Wednesday, 8 December 2010

All Those Years Ago

Many years ago, but not so many that I don't remember it vividly, a few of us gathered in my friend's basement bachelor apartment before we set off to see the movie "Flash Gordon." We were huge Queen fans then, and the movie's theme music was catchy. Queen had written and performed the soundtrack for the movie, so it stood to reason that since we loved Queen so much, the movie would be memorable. It was; memorably horrendous.

We arrived at Jeff's apartment in Toronto too early to head out for the show, so we sat and had a beverage and listened to Q107. Normally a great station, on that afternoon it was not very entertaining, but Jeff came to the rescue. He put on a tape of previously recorded Q broadcast, which included some funny interaction and maybe even a short skit from "The Champ", a Mighty-Q staple from the times. We laughed and rocked and eventually rolled out to the movie, which as I say, was stupendously horrible.

When we got back to the apartment after the movie Jeff turned on the stereo, I thought he resumed the tape, until it was interrupted by an announcement that John Lennon had been shot and had died from his wound. The news broadcast went on, and I, mistaking it for another comedy bit but one gone very bad, said "turn this off Jeff. It's not funny."

What he said next remains forever a frozen moment in time for me, and I can hear the words, see his apartment, feel the fabric of the old couch, smell the cigarettes and taste the whiskey as if it was yesterday. "This isn't a joke. This is real. It's happening right now."

Over on ABC Howard Cosell broke the news...

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