From The Vault: On-Air Reactions The Night John Lennon Was Killed

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John Lennon And Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono and John Lennon; Photo by Brenda Chase/Getty Images

It is hard to believe but it was 30 years ago today that [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lennon [/lastfm]was shot and killed outside of his home in New York City.  Lennon was a regular guest on his hometown radio station, so when news of his death reached them, they were, as you would expect, devastated.

We’ve pulled together four audio pieces recorded directly from the air that night–raw, unvarnished, deeply heartfelt and personal reactions from DJs, reporters, and call-in guests, all grieving the loss of a musical hero and friend, a man who “touched the hearts and minds of us all.”

The audio excerpts below come from the archives of New York radio station WNEW. All are moments recorded from the station’s on-air programming the night Lennon was shot, so the reactions are immediate and visceral.

First, listen as DJ Vin Scelsa makes the official announcement of Lennon’s death (“He was not just another star…he touched the hearts and minds of us all”):

Next up is a WNEW broadcast report from Roosevelt Hospital in New York, where Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival:

Vin Scelsa, Scott Muni, and Dave Herman of WNEW take listener calls and talk with each other the night of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lennon[/lastfm]’s death (“It’s a frustrating thing to have it all bottled up inside”):

Vin Scelsa, Scott Muni, and Dave Herman reminisce about [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lennon [/lastfm]and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Beatles[/lastfm]:

Lennon touched the lives of so many people, as both a musician and an activist/humanitarian.  He would have been 70 years old this year, which makes you wonder what he could have accomplished the last 30 years.  One thing is for certain, John Lennon made the world a better place.

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