Whatever Gets You Through the Night

John Lennon

John Lennon in How I Won the War

Twenty years ago tonight, John Lennon was shot to death as he was about to enter his apartment building, returning late from the recording studio.

At the time, I was working as a disc jockey at a radio station in Johnson City, Tennessee, called WQUT. It was one of the premier Rock and Roll Stations in the Mid-South. I’ll never forget that night while I was on the air, and a news bulletin came over the wire with the shocking revelation that one of my heroes had been senselessly shot and was on his way to Roosevelt Hospital in New York City.

I immediately announced the disaster, threw on a copy of the White Album and stayed glued to the news wire, awaiting further developments as the LP tracked.

The bells rang in the teletype—always preceding delivery of a priority bulletin—and the tragic revelation that John Lennon was dead spewed forth ironically as the tune: “Happiness is a Warm Gun” started playing over the monitor.

To this day, I remember the bewilderment and feelings of emptiness I experienced at that very moment.

There are events such as the assassination of John Kennedy, the first landing on the moon and the resignation of Richard Nixon that are indelibly marked in my memory so as to invoke remembrance of what I was doing at the time as vivid as if they happened yesterday. John Lennon’s assassination is certainly among them.

If you were old enough to recall this night, twenty years ago, tell us about it.

Mike Slickster

Editor’s Note: the following was added on 8th December 2014:


About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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5 Responses to Whatever Gets You Through the Night

  1. Anonymous says:


    I was in a bar watching Monday Night Football when Howard Cosell broke in with the news of Lennon getting shot. Then for the rest of the night, Ted Koppel kept shoving out the gory details.
    I have to say I tied one on that night. Lennon was also one of my heros. What amazed me were the idiots who raised all kind of hell that the Football game wasn’t on anymore!

    • Anonymous says:

      Re: Remembering

      I was just 16 and getting my first piece of ass. My girlfriend and I were at her neighbor’s house babysitting and had the TV on when the news bulletin came on. I didn’t much care but my girlfriend started crying and that was it for the rest of the night. Talk about blue balls.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Bergeron!!!!

    Is that really you? I can’t believe it after all these years. I used to listen to you all the time. I remember that night. You were really flipped out. Come back to Tennessee…we miss you.

    A Carter County Crazy

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