Follow us: Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Google+ Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Tumblr Subscribe to our RSS or Atom feed
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Southern Weather Radar


Our Writers

  • Adam Peck
  • Alan Gordon
  • Alex Kearns
  • Alex Seitz-Wald
  • Alice Murray
  • Allison Korn
  • Alyssa Cagle
  • Amanda Marcotte
  • Amanda Peterson Beadle
  • Andrea Grimes
  • Andrea Lee Meyer
  • Andrew Bowen
  • Andy Brack
  • Andy Kopsa
  • Andy Miller
  • Andy Schmookler
  • Ann Marie Pace
  • Ann Woolner & Leonard Ray Teel
  • Anna Dolianitis
  • Anna Forbes and Kate Ryan
  • Annelise Thim
  • Anoni Muss
  • April Adams
  • April Moore
  • Ariel Harris
  • Armando
  • Arthur Blaustein
  • Austen Risolvato
  • Austin McMurria
  • Barry Hollander
  • Bert Roughton III
  • Beth Ostlund
  • Betsey Dahlberg
  • Bill Hamm
  • Bill Mankin
  • Bill Montgomery
  • Bill Moyers & Michael Winship
  • Bill Phillips
  • Bill Semple
  • Bill Tush
  • Billy Howard
  • Bob Bohanan
  • Bob Pritchard
  • Booth Malone
  • Bootsie Lucas
  • Boyd Lewis
  • Brad Clayton
  • Braden Goyette For ProPublica
  • Brett Martin
  • Brian Randall
  • Brianna Peterson
  • Bruce Dixon
  • Bruce E. Levine
  • Burton Cox
  • Candice Dyer
  • Carl Kline
  • Carol Carter
  • Casey Hayden
  • Cathleen Hulbert
  • Center for American Progress
  • Chantille Cook
  • Charles Finn
  • Charles O. Hendrix Jr.
  • Charles Seabrook
  • Charles Walston
  • Chelsea Toledo
  • Chelsey Willis
  • Chris Bowers
  • Chris Kromm
  • Chris Wohlwend
  • Christopher Burdette
  • Chrys B. Graham
  • Chuck Collins
  • Cliff Green
  • Cody Maxwell
  • Collin Kelley
  • Craig Miller
  • Crissinda Ponder
  • Dallas Lee
  • Dan Kennedy
  • Daniel Flynn
  • Daniel K. Williams
  • Daniel Palmer
  • Danny Fulks
  • Dante Atkins
  • Darby Britto
  • Dave Cooley
  • Dave Johnson
  • Dave Pruett
  • David Bradford
  • David Evans
  • David Harris-Gershon
  • David Jenks
  • David Kyler
  • David Rotenstein
  • David Swanson
  • Dean Baker
  • Deb Barshafsky
  • Debbie Houston
  • Deborah Chasteen
  • Denise Oliver Velez
  • Dennis McCarthy
  • Desiree Evans
  • Dian Cai
  • Diana Delatour
  • Dina Rasor
  • Dindy Yokel
  • Doc
  • Don Lively
  • Don O'Briant
  • Door Guy
  • Doug Couch
  • Doug Cumming
  • Dr. Brian Moench
  • Dr. Nick De Bonis
  • E. David Ferriman
  • Earl Fisher
  • Eden Landow
  • Eileen Dight
  • Eleanor Ringel Cater
  • Elizabeth Shugg
  • Ellen Brown
  • Elliott Brack
  • Erin Kotecki Vest
  • Fatima Najiy
  • FishOutofWater
  • Francisco Silva
  • Frank Povah
  • Fred Brown
  • Frederick Palmer
  • Gadi Dechter, Michael Ettlinger
  • Gail Kiracofe
