Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9, 1980: S.A. Fans Dismayed By Lennon Slaying

San Antonio Light
December 9, 1980

Shocked by John Lennon's death, San Antonians were reacting with an emotional outpouring of grief and sadness for the former Beatle whose lifestyle and music revolutionized life in the Sixties.

Radio stations were deluged early Tuesday by callers expressing disbelief, anger and pain over the killing.

KONO and KTSA radio stations aired special Lennon tributes Tuesday even as callers continued to phone in to make sure the announcement of the death was not a mistake.

“The people are dismayed, shocked and pained, those are the words they are using,” said KONO disk jockey Gary Steele. “It’s a very emotional feeling, for the most part. Some guys are saying that they’d like to have a few minutes with the guy that shot him,” Steele said.

Steele said he and other San Antonians will remember Lennon as “one of the greatest songwriters of all time.”

“Like a lot of people, I grew up with his music, and it had a lot of influence on my life,” he said.

KTSA-KTFM Station Manager Lee Randall said the station would broadcast the address of Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, as frequently as possible after dozed of callers requested the address to send flowers and sympathy messages.

“The records and music industry is in shock,” Randall said. “John Lennon was one of the foremost lyricists of our time.”

Randall said the state would replay Lennon’s latest single release, ironically titled, “(Just Like) Starting Over.”

Disc Jockey Bruce Hathaway said reactions were mainly personal memories of Lennon’s music, but added that the influence reached even beyond the Iron Curtain.

“He was a controversial character, and always preached peace, even thought it was not in the vein that a lot of people agreed with,” Hathaway said.

Record merchandisers reported early quick sales of Beatles and Lennon albums and were preparing for a heavier demand during the week.

Kevin Matyear, an employee at Sound Warehouse, said he could not believe the news of Lennon’s death. “I’ve followed his music since I was five years old,” said Matyear, 20. “It’s hard to believe he is dead.”

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