How am I spending my day off? I'm listening to hours and hours of John Lennon and Beatles recordings. Why? Because they are awesome, for one thing, but also because I have less than a month to prepare for an all day event that's coming up on KMSU.
December 8th marks the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death. For me, a budding music geek at the time, it happened at a very pivotal point in my musical developement. Only three years earlier Elvis had died. I played my Dad's 45 of Jailhouse Rock constantly as a kid, and even though I was only 8 I was upset by how big his death seemed to be. A few days after Elvis died, me and Dad went to Goldfine's in Mankato and bought my first Elvis LP, which I still have. It was around this time that I started wanting to be a record collector.
In 1980 I was just discovering The Beatles, and John and Yoko's Double Fantasy album had just been released so he was all over the radio. I heard about his death the day after it occured, and after that it was something you just couldn't escape. Every show, magazine, and newspaper was blanketed with reports of what happened, and of course the music was even more present in everybody's lives. I read everything I could about Lennon and The Beatles, to the point of obsession (big surprise,) and after this there was no going back.
If you listen to the show regularly, you know that my Beatles geekdom runs deep. Because of that, Shelley and I will be live ALL DAY LONG on KMSU, as we pay tribute to John Lennon. We'll be remembering his life and music, and it's something of an honor for me to be able to pay tribute to him like this. I remember when we first did this five years ago we had loads of calls all day long, and it was an emotional experience for the entire KMSU family of hosts and listeners.
This year it'll probably be kind of rough for me, as this time around my Dad isn't here to share this with. It's because of him and his little green box of 45s that I became such a music geek. We'd go to record stores and collector shows all the time, and he was always so patient and encouraging with me. I'm sure he must have been bored to tears half the time, but he never hesitated when we had to get up at five in the morning to get to a record show right when the doors opened, or to just flip through the racks as I absorbed every bit of information I could on these trips.
We talked about this stuff a lot, and it was the subject of conversation the last time we went out for lunch. We were talking about how long I had been collecting, and I think he sort of realized just how much this support he gave me allowed me to become the kind of person that would leap at the opportunity to host a radio show. He sort of choked up when this realization came to him, and because I'm a Scandinavian Lutheran I reacted in a way to try and diffuse the emotion of the moment, but he was totally right to feel that he was responsible.
So yeah... I'm not a big nostalgia guy, but I have my father's sentimentality in me, and when stuff like this day sponsor happens, or when the Beatles or John Lennon remasters happen, they hit me on a very emotional level now because I know he would have gotten a huge kick out of it, if for no other reason than because it made me so fucking happy.
Anyway, try and cut me some slack this year if I become stupid and emotional. Also, sorry about the F word. It couldn't be helped.