1. December 8th

I will never forget my shock the night of December 8th, 1980, when my friend Joni called me on the phone around 11 PM, and told me to turn on the nightly news on TV.  It didn't matter what channel I chose.  It was on all of them.  I watched in horror as journalists described how John Lennon, just emerging from his limousine after a recording session at the Record Plant studio, had been shot five times outside the Dakota Hotel, where he lived in New York City, by a deranged man who had just procured his autograph.  It didn't really sink in until the next morning.  I was in my kitchen making coffee, when all of a sudden, In My Life, from the Beatles' Rubber Soul album came on the radio.  I sat down, and wept uncontrollably as I realized just how much all of those songs meant to me over the years.  I could not comprehend that--though the enormous treasure trove of music he created would live on for eternity--we would hear nothing more from John, whose presence on this earth touched, influenced, and shaped so many lives-- certainly my own.  And then I picked up a pen, and started to write this song.


words & music by willie t © 1980
wheel & dheel records • copyright © ℗ 2001
in a hotel on the west side
on a dark december night
a man downstairs was waiting
waiting 'til the time was right
his hour had come
he had nothing to say,
but what came from the barrel of a gun
an old black Rolls pulled up its nose
the rider stepped outside
the killer smiled, he turned and fired,
five shots that split the night
the dream was over
he had death in his hand
for a man that the whole world loved
johnny, you finally got the peace you dreamed of
so swift, so sudden, not quite like you planned
just stepping out,
you were looking to see what was all about
shot down in your prime
well, you gave us your song for the last time
i hear you on the airwaves
i can still hear your call
i've heard The Word, and around the world,
you're the Walrus for us all
you seem so tall
no bullet can kill you,
your name lives on and on
willie t (lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars)
gary jenkins (bass, vocals)
doctor x (harmonica, vocals)
jonathan shade (lead guitar)
danny feist (drums)
colleen macdonald (vocals)
andy mendelson (keyboards)