35 years ago tonight, like many Americans, I was watching ABC’s Monday Night Football. In 1980, Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell and Dandy Don Meredith were must-see TV.  I don’t remember much about the actual game but I’ll never forget the announcement made by Howard Cosell near the end of it. He informed millions of Americans that John Lennon had been shot and killed outside his apartment complex in New York City.

I was absolutely stunned. Who would do something like that and why? Even though I was too young to remember the Beatles during their heyday in the 1960s, I came to appreciate their music years later. In fact, I became a huge fan. In December of 1980, I was excited about the release of the new John Lennon album “Double Fantasy” which featured a new single called “Starting Over.” After John’s death, every time I heard that song on the radio it made me sad. It was an upbeat, happy song that became tragically ironic. After a five-year hiatus, Lennon was senselessly gunned down by a deranged assassin just as his music career was ‘starting over.’ It didn’t seem fair at the time and 35 years later, it still doesn’t seem fair.

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