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On December 8, 1980, I was living in Medford, Oregon. I was the afternoon DJ at KMED, a stupid little AM station that almost no one listened to. I never listened to it, but I assumed someone must have because the phones rang every once in a while and they didn’t seem to be wrong numbers. My on-air name was Jim Nelson.

I had the flu that day and felt like shit, but I went into work anyway. The program director was a numb skull named Jack Earl and I just didn’t feel up to asking him for the day off. I knew that Jack would guilt-trip me about having to find a replacement with such short notice. So I stumbled in and did the best I could. One of the songs we were playing was John Lennon’s latest single called “(Just Like) Starting Over.” I liked playing the record because there was a little pause towards the end of the song in which I inserted a sexy female voice purring the call letters “KMEDDDD.” The voice belonged to our receptionist - a lovely young lady named Laura Mann. I loved her madly.

That night I went home and my girlfriend, Christine, dropped by to fix some dinner and try and to cheer me up. We were watching TV when the news came on. John Lennon had been gunned down in New York city. I was flabbergasted. It’s difficult to describe. Lennon’s death hit me as hard as if a member of my own family had been killed. I couldn’t believe. It was the strangest, oddest feeling. Christine eventually went home later and I was alone with my thoughts.

I decided to produce a documentary about Lennon and the Beatles from a slew of stuff I had collected over the years. It was like I was on auto-pilot. It was an out-of-body experience. I finished the three hour program in two long nights. The station manager, John Mielke, got wind of what I was doing and went out and sold the thing to a sponsor for $300 (a rather unheard of amount for that time and place). He promised me a 10% commission. Eventually I received a check for $30. I cashed the check and bought some weed.

Christine and I got married. Then divorced. I still am in love Laura Mann.


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by johnjohndoe





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