  • Gaius
  • Georgia Logothetis
  • Gib Ennis
  • Gina Williams
  • Gita M. Smith
  • Glenn Overman
  • Gordon Anderson
  • Gregory C. Dixon
  • Gryphon Corpus
  • Hamp Skelton
  • Harriet Barr
  • Heather Boushey
  • Henry Dreyer
  • Hollis B. Ball III
  • Hugh
  • Hyde Post
  • Ian Kim
  • Ian Millhiser
  • Isabel Owen
  • Ivy Brashear
  • J.A. Myerson
  • Jack deJarnette
  • Jack Wilkinson
  • Jacklyn C. Citero
  • Jake Olzen
  • James Hataway
  • James Marc Leas
  • James N. Maples
  • Janet Ward
  • Jasmine Burnett
  • Jason Palmer
  • Jason Parker
  • Jay Thompson
  • Jeff Cochran
  • Jeff Davis
  • Jeff Rayno
  • Jeff Spross
  • Jennifer Hill
  • Jesse Harwell
  • Jessica Luton
  • Jim Bentley and Jeff Nesmith
  • Jim Clark
  • Jim Cobb
  • Jim Fitzgerald
  • Jim Newell
  • Jim Stovall
  • Jim Walls
  • Jim Warren
  • Jimmy Booth
  • Jing Luo
  • Jingle Davis
  • Joan Donovan
  • Jodi Jacobson
  • Jody Wegmueller
  • Joe Earle
  • Joe Shifalo
  • Joel Groover
  • Joey Ledford
  • John A. Tures
  • John Dembowski
  • John Hickman
  • John M. Williams
  • John Manasso
  • John Sugg
  • John Tabellione
  • John Yow
  • Jon Sinton
  • Jonathan Grant
  • Joni Hunnicutt
  • Jonna Pattillo
  • Joseph B. Atkins
  • Joseph Gatins
  • Josh Dorner
  • Josh Sewell
  • Joy Moses
  • Judith Stough
  • Judy McCarthy
  • Juli Ward
  • Julian Bond
  • Julianne Wyrick
  • Julie Ajinkya
  • Julie Puckett Fodera
  • Just Plain Will
  • Kaili Joy Gray
  • Kate Greer
  • Kate McNally
  • Kathleen Brewin Lewis
  • Kathleen Harbin
  • Kathleen R. Gegan
  • Kathryn Hoffman
  • KC Wildmoon
  • Keith Graham
  • Ken Edelstein
  • Ken Haldin
  • Kevin Austin
  • Kevin Duffy
  • Kip Burke
  • Kirk McAlpin
  • Kirsten Barr
  • Kos Moulitsas
  • Kristie Macrakis
  • Lacey Avery
  • Lamont Cranston
  • Laura Clawson
  • Laura Smith
  • Laurence Lewis
  • Lawrence S. Wittner
  • Lee Leslie
  • Lee Robin
  • Les Eatwell
  • LikeTheDew
  • Linda Hunt Beckman
  • Linda Jordan Tucker
  • Lisa Byerley Gary
  • Lisa Kerr
  • Lois Beckett, Propublica
  • Lorraine Berry
  • Louie Clay
  • Louis Mayeux
  • Lovell Jones, Ph.D.
  • Lucy Emerson Sullivan
  • Lucy Guest
  • Maggie Lee
  • Maisha White
  • Mandy Richburg Rivers
  • Margi Ness
  • Marian Wang, ProPublica
  • Marie Diamond
  • Mark Dohle
  • Mark Johnson
  • Mark Sumner
  • Martha W. Fagan
  • Mary Civille
  • Mary Elizabeth King
  • Mary Kay Andrews
  • Mary Lee
  • Mary Willis Cantrell
  • Matt Johnson
  • Matt Musick
  • Matt Renner
  • Matthew Wright
  • Maurice Carter
  • Meg Livergood Gerrish
  • Meghan Miller
  • Melanie Rochat
  • Melinda Ennis
  • Michael Beckel
  • Michael Castengera
  • Michael Ettlinger
  • Michael J. Solender
