Squirrel Hill Record Store Owner Remembers John Lennon

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jerry Weber has more than a million used records at his store in Squirrel Hill, but few can match John Lennon.

“We can’t keep them in the store,” he said. “McCartney will sit, Harrison will sit. Ringo Starr – I got a million of them. But John Lennon – they’re gone.”

The ex-Beatle was 40 when he died. Most people now 40 or older remember.

“I actually didn’t find out until I walked into my store store,” Weber said. “Ten o’clock the next morning the phone was ringing and the first call I had was somebody calling me to tell me if I heard.”

Air Force veteran Barry Ellis was stationed in Hawaii.

“And a friend came busting in my room,” Ellis recalled. “He said, ‘Barry, Barry, did you hear about John?’ And I just somehow knew.”

KDKA’s Dave Crawley was anchoring the late news in Madison, Wis., that night 30 years ago. He went into the newsroom just to check the wire midway through the show. He saw the story and read it on the air. The reaction in the control room and among the camera people was absolute shock.

Had he lived, Lennon would be 70.

“He’d be writing challenging music which is what he always wrote,” Weber said.

  • Beantown4

    Jerry has a great record store, the best in Pittsburgh.
    Lennon was an incredible, eclectic talent. He was beginning the second half of his musical career when he was killed. The music lovers of the world still miss him.

  • CindyG

    I was an on-air announcer at a radio station south of Pittsburgh. The news room was just in front of me and the teletype news machine would ring when an important news story came across. It was ringing madly, and just as I got to it to read the headline “John Lennon Shot to Death in NY” the power went off. There I was standing in the dark and a chill ran up my spine. From my vantage point I could see all of the valley along the river, and you could see it all go dark in a ripple effect. It was as if we’d done a moment of silence in Lennon’s honor. To borrow the phrase from Don McLean it was “The day the music died” for a lot of us.

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