You are on page 1of 5

JOHN LENNON: IT WASNT JUST A DREAM

DECEMBER 8, 1980: JOHN LENNON SHOT


Everybody of my generation remembers for their whole lives, two tragic dates and events:
John Kennedys assassination and John Lennons, for they defined our hopes and our mortality
too.
(AND IM NOT MAKING THIS STORY UP!)
On that very night of December 8, 1980, this girl I was with in Vancouver, Canada at the time,
and I had a fight, and she moved out of our apartment. The next morning I still had to go to
work with her. I noticed they were playing lots of Beatles music on the radio in our truck that
morning. I didnt know why. Someone said, Didnt you hear John Lennon was killed last
night? I hadnt heard because my lady friend and I had split exactly around that time (11p.m).
I was just in shock; it felt so personal. Lennon had guided me since I was young. Hed been
largely the reason Id refused to go in the army; had come to Canada; set up my IMAGINE
store etc. I, as I said, took it very personally; I didnt really realize fully just how many around
the world would too, even with all the outpourings of emotion later.

I just wanted to be alone in the truck, but they left the radio on. My lovely lady friend came
back to the truck to console me. She knew how much Lennon meant to me. She asked if they
knew who did it. I said it didnt matter. But just then, the radio said the killers name. And it
was her name too! She turned white as a sheet. The month before, in November, when
Playboy magazine had released an interview with John & Yoko about their 1
st
album in 5 years,
upon having read it then, I had strangely told this girl, Lennon has told me everything he can.
He had said then, Theres nothing to be scared of, Its all an illusion.
For At the end of that Playboy interview, ironically, John Lennon had said it all:

Well, you make your own dream. Thats the Beatles story, isnt it. Dont expect John
Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. They can leave
signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for
the cover of the book and not for what it says. People cant provide it for you. You can wake
you up. I cant cure you. You can cure you. Its our fear of the unknown. The unknown is
what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing
dreams, illusions, wars, peace, love, hate, and all that-its all an illusion. Accept that its
unknown and its plain sailing. Everything is unknown-then youre ahead of the game. Thats
what it is, right? (1.)

(1) John Lennon and Yoko Ono interview, c. Playboy Magazine, Jan. 1981.

And it was time for me to go back and face my own dream.

Friends had been writing me that the guy I had trusted with my store in Ottawa was ruining itSo
I headed back to Ottawa to try and pick up the pieces. When I left I asked my lady friend if
there was anything I could give her. She asked for Lennons POB album, my favorite. Finally, I
realized I had only one choice, to return to Ottawa and try and salvage my store. For I had
learned you cant run away from yourself. I discovered they had moved my store across the
street when the Rideau Centre was built while I was away. As I walked, unannounced, in my
store, the guy who was supposed to keep an eye on it ran out, never to be seen again. I soon
found out why. He had destroyed most of my business. Even my own private Beatles
Collection; he had sold it off at high prices after Lennons death. But in a few months I had re-
set it all up again; the store, newspaper, coffeehouse, etc. One day, I was thinking about my
lady friend back in Vancouver. George Harrison had just released All Those Years Ago, and
had said it better than anybody could You said it all when you say All You Need Is Love, but
not many had ears (2). So that day I had mailed the song to her. Later that same afternoon,
who walks into my store, but her! She would later teach overseas and meet her husband there
and have children and become an artist. I was grateful for her kindness. I was Starting Over
and, as I was about to find out, the Magical Mystery Tour would continue

(2) All Those Years Ago, George Harrison, c. Ganga Publishing B.V., 1981.



Vancouver, Canada newspaper John Lennon shot December 8, 1980



Spectrum Newspaper article by Alan Chrisman on John Lennons death (1980).




John Lennon Strawberry Fields Memorial: The Dakota, Alan NYC visit, 94

For more stories of how Beatles events seemed to intersect with Alan Chrismans life, read
his book, Its A Long Way Home (& How Beatles Music Saved My Life)