  • Michael Linden
  • Michael Lux
  • Michael W. Twitty
  • Mike Copeland
  • Mike Cox
  • Mike Handley
  • Mike Lofgren
  • Mike Ludwig
  • Mike Williams
  • Mike ”Hunter” Lazzaro
  • Mimi Skelton
  • Moni Basu
  • Monica Smith
  • Murray Browne
  • Myra Blackmon
  • Nancy Melton
  • Nancy Puckett
  • Nancy Robinson
  • Nancy Rogers
  • Neill Herring
  • Nelly McDaid
  • Nikki Gardner
  • Niles Reddick
  • Noel Holston
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • Overman & Senn
  • Pamela Sumners
  • Pat Garofalo
  • Pat LaMarche
  • Patrick L. Ledford
  • Patsy Dickey
  • Patti Ghezzi
  • Paul Krupin
  • Paul Rutledge
  • Paul Thim
  • Pete & Jack
  • Peter Crawford
  • Peter Turnbull
  • Phil Gast
  • Phil Noble
  • Philip Graitcer
  • Phyllis Alesia Perry
  • Phyllis Gilbert
  • Piney Woods Pete
  • R. P. Singletary
  • R.L. Miller
  • Rafael Alvarez
  • Randy Conway
  • Randy Schiltz
  • Ray Bearfield
  • Raymond L. Atkins
  • Reagan Walker
  • Rebecca Sive
  • Richard Eisel
  • Righton C. Willis
  • Rob Chambers
  • Rob Coppock
  • Rob Douthit
  • Robert Dardenne
  • Robert Jensen
  • Robert Lamb
  • Robert M. Williams, Jr.
  • Robert Mashburn
  • Robert Weiner & Richard Mann
  • Robin Marty
  • Rodney Adams
  • Roger Gregory
  • Ron Feinberg
  • Ron Taylor
  • Rose Aguilar
  • Rose Weaver
  • Rosemary Griggs
  • Russ Wellen
  • Sam Morton
  • Sao Magnifico
  • Sara Amis
  • Sarah Ayres
  • Sarah Bufkin
  • Saralyn Chesnut
  • Scott Anna
  • Scott Borchert
  • Scott Keyes
  • Scott Wooledge
  • Seth Cline
  • Shane Gilreath
  • Sharon M. Riley
  • Shay Dawkins
  • Sheffield Hale
  • Sheila Barnard Nungesser
  • Sigrid Sanders
  • SoniaTai
  • Sonya Collins
  • Soraya Chemaly
  • Spencer Lawton
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Stephen Lacey
  • Steve King
  • Steve Krodman
  • Steve Valk
  • Stuart Liss
  • Sue Sturgis
  • Sujigu
  • Susan De Bonis
  • Susan Soper
  • Susan Wilson
  • Suz Korbel
  • Tammy Andrews
  • Tammy Ingram
  • Tanya Somanader
  • Ted Kooser
  • Terri Evans
  • The Barnacle Goose
  • Thomas A. Bledsoe
  • Tiger Liliuokalani
  • Tim Oliver
  • Timothy Freeman
  • Timothy Hurst
  • Tom Baxter
  • Tom Crawford
  • Tom Ferguson
  • Tom Millsop
  • Tom Poland
  • Tom Walker
  • Travis Waldron
  • Travis Waldron & Pat Garofalo
  • Trevor Stone Irvin
  • Tricia Collins
  • Troubadour
  • Valerie Evans
  • Viveca Novak
  • Waldron, Somanader & Garofalo
  • Walter Rhett
  • Wanda Argersinger
  • Wayne Countryman
  • Wayne Johnson
  • We The People
  • Will Cantrell
  • Will Nelson
  • William Cotter
  • William Hedgepeth
  • Yana Kunichoff
  • Yasmin Vafa
  • Zack Beauchamp
  • Zack Ford
  • Zaid Jilani
  • Zaina Budayr



