Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All Those Years Ago

At this time tomorrow, John Lennon will have been dead for thirty years. Howard Cosell famously announced his death on Monday Night Football (not to me, though - I heard about it while listening to WRNO, We're da Rock a New Orleans), but it wasn't Cosell's first bit of business with Lennon. Six years earlier, almost to the day, in Los Angeles, Lennon had stopped by the booth a la Oscar and Felix, and submitted to some surprisingly good questioning from Cosell, although he refers to John's old band as "the original Beatles," as if other bands had begun using that name. For the record, the game was between the Redskins and the Rams. The Redskins won, 23-17.

This would have been at the tail end of Lennon's Lost Weekend. A week and a half earlier, he had appeared onstage with Elton John at Madison Square Garden in New York City, where Lennon had been reunited with Yoko Ono. (That would, of course, be his last-ever concert appearance.) No wonder he was in a good mood; he was even feeling charitable toward the Beatles, and toward "Yesterday" in particular, which didn't happen all that often.

Hard to believe he's been gone all these years, isn't it? For anyone who grew up listening to him, he was a unique and unmistakable voice, equal parts challenging and reassuring. We'll never see his likes again, and we'll never forget him. We'll never forget Lennon, either.


  1. "They have to get a TOOCHDOWN the same, but they don't have to SCROOM here."

    Yeah, the passing of Don Meredith, and the resultant clips of he and Cosell, reminded me of the days when Cosell was a pop-cultural presence. Even elementary-schoolers could imitate his voice.
    I guess sports announcers have a limited cultural shelf life -- though it pains me to think there will come a day when young people don't know who Vin Scully is.

  2. LOL! "John Lennon of the original Beatles." Too funny...

  3. Cosell may have been thinking of the Broadway show "Beatlemania" which was just opening around that time.

  4. The timing is a little off there: This was in December 1974, and "Beatlemania" opened on Broadway in May 1977.