his building that spilled into Central Park, people holding candles and singing Beatles songs and chanting Give Peace a Chance. 

I was thirteen, and just beginning to see beyond myself and my house and my town and my world, not grief-stricken by this man's death--someone whom other people, older people, apparently adored--but I was curious, listening to the news reports and reading the articles about the murder in the newspaper and wondering what kind of world, really, was out there, where this kind of random and monstrous thing could happen. 

A few days later the prize from the radio came in the mail.

The song by John Lennon, the song I've pretty much been singing in my head this entire month--

Starting Over






13 comments:

  1. I've had this song in my head this past month too...I miss this man. I miss his talent. His voice. I miss his passion and his compassion. Thank you for sharing this. xoxo

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    1. It's pretty amazing what he was able to accomplish in his short time here. Of course, when I was thirteen, I thought 40 was OLD.

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  2. I was a fan of Paul, not John - because almost everyone took sides - but I vividly remember where I was when John died. Nice song, although to me it's a sad one. Oh, and I was once the caller, too. :-)

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    1. That's the only time I've ever won anything like that. I'm wondering now if they still do these kinds of phone contests.

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  3. Great post, Jody! I too have been singing that song in my head ever since we picked this month's topic. I was a huge fan of Double Fantasy. It's funny, as I've gotten older, my allegiance has switched from John to Paul, mostly because I admire how Paul is one of the biggest rock stars of all time, and still manages to be a great dad and husband.

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    1. Thanks, Jen! I like Paul too. I did some research after I wrote the post (okay, I read the Wiki page) and I had no idea how young John and Paul were when they started The Beatles-- 20 and 18!

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    2. George wasn't even legal in most of the clubs they played in when they started out!

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  4. I was a huge Beatles fan -- I knew every song by heart (still do), knew all the trivia (not so much any more), owned books about them and all of their albums (lost in a flood, sadly, as I think they'd be valuable now). I was a high school freshman when the news broke, and it was devastating. Though I never met any of them, they had been a critical part of my growing up, and I lost something indefinable that day. To this day, the song "Beautiful Boy" from that same, final album brings me to tears.

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  5. Lovely post! The Beatles were a big part of my childhood soundtrack, and I too vividly remember when John was murdered.

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