  • Login or Subscribe

    Like the Dew?

    We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.

    John Lennon: 12/08/80

    by | Dec 7, 2009

    The 4th quarter. It’s as critical for retailers as it is for a basketball team. The game’s on the line and some three-pointers are needed. The three-pointer equivalent for retailers is a plastic-happy customer. ‘Tis the season to run up lots of debt. The plastic allows the stores to sell their goods at a torrid pace in the last few weeks of the year. At least people working in the stores hope so. Otherwise they may not be working in the first quarter. The months after the 4th quarter are usually sluggish anyway. If the retailers sell a lot when people want to buy, they can likely hang on during the slow months.

    In December of 1980 I had a very good job with a national record retailer. My job was to handle the advertising for the stores east of Illinois and south of Pennsylvania. The stores in that region were in growing, mostly Sunbelt, cities. In the 4th quarter we’d sell a lot of records. We’d get those three-pointers. The record companies would subsidize our advertising as we promoted and sold their records. When everything went as planned, all were happy.

    John-Lennon-Double-Fantasy-portadaDouble Fantasy, John Lennon’s first new album in more than 5 years, was keeping many of us happy. Critical reaction, perhaps due to the album’s co-billing of Yoko Ono, was mixed, but most fans were pleased. The album’s first single, “(Just Like) Starting Over,” received significant airplay. It had an infectious, rock and roll feel; it brought to mind old songs by Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, both early heroes of Lennon’s. The song was a celebration. John Lennon made the idea of starting over sound enticing.

    The Lennon/Ono collaboration was a hit. Some were disappointed that Lennon’s hard edge was not evident, but he was still a great singer and still crafted engaging melodies. Double Fantasy, along with other albums, such as Bruce Springsteen’s The River, was doing well in our stores. Certainly the 4th quarter would put us in the “Win” column.

    So with only 16 shopping days left until Christmas, we felt good about things. We could breathe easier for a few weeks. It was time to celebrate. In town with his own plastic card was one of our company’s VP’s. He liked a fine dinner and he liked company at dinnertime as well. What else could we do? The three of us in management gladly accepted his invitation to dinner at Atlanta’s preeminent steakhouse, Bone’s.

    The usual talk about business took place at the table. There were some record labels hurting. A lot of merging and consolidation had taken place. My company knew much about the struggles of the record labels. We were partly responsible, given the millions of dollars we owed them. A label that needed a shot in the arm was RCA. Our VP made a crass remark, wondering if RCA wished they could dig up Elvis Presley and then have him die again. We groaned and then recalled the crazy few weeks after Presley’s death in August ’77. People came into our stores ready to buy anything by Elvis. His great records sold out first. Then his lesser material. Even the forgettable soundtrack albums were snapped up. The pressing plants went into overtime. RCA had tragically lost its greatest star but the financial windfall eased the company’s pain. After all, Presley had not scored a number one single (Billboard charts) since 1969. He was their legendary performer but no longer crucial to their bottom line. At that time, they depended on Dolly Parton, John Denver and Hall and Oates to bring in the big bucks.

    A lot of us in the business so admired Presley that it hurt deeply to see him gone. Yes, much of his recent work had been lackluster but he was still The King. He left behind a lot of great music. We kept that in mind and hoped not to see such a monumental passing for a few years at least.

    cd5300386death-of-a-hero-john-lennon-shot-dead-in-new-york-dec-8-1980-postersAfter dinner we returned to our VP’s hotel, thinking we might see the last few minutes of  Monday Night Football. The TV was turned on but the game had just ended. The local TV news anchor came on with something about John Lennon being shot outside his home in New York. The words sped by us. Then the newsman said, “Lennon did not make it.” That’s when the news took hold. A real punch in the gut.

    Before we started to comment on Lennon’s greatness, as a Beatle, solo artist, activist for peace, etc, our VP quickly collected himself and started talking to me. He said I needed to be up early the next morning, on the phone to the managers at my stores. It was my duty to remind them of how important (the VP’s word) it was to get as much Lennon stock in the stores as possible. We knew the drill. We remembered August ’77 very well. We also noted the irony of  the VP crudely reminding us of it a few hours earlier.

    The next morning, quite distraught, I called my managers but did not relay the instructions. They were on top of it anyway. They understood their jobs. Instead we just talked of the loss we felt. Many of us had our jobs because of how inspired we were seeing Lennon and the other Beatles on those cold winter nights nearly 17 years before on Ed Sullivan. We spent hours that day discussing John Lennon’s profound impact.

    The first few days after Lennon died were days we just worked our way through. During that time his songs ruled the airwaves. People came in large numbers to our stores to buy his music. The solo recordings. The Beatles’ albums. Yet there wasn’t the frenzy we witnessed after Presley’s death. In ’77 a lot of people who rarely came into record stores sought and bought all things Elvis. Fans of the Beatles, younger than the Presley customers, were often at the stores anyway. They’d continue to seek out Lennon’s music in the years ahead. The calmer response in that regard was assuring but it provoked a summation: we’d always have his music, but we’d always miss the guy. He was the joyful provocateur who delighted and challenged us.

