I didn't find out John Lennon had been killed till the morning of December 9, 1980 -- it was all we talked about on the bus ride to Alex W. Spence Middle School as we listened to Double Fantasy blaring from a classmate's enormo jambox. One of our teachers -- the theater-artsy one -- wore a black armband to school; between uncontrollable crying jags, she passed out extras to a few takers. We spent the rest of the morning watching TV news accounts of the killing. Hard to believe a guy born in Fort Worth killed a Beatle -- the Beatle. I still can't hear "(Just Like) Starting Over," even the Flaming Lips' version, without thinking of that day.
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James "Big Bucks" Burnett -- good guy, old friend, eight-track obsessive and the subject of a story in last week's Observer -- got me thinking about it late last night. He sent along the shortest of notes ("I always think of John on December 8, and send this out in his honor"), along with a link to a John Lennon song his old band, The Volares, recorded in 2005 for a limited-release EP. Here it is: "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)." Good morning, good morning.