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Celebrating John Lennon

by Linda Ryan

Celebrating John Lennon

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On December 8, 1980, the world shook with the news that John Lennon had been murdered by deranged fan Mark David Chapman. Chapman shot the former Beatle four times in the back with hollow-point bullets. It was, as they say, the shot heard 'round the world.

Back in 1980 I kept a scrapbook. I was a freshman in high school and there were times to be cherished. In the end, high school memorabilia gave way to Lennon's murder. I collected every news clipping I could get my hands on, laying each one down carefully on the tacky folio. I still have this scrapbook, and although the yellowed newspaper stopped sticking to the backing long ago, I love thumbing through the album and immersing myself in the history that lives on its aging pages.

Though I had missed Beatlemania by a generation or two, the group's songs were (and continue to be) omnipresent. Their unique sound shaped the fabric of the music I am drawn to; their effervescent "whoo"s and "ya"s were ingrained in Cheap Trick's power pop, their seamless harmonies were layered into Crowded House's beautiful sound, their zealous sense of experimentation were reflected in Robyn Hitchcock's righteous oddities. Heck, where would the Paisley Underground be without Rubber Soul or Revolver?

To mark the anniversary of John Lennon's death, we made a playlist of his songs covered by others. You will hear the aforementioned Cheap Trick and Robyn Hitchcock, along with greats such as Tina Turner, Elton John and U2.

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