    Paul Simon’s ’83 recording, “The Late Great Johnny Ace,” recalls the dark mood of 12-08-80 and the days that followed. The music is sad and alluring. Simon’s story is a coming-of-age tale. He sings of a young boy’s sadness over the death of R&B singer Johnny Ace. The boy had never been “such a Johnny Ace fan” but he “felt bad all the same.” Absorbing the grief felt by others, the boy orders a picture of Johnny Ace. Exhibiting a boy’s sense of wonder common for 1954, Simon sings of how the picture “came all the way from Texas.”

    In the song’s bridge, Simon picks up the story after 10 years had passed. The young man is in London. Great cultural shifts are taking place. It was the year of The Beatles. It was the year of the Stones. A year after JFK. The young man has become familiar with the cycles in life that lift and dampen spirits.

    The last verse sets the scene sweetly and sadly. It’s late at night during the holiday season. One can visualize “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” playing on some radio as Simon’s character, still a young man, is walking past the storefronts in New York. There, a stranger approaches him. The stranger asks if he knows John Lennon had died. Shaken by the news, he and the stranger go into a bar and “stayed to close the place.” Through the hours, it’s likely the two men talked about John Lennon and related subjects, all the while putting coins in the jukebox. And as each song played, memories of years gone by seemed as fresh as yesterday.

    Paul Simon’s song closes with a one minute coda written by Philip Glass. Featuring strings, clarinet and flute, the coda is stark and beautiful; it captures the sense of loss described in the song and by those of us with vivid memories of that December night. Our thoughts the next several days and nights were dominated by the great loss. One of those nights my friend Bob Woodland and I met up at Manuel’s Tavern. Naturally, John Lennon was the subject of the evening. In that beloved watering hole, Bob touched on the greatness of Lennon that went beyond the music. Recognizing Lennon’s spirit and courage, Bob said, “What I really admired was that John made peace his cause, even though his stand brought him trouble. Here was a tough guy who had made his own way in the world but embraced and spoke out for peace and non-violence.” Yes, there are lots of reasons why we miss John Lennon.

     

     

    John Lennon

    ###
    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran

    Jeff Cochran worked in advertising at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 27 years before accepting a buy-out in the Summer of 2008. In the seventies/early eighties, he handled advertising for Peaches Records and Tapes' Southeastern and Midwestern stores. He also wrote record reviews for The Great Speckled Bird, a ground-breaking underground newspaper based in Atlanta.

     

    Print Friendly

     

    Note: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for the agreed-upon rules of civility. Comments do not reflect the views of LikeTheDew.com. Comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click here to report a violation.

    • Sean Breathnach

      Greetings from a rainy Ireland.
      Nice story Jeff, thanks for that.
      Sean

    • http://philipbruno.com PhilTListener

      Thanks for the memories, Jeff.
      I remember that day well. I was working as a messenger for a small brokerage firm in Jersey City (one of many odd jobs along the road), right across the Hudson River from the Trade Center (another day of infamy).
      I heard the news at night, then went into work the next morning bummed out.
      I remember one of the owner’s daughters, Leslie, who was younger than me (I was 27) and very attractive, coming up to me and asking if I heard the news about John. We were both close to tears as we discussed how much he had affected our lives. She was a stock broker on the trading floor in her father’s firm, and I was a guy trying to scrape a living together.
      None of that mattered. What mattered at that moment was we had both lost a true friend and inspiration. John and the other Beatles had a way of reminding us we were all in this together. All You Need is Love.

      Peace and Happy Holidays.

      Phil T.

    • http://www.tompoland.net Tom Poland

      Jef, thanks for a good piece on a sad topic. I’ll never forget that day …

    • Rick

      This sad story breaks my heart again every year at this time.

    • Ellen Evatt

      Thanks for a nicely written piece, Jeff. The news was so unbelievable that day as I watched at home with a 4-month-old daughter.

