On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was fatally shot in one of the most famous deaths in music history. Now, The Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney has looked back on that day, revealing his reaction to learning the news.
In a recent interview with SiriusXM’s The Beatles Channel about his 1982 solo album Tug Of War, McCartney explained:
“When John died, it was so difficult. It was difficult for everyone in the world, ’cause he was such a loved character and such a crazy guy. He was so special. And so it had hit me, so much so that I couldn’t really talk about it. I remember getting home from the studio on the day that we’d heard the news he died, and turning the TV on, and seeing people say, ‘Well, John Lennon was this,’ and, ‘What he was was this,’ and, ‘I remember meeting him then.’ It was like, ‘I don’t know, I can’t be one of those people. I can’t just go on TV and say what John meant to me.’ It was just too deep. It [was] just too much. I couldn’t put it into words.”
He then noted that writing the song “Here Today” helped him process Lennon’s passing. The song opens, “And if I said I really knew you well / What would your answer be / If you were here today? / Ooh, ooh, ooh, here today / Well, knowing you / You’d probably laugh and say that we were worlds apart / If you were here today / Ooh, ooh, ooh, here today.”
Listen to McCartney discuss Lennon below.