    • Beth Nelson

      It is hard to believe it has been 29 years. John’s death was such a shock. I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. George’s death was also devastating. The day he died I took my Beatles CDs to school and played them softly in the background the entire day. Even though my students were too young to understand, they were very respectful of my feelings and worked quietly all day. The world just seems a little sadder each time we lose someone special.

    • Tank

      Jeff,
      Lovely piece and thoughts. Thanks for the reminder about “The Late Great Johnny Ace”. I’d forgotten what I great prespective that was on 12-08-80, and the Philip Glass coda is superb.

      The lyrics of Johnny Ace brought me right back to being an expatriate Yank in London that year. While some Brits I knew then viewed JL as a turncoat for moving to NYC, his music was everyhere and often playing seemingly in a loop. Happy Xmas obviously but I also remember being in a pub somewhere in South Kensignton with a jukebox that someone must have played the JL/Elton John live “I Saw Her Standing There” 40 times in a row. Then on New Years Eve at a “squat” party at an abandoned house inKent, with many on psychedelics, #9 Dream seemed to be on an endless loop. I can’t hear either song now and not be transported back in time.

    • Terry Mock

      Jeff,
      Loved your article and forwarded it to two GA friends who were living in NYC on that fateful evening.
      Best,
      Terry

    • Suzanne

      Wow, Jeff, that was quite a piece! Very touching. I could see it and feel it. Thank you. Suzanne

    • Billie

      Beautifully written article, Jeff. You provide just the right visual details and precise vocabulary to bring the experience directly to the reader’s heart and mind--the mark of a sophisticated and intelligent writer. Reading your article has reminded me to get busy on creating a lesson plan using song lyrics to teach students the art of storytelling.

      Keep on writing, friend.

  • Worthy of Comment



  • Also on the Dew

    So Long as I Am There, I Am Somewhere: Being Dead in the Appalachian Wilderness

    So Long as I Am There, I Am Somewhere: Being Dead in the Appalachian Wilderness

    By: James N. Maples

    Above my family homestead in the East Tennessee foothills is an old, abandoned cemetery. I admit I've never seen it, but I think about it often. I imagine the worn stone markers neck deep in leaves in the fall or peeking out of the winter snow like early hyacinths. In my imagination, I never bothered to name these people, much less engage in meaningful character development. I don’t know them in any sense of the word; I just know that they are up there, tucked deeply in an earthy hollow waiting for whatever comes next. I don’t expect anyone comes to vis  Read on →

    All The Light We Cannot See

    All The Light We Cannot See

    By: David Evans

    At this time in my life I am beginning to view so much of what is happening around me through an increasingly cynical prism. As a friend is quick to point out, though, that behind every committed cynic there is a disappointed idealist wondering what happened to a world that once seemed so good and full of possibilities. I blame Shakespeare for part of my mental dyspepsia. It all began back in university when a supercilious professor dressed down a fellow student for misspelling the bard’s name. Now after reading Bill Bryson’s book Shakespeare: The World As Stage, I find that the  Read on →

    Never Look Back

    Never Look Back

    By: David Evans

    "Old Age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young." --Fred Astaire It’s finally happened to me...I’m now the Biblical threescore and ten years old. I went to bed after a great meal, wonderful evening with my ever-loving wife Jody, some funny conversation, a little mystery on the telly and woke up...well, I didn’t feel any different. I did wake up, though, which is a good thing. Aside from that, I woke up early as usual and as old men are wont to do, didn’t change my technique of putting my right leg first into my shorts,  Read on →

    Forever Young, Forever Scarred

    Forever Young, Forever Scarred

    By: Jeff Cochran

    May you always do for others And let others do for you. Words of advice, if not instruction, for the years and decades ahead, from Bob Dylan in "Forever Young," a song he wrote in 1973 and recorded twice for the next year's album, Planet Waves . The first version is slow and reverential, underscoring the serious nature of his father-to-son advise, while the second is uptempo and snappy, bringing enthusiasm to the same words on what awaits in life. Dylan, with energized backing from The Band, makes the directive, "May you grow up to be righteous" sound exhilarating. In the notes  Read on →